EGBA Calls On Germany To Get House In Order

The European Gaming and Betting Association has called on Germany to follow the example of different European jurisdictions, saying that the nation is having its house in order in the interests of all.

The trade association calls on policymakers to simplify the complex online gambling system of the country, including the implementation of a law that guarantees high channelling rates, long-term regulatory stability and a fully functioning market.

EGBA secretary general Maarten Haijer has written in Germany’s newsletter in the latest edition of Gaming. He said: “Germany is one of the very few remaining European countries which has no properly functioning online gambling market yet, and the new State Treaty must fix this.

“That is why EGBA fully supports the government’s efforts to establish a new gambling policy and we welcome progress towards developing a functional and effective online gambling regulation.

“However, with less than 50 per cent of the country’s online gambling activity currently taking place on offshore websites, re-regulation will not be an easy task.”

Highlighting a 2017 estimate by the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics that the country has a channelling rate of just 1.8 percent, the party argues that “this makes the priority for the new policy clear.”

In contrast to UK and Denmark ‘s rates of 95 per cent and 90 percent, a new policy “can only be effective” if it ensures that gambling websites licenced in the country are more attractive than those outside. This sufficient market choice needs to be fulfilled in the three core brand , product and bet offers areas.

Calling policies currently on the table as “highly questionable,” Haijer argues that the cumulative consequences of the new limitations on player accounts (deposit and time constraints), goods (a ban on on online casinos not being completely lifted) and bet forms (a ban on live betting) jeopardise the challenge of achieving a high channelling rate and set the stage for further political and legal challenging.

“The biggest threat to the success of the new policy remains the piecemeal approach towards the regulation of online casino,” Haijer continued. “The decision to leave this to the Lander will not only create mini-casino markets, with varying degrees of channelling, but it will also lead to gambling regulations which are inconsistent.

“This has also been the opinion of the European Commission who previously questioned whether the cumulative effects of the limits and restrictions to Germany’s betting program would enable a sufficiently attractive product range to achieve a high channelling rate.

“We have had proper regulation of online gambling in Europe for well over 10 years now and it is time Germany got its house in order as well. It is in everyone’s interest to introduce a law which ensures high channelling rates, long term regulatory stability and a fully functioning market.”