New state treaty regulates the boom

The market for sports betting is booming. But those who bet in Germany usually do so illegally. A new law is set to change that. This has implications not only for bettors, but possibly also for the sport.

In soccer stadiums, advertising for sports betting no longer just rolls over the boards on the sidelines. Commercials before and after matches and betting odds built into live tickers encourage soccer fans to join in the betting. But such private sports betting is by no means legal. "So far, no normal-mortal tipster has understood that the market was illegal, from my point of view," says addiction researcher Tobias Hayer of the University of Bremen. Anyone currently playing is in a gray area - an unregulated market, but one that is tolerated by German authorities. Representatives of the online IPL cricket betting sites in indian rupees were concerned about this issue.

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This is possible because the betting providers acquire their licenses in other EU countries such as Malta. "Nevertheless, they were on the market and placed advertisements for their offers. That suggests to every tipster 'Oh, here we have a legal, reputable offer," says Hayer, who has already been dealing with the issue for about 20 years. In the future, a word monster is supposed to provide clarity: In the "Glücksspielneuregulierungsstaatsvertrag" (State Treaty on Gambling), Internet gambling - and thus also sports betting - is to be largely legalized. For a long time, this was controversial among the federal states. The aim of the new regulations is now to steer the natural gambling instinct of the population into orderly channels - i.e. to legal offerings, explains sports law expert Martin Nolte of the German Sport University Cologne.

This Thursday, the minister presidents of the German states want to approve the new treaty. Without regulation, the sports betting offer grew into a billion-dollar market in recent years. According to the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), total German betting last year was a record 9.3 billion euros - even though there wasn't even a soccer World Cup or European Championship. Live betting accounts for around two thirds of this. But it is precisely on these offers, i.e. tips on the next goal or the next red card, that things could change from mid-2021. An overview.

This could change for the bettor

In the future, bettors will probably have to adjust to a changed betting offer. The new state treaty stipulates that live bets can only be placed in sports with comparatively few goals in the future - such as soccer or ice hockey. "Such popular sports as tennis, handball or basketball, they are unfortunately left out," complains DSWV President Mathias Dahms. Tippers could possibly migrate to the black market, fears the head of the association.

Addiction researcher Hayer, on the other hand, expects a far-reaching liberalization from the regulation, which could bring more betting offers and also more providers to the sports betting market. "As a consequence, this will lead to more gambling incentives and more addiction risks," says Hayer. However, the new regulation also brings legal certainty to the tipster, emphasizes sports lawyer Nolte. Because those who bet with the then licensed providers can then be sure that they are playing with reputable providers who adhere to the German gambling regulations.

This could change for the soccer clubs

Professional sports - such as the Bundesliga - are also benefiting from the sports betting boom. Every club in the Bundesliga is now sponsored by a betting or lottery provider. The sponsorship contracts bring an estimated 43 million euros into the clubs' coffers, for example for advertising on jerseys and boards. According to calculations by the trade magazine Sponsors, the lion's share - around 38 million - comes from private betting providers. And they invest primarily in the soccer business. Because of the change in the live betting offer, the DSWV expects to be able to offer only 25 to 30 percent of the current betting volume. "This means that betting providers will lose around three to four billion euros in revenue in the live betting market as a result of these restrictions," says Dahms. If the market now becomes too restrictive, providers could withdraw and thus also cut back on their sponsorship money for the sport, Dahms explains. Whether this happens, however, depends on how well regulation takes hold.

This could change for the integrity of sports

The company Sportradar, which monitors more than 800 leagues worldwide for irregularities, expects a step backward in the fight against match-fixing. "If the state treaty is implemented as it is currently planned, it will consequently tend to promote the possibilities of manipulation in Germany," says managing director Andreas Krannich. This is because the planned change to live betting bypasses the reality of people's lives, he adds.

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"Then players on the Internet will go to providers who are not regulated." And this black market would be more difficult for law enforcement agencies to control in the event of manipulation. Transparency Germany also fears that the integrity of sports could suffer as a result of the new state treaty - but the organization sees another reason: "Due to the aggressive advertising of some betting providers, there is a very high risk that young sports fans in particular will also be attracted to young competitive athletes from sports betting," says Sylvia Schenk from the Sports Working Group. This also increases the risk of match fixing in the end.