Interim Report Suggests More German Ad Restrictions Coming

July 4, 2024
​​​​​​​An interim report on Germany’s 2021 interstate gambling treaty suggests that further advertising and sponsorship restrictions may be coming, an attorney has said.

An interim report on Germany’s 2021 interstate gambling treaty suggests that further advertising and sponsorship restrictions may be coming, an attorney has said.

The interim report, published in late June, indicates that restrictions on betting advertisements during sports matches could be further restricted beyond the current ban on promoting betting odds, said attorney Jan Feuerhake of Taylor Wessing.

Current rules allow for brand advertising during games.

Another concern is a suggestion that the current ban on advertising of online slots between 6am and 9pm be extended to online sports betting, Feuerhake said.

Feuerhake and other industry officials spoke on Wednesday (July 3) at a webinar held by Leaders in Compliance, part of Gaming in EU.

The attorney said the report suggests examining sports sponsorships, where there are today few restrictions beyond use of active players.

The regulator is also seeking clarification on the extent that sports sponsorships are affected by any advertising ban.

In June, the Joint Gambling Authority of the States (GGL) commissioned studies on advertising on television and the internet.

The regulator wants the ability to request information on gambling companies directly from foreign securities authorities, according to a summary of the interim report written by attorney Carsten Bringmann of Noerr law firm.

The report suggests that its effectiveness has been handicapped by the fact that only 80 of a planned 104 staff roles have been filled.

The GGL would also like authorities’ ability for IP blocking to be clarified and tightened, Bringmann said.

A full evaluation of the gambling treaty is due in December 2026.

Germany also has €1,000 deposit limits across all operators, monitored by what it calls the LUGAS system.

Operators can apply for individual players to have monthly limits raised to €10,000 or €30,000 monthly, but only 1 percent of all players can get limits above €10,000, and loss limits apply at various deposit limit levels, according to Nikolas Lotz of Meremus German Technologies.

The bigger spenders are also supposed to get additional monitoring for markers of harm from addiction, he said.

Gambler spending can be monitored by use of credit checks, open banking checks for income verification, manual requests and enhanced due diligence checks, he said.

Separately, the GGL said it would like to try and streamline procedures for approving slots games by bringing games manufacturers and development studios into the applications process, according to board member Ronald Benter.

If implemented, that might help address a persistent complaint of online slots licensees, that forcing the GGL to individually approve every game for each licensee has left operators with a diminished menu of games compared with unlicensed rivals.

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