Gauselmann Group appoints Stefan Bruns to the Management Board

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At its annual 2023 press conference, the German Sports Betting Association will present information on the state of Germany’s sports betting market.

While sports betting is a popular choice for millions of Germans, legal providers are finding it increasingly difficult to provide attractive products to satisfy this high demand. This is due to strict regulations and the emergence of a black market. In 2022, the market saw a significant decline. These data and figures are alarming as the untoward development that was feared last year has been confirmed.

The permitted market for German sports betting declined dramatically in 2022, after the market stabilized at pre-Corona levels in 2021. There were stakes of EUR 9.4 trillion. Gaming stakes dropped to EUR8.2bn in 2018, despite the World Cup. The state revenues from sports betting tax, which was EUR433m less than the previous year, were also lower than they were last year.

The disappointing World Cup partly due to Germany’s early exit, and the resulting 80% drop in betting is only a part of this development. Market decline is mainly due to the restrictive German regulations and the rampant black markets.

The legal providers can only operate within a narrow regulatory framework. They cannot offer enough attractive products. Germany’s legal gambling market is the most restrictive in Europe. The black market is expanding unabated. Customers aren’t gambling less than they were before, but other places.

“Unfortunately, 2022 has seen exactly the same scenario that we warned about repeatedly: The legal market must compete with the many black market providers who don’t follow any rules or specifications. Most customers don’t care if a provider is licensed in Germany. Customers are searching for the best offer, the best odds, simple payment processes, and interesting bonuses. Mathias Dahms, President of DSWV, stated that legal offers are having a difficult time.

Customers are discovering it. The market study by the DSWV from last year was repeated in February 2023 and showed a 65% increase in illegal gambling and sports betting. Players from Germany have access to 840 illegal websites, and can open gaming accounts on 723 of the sites. There are approximately 1500 websites that don’t have a German license. This is in contrast to only 46 allowed providers, 31 of which were sports betting providers. These providers have very limited options due to excessive regulation. There are too many unauthorised betting options in the betting shops area. Some providers who have had their applications rejected for permission are still operating online and in local betting shops. Local authorities should also take this issue seriously and increase their control.

In the fight against the black marketplace, the previous enforcement actions of the Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States are clearly reaching their limits. It is important to consider alternative strategies in fighting illegal offers, given that the authority’s push to block IP, i.e. blocking illegal websites by Internet service providers, has been stopped by three court rulings. This includes the constant strengthening of the legal marketplace: To be competitive, permitted sports betting providers must offer as many attractive and diverse offers as possible. It is urgent that the extremely restrictive restrictions on advertising and offerings be tested.

Advertisement serves to guide all people who are interested in betting on sports into the state-supervised and safe market. Providers must satisfy a number of player protection criteria in order to be granted a German sports betting license. Third-country illegal providers don’t care about German regulations. Many advertisers advertise on the Internet in order to allow blocked players to play. Luka Andric, chief executive of DSWV, stated that this type of advertising must not be allowed.

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