Last week, many online casinos serving German customers removed all slot machines from the manufacturer Merkur Gaming. Why are online casinos removing the games of one of the most popular providers in the country and are there any workarounds for German players to maintain access to online games?

Since the publication of the Paradise Papers a few weeks ago, many individuals and companies have come under investigation for their business practices. In addition to "regular" tax fraud, German banks have been convicted of providing payments to online casinos, thus supporting what is considered officially illegal gambling in the country. In some cases, the investigation has led to difficult situations. Last week, all games from Merkur Gaming were removed from many online casinos, and it looks like the ban will continue until all of the provider’s games disappear from the German online market.

The reason for this decisive action was the announcement of the Gauselmann Group, which is behind Merkur Gaming:

All online casinos will have their licenses revoked unless they guarantee that their games will no longer be available to German customers.

This move is not officially affiliated with the Paradise Papers, but is based on an October 2017 ruling by the German Federal Administrative Court. He confirmed that online gambling is not allowed in Germany. This legal orientation has long been a source of uncertainty and resistance in the industry, as it is legally contradictory. However, the German government does not address the issue drastically, leaving the German players in a gray zone. While the Gauselmann Group is now citing a court verdict, Paradise Papers discloses that the company is making profits from German players playing at officially illegal online casinos that offer Merkur Gaming slot machines.

Gauselmann Group

Whatever the actual reason for the company’s decision, this announcement has a huge impact on many online casinos. Sites such as Sunmaker, Stake7 or PlaySunny were completely dependent on Merkur’s gaming offerings. Many players visit these sites as an online alternative to boring arcade games. For such sites, the threat of losing Gauselmann’s license is very serious, so last week they started blocking games for German customers. Vendors who have created their complete offer on Merkur games must eliminate them very quickly, as the Gauselmann Groupe has set a very short deadline for the removal of games. For example, Stake7 switched products in less than a week and now provides games from manufacturers such as Net Entertainment, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming or NYX, removing all German content from their site.

It looks like all Merkur Gaming games will soon be unavailable from Germany. But for some of the most popular games, there is still a workaround. Since Merkur didn’t develop all the games in-house, but dealt with content for several games from Australian developer Reel Time Gaming, these slots won’t get lost. Some online casinos like Lapalingo still offer slot machines including Eye of Hours, Fishin Frenzy, Wishing Well, and El Torero for German customers – now under the original Reel Time Gaming brand. Thus, German players can still play with them, but without the popular ladder feature to increase winnings. The gameplay, graphics and winnings will remain the same.

Categories: Gambling News