Matthias Kirschenhofer, Sport1: GlüNeuRStv is heading in the right direction

The industry’s frustrations with German gambling market reforms under the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv) regime have been well publicised.  

Across Europe, gambling PLCs have undertaken costly multi-million-pound platform/product adjustments to adhere to the GlüNeuRStv’s stringent technical standards on compliance and market rules.

But despite reconciling online gambling within Germany’s federal legislative framework, the GlüNeuRStv remains unloved and scorned by market stakeholders.

Yet ‘progress remains progress’, remarked Dr Matthias Kirschenhofer, Executive Board Member Sport1 Medien, which is recognised as one of Germany’s leading sports media publishers.

Having addressed delegates at SBC’s recent Betting on Sports Europe Conference  (BOSE London), Kirschenhofer advised that perspective is required when analysing German gambling’s current state of affairs.

“Germany is still a young market,” he told SBC. “Before 2012, we essentially had a state monopoly, and in view of online gambling, the Bundeslander agreed to open the market up for sports betting… and from my perspective, that has been a great success.”  

“The decision has now been taken to open the market for online casino and poker… this is the next step of the market, and I think we should look forward to it as another positive development.”

Standing firm against GlüNeuRStv criticisms, Kirschenhofer suggested that market observers should reflect on German gambling as a regulatory process that will evolve to fit within a complex federal framework.

The GlüNeuRStv looks likely to remain unloved, but for Kirschenhofer it has settled a decade of German media and sports being sidelined in terms of play related to forming commercial partnerships with sportsbook operators.

“As a media company, we have always stated that we wanted to participate in the market,” Kirschenhofer reaffirmed.

“We have a top presence with Bundesliga partners, and they can trust us with promoting sportsbook offers; we now want to be able to extend this to online casino.

“We recognise that there are restrictions in advertising and tax, but there is legal certainty and we will also have a regulator to oversee how the market develops commercially.”   

Following its regulatory settlement, the GlüNeuRStv regime now enters its next evolution, in which German gambling will be overseen by the Saxony-housed Glücksspielbehörde’ (GGL) which will serve as Germany’s federal gambling regulator.

“We are over 80 million people in Germany, and German online gambling is a Fresh market. These are the first steps in regulating the market and I think it’s heading in the right direction,”  Kirschenhofer concluded.

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