EGBA react to Germany’s New Gambling Regulations


The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has outlined several recommendations aimed at improving the proposals for a Third State Treaty on gambling, ahead of a stakeholder meeting organised by the North Westphalia regional government tomorrow.

EGBA welcomes progress towards developing a new online gambling regulation but warns that the draft treaty proposals are inconsistent, overly restrictive in the context of current consumer demand, and jeopardise the task of developing a fully functioning online gambling market in Germany.

“A new online gambling regulation is badly needed in Germany, but these new proposals could make the current regulatory dysfunction even worse. An attractive product offer is absolutely essential to achieving a safe and well-channelled gambling environment – but the proposed restrictions would prevent this.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General.

Germany has a fragmented and restrictive (e.g. online casino is prohibited) gambling offer compared to other EU member states and this has made it more desirable for Germans to play on offshore websites. In 2017, the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) calculated that Germany had a “channelling” rate of only 1.8% (e.g. 1.8% of online gambling activity in Germany took place within the regulated/licensed environment), compared to 95% in UK and 90% in Denmark. A new online gambling regulation is therefore badly needed, and its priority must be effective channelling which ensures tax revenue for the German state, better consumer protection for German consumers and a working market for the online gambling companies who have a license to provide their services in Germany.

Given the importance of channelling, consumer choice and the “shop-around” nature of online betting, EGBA is concerned that the restrictions proposed in the new state treaty will undermine the success of the future online gambling regulation. Specifically, the cumulative effects of the current product restrictions and the comprehensively restricted access to online casino games, which has been part of the European Commission’s repeated criticism of Germany’s gambling regulations.