Entain criticise German regulations

Jake Graves 3 months ago
Entain criticise German regulations

Entain Plc has backed the findings of research from the University of Leipzig known as the “Schnabl Study”.

The study was published by the gambling trade bodies DSWV and DOCV and highlighted the significant presence of black-market operators facing Germany’s Fourth Interstate Market, GlüNeuRStv.

The Schnabl study

It found that most significantly, the failed “efforts of the federal states to steer players towards licensed offers”, with “around half of German online gambling continuing to take place in the illegal market”.

Due to this, the numerous legislative measures currently in place across German jurisdictions for legal providers, such as bans, limits and offers of assistance have been rendered ineffective.

Since the implementation of GlüNeuRStv regulations, German consumers are believed to have heavily favoured both unlicenced EU and other offshore operators, comprising 28.9 and 19.9 percent of the market respectively.

Entain Group

Grainne Hurst, Group Director of Corporate Affairs for Entain, has come out in full support of these findings stating:

“Against this background, Entain calls for German gambling regulations to be consistently geared towards player protection in the future and to strengthen legal offers on the market.”

This has heavy repercussions not only for legal operators but also serves to support illicit ones, she continued:

“Their attractiveness is currently being severely limited by regulatory requirements, which is leading to users turning to black market offers.”

According to Hurst, there is evidence to support her claims as the current tax figures in the virtual slot machine games have fallen drastically, a clear indicator of a move towards the black market.

The Atlas report

These findings and Entain’s claims are in direct contradiction to a similarly recent study conducted by the regulatory body Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL).

Published by Drogenbeauftragter, the Federal Drug Commissioner of the Bundestag, the GGL’s Atlas report estimates that 30 percent of the German population participates in gambling, reflecting a decline from 55 percent in 2007.

The report also collected key statistics on problem gambling finding that 2.3 percent of Germany’s population is affected by a gambling disorder.

Additionally, 7.7 percent or 1.3 million people are at risk of exposure to gambling harms. 

Crucially, slot machines are recognised as the highest-risk product in the German market, with the report claiming that four out of 10 slot machine players suffer from a gambling disorder.

Tighter regulations required?

Dr Burkhard Blienert, the Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction, has endorsed the need for more effective measures against illegal gambling and excessive advertising, particularly in sports betting and loot boxes in online games.

Prior to the Atlas findings, Blienert had praised Gluecksspiel (GGL), the Federal Authority of German Gambling for its most recent approach to implementing new player protection measures in the GlüNeuRStv market.

Further to his point, he emphasised the great need for further regulation:

“We urgently need more effective measures against illegal slot machines and online gaming. Especially in sports betting, stricter advertising limits should be imposed as soon as possible.”

The issue of channelisation

The issue of channelisation must also be considered, with the DSWV highlighting in their own 2022 report that sports wagering has declined 13 percent year-on-year from €8.4bn, despite the year featuring the marquee betting event of the FIFA Qatar World Cup.

This inevitably coincided with a sharp drop in tax revenues derived from sports betting.

The DSWV is adamant that this drop can directly be attributed to a failure of the GlüNeuRStv to effectively channel German consumers to legal operators, which was in fact the primary issue for Germany’s re-regulation of the gambling sector.

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