- New study examines effects of state restrictions on gambling market
- Professor Dr Bert Rürup: “Players in online casinos are very sensitive to changes in gaming conditions”
- Proposed state blocking file questionable from a data protection point of view
Berlin, 08 June 2021 – The gambling market in Germany is in a state of upheaval. Online gambling offers in particular are becoming increasingly popular. Current surveys come to the conclusion that three quarters of the German population have already participated in commercial gambling offers (online and offline). It is therefore right that the legislator creates a legal framework here. For the same reason, however, the issue of regulating online gambling also requires special political tact. In July of this year, the new German State Treaty on Gambling will come into force. Currently, the German Bundestag is also debating the draft bill for a new Racing Betting and Lotteries Act – among other things, this will provide for the introduction of a new gaming tax. Findings from a current representative survey of 2,000 private individuals suggest that the planned new state restrictions could counteract what is actually intended as player protection. This survey forms part of a study by the Handelsblatt Research Institute on the German online gambling market commissioned by eco – Association of the Internet Industry. eco recommends that the legislator also make adjustments from a data protection perspective and calls for an objective debate.
Professor Dr Bert Rürup: “Players in online casinos are very responsive to changes in gaming conditions”
“Our data show that the majority of players in online casinos react very responsively to changes in gaming conditions,” explains Professor Dr Bert Rürup, President of the Handelsblatt Research Institute. “This means that if the playing conditions change on the online casino site where they have been playing up to now – for instance, in the form of poorer chances of winning, lower betting limits or slower playing speeds – over 40 percent of online casino players would look for an offer where the playing conditions have not deteriorated.” The gaming tax planned by the German federal states of 5.3 % on stakes, which is extremely high in European and international comparison, could make legal and licensed offers so unattractive that they would disappear from the German market in the medium term, and players would be likely to resort to illegal, non-regulated offers where no adequate player protection is guaranteed.
eco therefore recommends that adjustments be made here: “The new State Treaty on Gambling is an important step towards a modern German gambling regulation, but there is also a need for improvement. Liberalisation and channelling should be the basic idea of regulation in the State Treaty on Gambling and also in taxation. The legislator should therefore design its regulation in compliance with the law and, above all, the market, so as not to thwart its original objective of opening up and liberalising the market. This is being jeopardised by the tax plans of the German federal and state governments,” says eco Honorary President Professor Michael Rotert.
“Denmark, Spain and Italy show how it can be done and should also be regarded as best practice in terms of channelling for German legislators,” says Michael Rotert.
Proposed state blocking file questionable from a data protection point of view
Rotert also sees a need for improvement with regard to data protection. In particular, he considers the planned state blocking file, with which players can be excluded from gambling, to be questionable from a data protection point of view: “A sensible regulation that allows for state control consists in opening the online gambling market to licensed providers that are under state control. This must not be jeopardised by plans for taxation and excessive data collection and restrictive regulations, because this survey has also confirmed how important the protection of personal data is to people.”
You can watch the (German-language) press conference “Online Gambling – Current Developments and Changes due to Government Restrictions” here.