German regulator disputes claims of surge in black market sports betting
The German gambling regulator (GGL) has countered claims made by the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) that strict gambling regulations in the country have led to a surge in illegal offshore gambling.
Last week, the DSWV said the regulated gambling market in Germany experienced a massive decline in 2022.
The trade body said it conducted a market study in February 2023, which revealed a 65% increase in active illegal gambling and sports betting offers compared to the previous year.
The study also found that among 1,500 websites checked without a German licence, 840 were accessible to German players, while 723 of these sites allowed account registration.
However, the GGL has fought back against these findings.
According to the GGL’s own market analysis based on tax data provided by Germany’s finance ministry, the sports betting channelisation rate in Germany is well over 95%, indicating that less than 5% of stakes are placed with illegal providers.
Co-CEO Ronald Benter commented: “The GGL is picking up speed in the fight against illegal gambling, including in the area of sports betting and related advertising.
“We will make success measurable on the basis of the data collected at the GGL,” Benter said.
Benter delivered these remarks during the University of Hohenheim’s annual gaming symposium held in Germany.
Calls for more cooperation
Moreover, Benter called for more cooperation from online gambling providers.
“We are well on the way to creating an attractive legal market,” he added. “The majority of permit applications have been approved.
“Nevertheless, we still see insufficient cooperation on the part of online gambling providers. This applies to both the payment of security deposits and defects in the individual games submitted in the field of virtual slot machines.”
Benter stressed that this delays the licensing process and prevents faster channeling to the legal market.
Last month, the regulator sent game studios and suppliers a list of minimum standards for slots after many games failed to meet the requirements.
The GGL also vowed to take rigorous action if it detects violations as part of its supervisory duties.
Yesterday, the regulator announced a five-digit administrative fine on a licensed operator for breaching advertising regulations.
Payment and IP blocking
The GGL also stated that it has achieved success in combating illegal gambling as “numerous providers” have left the German market.
Additionally, through cooperation with payment service providers, the GGL was able to limit or eliminate deposit options for illegal gambling, making it harder for people to participate.
Benter also commented on the GGL’s IP blocking initiatives.
He said that court proceedings regarding IP blocking are still ongoing, with decisions made only on urgent legal matters so far, while main-matter decisions are still pending.
Benter concluded: “We remain hopeful that the use of network blocking will ultimately be upheld by the courts as a last resort in the fight against illegal online gambling.”