Entain has lauded an “important and welcome step” in the German online gambling ecosystem after confirming receipt of gaming and poker licence.

The certifications, which see the operator become the first such entity licensed to offer online poker, were awarded by the State Administrative Office of Saxony-Anhalt for the operation of such services throughout Germany.

The group will offer online gaming through the bwin, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet brands, with the former pair to offer poker after Entain was granted all five licences sought. 

“We’re delighted to now have our licences for gaming and poker services in the regulated German market, enabling us to offer and market them to our customers,” stated Robert Hoskin, Entain’s Chief Governance Officer.

“It is an important and welcome step towards achieving the goal of a fully regulated online betting and gaming market in Germany. 

“Only through such regulation and its enforcement will we avoid the reality of customers going to the black market where there are none of the safeguards that reputable operators such as Entain guarantee.”

Last month, Entain suggested that it is on track to secure full-year net gaming revenue of $1.3bn for its BetMGM joint venture, as the group’s digital ecosystem was reported to have bounced back from Q2 and H1 struggles in a third quarter update.

With group-wide revenue through Q3 and the year-to-date up two per cent and 12 per cent, respectively, online was also said to have demonstrated “positive underlying momentum” that fell in line with expectations. 

Entain also reported that NGR would be up four per cent upon exclusion of the Netherlands, where, the group said, there is a temporary enforced closure of operations due to licensing procedures.