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GERMANY: SPORTS BETTING PROVIDERS CALL FOR ONLINE LICENSING TO RESUME

Germany.- Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV), the German association representing sports betting providers, has called on the government to resume the stalled licensing process for online sportsbooks.

The association warned that sales in the regulated sports betting sector fell by 16.1 per cent year-on-year in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s also concerned that Germany’s tight restrictions on licensed online casinos were pushing players to unlicensed sites.

See also: German online slots tax could threaten regulated market

Figures from the Federal Ministry of Finance show that industry turnover fell from a record €9.3bn in 2019 to €7.8bn in 2020. Tax revenue dropped by 16.2 per cent year-on-year to €389m.

Online casino regulations push customers to unlicensed market

DSWV president Mathias Dahms said that transitional regulations for online casinos introduced on October 15 had exacerbated the challenges for the licensed industry.

He said the tight regulations, including a €1 per spin stake limit on slots, had prompted customers to migrate to unlicensed operations.

The DSWV claims that a survey of its members showed an average decline in igaming turnover of 54 per cent since the implementation of the transition period ahead of the launch of Germany’s regulated igaming market later this year.

Dahms said: “It is clear that the strict regulations for virtual slot machines have channeled the market away almost overnight – unfortunately in the wrong direction.

“We urgently need improvements to the regulations and a functioning enforcement against illegal offers. Otherwise, established providers willing to regulate will withdraw from the German gaming market.

“Instead of a properly regulated market, we currently have competitive distortions of unexpected proportions.”

The Regional Council of Darmstadt awarded 21 online sports betting licences in the fourth quarter of 2020 but the process has since stalled with up to 20 more completed applications yet to receive approval.

Dahms said: “We are seeing a massive consumer exodus into the unregulated market but the completely divided Glücksspielkollegium, as a body of 16 responsible officials from the state interior ministries, has kept the application process pending for months and has not made any further decisions.

“We therefore urgently appeal to the state governments to put an end to this untenable situation: all open concession applications must be decided immediately in order to create fair market conditions for all providers. It cannot be that the licensed providers are the ones who suffer.”

 




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