Entain Criticizes Ineffective GlüNeuRStv Measures as Black Market Continues to Thrive

Updated On Nov 28, 2023 by Ella McDonald


  • Entain says Germans turn to illegal sites because of overly restrictive measures in the regulated market
  • Entain called on the German govt. to focus on player protection and enhancing legal gaming offers
  • The company is willing to collaborate with the GGL to combat the black market

Online gambling giant Entain said existing regulatory restrictions under the GlüNeuRStv regime are mainly to blame for the rapid growth of the illegal market in Germany.

The government should address this by prioritizing player protection and enhancing legal gaming offers, instead of introducing prohibitive measures.

Strict Measures Only Pushing Players to Unlicensed Sites

Germany’s current online gambling regime has once again come under the spotlight following a new study published by German gaming trade bodies DSWV and DOCV which found that the black market is thriving in the country, with around half of the online gaming activity taking place on unlicensed platforms.

Entain, which owns the Bwin, Ladbrokes, and Sportingbet brands, all of which are operating in Germany, said that players are shifting to unlicensed platforms because of overly strict regulatory requirements being implemented for the legal market.

According to Grainne Hurst, Entain’s Group Director of Corporate Affairs, the continued decline in taxes from virtual slot machine games is a clear indication that licensed operators are experiencing a consistent drop in revenue with more and more players turning to illegal platforms.

Agreeing with the findings of the study conducted by Dr. Gunther Shnabl of the University of Leipzig, Hurst declared that the GlüNeuRStv protections are not effective as they are only pushing customers to illegal providers.

Overly restrictive measures implemented in the regulated market serve as major deterrents to accessing legal gaming offers, and this has been observed since the GlüNeuRStv regime took effect in 2021, Hurst said.

With the black market flourishing in Germany, there is a need to review the GlüNeuRStv laws and fix what needs to be fixed. In particular, Entain is calling on the government to focus on customer protection and boosting the attractiveness of the legal market to encourage players to stick to licensed German gambling sites.

Committed to Working with GGL to Combat Black Market

German gambling regulator Glücksspiel (GGL) earlier released its own study on the GlüNeuRStv regime (Atlas Report on German Gambling – in German) which found that the illegal market only accounts for between 2% and 4% of German online gambling. The Shnabl research contradicts this.

Entain expressed willingness to work with GGL in curbing the black market, protecting players, and improving channelization.

Ella McDonald Author

Worldwide gambling related news stories are what you will find being written by Ella, she has a keen interest however in UK and European based new stories relating to all gaming environments, and she is always prepared to ask the difficult questions many other journalists avoiding asking those in power.

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