‘Get real’ on in-play restrictions and surveillance urges DSWV

DSWV, the ‘German Sports Betting Trade Association‘, has welcomed the new consensus reached for the online gambling components of the ‘Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling’, which would allow for federal provisions on online casino and poker.

This week, the Bundesrat press agency confirmed that all 16 Länder (states) had agreed ‘in principle to allow for concessions on online casino, poker and slots licensing on the proviso that legislation protects minors and vulnerable consumers.

DSWV governance has welcomed the reforms, underlining that the ‘prohibition of online games has proven ineffective in a digital age’.

Despite progress on online gambling, the DSWV maintains its stance that Germany’s planned federal framework will remain ineffective for sports wagering, particularly by limiting monthly player deposit limits to €1000 and restricting inventory on in-play markets.

DSWV President Mathias Dahms described the Treaty’s unappealing sports framework as the German federal market’s biggest sticking point.

“It is particularly problematic for us is the very tight criteria of live bets held exclusively on the final result or on the next goal in sports with a small number of goals, such as football,” said Dahms.

Of further concern, Dahms underlines that an unclear Bundesrat mandate on market in-play restrictions could see popular markets such as tennis, handball and basketball (all high points scoring sports) become obsolete to the consumer.

With wagering in-play functions becoming the standard-norm for sports betting customers, Dahms that current frameworks will only lead to ‘disappointed consumers turning to the black market’.

In addition, the DSWV maintains its stance that a monthly deposit limit of €1,000 per customer ‘should not be regarded as consumer protection’, instead advising Länder to consult with industry leadership on implementing comprehensive safeguards.

Further to securing consensus on online gambling provisions, this week Länder states agreed that German gambling would be monitored by a ‘super surveillance authority’, which would be charged with registering customer files on all gambling consumers.

Whilst the DSWV supports the foundation of a ‘supervisory authority’, the trade body underlines that the unit will have to be ‘flexible to market developments’. Dahms also questioned the need and resources required to maintain ‘activity files’ on German consumers.

“It will be a gigantic technical effort to maintain all central ‘activity files’ recording consumers parallel use of various gambling product and engagement with offers across the Internet,” he added. “The associated waiting time of 5 minutes when switching from one offer to another completely ignores the reality of life for consumers in the digital age.”

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