Parallel game in online casino

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Parallel play in the online casino is prohibited in the online casino Germany. What is the background to this ban? How does the legislator implement it and what other options are there for parallel play? We name all the essential facts. Playing several slots at the same time or even being active in two online casinos at the same time is part of an entertaining session for many players.

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What does parallel play in the online casino actually mean?

parallel game casino

Parallel play in online casino can mean two things:

  1. Players play more than one slot at a time. For example, 2, 3 or 4 slot machines are displayed in parallel on the screen. It can be one and the same slot on four playing fields, but also several different games. The gaming experience becomes more intense through parallel play – the main reason why experienced casino visitors appreciate this approach.
  2. Players can play in more than one online casino at the same time. Perhaps one online casino is particularly good at progressive jackpots, while another is particularly good at slots with Megaways technology (or some other important feature). A player can spin jackpots at Casino A and play Megaways Slots at Casino B.

Parallel gaming is prohibited in Germany casinos

parallel game ban

The bad news first: Parallel gaming is forbidden in Germany. The ban goes back to the State Treaty on Gambling, which came into force on July 1st, 2021 and has been regulating gambling in Germany since then.

So writes § 22a para. 10 of the State Treaty states that players may only be shown one game at a time. It is unequivocally stated: “Simultaneously playing multiple virtual slot machines is prohibited. This also applies to playing the same game. Permission holders must ensure this through appropriate technical measures.” In plain English this means: parallel play is taboo!

So it is not even possible to display several slots in parallel. Players cannot bypass this by opening an additional tab in the browser. Anyone who opens a second tab after logging in to play a second slot will either automatically close the first slot or will be prompted to do so before starting the second slot.

§ 6h of the state treaty deals with the “prevention of parallel games with several providers on the Internet”. It is unequivocally stated here: Parallel play by one player is not permitted. The legislator therefore obliges online casinos to compare data with a central file. This file is managed by the supervisory authority in Halle an der Saale.

The essential master data of all players are stored in the file. The file also contains information as to whether a player is currently active. Before a casino can start playing with a player, it must make a request to the file.

If the player is active at another casino, the requesting casino may not record the game. The game can only be recorded once the activation has ended – the session at the other casino must be ended for this purpose. There is typically a 5 minute pause before a player becomes passive again after the game has stopped.

Reasons why parallel play is prohibited

Why is parallel play forbidden in online casinos? The German legislator wanted to set the standards in the area of player protection particularly high. This spirit of maximum regulation is also visible in many other places in the State Treaty on Gaming. Apparently, the legislator assumes that the possibility, if you can play parallel games in the online casino, could tempt players to make more bets.

Whether there is any reliable scientific evidence for this is uncertain. In any case, the aim of the regulation is to reduce the intensity of use by means of limits, minimum durations for game rounds and also the ban on parallel games in online casinos.

Alternatives: Parallel play is still allowed here

What can players do for whom parallel gaming in the online casino is the attraction of a session? These players can take a look abroad. The restrictions of the State Treaty on Gambling only apply to casinos licensed in Germany. If a casino operator is licensed abroad, it is subject to other regulations – which are typically much less restrictive. Therefore, parallel play in the online casino is also possible with these providers.

Who is behind the foreign casinos?

casino license eu

The casinos licensed abroad are by no means dubious or of poor quality. Switching to these providers is also not a new strategy that would have emerged in the course of the new German gambling legislation.

Rather, the providers have often been active on the German gambling market for decades. These are often large groups of companies with subsidiaries in several countries.

The providers are often located in the United Kingdom, other EU member states or European overseas territories (e.g. Malta , Gibraltar or Curacao). All providers have an official license for gambling operations. The gambling regulators in Malta, UK etc. are experienced and effective. The operators are checked with regard to their financial strength and integrity. The games also go through certification and monitoring processes.

Advantages in online casinos with parallel gaming options

Where parallel gaming is possible in the online casino, the German State Treaty on Gambling does not apply. This offers players several other advantages. At its core, there are more and more compelling games, fewer limits, and no government-mandated gameplay slowdowns. The official monitoring and documentation of gaming behavior is also much more moderate.

No government deposit and wagering limits

In Germany there are limits for deposits and wagers. For example, the following applies to slots: The stake may not exceed 1 EUR per game. A game is defined as one spin. This bet is set too low, especially in games with a rather low variance.

There is also an officially monitored deposit limit. This is understood as a provider-spanning, ie added together for all German online casinos. The monthly deposit limit is capped at EUR 1,000. Players are not allowed to deposit more in a calendar month.

The limit is monitored by a central limit file maintained by the authorities in Halle an der Saale. Players are noted there by name and with all deposits already made in a month.

That doesn't mean that limits don't matter at all at overseas casinos. There are also limits for deposits, stakes, net losses, etc. in Malta, Curacao and Co. However, players can set these limits individually and are not tied to government regulations. Every player can set limits that are significantly stricter than in Germany – but also allow themselves significantly more freedom. Once the limits have been set, they can only be loosened again after a grace period. The limits can be tightened at any time.

