March 26, 2024 3 min read


VDAI Slams ‘Gambling Atlas Germany 2023’ Over Methodological Flaw

The Association of the German Slot Machine Industry (VDAI) contends that the Atlas does not meet its intended goals, especially concerning sourcing and scientific rigor

The Association of the German Slot Machine Industry (VDAI) has voiced strong criticisms against the “Gambling Atlas Germany 2023,” citing methodological flaws and inadequacies. The VDAI outlined 30 specific points of contention, highlighting unreliable sources, flawed methodologies, and erroneous claims within the Atlas.

‘Gambling Atlas Germany 2023’ Falls Short on Objectives and Statistical Accuracy”

The “Gambling Atlas Germany 2023,” released in November 2023, purported to provide a comprehensive overview of various aspects of gambling in the country. However, upon closer examination, the VDAI argues that the Atlas falls short of its objectives, particularly in terms of sourcing and scientific rigor.

One major point of contention raised by the VDAI is the extensive self-citation by the authors without corroboration from external scientific sources. This practice, according to the VDAI, undermines the credibility of the Atlas and raises doubts about the validity of its claims.

Moreover, the VDAI criticizes the one-sided portrayal of gambling in the Atlas, which predominantly focuses on the negative impacts while neglecting the perspective of consumers. This skewed representation, the VDAI argues, creates a misleading and alarmist view of the problem of gambling addiction in Germany.

The association also disputes the statistics presented in the Atlas, particularly regarding the prevalence of gambling addiction. Claims suggesting an “epidemic” level of addiction, with 8% of the 18-70 age demographic affected, have been called into question by the VDAI and other stakeholders.

VDAI’s Critique Sparks Calls for Transparency in Gambling Research

The VDAI’s critique adds to existing concerns raised by other organizations, including the Germany Sports Betting Association (DSWV), regarding the accuracy and transparency of Atlas’s data. These criticisms cast doubt on the reliability of the Atlas as a resource for understanding gambling-related issues in Germany.

In light of these concerns, there are growing calls for greater transparency and accountability in the publication of research data. Politician and health expert Simone Borchardt emphasized the importance of scientific transparency, urging for the publication of data to ensure accuracy and integrity in research findings.

The VDAI’s comprehensive review of the “Gambling Atlas Germany 2023” underscores the need for rigorous standards in research methodology and data reporting, particularly in sensitive areas such as gambling addiction. 

Additionally, the German gambling regulator, Glücksspielbehörde Gemeinsame der Länder (GGL), discussed its current and future plans for gambling research practices during the 20th Symposium on Gambling at the University of Hohenheim. Highlighting the importance of relying on scientific findings in policymaking, the GGL emphasized the need for regulations based on facts and figures.

With a budget of €1.39 million ($1.5 million), the GGL has commissioned various studies, including research on gambling advertising and the prevalence of the black market in Germany, aiming to inform regulatory decisions and protect vulnerable individuals from problem gambling.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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