GGL Reports Black Market Holds 4% of Germany’s GGR in 2023

The black market generated between €400m and €600m in revenue, while the legal market brought in €13.7bn in GGR for the year, reflecting 2% annual growth. The report highlighted that up to 1,864 websites were checked, with the regulator blocking operations in 133 cases. Of these, 87 were related to illegal gambling services, and 46 were connected to advertising black-market operators.

Overall, GGL processed 438 cases of suspected illegal gambling or advertising during the 12 months. Of those flagged, 63 black market operators stopped their services or advertising due to hearings or prohibition orders from GGL. “Those providers who do not discontinue their services despite prohibition orders are often based in countries outside the EU,” the regulator noted.

The GGL imposed two fines of €50,000 each to enforce the prohibition orders regarding illegal gambling and advertising during 2023. The report also mentioned that the regulator faced 117 lawsuits initiated by various online gambling providers across different verticals.

Legal Market Insights and Licensing Challenges

Within the legal market, online gambling accounted for 8% or €400m in GGR in 2023, while sports betting contributed a turnover of €1.8bn, holding a 13% share of the overall market. Commenting on the licensing process, GGL noted delays in testing games before market release. This issue arose from suppliers not providing information on time or at all.

“Resources were temporarily hired to provide temporary support with game testing. This led to a substantial improvement within the first two quarters of 2024,” the regulator said.

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Germany’s gaming regulation – the 2021 Interstate Treaty on Gambling – created a comprehensive online betting and gaming market in the country for the first time. At the start of 2023, the central regulatory authority, the Joint Gambling Authority (GGL), began operations, marking a new era in Germany’s gambling landscape.

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