Calls for Gambling Advertising Watershed in Germany

Gambling adverts continue to be a subject that creates a lot of debate. Germany has already been strict on gambling and now there’s a call for a 9pm watershed on such advertising.

Burkhard Blienert is the German Commissioner for Addiction and Drug issues. He’s also a Social Democratic Party member, who forms the German government.

The Commissioner has warned that increased amounts of betting related advertising could lead to more people developing problems from their gambling.

His view therefore is that that action should be taken now. A proposed 9pm watershed would apply not just to gambling adverts on television but online as well.

Speaking about the problem of gambling adverts, Blienert said: “Advertising for online gambling and sports betting is spreading at a breakneck speed. This trend is concerning because hundreds of thousands of people already have problem gambling or are even addicted.”

There has also been a statement from Germany’s Federal Centre for Health Education. The big push for action to be taken comes ahead of Gambling Addiction Day which takes place on 28 September.

Their statement covered several gambling related issues. They want to spread awareness about the problems of gambling addiction and possible triggers.

Dr Martin Dietrich is their Acting Director and is concerned about the number of gambling adverts seen online. He believes that this represents a “particularly high risk of addiction” as people see the offers being made by gambling companies.

He added: “They are available at all times and lure with high winnings. The supposed prospect of quick profits makes online sports betting particularly popular. That is why it is so important to raise awareness of the risks of gambling and to take countermeasures in good time.”

It was July 2021 when the Saxony-Anhalt state administration office began issuing licenses for online betting sites. Nine online casinos licenses have been given out so far.

There is strict regulation of the German gambling industry, as well as a high tax rate on online slots games. Most licensees in the country are connected to land-based gambling companies that are already well-established.

However, this month has seen a setback for German municipalities. A Federal Administrative Court made a ruling that means a betting shop tax cannot be levied.

Such a tax was introduced in Dortmund eight years ago. Betting shops in the city took legal action over the tax. Initially, the amount of tax to be paid was dependent on the physical size of the area where the bets were placed. That ended in 2017 after a previous court ruling. That saw a flat 3% tax on stakes (on top of the 5% the Federal Government charged) being introduced.