Euro 24: German gambling regulator warns against unlicensed gambling

Garance Limouzy 1 month ago
Euro 24: German gambling regulator warns against unlicensed gambling

The German gambling regulator, GGL, issued a warning as Euro 24 began, to remind operators that it would be particularly active during the sport event and would monitor closely all activities to ensure compliance with player protection regulations.

“Illegal gambling is not only punishable, but it also carries a significant risk for the development of gambling addiction. Those interested in gaming should use the detailed information offered by the GGL and other bodies,” the regulator said.

To assist bettors, GGL reminded them they can consult the official white-list of licensed gambling operators.

It also reminded players about the self-exclusion programme, called OASIS, that allows problem gamblers to voluntarily opt out of gambling activities.

DSWV’s reaction to the warning

The sports betting trade association Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV) has welcomed this warning and voiced their own concerns about the black market. Moreover, it has requested a comprehensive review to take place after Euro 2024.

According to their estimates, the black market could still account for 50 percent of the betting volume in Germany. If these numbers are correct, Germany would be one of the European countries with regulated sports betting that is most severely affected by illegal gambling.

DSWV President Mathias Dahms said, “The European Football Championship not only promises to be a sporting highlight but is also the most important event of the year for the sports betting industry. We are expecting exciting matches and emotional moments and, of course, we are all rooting for the German national team.” And according to them, the Euro 24 could be an opportunity to regain many former customers who have migrated to the black market.

GGL’s battle against the black market

In January 2024, the GGL had a disagreement with the Ministry of Justice over strategies to address unlicensed gambling. The Ministry of Justice, in an effort to modernise the criminal code, had proposed changing the criminal status of illegal gambling to make it an administrative offence.

The GGL, whose core mission is to combat these practices and their effects on the population, judged this proposition “incomprehensible.” Legal system officials, the Drug and Addiction Commissioner from the Ministry of Health, and the GGL have all opposed the decriminalisation of illegal gambling.

According to the GGL, this legal change would significantly undermine the protection of minors, addicts, and Germany’s efforts against money laundering. Conversely, it has requested more power and tools to combat black market operators. One of their demands is the ability to prosecute gambling providers based overseas.

Looking ahead, the gaming industry will shift its focus to Eastern Europe this September with the SiGMA East Europe Summit 2024 By Soft2Bet in Budapest.

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