GGL player protection strategy endorsed by German Addiction Commissioner

ZEAL progressing towards FY23 strategic objectives and financial targets

The Drogenbeauftragter, the Drug Addiction Commissioner of the Bundestag, has endorsed the player protection strategy of Glücksspiel (GGL), Germany’s Federal Gambling Authority.

Last week, the GGL board submitted its ‘player protection brochure’ to Drogenbeauftragter Chief Commissioner Burkhard Blienert.

The brochure outlined GGL’s strategic efforts to strengthen player protection and addiction prevention safeguards under Germany’s Fourth Interstate Treaty on the Gambling market (GlüNeuRStv).

Blienert has previously expressed concerns about German public health statistics which detailed “that around 1.4 million people in Germany are addicted to gambling – and millions more are at risk.”

The discussion tabled a comprehensive strategy for safeguarding players, particularly the youth, from the potential perils of gambling addiction.

The GGL maintains its year-one objectives of developing ‘shared approaches’ with German healthcare agencies, focused on new developments in the early detection of gambling addiction.

Regarding market threats, the brochure highlighted the GGL’s “approaches and successes in combating illegal gambling,” in which the regulator seeks to diminish the illegal gambling market.

Yet, noted as a point of conflict, the GGL highlighted inconsistent methodologies employed by online gambling operators in gathering data about the illegal gambling sector’s scope.

Drogenbeauftragter has supported GGL’s strategy, in which Blienert stated, “Because the suffering is so great, we need a good and reliably financed aid system. We really need to take action, especially when it comes to illegal gambling.”

“The more uncompromisingly it regulates the cross-border gambling market in Germany, the better the protection of players and minors will be. It’s good that the authority is already evaluating the 2021 State Treaty on Gambling and is explicitly focusing on possible gaps.”

On protections, board member Benjamin Schwanke highlighted the importance of the Federal Center for Health Education’s (BZgA) telephone advice center, crucial to addiction prevention efforts, and reassured continued support for such initiatives.

“We agree that the telephone advice center of the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) should continue to be available to people with gambling problems as an important component in the prevention of gambling addiction. We are currently working intensively on this,” Schwanke commented.