DSWV criticises decision to uphold the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling

The Bundesrat and Bundestag’s decision to uphold the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling’s (GlüNeuRStv) controversial tax regime, has been met with criticism by Germany’s Sports Betting Association, DSWV

Germany’s legislature has been ratified for GlüNeuRStv to maintain its much disputed 5.3% wagering tax on online casino and poker verticals.

Prior to the Bundesrat vote, the DSWV had called for the tax charge to be excluded from the GlüNeuRStv initial regime, which will launch on 1 July – urging German Lander to work together in establishing a fair market tax plan.

Issuing a statement, DSWV condemned Bundesrat MPs for allowing the vote to proceed ‘on a misguided tax assessment’.

“Unlike all European countries, Germany does not tax the provider’s earnings for virtual slot machine games and online poker, but rather the individual stakes made by consumers,” the DSWV statement read. “This makes the games more expensive for the customers and the winnings less often.|

The trade association did not hold back on its frustrations, stating that GlüNeuRStv was filled with ‘half-baked measures’ which had been expounded by an incoherent tax regime adding to the pains of product restrictions, deposit limitations and stringent technical arrangements.

DSWV President Mathias Dahms remarked that in its unchanged state, the GlüNeuRStv would be dead-on-arrival as the Bundesrat had ‘jeopardised the success of the new gambling regulation in Germany a few days before it comes into force’.

Facing dire circumstances, Dahms added: “There are two alternatives for German consumers: Either they accept that the game will be significantly more expensive for them or they switch to black market offers that are easily available on the Internet and that do not pay taxes in Germany… neither option is wanted.”

The DSWV called for instant changes to the GlüNeuRStv following its launch, in which it warned German ministers that the regime will fail to even secure a 50% rate of channelling against black-market actors.

Furthermore, the DSWV was dumbfounded that ministers had not supported changing the treaty’s policies, as its association had presented academic and first-hand industry data that the regime would be unworkable.

The DSWV will now focus on its EC challenge of the GlüNeuRStv, sanctioned alongside the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), with the aim of repealing the discriminative tax plan.

Dahms concluded: “For years, the countries had struggled to find a compromise on the State Treaty on Gambling and to open up the online gambling markets in order to finally get this area under regulatory control. Now the countries are destroying their own work with an over-tax regime for virtual machine games and online poker in the last meters.”