by Mateusz Mazur

The State of German Sports Betting in 2023

The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) recently presented a comprehensive analysis of the sports betting market’s performance in 2023, revealing notable trends and challenges.

Among these, a significant decline in tax revenue and the persistent issue of the black market were highlighted, alongside discussions on enhancing player protection measures.

Tax Revenue Decline: A Closer Look

In 2023, the stakes recorded by legal sports betting operators in Germany amounted to €7.72 billion, marking a 5.4% decline from the previous year. DSWV President Mathias Dahms expressed concern, stating, “Instead of contributing to our economy, funds are diverted to black market operators.” This shift underscores the need for legal market enhancements to retain competitiveness and consumer interest.

Despite efforts to regulate, the black market continues to claim a substantial share of the German betting landscape. Studies, including the DSWV and DOCV-commissioned Schnabl study, indicate that German online gambling users spend approximately half of their time on illegal sites. The DSWV urges the Joint Gambling Authority of the federal states (GGL) to adopt a new regulatory approach to fortify the legal market and diminish black market influence.

Advocating for Robust Player Protection

With the European Football Championship on the horizon, the importance of guiding bettors towards legal platforms cannot be overstated. The DSWV emphasizes the role of advertising in differentiating legal providers from their illegal counterparts, advocating against advertising bans.

“No company can thrive without the ability to advertise. Restricting this for legal sports betting providers would inadvertently favor the black market, where player safeguards are nonexistent,” Dahms elaborated.

Our Comment on the Article

The DSWV’s analysis of the German sports betting market in 2023 sheds light on critical issues facing the industry, including declining tax revenues, the growth of the black market, and the necessity for effective player protection. As the market navigates these challenges, the call for a strategic regulatory realignment and the preservation of advertising freedoms for legal operators becomes increasingly pertinent. Such measures are essential not only for the viability of the legal betting sector but also for ensuring a safe and responsible betting environment for players.

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