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Alarming Study Reveals Nearly Half of German Gambling Happens on the Black Market



A shocking revelation has emerged from a recent study commissioned by two prominent German industry groups—the DOCV and DSWV. It exposes a dark truth about the German gambling landscape: nearly half of all gambling activities occur on the black market. In a market that opened up to regulation in 2021, this revelation raises serious concerns. Join us as we delve into the details of this eye-opening study and explore the urgent calls for regulatory changes to combat the black market’s dominance.

In 2021, Germany embarked on a journey to regulate its online gambling market. However, a recent study conducted by the University of Leipzig, commissioned by the online casino association DOCV and the sports betting association DSWV, has sent shockwaves through the industry. The study reveals that an alarming 50.7% of gambling activity in Germany operates through unlicensed operators, painting a grim picture of the prevalence of the black market.

Digging deeper into the findings, the study highlights that among the black market sites, approximately 28.9% cater to unlicensed providers based within the European Union, while 19.9% direct their traffic to operators located elsewhere. What’s even more concerning is that the report estimates that a staggering three-quarters of the online gambling revenue in Germany is siphoned off by the black market.

This revelation serves as a stark reminder that Germany’s federal gambling legislation, which was rolled out in July 2021, has fallen short of its intended goal: channelizing players towards licensed operators. The DOCV and DSWV have wasted no time in urging the new German gambling regulator, the GGL, to take swift action to rectify this alarming situation.


According to these industry associations, unlicensed gambling sites remain easily accessible to German players, and they continue to advertise online with impunity. Meanwhile, licensed offerings struggle to attract players due to restrictions on stakes and bonuses. To remedy this situation, the industry groups are advocating for a more favorable tax regime and flexible regulations that can make the licensed sector more appealing to players.

In a proactive move, the associations have put forward an action plan that includes an urgent review of regulations and emphasizes the need for greater collaboration between the industry, politicians, and the regulator. Their goal is to create an environment that promotes legal and responsible gambling while dismantling the black market’s dominance.

This recent revelation is not isolated, as last month, Red Rhino faced legal consequences for offering online gambling without a license. The German gambling regulator, GGL, slapped Red Rhino with a hefty €50,000 fine. Despite Red Rhino taking down its German-facing site,, it continued to allow German players access to, a clear violation of regulations. The regulator also imposed fines on the payments provider that collaborated with Red Rhino, signaling a commitment to enforcing the law within the industry.

The urgency of addressing the black market issue in Germany cannot be overstated, and industry groups, along with regulators, are now at a crossroads, facing the critical task of reshaping the country’s gambling landscape for the better.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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