Jörg Wacker, member of the FC Bayern Munich board, has become the latest German sports and business figurehead to criticise inbound online betting restrictions of the nation’s’ Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty’ for 2021.
Despite the conclusion reached on the elimination of market limitations on online casino services by Lander (state), Germany’s Bundesrat (Federal Council) maintains controversial sports betting requirements, confining monthly player deposits to € 1000 and yet to be determined in-play bet types.
Speaking to BILD the German tabloid, Wacker advises executives of Lander (state) to review their agreed federal sports betting mandate as’ the regulation does not fit market realities.’
Wacker, Bwin Deutschland’s former managing director, who has served as an executive board member of Bayern Munich since 2013 overseeing the internationalisation projects of the football club, detailed scepticism as to whether the provisions of the Treaty would put an end to market uncertainties.
Speaking about the current context of the German market, Wacker stated: “The term illegal is completely unsuitable for the majority of German operators, who hold EU licenses and are sanctioned by Schleswig-Holstein” (the only federal state to issue online betting licences).
“The legal situation has not been clarified for 15-years, but that does not mean that operators are illegal. German bookmakers paid €500 million in tax revenues last year, meaning that there is a legal basis in which they operate.”
Bayern Munich’s executive would defend against criticism of his sponsorship with bookmaker Tipico, stating that the Bavarian club was only partnering with’ market leaders.’
Wacker will substitute Bundesrat justifications for the stringent in-play wagering of the Treaty and the monthly € 1000 deposit limits as a way to better control the dignity of sports and addiction to gambling.
He went on to add: “Is it really like that? If products like in-play betting and poker are allowed does Germany suddenly become a land of gambling addicts… Sodom and Gomorrah! These products have been offered in Germany without restrictions for over a decade now and that outcome has simply not happened.
“The same applies to game manipulation. A €1000 deposit limit and a ban on live betting carry the greater risk of consumers migrating to the black market, where they will wager higher amounts. The black market is easy to find these days, so we are better off keeping players legal.”
Wacker’s comments follow the publication of a letter sent by Mathias Dahms, president of the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), warning Bundesrat officials of the repercussions of the black market if wagering restrictions continue.
Dahms reiterated the DSWV’s continued stance that the terms of the Interstate Treaty in its current contexts would fail in any attempt to create an efficient customer channelling strategy for regulated market incumbents.