Achtung Maybe, German Gambling Numbers Down Yet Harms Persist

The number of active players in German gambling has declined to 30 percent of the population from the 55 percent recorded in 2007. Yet 1.3 million citizens of the EU’s biggest nation are at risk from their gambling addiction.

So says a comprehensive report on gambling–Glücksspielatlas Deutschland 2023: Numbers, Data, Facts, “Gambling Atlas of Germany”–published today by the Drogenbeauftragter, the Federal Drug Commissioner of the Bundestag.

According to the report, some 2.3 percent of Germany’s 83.2 million people–or approximately 7.7 percent of the country’s gambling population–are addicted to betting and are at risk.

The Atlas, co-authored by researchers from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Addiction and Drug Research in Hamburg and the Gambling Research Unit at the University of Bremen, with the support of the German Centre for Addiction Issues, is the first academic study into the social impact of gambling since Germany launched its Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling, the GlüNeuRStv, on July 1 2021, which now regulates iGaming across Germany’s 16 federal states.

The Gambling Atlas estimates that, as of 2021, 30 percent of the population in Germany participates in gambling, a significant decline from the 55 percent reported in 2007.

Addiction to slots is the biggest problem facing the German betting industry, says the report, claiming that 40 percent of slot machine players “have a gambling disorder”.

And the report goes on to say that in the past five-years there’s been a big increase in iGamers seeking treatment or help for their gambling addiction.

“[From the outset, hardly anyone is aware of the high risk of addiction – not even in politics,” said Dr Burkhard Blienert, the Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction.

“We urgently need more effective measures against illegal slot machines and online gaming. Especially in sports betting.

“Stricter advertising limits should be imposed as soon as possible.”

“The Gambling Atlas,” said Dr Blienert, “is [a good] basis for discussion on the correct way to address gambling and its consequences.”

“[We all share] the common goal of weakening the illegal gambling market, as well as ensuring player and youth protection, and preventing gambling addiction,” affirmed the commissioner.

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