Everything on red! Child protection and online casinos.
New State Treaty on Gambling liberalizes the market and strengthens the protection of minors

Just bet a few euros online in roulette? Or would you rather put your skills to the test today at poker with cents? What may sound harmless at first was largely banned in Germany until recently. However, that changed in the summer of 2021. In June, the new state treaty for the new regulation of the gambling industry in Germany (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag 2021 - GlüStV 2021) came into force. From now on, players can legally use online casinos and online poker. The only requirement: The platforms must have a German license. Only then will neither players nor providers have to fear legal difficulties.

Furthermore, the license entitles the platforms to advertise their own offerings – subject to strict conditions. However, to obtain this license, gambling providers must meet technical and legal standards. For example, they are obliged to participate in the OASIS player ban system. Players are also only allowed to make deposits of up to a maximum of 1,000 euros per month. In particular, ensuring the protection of minors is an essential prerequisite. The protection of minors is even named as one of the four goals (§ 1 GlüStV).

However, numerous German neighboring countries still prohibit online gambling. If the legal requirements are relaxed in the future, online gambling could become a European affair. Appropriate age verification would therefore become essential for all of Europe. TantumPay enables legally compliant identity verification within just a few moments. Providers benefit from the attractive conditions and users benefit from the user-friendliness of the solution.

But why is child protection such an important issue right now? In order to answer this question, it is worth taking a deeper look into the gambling industry.

“Nothing works anymore” no longer applies

Digitalization not only leads to the constant availability of video or audio content. The gambling market also benefits significantly from this trend. This means players no longer even have to leave their own four walls to experience the thrill of a casino. But the availability of online gambling offers also has its downsides. The overabundance of options makes it particularly easy for minors to get started. Adult entertainment also faces similar challenges (Tantum and youth protection in adult entertainment).

For example, the Federal Center for Health Education points out in its research report that more than a third of 16 to 17 year olds have already taken part in online gambling illegally. However, gambling is only permitted from the age of 18. Experts also assume that the potential for developing a gambling addiction is particularly high among young people (BZgA research report / January 2020).

This makes it clear that minors in particular must be protected from the dangers of unauthorized access to online gaming platforms. This is a matter of moral as well as legal urgency. An age verification system (AVS) such as TantumPay can help and is even required in Section 4 of the State Treaty on Gambling.

In the past, mainly foreign online casino providers were represented on the German market. In most cases there was and is no mandatory age verification. And it wasn't just the operators who were playing with fire. After all, in addition to operating an illegal game of chance, participating in it is also illegal. The new State Treaty on Gambling, however, introduces fixed rules of the game. If providers adhere to this, they do not need to fear any legal consequences. In this way, the market should also be better regulated in the future and made safer for all participants.

New State Treaty on Gambling and the consequences for the industry

The State Treaty on Gambling, which came into force in the summer of 2021, not only liberalizes an entire industry. It is also the first time that there is a nationwide regulation of gambling in Germany. Until recently, only the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein allowed online casinos and online poker. Only people registered in Schleswig-Holstein were allowed to use these offers.

As is well known, however, the Internet does not stop at federal or state borders. That's why others also take advantage of the offer. In addition, there was an increasing number of illegal providers participating in the market without a German license. The so-called legal gray area became even grayer and confusing for users. Which provider is legal and which is not? Is a license from another EU country sufficient or not?

All of these points made government attempts at regulation more difficult. Both courts and consumers found themselves in a very complicated legal situation. The State Treaty on Gambling now clarifies all of these questions at the federal level and makes it easier for platforms to safely enter the German market.

However, there is still no uniform regulation of online gambling at the European level. EU-wide regulation could therefore follow in the near future. The European Consumer Center has already expressed thoughts in this direction (European Consumer Center Germany). If it comes to that, the issue of protecting minors will also become a European concern. And other sectors and the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) prove that such a trend is not unlikely. The aim of this EU directive is to create a single market for all media providers. Regardless of whether it is a classic television station, an online portal or an on-demand platform: everyone must adhere to these regulations if they want to make their content available in Europe. Youth protection and age verification tools are also playing an increasingly important role in the context of AVMSD. This parallel should not be underestimated.

