Christian Madlindl: Maintaining confidence in German poker and sports betting in 2022

As the new year commences, developments across a range of European countries will be under the spotlight, including the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany.

Halfway through last year, the 16 federal states of Germany ratified the GlüNeuRStv – the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling – introducing new regulatory requirements on the country’s betting and igaming industry. 

Under the terms of the treaty, sports betting licences have been approved, but online casino, poker and slot products have yet to receive the green stamp from German authorities.

Commenting on German developments at the Betting on Sports Europe (BOSE) event, Christian Madlindl, Managing Director of Sport1 Median AG, lauded the results of Germany’s sports betting vertical, citing his firm’s own performance.

The continuation of the 2021/22 Bundesliga season – despite the ever present threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new Omicron variant – has meant that public interest in sports, particularly football, has remained consistent. 

“Sport1 Median AG generated great new football rights, so this will be a big issue to bring the Bundgesliga to free TV again in Germany, and also build up our football platforms. 

“I am also very happy that after COVID stadiums are getting full, and I hope that all the sports staff that suffered under COVID and all the sports fans who suffered under COVID can get back that entertainment, and I’m really positive for 2022.”

Additionally, Madlindi asserted that he was ‘confident’ about the introduction of online poker licences in 2022, but held reservations about the possibility of casino operations.

“We have had sports betting licences since last year, and we will hopefully get all the vertical licences into 2022 like poker and slot licences, and maybe the casino licence,” he stated.

“I’m not too confident about the casino licence or table game licences for 2022, but I’m pretty confident we’ll get the online poker licences and then this market can start to grow again, and operators can start advertising.”

As it currently stands, the Bundesländer of Saxony-Anhalt – the German state appointed to house the new national gambling regulator, the Glücksspielbehörde – has not yet approved any operator to provide casino, poker or slot products.

Additionally, the sports betting sector continues to face some hurdles, as towards the end of last year the industry’s trade body – the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) – was forced to take a stance against alleged calls from a state senator for Brenen for a complete ban on sports wagering advertising. 

The trade body stated that it ‘emphatically rejects’ the Minister’s reported statement, maintaining that the calls were in violation of State of Brenen’s formal approval.

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