DSWV: Uncompetitive GlüNeuRStv to lose control of German market by World Cup 2022

German Sports Betting Association DSWV has hosted its annual conference, in which members have outlined that the federal GlüNeuRStv online gambling regime is ill equipped to deal with black market threats.

2021 saw German sports betting ‘stabilise to its 2019 pre-Corona level’ as licensed operators recorded €9.4 billion in wagers and contributing to €470 million in taxes.

Despite the recovery, DSWV disclosed research undertaken during 2022 that revealed that “405 out of 507 unlicensed websites had allowed German customers to open accounts”.

The number of unlicensed offers far surpasses the GlüNeuRStv regime’s existing availability of 36 licensed bookmakers, in which no online casino licences have yet to be issued

DSWV General Manager Luka Andric observed- “For every legal provider, there are multiple providers without permission. In the meantime, there are also numerous other websites that evade any control, regulation and taxation.

“There is a risk that a substantial part of the bets placed by German customers will migrate to illegal black-market providers”

The trade body’s warning is supported by an independent survey undertaken by YouGov Deutschland that analysed the behaviours/choices of 520 German consumers who had participated in online casino/betting during the past 6-months.

Survey feedback supports DSWV’s principal concern that GlüNeuRStv licensed sportsbooks who are restricted from offering in-play betting markets and limited bonuses have been impeded from matching the black market’s offering.

Of significance, the YouGov survey detailed that ‘licencing criteria’ listed as the 8th factor driving consumer choice of sportsbooks – far behind basic market provisions such as competitive odds, bonuses rewards, and unrestricted markets.

Alongside trade body counterpart DOCV, the German Online Casino Association. DSWV maintains that German authorities are due to lose control the desired GlüNeuRStv channelling rates, as the market’s online casino offering is limited to €1 stakes and a 5 second waiting period between spins.

Though German sportsbook wagering has returned to its pre-Covid levels, DSWV underlined that the GlüNeuRStv regime faces overwhelming threats as unlicensed operator target German consumers ahead of the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup.

DSWV President Mathias Dahms underlined that Bundestag lawmakers could not hide the appeal of German consumers to black-market actors, in which “every adult in Germany will bet more than €11 on average during the tournament.”

“The German authorities must finally bring the black market under control through effective enforcement. On the other hand, the authorities must be pragmatic in dealing with the permitted providers and enable them to counteract the illegal competition with attractive offers.”.

Warning of inbound threats, Dahms reiterated DSWV’s previous statement that authorities should step back from legislating counterproductive demands on advertising restrictions and introducing further product limitations.

“Hard product restrictions in the permitted betting program and advertising bans are absolutely counterproductive and drive the players into the arms of the black market providers.”

“By the start of the World Cup at the latest, the gambling supervisory authorities should have ensured that sports betting providers are not allowed to operate in this country or advertise their products without a German permit.

If this succeeds, an estimated 40 – 50 million euros in additional sports betting tax could be collected during the tournament. We would think it would be good if the countries let this sum benefit popular sport.”

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