The sooner providers get involved with an AVS, the greater their competitive advantages can be in the future. A similar scenario is already emerging for content platforms (Protecting minors on Twitch).

Follow the rules of the game and grow your business

In the past, only both lottery and sports betting offers were legal. From now on, providers of online casinos and online poker are also allowed to apply for licenses. All platforms must have a German license in order to be active in Germany. In the past, many providers used licenses from other EU countries. A procedure that was already illegal before the new State Treaty on Gambling. In order to better control market activity, a central gaming supervisory authority will begin work at the beginning of 2023. Until then, supervision will remain spread across several federal states.

If providers play by German rules, it not only protects them from legal disputes. Platforms that meet the requirements for a gaming license are even allowed to publish advertising for their own offerings under strict conditions upon receipt of a permit. A legally secure environment for users is therefore rewarded.

One of the most important requirements for obtaining a license is the protection of minors. If the protection of minors is not guaranteed, it is an illegal game of chance. Advertising and sponsorship then remain prohibited.

State Treaty on Gambling and Protection of Minors

In order to obtain a license in Germany, platforms not only have to meet technical requirements such as setting up a “panic button”. Gambling providers should also ensure that minors are excluded from participation. In order to be able to identify and authenticate players, the guidelines of the Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM) for closed user groups must be observed. The term “closed group” refers to a user categorization as part of age verification on the Internet. Only members of this group are allowed to access certain content or offers on a website - such as a gambling function.

TantumPay offers one complete solution, which meets all the requirements of the State Treaty on Gambling and the KJM. The system ensures that only participants with proof of age have access to gambling offers. Identity verification is automated using AI-based technology integrated into the TantumPay app. Authentication also takes place with every login (one-time key). Passing on personal access data to unauthorized people is made massively more difficult.

The State Treaty on Gambling requires modern and safe youth protection measures from platforms. The responsibility therefore lies with the companies that have to take care of the necessary systems. For gaming providers, there is no way around an AVS solution that is easy to implement and affordable at the same time. Tantum helps companies overcome this hurdle in order to be able to participate in the German gaming market.

Safe gambling with TantumPay

Regardless of whether it is a gambling platform or an FSK18 first-person shooter: TantumPay's patented system offers platform-independent and anonymous age verification. The complete solution is digital and can be used at any time via your own smartphone. There is no need for call center agents who have to check a person against the documents. With an additional layer of security, Tantum eliminates the need to share data with third parties. All data is processed securely and in accordance with the law at all times. TantumPay also meets all requirements for the IT security concept (§ 6f GlüStV 2021). This protects all data from unlawful processing and manipulation from inside and outside. TantumPay also guarantees complete traceability of the integrity of the systems.

This is how authentication through TantumPay works

When age verification is carried out by TantumPay, the player provides their personal information such as name and date of birth. In accordance with the KJM specifications, recordings are made of the identification documents and the user. These are compared with each other based on numerous characteristics. The technology determines in just a few seconds whether it is one and the same person. If the user is of legal age, he or she receives access to the platform. If the user is a minor, login will be refused. The exclusion of banned players is also guaranteed through this identification and authentication.

The use of two components (smartphone and PIN code) ensures strong authentication. Due to all these factors, TantumPay has already been approved by the KJM rated as positive.

TantumPay offers a secure and cost-effective solution to meet regulatory requirements. Future changes to the law can also be quickly adapted and the system can be adapted to the respective industry. If gambling providers want to participate in the German market, they inevitably have to deal with an age verification system. An AVS not only leads to a license, but also opens up the possibility of being able to market your own offering.

Are you looking for an easy-to-implement and affordable age verification solution?

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