Presentation on German AML Act at Gambling Symposium

Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann will give a presentation on the new German Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act at the 15th University of Hohenheim Gambling Symposium on 22 March 2018. Christoph Engelmann will speak about new regulatory AML requirements for online gambling operators. Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt will cover potential legal consequences due to the new provisions on administrative fine proceedings gambling providers face in the case of non-compliance.

Following their presentations, Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann will discuss the new legal framework with Johannes Güldner, doctoral researcher at the chair of public law, especially administrative law, Ruhr-University Bochum and Prof. Dr. Ihno Gebhardt, professor at the university of applied sciences for the police in Brandenburg.

The University of Hohenheim Gambling Symposium is one of the best-known German gambling events. During the course of the two-days symposium, speakers and panellists from the scientific community, authorities and consulting industry will take up current topics, scientific insights and the latest legislative and regulatory developments.

Top 5 gaming predictions for 2018!

Gaming operators, suppliers and regulations have been rapidly changing in 2017, but what shall we expect for 2018 and how to get ready to it? Read the rest of this entry »

DLA Piper Gaming event before the ICE. Come and join us!

DLA Piper gambling event will take place the day before the beginning of the ICE gaming conference in London.  Read the rest of this entry »

Further changes to PIT exemption for gaming players in Poland

By Aleksandra Kozłowska


Starting from 2018 PIT exemptions for gambling winnings were changed. In particular, all types of gambling (therefore, online casino as well) organized and run by an eligible entity under the gambling legislation in force in a Member State of the European Union or in another country belonging to the European Economic Area are PIT exempt only if the one-time value of winnings does not exceed PLN 2280 (only winnings in a poker tournament are subject to exemption without limitation). Moreover, the new provisions define the one-off value of winnings, which in the case of winnings in a casino or slot machine game leads to the conclusion that the taxable amount should be equal to lost amounts (according to the definition the taxable basis is equal to the amount earned, being the difference between the sum of the paid bids and the sum of the winnings paid during a one-off stay in a casino or a one-off slot machine game). Read the rest of this entry »

Spain: International liquidity for Poker finally approved

On 29 December 2017, the General Directorate for the Regulation of Gambling Activities (Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego – the “DGOJ”) announced on its website the signature by the General Director of the DGOJ of the Resolution by which the liquidity sharing between licensed online poker operators is authorised (the “Resolution”).

Today, 15 January 2018, the Resolution has been published in the Spanish Official Gazette and, consequently, from now on gambling operators with a Singular License for poker will be entitled to offer tables and tournaments involving users from the jurisdictions that have signed the Agreement concerning online poker liquidity sharing signed in Rome on 6 July 2017, under the terms established by such jurisdictions.

Following France’s steps, Spain is finally allowing the liquidity sharing between licensed online poker operators. This is certainly a very attractive opportunity for gambling operators who actually offer or who, in the light of the new call for tender, want to offer poker in Spain. On top of this, we will have to wait until the effective implementation of the liquidity sharing in order to see if this scenario could be extended to other online games.

ITALY: New online gaming licenses now available!

The tender for the award of new Italian online gaming licenses has now been launched, but operators have to hurry up! Read the rest of this entry »

Sweden: Legislative proposal sent to Council on Legislation for review

The Swedish Government proposed a new Swedish gambling act based on the proposal made by the government-appointed investigator in March 2017, and sent the proposal to the Council on Legislation (Sw. Lagrådet) for review.

In essence, the Council on Legislation will review whether or not the proposed gambling act is contrary to any existing legislative act before the proposal is handed over to the Swedish parliament for approval.

More information (in Swedish) can be found on

If you have any questions, please contact Christopher Büller,, at DLA Piper in Sweden.

SPAIN: Re-opening of the market

On Saturday it has been published in the Spanish Official Gazette the resolution launching the call for tender for obtaining new general licenses for exploiting gambling activities in Spain. Singular and general licenses can be applied simultaneously.

As anticipated in a previous blog entry, this means that within the next one (1) year, interested parties can apply for obtaining new general licenses. Consequently, the deadline for submitting the corresponding applications will be 17 December 2018.

Once the licenses applications have been filed, the DGOJ will have a maximum time period of 6 months to review the applications and if applicable, issue the resolution granting the licenses on a provisional basis. Once the licenses have been granted on a provisional basis, operators will be allowed to go live.

