Germany Watchdog Calls Government to Act Against Illegal Gambling Sites

Germany Watchdog Calls Government to Act Against Illegal Gambling Sites

German trade body Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV) has raised fresh concerns that the black market may still be dominating the country with authorities acting too slowly to curb the activities of rogue operators that have claimed a sizable chunk of the gaming market in Germany.

More Needs to Be Done to Stop Black Markets

According to the DSWV, the amount of sports betting has bounced to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, up 27% with a total of €9.4 billion ($10.34 million) worth of sports bets placed. The figures have been able to generate a substantial chunk of revenue for the country’s treasury with an estimated €470 million ($517 million) paid to Germany.

DSWV president Mathias Dahms welcomed the successful implementations of the Third State Treaty and Fourth State Treaty on Gambling and talked about the role of sports betting in German society and how the industry has evolved to be more accommodating:

“Sports betting has long since arrived in mainstream society. We are therefore glad that last year’s State Treaty on Gambling eased the previous strict prohibition policy in the gambling sector, which has proven to be ineffective in the digital age.”

DSWV president Mathias Dahms

While sports betting license holders have been happy to enter the regulated market, facing some strict regulatory norms, many have been let down by the way the industry had handled the black market. Many unlicensed operators continue to actively target Germany and bite chunks out of the regulated market.

According to the DSWV, there are at least 507 unlicensed online gambling websites in Germany as of February 2022. Some 405 allow Germans to set up accounts and 297 chose a more targeted approach by offering their user interface directly in German.

DSWV Urges Government to Act Before 2022 FIFA World Cup

The DSWV reminded that only 36 providers in the country are able to provide their products in a regulated fashion, but they are now facing difficulties to stay competitive because of the way rogue operators use prohibited advertisement practices and products to steal traffic.

Authorities must act quickly, the DSWV said, and ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup which is one of the biggest events on the sports betting calendar of any sportsbook. The DSWV estimates that an additional €40 million ($43 million) to €50 million ($55 million) could be added in tax revenue to the coffers if the threat of the black market is eliminated.

The downside is that it’s unlikely that the German authorities would be able to issue bans to 400-odd illegal gambling websites currently accepting German players in time for the World Cup.