BildBet and sportwetten.de have become the latest online sports betting operators to join the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), increasing the trade group’s membership to 17 companies.
A co-venture between Gibraltar-based British online provider BetVictor and prominent German media brand Bild, the most widely read tabloid newspaper in Europe and part of the Axel Springer SE publishing group, BildBet was established in October to target the re-regulated German online marketplace under the GlüNeuRStv regulatory regime.
The co-operators of the sports betting site have maintained track for their planned December launch detailed earlier this year, with BetVictor receiving one of the first 15 online licences approved by the Regional Council of Darmstadt – the Hesse-based agency which holds the responsibility for issuing federally approved gaming licences.
“The German Sports Betting Association is the leading industry association of permitted sports betting providers in Germany,” said BildBet Managing Director Max Konrad, who further described the organisation as ‘the legitimate contact’ for the industry and BildBet’s membership as ‘only logical’.
“Together we want to advocate a meaningful further development of the regulation.”
Both BildBet and sportwetten.de were able to secure DSWV membership due to holding aforementioned German betting licences – a requirement for admission to the association – with sportwetten.de the ‘relatively young division’ of pferdewetten.de AG.
Dusseldorf-based pferdewetten.de AG is a publicly listed enterprise which has historically focused on horse racing and other equestrian sports, but is now moving forward with wider sports betting ambitions, prompting its desire for DSWV membership.
Pierre Hofer, pferdewetten.de CEO, remarked: “We are already very well positioned in racing and now want to expand further with sports betting. To this end, we are currently repositioning ourselves and so membership in the DSWV is only logical for us. The DSWV brings us many advantages and helps with our future growth.”
The DSWV has remained at loggerheads with a number of German political leaders with regards to the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty – GlüNeuRStv. The trade body was particularly critical of the new licensing regimes tax requirements, which saw the new framework impose a 5.3% wagering tax on online casino and poker verticals upon implementation on 1 July.
In a more recent update, the organisation lambasted alleged calls from a regional Senator, Ulrich Mäurer of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), for an outright ban on sports betting advertising, stating that it ‘emphatically rejects’ the proposal.
Welcoming BildBet and sportwetten.de to the DSWV, the association’s President, Mathias Dahms, called on other operators to do the same, stating: “With BildBet and sportwetten.de the DSWV is gaining two more renowned and ambitious members. As the only voice of the reliable sports betting providers willing to regulate, we warmly welcome every company approved in Germany to our ranks.
“Our aim is to engage in critical but constructive dialogue with politicians and authorities to continuously develop gaming regulation in Germany – even after the new State Treaty on Gaming has come into force.
“With the excessive monitoring of online gamers and excessive product restrictions, politicians themselves have put big obstacles in their way. Whether market regulation can succeed is questionable. The industry must pull together here and continue to persuade them.”