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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.”

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.