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German Regulator to Wage War on Illegal Gambling

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The Glucksspiel (GGL), Germany’s new gambling regulator, has pledged to wage war on illegal gambling.

Now fully active after a year of preparation, GGL board member Benjamin Schwanke said in an interview that the authority expects a large number of legal actions to be started against illegal online operators annually.

“To protect players from manipulation and crime and to ensure that there is only a limited offer overall to reduce addiction risks is a basic goal. Player protection must come first.”

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The 16 federal states in Germany, who have combined to produce an interstate treaty on gambling, opted to transfer responsibility for supervising gambling to the new GGL, setting it up in mid-2021. It is in the course of issuing licences to operate in Germany through a “white list”.

The GGL now has 75 permanent staff that it intends to expand to over 100 this year. So far there are 38 sports betting licences and 22 permits for online gambling issued.

Schwanke said that the organisation planned to take “the toughest approach against illegal online gambling”. It was aware of 1000 websites and 100 illegal marketing campaigns directed at German consumers and it has already begun prosecutions against 60 of them.

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Central Europe

Low6 equips BETFAN with free-to-play arcade games

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The multi-game partnership sees the legal Polish operator build out its proposition by appealing to the nostalgia of much-loved games

Low6, the leading gamification innovator, has secured an agreement with BETFAN, a new legal Polish bookmaker, to deliver a suite of free-to-play games. The operator has earmarked Low6’s pioneering spin on free-to-play games as a strategic addition to their product offering to retain and boost their active player base.

The new product offering will launch BETFAN’s first arcade-style game, Horse Race. The side scroller game challengers players to navigate a horse between sporting objects by tapping their touchscreen or mouse. The further they progress in the game, the more points they earn.

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The portfolio will also include a Bingo game where players will be issued a digital card of sporting events that are marked-off in real time with in-play action. Players are rewarded by getting a line or full-house on completing their card.

“Our goal is to make constant progress.” comments Jakub Świsłowski, Vice President of BETFAN. “The future of our sportsbook division sees free-to-play games as a key development in our product offering. We truly believe that our partnership with Low6 will allow us to make a huge difference in the Polish market and this cooperation will also open up new doors for sportsbooks in Poland”.

“BETFAN, like Low6, are focused on innovation and we’re delighted that part of our portfolio of games will be implemented within their product suite.” comments Jamie Mitchell CEO of Low6. “That our first game is delivered as a new, innovative arcade solution means we have something that the betting market has never seen before. We can’t wait to flick the switch and launch our arcade offering to the wider sportsbook and igaming verticals.”

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Central Europe

DSWV Calls for Changes as Black Market Betting Rises in 2023

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The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) has analysed the development of the German sports betting market for 2023 at its annual press conference. The main focus was on tax revenues, the black market and player protection.

Decline in Tax Revenue

In 2023, legal sports betting providers in Germany recorded stakes of €7.72 billion, a decrease of 5.4% compared to the previous year.

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“Instead, the money flows into the coffers of the black market providers,” DSWV President Mathias Dahms said.

This development illustrates the challenges facing the legal market. One important reason for the decline is the migration of many players to illegal offerings. For example, since the State Treaty on Gambling came into force in 2021, regulated providers have not been able to keep up with the extensive betting offers of the black market due to a limited betting programme. The association is, therefore, calling for attractive framework conditions for regulated providers so that they remain competitive.

Combating the Black Market

Despite regulation, the black market has a significant market share in Germany. Studies, such as the Schnabl study by DSWV and DOCV, show that around half of the time spent by German online gambling users is spent on illegal sites. This alarming development requires urgent action on the part of the Joint Gambling Authority of the federal states (GGL). The DSWV is, therefore, calling for a reorientation of the current regulatory policy in order to strengthen the legal market and curb the black market.

Promotion of Player Protection

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Many interested parties will open betting accounts during the European Football Championship. It is, therefore, all the more important that gamblers are directed to the legal market. Advertising helps to make the brands of legal providers stand out from the illegal offers on the black market. Only companies permitted by the GGL protect players. In the debate on sports betting advertising, the DSWV is, therefore, expressly opposed to a ban on advertising.

“No company can survive if it is not allowed to advertise, and this must remain the case for sports betting providers. Otherwise, players are left with the black market, where there are no protective measures and controls,” Dahms said during the conference.

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Central Europe

Greentube debuts content in Slovakia

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Greentube, the NOVOMATIC Digital Gaming and Entertainment division, has taken its diverse portfolio of popular slots live in Slovakia, marking further European growth for the company in regulated markets.

Now available via a range of the country’s leading online casino brands, players will be able to get their hands on Greentube’s upcoming releases such as Book of Ra™ Deluxe 10: Win Ways™, Sizzling Hot™ Deluxe 10 Win Ways™ and Top o’ the Money™ – Pots of Wealth.

These new releases will sit alongside the supplier’s classic games which have proved their enduring appeal among European players including hit titles such as Book of Ra™, Sizzling Hot™ and Ultrahot Deluxe™.

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This latest market entry into Slovakia furthers Greentube’s growth in Central Europe and mirrors its progress globally, in line with its strategy for the year ahead.

Opher Ben Zvi, Deputy Head of Global Sales at Greentube, said: “Slovakia is another step forward in our roadmap for 2024. It’s a country with great potential and one where we expect big things from our proven content.

“Our range of games is set to provide a diverse choice for players, beginning with our successful WinWays™ titles. These will soon be joined by the global hits from our Diamond Mystery™, Diamond Link™ and Cash Connection™ game series.

“We’re proud to see them on offer to an even larger demographic via our partners in the country.”

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