Growing Black Market: German Sports Betting Association Calls for Realignment of Regulation

February 18, 2024 | Government

GERMANY (February 15, 2024) — The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) analyzed the development of the German sports betting market for 2023 at its annual press conference today. The main focus was on tax revenues, the black market and player protection.


Decline in tax revenue:

In 2023, legal sports betting providers in Germany recorded stakes of €7.72 billion, a decrease of 5.4% compared to the previous year.

“Instead, the money flows into the coffers of the black market providers,” says DSWV President Mathias Dahms.

This development illustrates the challenges facing the legal market. One important reason for the decline is the migration of many players to illegal offerings. For example, since the State Treaty on Gambling came into force in 2021, regulated providers have not been able to keep up with the extensive betting offers of the black market due to a limited betting program. The association is therefore calling for attractive framework conditions for regulated providers so that they remain competitive.

Combating the black market:

Despite regulation, the black market has a significant market share in Germany. Studies, such as the Schnabl study by DSWV and DOCV, show that around half of the time spent by German online gambling users is spent on illegal sites. This alarming development requires urgent action on the part of the Joint Gambling Authority of the federal states (GGL). The DSWV is therefore calling for a reorientation of the current regulatory policy in order to strengthen the legal market and curb the black market.

Promotion of player protection:

Many interested parties will open betting accounts during the European Football Championship. It is therefore all the more important that gamblers are directed to the legal market. Advertising helps to make the brands of legal providers stand out from the illegal offers on the black market. Only companies permitted by the GGL protect players. In the debate on sports betting advertising, the DSWV is therefore expressly opposed to a ban on advertising.

“No company can survive if it is not allowed to advertise, and this must remain the case for sports betting providers. Otherwise, players are left with the black market, where there are no protective measures and controls,” emphasized Dahms during the conference.

DSWV members are committed to their social responsibility and, together with other associations, finance the helpline of the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA). However, in order to effectively prevent problem gambling, we need valid scientific findings. There is an urgent need for the GGL or the Federal Ministry of Health to carry out a nationwide study on the problem of gambling addiction in the form of a regular survey. This would mean that the same representative group would be examined with regard to their gambling behavior so that well-founded findings could be gained over time.

SOURCE: German Sports Betting Association (DSWV).

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