A German online gambling trade group has found several hundred unlicensed operators pitching German residents, leading it to warn that the black market will only grow during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) said it found that 405 of 507 online gambling websites it examined allow Germans to open player accounts, even though there are only 36 licensed sports-betting websites.
About 240 of those sites offer online casino and sports betting, the group said. No online casino licences have yet been issued.
“For every legal provider, there are multiple providers without permission,” said Luka Andric, director general of the sports betting group at the DSWV.
“Meanwhile, there are also numerous other websites that evade any control, regulation, and taxation,” he said. “There is a risk that a substantial part of the bets placed by German customers will migrate to illegal black market providers.”
The group expects every German adult to bet an average of €11 during the football World Cup this year.
Online slots and poker licensing launched last July. Transitional arrangements limit potential applicants to restrictions including €1 stakes and five-second spins.
“Anyone who grants permission to providers under strict framework conditions must also take action against providers who offer sports betting without permission — and there are many of them,” said DSWV president Mathias Dahms. “There is a huge deficit in enforcement”.
If authorities cracked down on unlicensed sports betting and advertising by the time of the World Cup, an additional €40m to €50m in taxes could be collected, he said.
In a press conference, the DSWV said that gambling stakes and taxes stabilised in 2021, from COVID-related declines in 2020.
About €9.4m in stakes were generated last year, along with €470m in taxes paid, the group said.
A survey by YouGov Deutschland found that players rated gambling with a German-licensed site far below such criteria as high bonuses and attractive betting odds, the two groups said.
The YouGov survey, taken on February 11-17 and commissioned by DSWV and the German Online Casino Association (DOCV), surveyed 520 residents who had played online casino and sports betting in the past six months.
Flutter Entertainment this week reported that Germany and the Netherlands regulatory and tax changes cost it £85m last year, which contributed to an 8 percent decline in international revenue and a 6 percent decline in group EBITDA.
Entain reported that it had double-digit gains in net gaming revenue in all markets except Germany and the Netherlands.
Overall online revenue gained 12 percent to £3bn.