German Addiction Commissioner Calls For Sports-Betting Ad Curbs

August 10, 2022
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The German commissioner in charge of addiction issues is calling for stricter limits on sports-betting marketing, as the issue of gambling advertising heats up.

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The German commissioner in charge of addiction issues is calling for stricter limits on sports-betting marketing, as the issue of gambling advertising heats up.

Burkhard Blienert of the Social Democratic Party has given interviews calling for “as little advertising for sports betting, preferably none at all” to media, including the Münchner Merkur.

The commissioner, who is part of the health ministry, is calling for a ban on sports-betting TV and radio advertising before 9pm, to match one already in place for online casino games.

"Advertising for offers that endanger addiction is never something sensible," he said.

He would like restrictions in place before the start of football’s World Cup in Qatar in November.

The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) said the interstate treaty, which enabled online gambling, states that all gambling and betting licensees are allowed to advertise their products “in a responsible manner”.

The treaty has only been in effect for a little over a year and the new Joint Gambling Authority for the Federal States (GGL) a little more than a month, a DSWV spokeswoman said.

“Trying to undermine the new legislation before the newly liberalised German gambling market even had the chance to establish itself would be an irrational and non-evidence-based move,” she said.

Overly restrictive rules will hurt the channelisation of gambling to licensed operators and, therefore, strengthen the black market, the DSWV said.

About 16 of 18 Bundesliga clubs have betting club sponsors, according to the Merkur newspaper, including Betway, Entain’s bwin, Interwetten, Tipwin and 888Sport.

Britain’s Premier League, where almost half of clubs have betting sponsors, is reportedly asking clubs to phase out betting sponsorships by 2024-25.

Stephan Mayer of the Christian Social Union party said a German betting ban is “not necessary”.

He called for a "protractedly negotiated, fair and good compromise", according to the Merkur.

Last week, a coalition of groups including state and federal addiction prevention organisations, fan groups and Transparency International Germany announced they were organising into a group called the Alliance Against Sports Betting Advertising to press for the strictest possible advertising restrictions.

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