New regulation for German gaming companies: what you need to know

The Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (KJM), responsible for vetting and approving vendors who provide age verification systems in German, has recently certified Onfido as a full solution for age verification in telemedia.

Age verification requirements form a large part of new German gaming regulations coming into force next year. 

What are the new regulations?

Earlier this year Germany’s 16 states agreed to a transition period for online gambling, before a new Interstate Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, GlüStV 2021) comes into effect in July 2021.

This will allow gaming operators to apply for a licence and to either continue, or begin, to operate online in Germany—as long as their activities are fully compliant with the new Treaty.

Among other things, GlüStV 2021 sets out certain restrictions and requirements in relation to age verification. Operators must ensure:

  • The exclusion of minors and barred players, by applying identification and authentication methods. This should be applied on the basis of the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Human Dignity and the Protection of Minors in Broadcasting and in Telemedia.

GlüStV 2021 also outlines prohibitions relating to the operation, promotion and advertisement of online gaming.

Other restrictions and requirements include:

  • Providing for self-limitation measures (the Interstate Treaty suggests a monthly stake limit of EUR1,000 for online betting) and prohibiting players from taking loans from the gambling operators.

  • Refraining from specific ‘addiction stimuli’, such as fast repetitions.

  • Tailoring their ‘social concept’ (responsible gambling guidelines) to the online environment for example, by demonstrating awareness towards online-specific risks and providing for mitigation measures accordingly.

  • Ensuring that betting and lottery products are offered from separate internet domains.

Read more on the restrictions and requirements here.

What does this mean for gaming companies?

Gaming companies will have to take necessary measures to ensure the exclusion and protection of minors on their platforms through identity verification and authentication methods.

The KJM is the regulator responsible for the protection of minors online and in the media in Germany. They have vetted and approved a list of vendors who provide age verification systems. Gaming operators should only use age verification systems approved by the KJM.

As Onfido was recently certified by the KJM as a full solution for age verification in telemedia, we’re approved to provide age verification services in line with German regulatory standards. As a full certified solution, Onfido is cleared to provide both identification and authentication.

How does Onfido’s solution verify a user’s age?

Onfido’s AI-based technology enables identification by means of an automated process. It assesses whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine or fraudulent, and then compares it against their facial biometrics. We use a two-step process to verify a user’s age. First, our Document Verification extracts the date of birth from a presented ID, allowing you to verify that the person is over a specified age. 

Then we compare a selfie or video with the presented ID, so you can decide if the person really is who they say they are. This ensures, for example, that minors aren’t simply presenting a parent’s identity document.

Find out more about Onfido’s age verification solution.

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