DSWV calls for new sports betting regulation in Germany

Sports Betting

The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) will report on the current development of the sports betting market in Germany at its 2023 annual press conference.

Although millions of people in Germany show great interest in sports betting, it is becoming increasingly difficult for legal providers to meet the high demand with attractive products due to overly strict regulation and a rampant black market. As a result, there was also a noticeable decline in the market in 2022. The latest figures and data are cause for great concern, because the undesirable development feared a year ago has been confirmed and is obviously intensifying.

After the German sports betting market stabilized again at pre-Corona levels in 2021 with stakes of EUR 9.4 billion, there was a massive decline in the permitted market in 2022. Despite the World Cup year, gaming stakes fell to around EUR 8.2 billion last year. State revenues from sports betting tax were also correspondingly lower than in the previous year, at 433 million euros.

However, the rather disappointing World Cup, partly due to Germany’s early exit and the resulting up to 80% drop in betting, is only contributing to a small extent to this development. The main reason for the market decline has to do with the extremely restrictive German regulation and the rampant black market:

Legal providers are only allowed to operate within a very narrow regulatory framework and are therefore unable to offer sufficiently attractive products. In a European comparison, Germany’s legal gambling market is one of the most restrictive in this respect. At the same time, the black market continues to expand unhindered. Customers are not gambling less than before, but elsewhere. 

DSWV President Mathias Dahms elaborates: “Unfortunately, in 2022, exactly the scenario we have warned about time and again has come to pass: The legal market has to hold its own against the countless black market providers who do not adhere to any specifications or rules. For most customers, whether a provider has a permit from Germany is secondary. They are looking for the most comprehensive offer, the best odds, uncomplicated payment processes and interesting bonuses. That’s where the legal offers have a hard time.”

DSWV Chief Executive Luka Andric comments: “Advertising serves to steer all those who are already interested in sports betting into the state-supervised, and thus safe, market. In order to obtain a sports betting license in Germany, providers must meet numerous player protection criteria. The illegal providers from third countries do not care about the German regulations. Many advertise even in the Internet purposefully thereby to let also blocked players play. This type of advertising must be urgently prevented, and the advertising possibilities of legal providers must be strengthened.”

All DSWV members have nationwide permits to organize sports betting in accordance with the State Treaty on Gambling (GlüStV) and are monitored by the Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States (GGL). They meet all legal requirements for player and youth protection as well as security and reliability.