EGBA Proposes Changes for German iGaming Market

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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has outlined several recommendations aimed at improving the proposals for a Third State Treaty on gambling.

EGBA welcomes the progress towards developing a new online gambling regulation but warns that the draft treaty proposals are inconsistent, overly restrictive in the context of current consumer demand and jeopardise the task of developing a fully functioning online gambling market in Germany.

“A new online gambling regulation is badly needed in Germany, but these new proposals could make the current regulatory dysfunction even worse. An attractive product offer is absolutely essential to achieving a safe and well-channelled gambling environment – but the proposed restrictions would prevent this,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of EGBA, said.

Given the importance of channelling, consumer choice and the “shop-around” nature of online betting, EGBA is concerned that the restrictions proposed in the new state treaty will undermine the success of the future online gambling regulation. Specifically, the cumulative effect of the current product restrictions and the comprehensively restricted access to online casino games, which has been part of the European Commission’s repeated criticism of Germany’s gambling regulations.

To ensure this new regulation is a success, EGBA makes the following recommendations:

  • Online casino: A full product range is essential to support effective channelling; there should be no opt-out for the Länder when it comes to the regulation of casino games.
  • Bet types: Extensive restrictions should be avoided when defining permissible bet types. Any restrictions on live betting would undermine the objective of channelling consumers.
  • Deposit limits: A mandatory cross-provider deposit limit of EUR 1000 will be difficult to implement on a technical level and raises concerns about data protection. A recent study found that the setting of voluntary deposit limits is effective and gamblers who set their own deposit limits would spend significantly less money, compared to players who had not.
  • Player account activity: The proposed waiting times for switching between products and operators are not justified and will undermine channelling because they ignore the “shop-around” nature of online betting behaviour and the nature of price and odds comparisons.
  • Regulatory authority: EGBA welcomes the proposal to set up a central competent regulatory authority but has concerns about how long it will take to set up and how this could affect licensing decisions.

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