71% of Germans Favor State Treaty’s Gambling Regulation Reforms

  • A majority also want an end to restrictions on operators' advertising
  • Over 20% of gaming revenues in the country go to unlicensed providers
  • There are calls to curtail the unregulated gambling market
  • Politicians have two years to create a unified gambling regulatory framework
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A survey shows that a large majority of Germans favor gambling regulatory reforms.

Open to change

A survey has shown that 71% of the German people support overhauling the current gambling regulatory framework. The survey was conducted by a leading market research consultancy firm, Smartcon, for Löwen Entertainment. In particular, Germans would like the various channels and verticals that currently have their own regulations to be replaced by a united federal approach.

The majority of respondents believe in the main objectives of the current State Treaty on Gambling, but are concerned about their implementation.

One of the main concerns was that the many restrictions on operators with licenses to operate in Germany could cause them to lose valuable business to those who don’t have licenses.

Of the people surveyed, 61% thought that the goals of consumer protection would not be met if the regulations made it less desirable for operators to be licensed.

Reforms necessary

Löwen Entertainment is a gaming machine manufacturer and the operator of many gaming facilities across Germany. The company pointed out that each of the 16 states in the country has different regulations, which makes it confusing and causes players to turn to non-regulated offerings.

According to Löwen’s estimates, over 20% of the gross gaming revenues in the country goes through unlicensed and non-regulated operators.

The company said: “Even today, the unregulated market is growing relatively and in absolute terms more strongly than the regulated gaming market.”

Löwen identified the restrictions on advertising for legal operators among the main issues. Illegal operators can advertise in places where legal operators cannot. Most of the survey respondents believe that legal gambling operators should be able to properly publicize their offerings.

Gambling laws in Germany

A gambling bill published in March 2019 made changes to the Interstate Treaty on Gaming in Germany. It would bring the 16 separate German states together in a single unified approach.

The bill, called the Third German State Treaty on Gambling, extends the trial period for those looking to start gambling businesses in Germany. The initial trial had 20 operators, with the trial period expiring on June 30. Under the previous framework, a state monopoly operated all games of chance. The aim of the trial period was to see how the competition would change the sector.

The Amended State Treaty on Gambling came into effect on July 1 and will be in effect until June 20, 2021, extending the trial period for another two years. During this time, politicians can begin to create a new regulatory framework that will be wide-ranging and will cover all channels and products.

There is still a ban on the highly popular live betting market being offered by licensed operators. Many are saying that the state needs to do more to crack down on the errant and illegal operators.

Finally, the advertising ban on television and radio advertising for gambling operators has been in effect since February 2019. There was no legislation required to create this ban. The networks, for the most part, are being compliant. 

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