July 2, 2024 3 min read

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German Regulator Reflects on the State of the Industry

GGL’s yearly report highlighted the authority’s ongoing efforts to combat black market operators, enhance player protections, and bolster sports integrity

German regulator Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) marked its third anniversary by presenting its 2023 activity report during a recent press conference. CEO Ronald Benter highlighted the authority’s significant achievements, including the successful transition of many formerly illegal gambling operators to the legal market under GGL supervision.

The GGL’s commitment to ensuring fair competition included consistent enforcement actions. In 2023, the authority processed 438 suspected illegal gambling or related advertising cases, checked 1,864 websites and initiated prohibition proceedings in 133 cases. Sixty-three providers thus ceased illegal operations or advertising, while the regulator filed 104 criminal charges with public prosecutors.

Benter emphasized that the majority of previously illegal gambling providers now comply with stringent GGL regulations, with non-compliance resulting in severe consequences such as license revocations. Payment blocking emerged as an effective enforcement tool, with most illegal providers unable to use reputable payment service providers by the end of 2023. Due to legal challenges, the regulator has yet to implement IP blocking.

GGL’s actions against illegal gambling are impactful, but it remains a challenging task, especially as illegal market players operate internationally.

Ronald Benter, GGL CEO

The German gaming market saw a 2% increase in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2023, reaching €13.7 billion ($14.7 billion). Providers regulated by the GGL accounted for approximately €3.5 billion ($3.76 billion), or 26% of the total gaming market. The GGL estimated that the unauthorized gambling market’s GGR ranged between €400-600 million, initiating a study in 2023 to examine the channelization process.

The GGL Remains Committed to a Balanced Approach

Ahead of major events like the European Championship, the GGL intensified its monitoring of sports betting advertising, ensuring operators remain compliant with regulations. The authority advocates for fact-based discussions and, in coordination with federal states, set aside €1.4 million ($1.5 million) to fund three studies in 2023 on player protection, advertising, and market channeling.

Benter identified a need for adjustments in the application procedures for virtual slot machines, suggesting the direct involvement of game manufacturers and developer studios to expedite the approval process. He encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the evaluation process, noting that effective and balanced regulation required cooperation with the broader industry.

We are constantly looking into optimizing administrative processes. One way of speeding (this) up could be to directly involve game manufacturers and developer studios in the application process.

Ronald Benter, GGL CEO

While the GGL faces ongoing challenges, the authority has recorded marked improvements in 2023, setting the stage for continued success. Its newest activity report highlights significant progress in regulating Germany’s gambling market, with efficient enforcement actions, growth in legal gaming revenues, and constant vigilance to ensure players enjoy gambling in a safe and secure environment.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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