In preparation for the largest show of 2024, iGB is providing an update on the latest developments in the industry since 2023. One country facing challenges in regulating online gambling is Germany. A study showed that nearly half of all online gambling in the country is done with unlicensed operators, putting pressure on the German gambling regulator (GGL) to make licensed casinos more appealing in 2024.

At a recent conference in Germany, it was revealed that licensed gambling operators in the country are facing increasing competition from the black market. A study found that three-quarters of online gambling revenue is generated through the black market, resulting in significant losses in tax revenue. The German Online Casino Association and the German Sports Betting Association have called for urgent measures to address this issue, including a review of the regulatory environment and collaboration between various industry stakeholders.

Concerns have also been raised about the rise of addiction since the launch of Germany’s legal online casino market in July 2021. A study found that four out of 10 people gambling on slot machines in Germany suffer from gambling harm, with online casinos posing the highest risk for problem gambling. It was reported that 2.3% of Germany’s population between 18 and 70 years old experience gambling harm, totaling 1.3 million people.

In France, the lack of regulation in the online casino market has led to a rise in the black market. While online sports wagering is legal in France, online casino remains prohibited. Research by the French gambling regulator estimated that the illegal gambling market in the country could be worth up to €1.5bn, accounting for over 10% of the total wagered across France each year.

Efforts to tackle the illegal gambling market in France include an amendment to a proposed bill authorizing land-based casinos to offer online gambling, as well as plans to take action against illegal gambling operators and payment service providers facilitating financial flows between illegal operators and players. The potential legalization of France’s online casino market could have a significant impact on the illegal market.

As the industry faces regulatory challenges and works to address the rise of illegal gambling, the developments in Germany and France will certainly be worth monitoring in 2024.

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