German Authority Begins Extensive Review of Gambling Ads on TV and Internet

The German Federal Gambling Authority, known as the Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL), has initiated a comprehensive study to evaluate how television and internet advertisements affect gambling behavior. This study will focus on the impact of these ads on problem gambling and vulnerable groups.

Assessing 2021 Gambling Ad Regulations

Titled “Gambling Advertising on Television and the Internet: Balancing Channeling and Addiction Prevention,” the project will examine various advertising strategies. These include TV commercials, social media promotions, bonus offers, and other player acquisition methods. The study aims to assess the effectiveness of the advertising regulations introduced by Germany’s State Treaty on Gambling (GlüStV) in 2021. By analyzing these measures, the study seeks to identify what has worked well and where improvements are needed to protect susceptible individuals from harmful exposure to gambling advertisements.

Several specialist subcontractors are collaborating on this project. Bilendi, a market research firm based in Cologne, and Dynata, a data software provider from Hamburg, will conduct empirical analyses and measure advertisement awareness. Additionally, Professor Dr. Gerhard Bühringer from TU Dresden and the Institute for Contract Communication in Berlin will perform a structured literature review and content analysis of typical commercials. They will address research questions and develop actionable recommendations with Noerr Partnergesellschaft mbB, a law firm based in Düsseldorf.

To ensure comprehensive representation of scientific perspectives, an independent panel will oversee the study. This panel is chaired by Prof. Dr. Markus Heinker, professor of media economics and media policy and dean of the Media Faculty at Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, and Prof. Christian Krebs, director of the Lower Saxony State Media Authority and honorary professor at the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media.

Additionally, the Institute for Public Health at Bremen University will conduct a separate assessment focusing on the GlüStV regime and player protection measures adopted under the law. In 2023, their research revealed that the prevalence rate of gambling disorder among people aged 18-70 has remained constant at 2.4% since 2021.

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The study, set to conclude in 2026, aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of GlüStV provisions. Ultimately, the goal is to develop a new advertising code for gambling that can be agreed upon by individual state authorities in Germany and then enacted into federal law.

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