GGL Highlights Achievements and Future Goals in Industry Report

German regulator Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) marked its third anniversary by presenting its 2023 activity report at a recent press conference. CEO Ronald Benter highlighted significant achievements, including transitioning many previously illegal gambling operators to the legal market under GGL supervision.

High Channelization Strengthens the Legal Market

The GGL’s commitment to fair competition involved consistent enforcement actions throughout 2023. The authority processed 438 suspected illegal gambling or related advertising cases, checked 1,864 websites, and initiated prohibition proceedings in 133 cases. Consequently, 63 providers ceased illegal operations or advertising, and the regulator filed 104 criminal charges with public prosecutors.

Benter emphasized that most formerly illegal gambling providers now comply with stringent GGL regulations. Non-compliance leads to severe consequences, such as license revocations. Payment blocking emerged as an effective enforcement tool, with illegal providers unable to use reputable payment service providers by the end of 2023. However, legal challenges have delayed the implementation of IP blocking.

“The GGL’s actions against illegal gambling are impactful, but it remains a challenging task, especially as illegal market players operate internationally,” said Ronald Benter, GGL CEO.

In 2023, Germany’s gaming market saw a 2% increase in gross gaming revenue (GGR), reaching €13.7 billion ($14.7 billion). Providers regulated by the GGL accounted for approximately €3.5 billion ($3.76 billion), or 26% of the total gaming market. The GGL estimated the unauthorized gambling market’s GGR ranged between €400-600 million, initiating a study in 2023 to examine the channelization process.

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Ahead of major events like the European Championship, the GGL intensified monitoring of sports betting advertising, ensuring operators remain compliant with regulations. The authority advocates for fact-based discussions and, in coordination with federal states, allocated €1.4 million ($1.5 million) to fund three studies in 2023 on player protection, advertising, and market channeling.

Benter identified a need for adjustments in application procedures for virtual slot machines, suggesting direct involvement of game manufacturers and developer studios to expedite approval processes. He encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the evaluation process, noting that effective and balanced regulation requires industry cooperation.

“We are constantly looking into optimizing administrative processes. One way of speeding this up could be to directly involve game manufacturers and developer studios in the application process,” said Ronald Benter.

Despite ongoing challenges, the GGL recorded marked improvements in 2023. The activity report highlights progress in regulating Germany’s gambling market, with efficient enforcement actions, growth in legal gaming revenues, and constant vigilance to ensure a safe and secure gambling environment.

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