Germany’s DSWV warns of “rampant” black market

Germany’s DSWV warns of “rampant” black market

Despite a rise in sports betting stakes in 2021, DSWV insists that more needs to be done to combat unlicensed gambling in Germany.

Germany.- The trade association Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV) has warned that more needs to be done to combat unlicensed gambling in Germany. Although sports betting stakes rose 27 per cent to €9.4bn in 2021, returning to pre-pandemic levels, the DSWV says the black market is “rampant”. 

The association said that out of 507 unlicensed online gambling sites that it inspected in February, 405 allowed German players to open accounts and 297 had websites in German.

DSWV managing director Luka Andric said: “Only 36 providers have a nationwide license to host these games on the web. For every legal provider, there are multiple providers without permission.

“In the meantime, there are 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.”

DSWV president Mathias Dahms has called for German authorities to begin blocking unlicensed sites before the FIFA World Cup 2022 gets underway in Qatar in November. 

He said: “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 €40m to €50m in additional sports betting tax could be collected during the tournament. We would think it would be good if the states allowed this sum to go towards grassroots sport.”

He added: “If the channeling of the players to legal offers does not work better in the future, there is a risk of a permanent migration of the players to the black market in addition to the loss of tax revenue. Consumer and youth protection does not take place there.”

Germany’s licensed gaming operators “must be given a freer hand”

A YouGov survey for DSWV and the German Online Casino Association (DOCV) found that German players put the question of whether an operator had a German licence in only 8th place in a list of priorities when ranking factors that influenced their choice of operator. Betting odds and high bonuses were ranked among the highest influences.

Dahms said “On the one hand, 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

“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. The permitted providers, who demonstrate the highest standards in player and youth protection, must be given a freer hand. The authorities should see us as a partner in the goal of creating a safe, fair and attractive online gambling market in Germany.”

Last year, the DSWV filed an illegal state aid complaint with the European Commission arguing that Germany’s tax rate for igaming offers an unfair advantage to land-based operators

See also: Website launched for new German gambling regulator

In this article:
dswv sports betting