After 12 rocky years, the German brick-and-mortar casino industry is finally in an upswing, posting solid 25.6% year-over-year increase in their gross gaming revenue (GGR) and catching up to 2007 levels.
German Casinos Begin to Improve, Reach 2007 Levels
German casinos revenue has reached a record number unseen in over a decade, with operators posting 25.6% increase in gross gaming revenue in 2019 accompanied by 13% increase in attendance rate across the country, compared to last year’s report. Casinos have invested heavily in gaming culture to help boost engagement and interest in the sector which has been rapidly declining since 2007, giving ground to iGaming and foreign operators.
Commenting on the developments, German Gaming Association CEO Otto Wulferding spoke favorably of the present results, tying them up to a strategical investment plan that has taken years. Most recently, German media leaked a proposed draft law that would re-regulate the casino and iGaming industries in the country’s 16 states.
Revenue and Visitors’ Rates Increase
Specifically, Wulferding said that a lot of efforts have gone directly into investing in what he described as “game culture,” but also “game security”. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) has increased by a solid margin, Wulferding noted, registering a 25.6% increase year-over-year (YOY).
The total amount rose to €860.263 million, he noted, translating into $953.54 million, which equals the amount the casino industry was turning back in 2007. Casinos in the west part of the country have been posting somewhat stronger results, outstripping prominent properties such as the Baden-Württemberg and Berlin casinos.
The number of visitors has also gone up nationwide, with a 13.21% spike in people who visited casinos, or some 6.4 million guests yearly. Breaking down the stats, slots reached some of the largest numbers out there, generating a growth of 32% or €700.1 million, or $775.64 million.
Table games, though, remained strong, jumping to €160.13 million from €153.74 million a year before. Blackjack, poker and roulette all continued to drive interest and attract high rollers.
German Casinos Overshadowed by Illegal Gambling
Despite the good results, Wulferding cautioned that the illegal gambling industry was still operating outside the law, leading to losses for the regulated sector. Furthermore, he noted, the black market was continuing “to grow disproportionately.”
However, the days of unregulated gambling may as well be numbered. Meanwhile, watchdogs are also keeping close tabs on legal operators. The Bavarian Consumer Center has taken a closer look at some established German-facing brands, reporting issues with them.
Most importantly some sites, including established and trustworthy operators as sports.bwin.com and tipico.de made it easy for minors to register unchecked. Omissions were noted in the registration process as well as age verification. For example, users who used Paysafecard pre-paid vouchers to register could enter false name and details and still proceed and play.
Players Feel Safe
He also remained optimistic about the future, as German casinos have found a way to brand themselves not only as places to gamble, but also to unwind and enjoy “a pleasant atmosphere with other players.”
“Players feel comfortable and safe,” Wulferding explained in his official statement commenting the results. Presently, Germany includes ten private companies running casinos in 30 locations and another nine casino companies bind by public law offering casino gaming n 35 locations.