BUSINESS

Majority of Germans favor gambling reform

TAGs: Germany, regulations

The gambling system in Germany may be busted, at least in the eyes of the country’s citizens. A recent poll asked Germans what they thought of the current legal gambling framework and a strong majority indicated that they believe it needs to be changed. They feel that the industry is too splintered and should be brought under the control of a singular set of rules.

majority-of-germans-favor-gambling-reformThe poll, conducted by research firm Smartcon for Löwen Entertainment, found that 71% of Germans favor a major overhaul of the country’s gambling framework. The respondents asserted that, as new gambling avenues have been added, each has been able to essentially run by its own regulations and that all of the avenues should have one federal approach.

61% of those polled are concerned that overregulation could have negative ramifications. If laws are put into place to protect consumers, going overboard with the laws would cause fewer companies to want to be licensed, leading to less regulated activity and possibly more black market gambling.

Löwen, which manufactures gaming machines and operates a number of gambling facilities in Germany, commissioned the study in order to better understand how gambling is evolving in the country. It points out that each of the 16 German states has its own set of regulations and that this causes confusion among gamblers, leading them to use non-regulated options.

The company believes that unlicensed or non-regulated gambling takes more than 20% of the country’s potential gross gaming revenue each year, and that the number will only increase unless changes are made. It states, “Even today, the unregulated market is growing relatively and in absolute terms more strongly than the regulated gaming market.”

One of the biggest issues, according to Löwen, is advertising. Whereas other countries are looking to push gambling advertising into extinction, the company feels that this is detrimental to a mature, regulated gambling environment. It explains that unregulated gambling options can advertise where the regulated companies can’t, which is providing too much exposure for the unregulated operators. The survey seemed to back up the claims, with respondents indicating that legal gambling operators need to be able to advertise their products where consumers will find them.

Germany does have federal gambling regulations, of sorts. The Interstate Treaty on Gaming provides guidelines for all states in the country and was updated in March 2019, through the Amended State Treaty on Gambling, to include unification on how each state regulates the activity. However, it only covers a portion of the states’ guidelines.

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