In the year 2022, the GGL discovered a total of 207 illicit operators, categorized as 136 “generalists” for providing multiple forms of gambling and 72 “specialists” specializing in specific products. Out of these operators, 37 originated from an EU country, while 147 were from non-EU countries, with a significant majority of 132 originating from Curacao.
Board Member Benjamin Schwanke of Germany’s Gluecksspiel (GGL) has affirmed the leadership’s preparedness to national stakeholders, six months into the federal gambling regulator’s functioning. This week, the GGL issued a series of updates, including an annual report on the German betting and gaming market under the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv) implemented in 2021, as well as the first half of 2023.
The market’s performance is back on track and showing positive momentum
The GGL has categorized the German gambling market into 12 segments, including horse racing betting, sports betting, online casino, online poker, land-based casino, gambling machines, state lotteries, state class lotteries, social lotteries, savings lotteries, commercial game brokerage of lotteries, and virtual slot machines.
In 2022, the overall cross-sector market achieved a total gross-gaming revenue of €13.4 billion, marking a 33% increase compared to the previous year (2021: €10.1 billion). According to the GGL’s analysis, the market has now recovered to pre-COVID levels.
Breaking down the verticals, betting generated a gross-gaming revenue of €1.4 billion, with €1.3 billion attributed to sports betting and the remainder to horse racing wagering. Casino revenue reached €1.1 billion, gambling machine revenue amounted to €4.8 billion, and the combined revenue from virtual slots and online poker was €900 million.
The lottery segments reported €5.2 billion in revenue, with DLTB lotteries being the largest contributor at €4.1 billion, followed by social lotteries (€700 million), savings lotteries (€300 million), and class lotteries (€200 million).
By the end of the first half of the year (H1), there were 142 operators in Germany covering sports and horse racing betting, online poker, virtual slot machines, as well as various lotteries and commercial game brokerage. Currently, the GGL is reviewing 45 license applications.
GGL Board Member Ronald Benter expressed satisfaction with the successful first half of 2023 and emphasized the commitment to consistent legal enforcement in permit issuance and supervision. The GGL has been in dialogue with the industry to address new challenges while also receiving affirmation from initial court decisions.
Additionally, the GGL provided an update on its efforts against illegal gambling. More than 2,000 websites were scrutinized for illegal gambling or unlicensed product advertising, and operators were subsequently contacted. The GGL believes that this has influenced affiliate sites to focus on legal offerings. The regulator has also continued working to ensure compliance with GlüNeuRStv terms by legal operators, citing the example of Tipster.de’s license revocation.
“We are successfully working together with all the key players in the fight against illegal gambling,” Benjamin Schwanke asserted.
“Here, too, we always keep an eye on new developments, such as camouflage as a competition. The judgement of the Munich Administrative Court in the spring shows that we are not powerless against it.”
A fresh leadership has taken charge
According to the regulator, there has been a change in leadership within the GGL. On July 1st, Udo Götze, State Secretary in the Thuringian Ministry of the Interior and Municipal Affairs, will assume the role of Chairman, taking over from Jörg Sibbel, State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Municipal Affairs, Housing, and Sport of Schleswig-Holstein.
Götze expressed his confidence in the support of all 16 states, stating,
“All 16 states support the GGL with conviction. Regulating the transnational gambling market in Germany is a challenging task. The GGL can also be sure of the support of the sponsoring states under the chairmanship of the state of Thuringia.”
The change in chairmanship aligns with the legislative requirement for a shift in duties every year on July 1st. The requirement dictates that the chairmanship must rotate annually based on the alphabetical order of the sponsoring states. The Board of Directors, which serves as the supervisory and steering committee of the GGL, comprises representatives from the ministries of the 16 federal states of Germany.
Reflecting on his tenure as Chairman, Sibbel stated,
“The role of Chairman of the Board of Directors fell into the transitional phase of responsibility for the regulation of the cross-border gaming market from the so-called Gaming Board of the States to the now uniform responsibility of the GGL. I see them in a good position to be able to carry out the tasks assigned to them in issuing permits and combating illegal gambling offers on the Internet, which is already clearly evident in the ongoing implementation. The colleagues in the GGL have the fullest trust of all sponsoring countries.”