DSWV President, Mathias Dahms,

DSWV asserts self-exclusion figures show sign of player protection progress

The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) has responded to what it believes is an incorrect assessment of OASIS self-exclusion figures in the country’s media.

Latest figures from the self-exclusion system show that the number of registered bettors rose from 47,000 in 2020 to 192,600 at the beginning of May 2023, suggesting a four fold increase in self-banned players. 

These figures have been presented by some, notably Federal Addiction and Drug Commissioner, Burkhard Blienert, as being indicative of a sharp increase in problem gambling rates in Germany.

Blienert was quoted by media outlet Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) as saying: “The high number of player bans speaks volumes. It shows that gambling addiction really gets down to the substance, for the gambling addict and those around them.

“Since the vast majority let themselves be blocked, the suffering of many people must be considerable and also the insight that they have to do something themselves.”

In response, the DSWV has argued that the increase in OASIS registrations is not because of a corresponding increase in problem gambling rates but due to the changed dynamics of the German market.

The implementation of the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv) and its regulatory changes on 1 July 2021 has been a key driver of this. The DSWV noted that the legislation allowed more operators to connect to the OASIS network.

Prior to the legislation, the DSWV explained, there were just 464 gaming operators with 1,529 venues/sites connected to OASIS, the bulk of which were gaming arcades in the Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate region along with ‘casinos and a few sports betting operators’.

Nearly two years after GlüNeuRStv came into effect, more newly-licensed sports betting and online gaming operators have joined OASIS, having been prevented from doing so earlier. According to DSWV figures, the total number of operators in Germany has increased to 6,400 for a total of over 29,500 betting and gaming venues. 

In the DSWV’s view, the number of player suspensions can be attributed to the increase in the overall customer base, as well as the number of operators which have connected to the network, enabling their players to register with it. This is indicative of positive player protection developments, the association argued.

SBC News DSWV asserts self-exclusion figures show sign of player protection progress
Mathias Dahms, DSWV

DSWV President, Mathias Dahms, remarked: “It is not the number of gambling addicts that has increased, but the number of players who can be entered into OASIS and thus protected across all providers. The development of the OASIS figures is proof of successful player protection and the functioning blocking system.

“However, to derive a general attack against the State Treaty on Gaming or the licensed gaming providers from the increased figures does not do justice to the history of the blocking file, nor to the improved player protection situation on the German gaming market.

“In fact, the nationwide and cross-gambling player blocking database has been implemented with strong support from gambling operators. It is a major step forward for player protection in Germany and a real success story that politicians, regulators and gambling operators alike can be proud of.”

This is the second time around that the DSWV has found itself responding to comments from Addiction and Drug Commissioner Blienert. 

In May 2023, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) cabinet member called for a ban on marketing of gambling, alcohol and tobacco products in public spaces, such as on television and on billboards.

The DSWV responded by pointing to comments from Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Tobias Krull, of the state of Saxony-Anhalt – the home state of the GGL regulator – who criticised proposals for a betting advertising ban.

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