GGL discovers illegal gambling equals four per cent of total GGR

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Germany’s gambling authority, Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder, has revealed that illegal gambling revenue was equal to up to four per cent of the country’s total GGR in 2023. 

Publishing figures behind the country’s gambling ecosystem for the previous year, the GGL confirmed that illegal gambling revenue – defined as player losses in the report – stood between €400m and €600m.

Signalling that black market gambling is still rife in the nation, these figures are equal to around four per cent of the total market’s GGR, which came in at €13.7bn for the year. 

Per segment, online gambling generated €3bn, 21.9 per cent of the total GGR, with online sports betting accounting for €1.8bn of this figure. Online slots and poker contributed €400m. 

The regulator stated that 1,864 websites were checked across the period, of which it proceeded to block operations on 133 instances – 87 cases of offering illegal gambling and 46 cases of websites connected to black market advertising. 

In total, the report revealed that the GGL processed 438 cases of suspected illegal gambling or advertising during the year. As a result of hearings or prohibition orders made by the regulator, 63 black market operators ceased operations or illegal advertising. 

In response to several illegal sites continuing to offer their services despite intervention, the GGL stated: “Those providers who do not discontinue their services despite prohibition orders are often based in countries outside the EU.”

Two fines of €50,000 were imposed by the regulator to prevent illegal gambling and advertising throughout the period. The GGL had been involved in 117 lawsuits initiated by operators across different verticals due to regulatory action taken in 2023. 

Towards the end of last year, Günther Schnabl of the University of Leipzig conducted a study that found only 50.7 per cent of German gamblers were engaging with licensed providers. 

Studying around 25,000 German consumers’ data to record visits and engagements with over 700 gambling domains, the market evaluation suggested that 28.9 per cent of gamblers were using unlicensed EU operators while 19.9 per cent were using offshore brands. 

Germany’s regulator also commented on the current state of the licensing process in the nation, suggesting that suppliers should have more input from suppliers to avoid further delays in game certification for slots and other online casino titles. 

Board member Ronald Benter explained: “We are constantly looking into ways to optimise administrative processes. 

“One way to speed up the application process could be to directly involve the game manufacturers, the development studios, in the application process for the approval of individual games. That would speed up the process considerably.”