Belgian Court rules on offering different classes of games through a single web domain

On 9 November 2017, the Belgian Constitutional Court ruled, in response to three joined cases referred to it by the Council of State1, that the Belgian Gaming Act violates the Constitution insofar as it allows the accumulation of the exploitation of several supplementary licences of different classes through one and the same domain name and the URLs linked to it. Patrick Van Eecke and Kaat Scheerlinck of DLA Piper provide detailed analysis of the three joined cases, the Court’s decision, and the implications of the decision for the Belgian Gaming Commission’s licensing process and the Belgian gambling sector in general.

Read full article (subscription)

Spain: new developments on gambling advertisement

Following the announcement of the publication of the draft Royal Decree regulating gambling advertising activities, we hereby highlight some of the main developments therein included:

1) Commercial communications related to bingo may be offered outside the allocated slot times established in Law 7/2010 of General Audiovisual Communications provided that (i) such commercial communications exclusively refer to bingo, (ii) the website’ URL published in the commercial communications exclusively has information related to bingo, and (iii) the operator platform duly separates the access to bingo from the access to other gambling games.

2) Commercial communications must include (i) a warning message stating that minors cannot participate in gambling activities and (ii) a warning message promoting responsible gaming. These warnings shall be displayed in the following way: (a) in case of commercial communications displayed through static means, these warnings shall be clearly visible; (b) in case of commercial communications displayed through dynamic or audio-visual means, these warnings shall appear at the end of the commercial communication for at least two seconds and shall ensure the proper perception of the message; and (c) in case of commercial communications displayed through radio media services, these warnings shall appear on at least one out of three commercial communications carried out successively by the same operator.

3) Social networks shall make available to its users filtering mechanisms allowing them to prevent receiving gambling commercial communications. In addition, these commercial communications may not be published through or addressed to profiles corresponding to minors.

4) The participation of well-known public figures on commercial communications is prohibited if their participation can be extremely attractive to minors. Apart from that specific scenario, well-known public figures may participate in commercial communications as long as such figure meets the requirements of sending a warning message promoting responsible gaming and stating that minors cannot participate in gambling activities.

It shall be noted that this preliminary draft Royal Decree is still subject to the public consultation stage, in consequence, the DGOJ invites all interested parties to make their contributions via e-mail, with the deadline for receipt of contributions being 12 January 2018.

Spain: New draft Royal Decree on gambling advertising

The DGOJ has just published a new draft version of the Royal Decree regulating gambling advertisement activities. Two years ago another draft was published but it was finally not passed due to certain changes on the Spanish authorities.

This new preliminary draft, even though is still subject to the public consultation stage, aims to ensure an adequate level of protection for gambling consumers, both in advertising and in gambling practices, as well as for other vulnerable groups like minors.

Within the public consultation phase that it has been opened now, the DGOJ invites all interested parties to make their contributions via e-mail, with the deadline for receipt of contributions being 12 January.

Update: German Sports Betting Regulation

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

The state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein announced that it will not approve the new State Treaty on Gambling. They want to push for an entire new law that includes licenses for online casinos as mentioned in their coalition agreement.

In addition the administration of North Rhine-Westphalia announced that it will not ratify the new law and that it stopped the implementation of the new responsibilities (the new law provides that North Rhine-Westphalia takes over the sports betting regulation from Hesse).

The consequence of this situation is that the new State Treaty will not enter into force on 1 January 2018 as planned. This is because the law provides that it will be invalid if it is not ratified by all 16 German states until 31 December 2017.

Until the German states find an agreement for a new law the current regulatory situation remains. Sports betting will be tolerated for EU-licensed operators as long as they comply with material regulatory requirements like advertising restrictions and AML obligations. This is now confirmed by several higher administrative courts like the ones of North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Hesse.

Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann recently commented on the decision of the higher administrative court of Hesse in the German magazine “GRUR-Prax” 2017 p. 387; the article can be viewed here (in German, subscription based). Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt was also interviewed about the Schleswig-Holstein situation by the magazine “Online Gambling Lawyer“.

Announcement of re-opening of the Spanish online gambling market

As anticipated in a previous blog entrance dated on 12 September, the DGOJ has just published in its website the draft call for tender.

As a main difference from previous call for tenders, is seems that the time frame for operators to file their licenses applications will be of one (1) year from the publication of the call for tender in the Official Gazette (it has not been published yet) instead of one (1) month. Nonetheless, the maximum time frame for the the DGOJ to resolve on the granting of the licenses will remain the same, that is to say six (6) months from the date the application was submitted.

