Published: March 14, 2024

German regulator continues to defend gambling survey

The regulator took part in the twentieth edition of the Symposium on Gambling at the University of Hohenheim.

Germany.- Controversy remains over the gambling harm survey conducted by the German gambling regulator, GGL. Board member Ronald Benter recently attended the twentieth edition of the Symposium on Gambling at the University of Hohenheim and stressed the importance of scientific findings.

He said: “Scientific findings are the basis of political and social debates. The need for further regulations must be based on facts and figures. An essential part of our tasks as a regulatory authority is therefore the promotion and initiation of gambling research. Despite the comparatively short existence of our authority, we have already achieved a lot here.”

The GGL has commissioned studies worth €1.39m since it began operating as the German gambling regulator. They include a study on gambling advertising awarded to Eye Square.

The GGL says it has sufficient data to make assessments of Germany’s gambling market since the implementation of new legislation in 2021. It said: “Together with other scientific studies to implement the player protection measures and to record relevant developments in the gambling market, a solid, data-driven foundation was created for the evaluation of the GlüStV 2021 and for future regulatory decisions.”

However, one particular study has been questioned because of a change in methodology. The Gambling Survey of 2023 raised concerns after predicting that the number of people addicted to gambling in the country more than tripled in five years. The study, announced by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, estimates that 1.3 million German adults are addicted to gambling. That compares to 400,000 in 2019.

The industry group DSWV has called for the methodologies of the survey to be reviewed by an independent body to ensure findings reflect a scientific basis. DSWV and statistician Katharina Schüller argued that there had been a “disregard for scientific critiques and lack of information on the study’s limitations”.

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