German Gambling Regulator Warns Against Unlicensed Gambling During Euro 2024

German gambling regulator warning against unlicensed gambling during Euro 2024
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Germany.- As Euro 2024 kicks off, the German gambling regulator, Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL), has issued a stern warning regarding the dangers of engaging with unlicensed gambling operators. The regulator emphasized the importance of adhering to licensed platforms to ensure player safety and legal compliance.

Monitoring and Enforcement

The GGL highlighted its commitment to monitoring gambling activities during the tournament to ensure that player protection measures are strictly implemented. Bettors are encouraged to consult the GGL’s whitelist of licensed gambling operators to verify the legality of the platforms they choose. Engaging with unlicensed operators not only breaches legal standards but also significantly increases the risk of gambling-related harm.

The regulator also pointed out the participation of licensed operators in the OASIS self-exclusion scheme, managed by the government of Darmstadt. This program allows players to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling activities, providing an additional layer of protection against gambling addiction.

Statements from the Regulator

Ronald Benter, a board member of the GGL, stressed the dual approach of ensuring compliance with legal requirements and combating illegal gambling offers. “We ensure sports betting providers comply with legal requirements for the protection of players. Therefore, it is important to find out about the options for legal gambling,” Benter stated. He added that the GGL is collaborating with other institutions to prevent gambling addiction and protect players and youth from the dangers of illegal gambling.

The GGL is also working closely with Burkhard Blienert, the federal government’s commissioner for addiction and drug issues, to ensure that player protection measures are effectively enforced. This collaboration underscores the regulator’s dedication to creating a safe and regulated gambling environment.

Opposition to Deregulation Proposals

The GGL has voiced strong opposition to a proposal from the Ministry of Justice to decriminalize unlicensed gambling. The regulator called for extending the legal framework to include unlicensed gambling providers based abroad. Benter emphasized that offering illegal gambling from abroad should result in criminal consequences within Germany, reinforcing the importance of maintaining strict regulatory controls.

Comprehensive Market Evaluation

In addition to its immediate enforcement actions, the GGL has announced a comprehensive market evaluation slated for completion in 2026. This evaluation aims to assess the role of the regulated gambling market in German society, focusing particularly on the impact of advertising on gambling behavior.

Germany’s Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which introduced a regulatory framework for online gambling in 2021, is being scrutinized to determine its effectiveness. The GGL seeks to evaluate whether current legislation and advertising strategies are successful in channeling players to licensed operators without enticing individuals who might otherwise abstain from gambling.

Research and Analysis

The media research group Eye Square has initiated a detailed study across Germany’s 16 states to understand how bonuses, promotions, and advertisements influence vulnerable populations. The results of this study will inform the creation of a new federal advertising code for gambling, ensuring that marketing practices do not exploit at-risk groups.

To support this initiative, subcontractors have been commissioned to conduct empirical investigations, impact analyses, structured literature reviews, and content analyses of gambling commercials. An independent panel, including Dr. Markus Heinker, president of the Media Council of the Saxon State Media Authority, and Christian Krebs, director of the Lower Saxony State Media Authority, will oversee the analysis of scientific discourse on the subject.

Conclusion

As Euro 2024 progresses, the GGL’s proactive stance against unlicensed gambling underscores its commitment to player safety and regulatory compliance. The ongoing investigations and upcoming market evaluations highlight the regulator’s dedication to fostering a responsible and well-regulated gambling environment in Germany. Bettors are urged to engage only with licensed operators to ensure a safe and legal gambling experience.