DSWV’s call for action: rise of black market betting in 2023

  • 3 min read
DSWV’s call for action: rise of black market betting in 2023

The annual press conference of the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) delved into the analysis of the German sports betting market for the year 2023, with a particular emphasis on tax revenues, the prevalence of the black market, and measures for player protection.

Tax Revenue Downturn

In 2023, legal sports betting operators in Germany witnessed a decline in stakes, amounting to €7.72 billion, marking a 5.4% decrease compared to the previous year.

DSWV President Mathias Dahms remarked, “Instead, funds are flowing into the coffers of illicit market operators,” highlighting the concerning shift in financial dynamics. This trend underscores the hurdles encountered by the legal market. One significant factor contributing to this decline is the migration of numerous players towards unlawful platforms. Since the enactment of the State Treaty on Gambling in 2021, regulated operators have struggled to match the diverse betting offerings of the black market due to restricted betting options. Consequently, the association advocates for fostering favorable conditions for regulated entities to bolster their competitiveness.

Combatting the Black Market

Despite regulatory efforts, the black market continues to wield considerable influence within Germany. Studies, such as the Schnabl study conducted by DSWV and DOCV, reveal that approximately half of the time spent by German online gambling users occurs on unauthorized sites. This worrisome trend necessitates prompt intervention from the Joint Gambling Authority of the federal states (GGL). Consequently, the DSWV urges a reassessment of existing regulatory policies to fortify the legal market and stifle the black market’s dominance.

Advancing Player Protection

With the impending European Football Championship, a surge in betting account openings is anticipated. Hence, it becomes increasingly crucial to steer bettors towards the legal market. Advertising plays a pivotal role in distinguishing the brands of legal operators from illicit offerings on the black market. Only companies sanctioned by the GGL can guarantee player protection. In the discourse surrounding sports betting advertising, the DSWV vehemently opposes an advertising ban.

Dahms underscored this stance during the conference, stating:

No company can thrive without the ability to advertise, and this holds true for sports betting providers. Otherwise, players are left vulnerable to the black market’s absence of protective measures and oversight.