German gambling regulator to launch market review to inform new advertising code

The GGL took over as Germany
The GGL took over as Germany

The GGL’s review will particularly focus on the impact of gambling advertising.

Germany.- The German gambling regulator Glücksspielbehörde (GGL) has announced a comprehensive market evaluation for completion in 2026. It is analysing the role of the regulated market in society, with a particular focus on the impact of advertising.

Germany’s Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling introduced a regulatory framework for online gambling in 2021. The GGL, which became fully operational at the start of last year, aims to evaluate whether the legislation is proving to be suitable and whether advertising is succeeding in channelling players to licensed offerings without incentivising people who may not have been interested in gambling.

The media research group Eye Square has begun a detailed study across Germany’s 16 states with the objective of determining whether bonuses other promotions as well as adverts like TV ads and social media posts influence vulnerable groups. The aim is to inform the creation of a new federal advertising code for gambling.

Subcontractors have been commissioned for an empirical investigation and impact analysis, structured literature analysis and a content analysis of commercials. Meanwhile, an independent panel featuring Dr Markus Heinker, president of the Media Council of the Saxon State Media Authority, and Christian Krebs, director of the Lower Saxony State Media Authority, will analyse the “entire scope of the scientific discourse”.

The GGL said: “It is expected that the study will provide information on the extent to which the provisions of GlüStV 2021 are suitable or can be improved to direct players and those determined to gamble to the advertised legal gambling offer, without having a critical incentive effect on persons who have not yet been interested in gambling and/or vulnerable.”

It added: “The GGL will exchange close information with the federal states on the partial reports and further assessments of the panel of experts.”

Concerns over unlicensed gambling in Germany

The German sports betting association Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV) has regularly warned of the size of the unlicensed market in Germany. It has called for a revision of Germany’s gambling regulations after reporting a drop in the amount bet with licensed operators. A survey released in November suggested that the black market accounted for 50 per cent of all online gambling in Germany.

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