GVC Obtains 4 Sports Betting Licenses in Germany


Gambling powerhouse GVC Holdings announced Monday that it has received German sports betting licenses for four of its brands as the country is in the middle of reorganizing its gambling market.

GVC’s bwin, Sportingbet, Ladbrokes, and Gamebookers brands were issued sports betting licenses from German regulators on Friday, October 9.

The newly granted licenses will allow each of the four operations to continue to offer sports betting services to German customers under Germany’s Third State Treaty on Gambling, which took effect early this year as a transitional law and will be replaced by a permanent regulatory framework in July 2021.

GVC obtained the four licenses shortly after the heads of Germany’s 16 states approved a new Tolerance Policy for online gaming that allows German-facing operators to continue to offer online casino products as long as they observe the rules and restrictions laid out in the permanent gambling law that is set to take effect next year.

Under the current regulatory framework, the provision of online gaming and poker services is prohibited. These activities will become legal in the summer of 2021, it became known earlier this year.

Wagering Limits and Other Restrictions

Under the recently approved Tolerance Policy, Germany-facing online gambling companies must set a €1,000 monthly wagering limit. They can increase that limit to €10,000 per month, if certain criteria are met.

About 1% of their customers, likely VIPs, may have their monthly gambling limit increased to €30,000 if more criteria are met. Operators must also make sure to implement new deposit limits until Know Your Customer checks are met. Bonuses are limited to a maximum of €100 per year. Germany-licensed operators must also follow strict responsible gambling requirements if they want to be able to offer not only sports betting but also online casino and poker products in one of Europe’s largest and most lucrative markets.

Commenting on obtaining four licenses in Germany, GVC CEO Shay Segev said that “the award of these licenses is great news” for his company as this brings “the clarity and certainty that we have long sought for sports betting in Germany.”

Mr. Segev went on to say that combined with the recently approved Tolerance Policy they can now “look confidently to the future, building on our position as a market leader by delivering an unparalleled, innovative experience for our German customers.”

GVC said that the terms under which the company and other gambling operators will be able to continue to provide sports betting and online casino services in Germany are yet to be formally agreed and that it expects plans to be in place by early 2021.

The group projects that the implementation of these terms will reduce its EBITDA by £40 million.

Last week, GVC upgraded its full-year EBITDA forecast to £770-£790 million, up from the £720 million to £740 million range the company had previously projected, citing increased online betting activity during the pandemic.

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