The GGL, Germany’s premier federal gambling regulator, has addressed media concerns regarding the awarding of its player protection evaluation study contract to a single bidder.
Following the recent appointment of Dr. Tobias Hayer from the University of Bremen to spearhead the evaluation, several media outlets raised questions about the tender process’s transparency.
In its statement, the GGL clarified that an annual review of Germany’s gambling regulations, introduced in July 2021, is mandated by the interstate gambling treaty. This evaluation aims to impartially gauge the legislation’s impact on player safeguards, critically examining the efficacy of online gambling’s technical stipulations and measures.
Highlighting the study’s objectives, the GGL mentioned its intention to “evaluate both the benefits and drawbacks, shifts in player safety measures, changes in gambling habits, and other relevant aspects.” The regulator had publicly announced its study tender on prominent European academic portals, including Evergabe.de, service.bund.de, and Ted Europe. Despite these efforts, Dr. Hayer’s bid was the sole submission received.
The GGL emphasized that while Dr. Hayer has been familiar with the evaluation since its inception, he was not involved in formulating the study’s design. The agency further endorsed his qualifications, asserting that he “fulfilled all criteria” necessary for the contract.
Addressing the limited participation, the GGL remarked, “It’s unfortunate that the tender process didn’t attract more candidates. We proactively and promptly communicated about the upcoming evaluation to ensure utmost transparency throughout the assessment process.”
In related news, this June saw a change in leadership at the GGL. Udo Götze stepped in as the new chair, succeeding Jorg Sibbel from July 1. Although the GGL only commenced full-fledged operations in January, its bylaws necessitate an annual chairperson change on July 1. Each of Germany’s 16 federal states takes turns selecting the chairperson. Notably, Götze holds a significant position as a state secretary at Thuringia’s Ministry of the Interior and Municipal Affairs.