Industry groups warn that half of gambling in Germany takes place on the black market

Germany opened a regulated online gambling market in 2021.
Germany opened a regulated online gambling market in 2021.

The DOCV and DSWV have published the results of a study conducted by the University of Leipzig.

Germany.- A study commissioned by two German industry groups has found that almost half of gambling activity in the country is through unlicensed operators. The online casino association DOCV and the sports betting association DSWV had commissioned the economist Gunther Schnabl of the University of Leipzig to conduct the research.

According to the findings, the channelisation of players to regulated online gambling was 50.7 per cent in March 2023. Among black market sites, defined as those that offered content in German accessible with a German IP address without using a VPN, 28.9 per cent of traffic was to unlicensed providers based in the EU and 19.9 per cent to operators based elsewhere. The report estimates that three quarters of online gambling revenue is taken by the black market.

The findings suggest that Germany’s federal gambling legislation, which was implemented in July 2021, has failed to achieve its target for channelisation to licensed operators. The DOCV and DSWV have urged the new Germany gambling regulator, the GGL, to allow the regulated sector to offer a more competitive offering. 

They say that unlicensed sites remain easily accessible and continue to advertise online while the attraction of licensed offerings is limited due to restrictions on stakes and bonuses. The groups are calling for a more favourable tax regime and more flexible regulations to make the licensed sector more attractive to players.

The associations have presented an action plan proposing an urgent review of regulations and more collaboration between the industry, politicians and the regulator.

Last month Red Rhino lost its legal bid to overturn a fine from the German gambling regulator, GGL. It was issued with a €50,000 fine last month for offering online gambling without a licence.

The GGL noted that while Red Rhino had taken down its German-facing site, it was still allowing German players to use despite the Malta-based operator not having a German online gambling licence. The regulator said it had also fined the payments provider that worked with Red Rhino.

In this article:
gambling regulation online gambling