In this sense, the sooner a license application is submitted the sooner said license could be obtained and therefore the game operated. The rest of the applicable requirements are very similar to the ones applied during the previous two call for tenders. We will keep you updated on this process.

ITALY: Online gaming licenses coming very soon!

The tender for Italian online gaming licenses might be launched very soon and companies interested to it shall get ready.  Read the rest of this entry »

Possible re-opening of the Spanish online gambling market

The Spanish authorities could be considering publishing a new call for tender by the end of 2017.

Taking into account the following factors, the online gambling market could benefit soon from a new call for tender;

1.- Time elapsed since the previous license-call
The second call for tender was published on October 31, 2015. Therefore, it has been more than 18 months since the last call and therefore, interested parties were allowed to request the promotion of a new procedure for applying for online gambling licenses.

2.- Positive development of the Spanish online gambling market
The figures and statistics arising from the 1Q 2017 on the online gambling market in Spain.

3.- Interest showed by international operators in the Spanish online gambling market.
International operators have showed their interest in entering into the Spanish gambling market ensuring therefore the need of a re-opening of the market.

All of the above seems to indicate that we would be facing the third procedure for applying for Spanish online gambling licenses most likely by the end of 2017.

How the EU Privacy Regulation impacts Gaming Affiliates

The EU Privacy Regulation will oblige gaming affiliates to comply with stringent requirements in the processing of personal data of players.  Read the rest of this entry »

Update on the new AML Act in Germany

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

The new German Anti Money Laundering (AML) Act entered into force on 26 June 2017 after it has been published in the Federal Law Gazette.

The new AML Act brings three important changes for gambling companies:

  • Extension of the scope from online to offline gambling and from licensed to unlicensed gambling
  • Revised AML measures in detail
  • Extended catalogue of administrative offenses with higher administrative fines (up to 1 million Euro)

For more information on the new AML Act we published a client alert for gambling companies that are offering their services in Germany. In addition we wrote an article in the German newspaper FAZ covering the main impacts on gambling companies.

Implementation of the AML Directive in Poland

By Magdalena Gmur

The first quarter of 2017 saw extensive amendments being made to the Polish Gambling Act. However, gambling operators should now focus their attention on proposed anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, which may also affect their business activity. The Polish government has just published the first draft of the new Act on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (Draft AML Act), which will implement into Polish law  Directive EU 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing. Read the rest of this entry »

New licenses for online casinos in Germany?

By Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt and Christoph Engelmann

After the elections in the German state Schleswig-Holstein the Christian Democrats, Free Democrats and Greens plan on a new gambling law in their coalition negotiations.

The Greens mention on their website that the coalition does not want to implement the new State Treaty on Gambling into their state law. Instead they plan on resigning from the State Treaty and on passing a new gambling law together with the states North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. The new gambling law is supposed to be based on the 2012 Schleswig-Holstein gambling law. Other than the State Treaty on Gambling it intends to offer (new) licenses not online for sports betting but also for online casinos including poker games.

State revenues will be used for prevention of gambling addiction, consumer protection, grassroots sport and common public interest. Brick-and-mortar casinos will be sold neutral in terms of effect on competition after the online licenses have been issued.

This is a very exciting development for operators that are looking into the German market. After the new State Treaty on Gambling has been criticized in recent court decisions it now looks like at least a few states might rethink their current gambling policies.

E-Sport will finally be recognised as a sport in Poland

Rafał Burda and Wojciech Biegański

On 14 March 2017, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft law amending the Act of 25 June 2010 on Sport (accessible here). The draft is currently subject to its first reading in parliament. The draft introduces an extension to the existing definition of sport, supplementing the solely physical activity expressed thus far in the sports law with “competition based on intellectual activity aimed at achieving a sports result”. This extension is aimed at achieving two main goals: (i) to officially recognise sporting disciplines like checkers, chess or sports bridge as sports competitions; and (ii) to bring e-sport competitions under the jurisdiction of sports law, due to the fact that such intellectual activity is widely regarded as having similar social effects to physical activity. Given the fact that e-sport is expected to expand its global fan-base to around 345 million by 2019, this change in the law seems absolutely necessary. As of 1 April 2017, accepting bets on virtual events (including e-sport) is expressly allowed under the Polish Gambling Act.

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