The commercial operation of an amusement arcade or similar enterprise which serves exclusively or predominantly to install gaming machines or to organize other games within the meaning of Section 33c (1) sentence 1 of the GewO or Section 33d (1) sentence 1 of the GewO, or the commercial installation of entertainment games without the possibility of winning, is subject to licensing.
Gambling devices within the meaning of Section 33c(1)(1) of the GewO are gambling devices that are equipped with a technical device that influences the outcome of the game and that offer the possibility of winning (slot machines).
§ Section 33d GewO concerns games of skill (not games of chance), i.e. games in which the decision on winning or losing does not depend on chance, but on the physical and mental abilities of the player.
While the installation of gaming devices within the meaning of Section 33c and Section 33d GewO also requires a permit under these provisions, the entertainment games without the possibility of winning, which are also referred to in Section 33i GewO, do not require a separate permit.
The term "similar enterprise" in Section 33i of the GewO primarily covers so-called casinos in which other games with the possibility of winning as defined in Section 33d of the GewO are generally played.
The casino license is linked to a specific person and specific premises.
A prerequisite for the granting of the license is the reliability of the applicant, which is verified on the basis of a certificate of good conduct and an extract from the commercial register. The premises intended for the operation of the arcade must be suitable in terms of their location and condition, i.e. they must comply with police and building regulations. Furthermore, the operation of the gaming arcade must not endanger young people, cause excessive exploitation of the gambling instinct, have a harmful impact on the environment or otherwise cause an unreasonable nuisance to the general public, neighbors or an institution in the public interest.
Since 01.07.2012, in addition to the commercial law permit, a gambling law permit in accordance with Section 24 (1) GlüStV and Article 10 AGGlüStV is required, which is issued by the same authority. The granting of this permit requires that the establishment and operation of the gaming hall does not run counter to the objectives of Section 1 GlüStV (e.g., preventing the development of gambling addiction, ensuring the protection of minors and players, ensuring the proper conduct of games of chance, etc.). In addition, compliance with the requirements for the protection of minors pursuant to Section 4 (3) GlüStV, the Internet ban pursuant to Section 4 (4) GlüStV, the advertising restrictions pursuant to Section 5 GlüStV, the requirements for the social concept pursuant to Section 6 GlüStV and the requirements for information on addiction risks pursuant to Section 7 GlüStV must be ensured. Furthermore, the gaming hall may not be located in a structural network with other gaming halls, in particular it may not be housed in a joint building or building complex with other gaming halls (prohibition of multiple licenses) and must maintain a minimum distance of 500 meters or 250 meters (in the case of existing gaming halls or those for which the complete application for a gaming law permit was submitted by June 30, 2017) from other gaming halls. Under certain conditions, exceptions to the minimum distance are possible and gaming arcades that already existed before 01.01.2020 can be exempted from the ban on multiple licenses and from the regulations on the minimum distance.