Leaders in Compliance virtual conference announces speakers

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The Leaders in Compliance virtual conference consists of a series of free webinars on compliance-related topics. The morning program is specifically aimed at the German market, while the afternoon program has an international focus.

You are free to attend individual webinars or the entire program.

The event's full agenda – including session titles and speakers – is available here.

Attending the Leaders in Compliance virtual conference is free, but registration is required.

Please click here to register for the German-language morning sessions: https://bit.ly/LiC2024_Morning

Or click here to register for the English-language afternoon sessions: https://bit.ly/2024LiC_Afternoon

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About Leaders in Compliance

Leaders in Compliance is part of the Gaming in EU family that includes Gaming in Holland, Gaming in Spain, and Gaming in Germany.

Leaders in Compliance offers knowledge and networking to compliance professionals in relevant markets across Europe.

Ongoing gambling studies funded by the GGL

Recently, the Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) announced additional details on its ongoing study on gambling advertising.

The study's aim is to investigate whether existing advertising regulations succeed in balancing the (sometimes) conflicting goals of market channelization and addiction prevention. Thus, the study will focus on the effects of gambling advertising on vulnerable persons, including minors, at-risk players, and problem players, as well as people with a migration background and persons with a lower socio-economic status.

Previously, the GGL commissioned another study titled “Player protection on the internet: Evaluation of the player protection measures of the Interstate Gambling Treaty 2021.” The results of this study will be part of the legally mandated evaluation of the IST 2021 and will be included in the treaty's official evaluation that is expected in 2026.

A third study recently commissioned by the GGL will investigate to what extent players have been successfully channeled toward the legal market. This study is also intended to clarify how players could be channeled to both legal offers and less risky forms of gambling.

As part of the study, various methods for measuring the black market will be analyzed and compared. The study will include a survey-based estimate of the current size of the black market. Further details have not yet been announced.

Casino licensing update

The IST 2021 not only regulates sports betting and virtual slot games, but also virtual casino games such as online roulette, blackjack, and poker. However, only seven out of Germany's sixteen federal states have now done so.

While Bavaria, Thuringia, Brandenburg, Hesse and Saxony have opted for a monopoly model, the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein have opted for a concession model, in which as many online casino licenses can be awarded as there are licenses for brick-and-mortar casinos in the respective states.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, where up to five licenses can be awarded, the concession procedure is currently still being prepared. In Schleswig-Holstein, the concession procedure is currently on hold.

The state Baden-Württemberg will probably soon decide in favor of the monopoly model. Other states have not yet created a regulatory framework for online casino games.

Player claims and affordability checks

In Germany, hundreds of claims of players seeking reimbursement from operators for their losses have already been decided or are still pending. Courts generally have found (at least in cases of virtual slots or casino offerings) that the contracts between player and operator were to be declared null and void due to absence of a valid gaming license and, consequently, that players must be reimbursed for their losses.

A recent decision by the Regional Court of Lüneburg adds “insufficient liquidity checks” to contractual nullity as a reason to reimburse player losses.

The Interstate Gambling Treaty 2021 stipulates a monthly per-player stake limit of €1000 across all operators. Increasing this stake limit is possible, but only after operators carry out a comprehensive liquidity check.

Germany-licensed operators often use the SCHUFA database to check player liquidity. SCHUFA is a private credit rating agency used by companies, employers and landlords that records late payment of consumer debt. Nonetheless, the Regional Court of Lüneburg found that a SCHUFA query does not constitute suitable proof of liquidity (LG Lüneburg of 21 May 2024, Ref.: 5 O 115/23)

The court states that being debt-free does not provide any information about economic capacity. After all, having no debts does not mean that a consumer automatically has more than €1000 per month available for gambling.

Furthermore, the court ruled that operators are responsible for honoring a player's personal deposit limit. A breach of this obligation, for instance by agreeing to an unwarranted limit increase, gives rise to a claim for damages.