Germany legalizes part of the gray market online with a gambling treaty. Even without the booming online business, considerable amounts are already gambled away in this country. But the biggest gambling markets are elsewhere.
Online gambling will become largely legal throughout Germany at the beginning of July, before it was restricted to certain federal states. The new State Treaty on Gaming will then come into force: online poker and slot machine games on the Internet will be permitted in accordance with uniform nationwide rules. The primary objective of the new agreement between the federal states is to protect players and minors. In future, a gaming account will be mandatory for online gambling, for which players will have to identify themselves and provide proof of identity. The monthly betting limit is a maximum of 1000 euros.
Until now, virtual gambling was virtually tolerated by providers outside Germany. It was legal only in Schleswig-Holstein. A new supervisory authority is to set up monitoring structures and databases by 2023 to track players’ activities and limits. Providers are also required to set up an early gambling addiction detection system and a panic button that allows players to lock themselves out. Otherwise, states can reject applications in the permit process.
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THE BIGGEST MARKETS
Las Vegas remains spectacular. The new Resorts World was recently completed at a cost of $4.3 billion – the first new luxury property on the legendary Strip since 2010 and also the city’s most expensive. It includes three Hilton Group hotels and a large casino floor. Las Vegas is also home to Scientific Games, one of the world leaders in online and offline gambling. In the U.S., where the most gambling is done globally for just under $120 billion according to H2 Gambling, each state has its own gambling legislation. Digital casinos and sports betting, however, operate primarily out of New Jersey with annual sales of around $300 million.
The legendary City of Dreams Casino in Macau is the gambling ground of privileged Chinese. In the People’s Republic itself, gambling is banned – not so in its Special Administrative Region. The city is considered the Mecca of gambling worldwide or the Monte Carlo of the East. Half of the economy depends on the drip of tourists seeking amusement in casinos and gambling halls. Business exploded after the monopoly of Hong Kong billionaire Stanly Ho was abolished in 2001. Statistics from H2 Gambling Capital place China second in the world with $70.8 billion in gambling revenue in 2019. Digital gambling halls are also banned by the Communist Party, which considers gambling socially seditious and reprehensible. But through platforms run by foreign providers, that too is a multi-million-dollar business.
Across green water, the path leads to the cyberpunk-style arcade in the city of Kawasaki. Despite some restrictions, the Japanese gambling market is the third largest in the world, with $50.5 billion in stakes. In addition to the state lottery, some casinos have been permitted since 2018. Private operators run a dense network of gaming halls. Pachinko gambling in particular is a popular sport there. Every year, Japanese gamble away around $200 billion on the pinball-like ball machines, many times the casino turnover in Las Vegas. Online gambling is prohibited in Japan. But there are numerous foreign providers who specialize in the market.
Before the Corona crisis, which hit Italy’s betting shops, arcades and casinos hard, Italians spent about 20 billion euros a year on gambling products. The state collects about half of that. In a tightening of laws, the number of slot machines was recently reduced and advertising banned. One of the largest betting providers is the Maltese SKS365 Group, which operates nearly 1,000 stores under the name Planetwin365. Online gambling is legal and attracts stakes in the single-digit billions, especially in online casinos and for sports betting.