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German sports betting trade association Der Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV) has urged the new federal gambling regulator Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) to immediately safeguard Germany’s online gambling marketplace against “unlicensed threats”.
Last week, the GGL formally took charge of the regulatory supervision of GlüNeuRStv, Germany’s Fourth Interstate Gambling Regime, replacing the executive of Saxony Anhalt, who had as the market’s interim governing authority.
Established six months ahead of schedule, the GGL faces a raft of complex challenges to fix Germany’s unloved GlüNeuRStv regime. The market’s licensed incumbents have been vocal about operating challenges and commercial shortcomings related to the regime’s- licensing application, product restrictions, advertising rules, compliance demands/costs and terms of competition against land-based incumbents.
The leadership duo of Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke will serve as joint chief executives of the GGL.
The DSWV welcomed the GGL’s formation, wishing “the new state gaming authority a successful start into a new era of regulation for German online gambling”.
Outlined as the most pressing of matters, the DSWV has urged the GGL to “effectively combat illegal online gambling”, as a key criterion for Bundesländer’s compromise of the regulator mandate of the GlüNeuRStv regime, back in 2021.
“The assumption of the task of combating the illegal market by the GGL is a milestone for the German gaming market,” – remarked DSWV President Mathias Dahms.
“The Authority is now facing major challenges, and we hope that they will also overcome them. The unregulated black market has been able to take on gigantic proportions practically unhindered in recent years. It must therefore intervene now and create a fair market as quickly as possible.”
The DSWV noted “worrying feedback” from the GlüNeuRStv’s 36 licensed sports betting operators who have observed an ‘unprotected marketplace’ in which unlicensed competitors “romp around without a care for necessary player protections”.
Monitoring Germany’s new online gambling marketplace, the DSWV has identified 507 illegal websites that are actively targeting German consumers as “registration from Germany is possible without any problems”.
The ease of engagement with German consumers has escalated licensed incumbents’ fear that “the volume of the black market can hardly be estimated” and that illegal operators have significantly increased their market share since the GlüNeuRStv’s launch.
The GGL has outlined that it will counteract black market threats by using its regulatory controls of IP and payment blocking on unlicensed operators.
The DSWV welcomed IP and payment blocking as short-term measures and advised the GGL to focus on creating a better-licensed offering as the effective solution to safeguard German consumers.
The DSWV deemed that the success of the GGL as regulatory authority will be measured by achieving a high channelisation rate, ensuring the consumers engage and play with licensed operators.
Dahms concluded: “The goal of everyone involved should be to create a secure market that is interesting for customers.”
“Effective action against illegal providers and an attractive range of products on the legal market can actually stop the increasing migration of players to the unregulated black market.”