GGL issues warning against illegal betting ahead of Euro 2024

GGL states that participating in illegal gambling not only constitutes a criminal offence but also increases the risk of developing addiction.

European Football Championship
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The Joint Gambling Authority of the German States (GGL), in collaboration with Federal Drug Commissioner Burkhard Blienert, has issued a warning about the risks of participating in illegal online sports betting during the 2024 European Football Championship.

The GGL emphasised that such sites do not comply with legally prescribed measures designed to protect against gambling addiction and to safeguard minors.

Engaging in illegal gambling therefore not only constitutes a criminal offence but also significantly increases the risk of developing a gambling addiction.

Ronald Benter, GGL CEO, stated: "We ensure that legal sports betting providers comply with the legal requirements for the protection of players. It is therefore important to find out about the options for legal gambling before taking part in a game.

“At the same time, together with other institutions, we are also fighting illegal gambling offers and advertising in order to ensure the prevention of gambling addiction and the protection of players and young people."

Burkhard Blienert, the Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues, added: "With illegal sports betting, youth and player protection in particular falls completely flat, which can mean an increased risk of addiction.

“Together with the GGL, it is our task to provide more information and transparency and to protect players. To do this, however, we still need a sharp legal sword in order to be able to take action against illegal betting providers.”

The GGL is advocating for an amendment to the Criminal Code to allow for the prosecution of illegal gambling, arguing that the planned deletion of the paragraph concerning illegal gambling from the Criminal Code would hinder efforts to combat it.

Instead, the GGL suggests extending the paragraph to include foreign-based illegal gambling providers. The GGL board has called for this clarification in a letter to Federal Minister of Justice Dr. Buschmann.

Additionally, the GGL plans to tighten its supervision regarding compliance with sports betting advertising regulations during the European Football Championship – a move that coincides with GGL’s recently commissioned research into the impact of gambling advertising on the population.

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