No 5 second rule and no autoplay ban

Where parallel play is allowed in online casinos, there is no 5 second rule and no autoplay ban. The 5 second rule is based on § 22a para. 6 back. Here, the legislator for Germany stipulates that each game round must last at least 5 seconds on average. This is significantly longer than intended by most manufacturers. The gameplay is significantly delayed, and the entertainment factor is reduced from the point of view of many players.

The Autoplay button is also prohibited in Germany (§ 22a Para. 4). Program sequences that independently start another game round after the end of a game are not permitted in this country.

No waiting times and forced breaks

There are always waiting times in German online casinos. This does not only apply to players who have just played at Casino A and are now moving to Casino B. Even when playing exclusively at an online casino, a 5-minute break every 60 minutes is mandatory.

Online casinos have to inform players about the previous game history (so-called reality check), have this information confirmed and can only resume the game 5 minutes after confirming this information.

No central lock file

parallel play forbidden

If a provider allows parallel gaming in the online casino, it is not connected to the OASIS player lock file. The German file is used to exclude players from playing under certain conditions. Anyone who is noted in the file can no longer play at any online casino licensed in Germany.

In some cases, the entry in the file may make sense – for example in the case of players who do not have their gaming behavior under control and therefore display problematic behavior.

However, the file is very bureaucratic. For example, there is the so-called 24-hour ban. All German online casinos must place a “panic button” visibly near the game. Anyone who presses this will be blocked from all German casinos for 24 hours. In practice, it is very common, especially when playing mobile games on a smartphone, for the panic button to be triggered accidentally. However, it is then usually no longer possible to withdraw the block.

The German blocking file has further pitfalls. Some players may realize that they should not participate in gameplay for a period of time and self-exclude. For example, anyone who wants to be blocked for two weeks and applies to the responsible regional council (RP) in Darmstadt will be surprised: the authority automatically blocks access for at least three months. The legislature simply does not provide for shorter blocking times.

Another surprise then follows regularly after the three months have elapsed. If you then want to play in the online casino, you will receive a rejection from the operator. The reason: OASIS bans do not expire automatically, but only upon request. The application must be submitted in the correct form and by the deadline. Even after the application has been received by the RP Darmstadt, there is still a waiting period.

No ban on banker slots and jackpots

Where parallel play is possible in the online casino, there are usually more games. This applies in particular to software-based table and card games and jackpots.

The German State Treaty on Gambling prohibits virtual slot machines that are modeled on certain games. It is about so-called banker games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat. In Germany, these games are not played against the computer.

Jackpots are also forbidden in Germany. Online casinos must not offer games that accumulate wagers, winnings or portions of wagers or winnings. The progressive jackpots, which are so popular with fortune hunters and sometimes have payouts in the millions, are sorely missed.

Larger range of games – also in the live casino

There is also a large range of games at foreign casinos in the live casino. The State Treaty on Gambling has provided for licensing by the individual federal states for these games. However, the process is very slow.

So far, visitors to German online casinos have had to do without live casino entertainment entirely. Abroad there are all the classics such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat and a variety of game show formats. The offer is substantially better than in Germany.

More attractive payout ratios

If a license country allows parallel gaming in the online casino, the licensed casinos are not subject to the German entry tax. This is very peculiar in international comparison. The German legislature dispenses with the taxation of gross gaming revenues and instead taxes stakes.

5.3% of the stake is due for slots (and online poker). In other countries, the difference between stakes and payouts is typically taxed. The German special way means that games with attractive payout ratios no longer work to cover costs from the casinos' point of view.

These games were therefore simply removed from the range. In fact, there are no games with payout ratios beyond 90-92%. In foreign casinos, on the other hand, 97-99% are also possible.

Faster and easier account opening 24/7

Last but not least, opening an account abroad is quicker. The requirements for account verification are not that different. All gaming accounts abroad must also be verified – not least to comply with anti-money laundering legislation.

In Germany, however, the legislator has set up a special hurdle: Before the account is fully verified, only deposits of up to 100 EUR are possible – we are only allowed to play with this small amount for 72 hours.

Verification can initially be postponed abroad. It is sufficient to upload the necessary documents up to the first withdrawal request or to send them to customer service. This is why a gaming account can be opened within a few minutes, even late on Saturday evening. In Germany, on the other hand, verification often requires a video identification process that is not available around the clock.

Conclusion

Playing several slots at the same time in the online casino: For many players, this intensified gaming experience is what makes a session so appealing. However, the German legislator has put a stop to the habits of these players.

Both the parallel playing of slots in a casino and the parallel play with several providers at the same time are prohibited. However, these restrictions of the State Treaty on Gambling only apply to online casinos with a German license. The rule does not apply to seriously regulated foreign providers, for example from the United Kingdom or other EU member states.

Not only parallel play with several slots and providers is possible here – there are also other advantages. There are about 5 seconds rule and autoplay ban, 1 EUR bet limit and 1000 EUR deposit limit. The ban on banker slots and jackpots does not apply abroad either. Last but not least, these providers have a much larger range of games with attractive payout ratios.

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