Germany is Europe’s largest market for gambling, with a total volume estimated at EUR 13.9 billion. Among the most popular games of chance are so-called fruit machines and lotteries. But the black market is huge, accounting for around 20 percent of gambling, experts say.
In response, Germany’s 16 federal states have agreed to liberalize the laws governing online games of chance and allow sports bet and games played with virtual machines.
In conjunction with this, a new national regulator will be created to ensure that users don’t wager more than EUR 1000 and that people with diagnosed gambling addiction don’t have access to the games.
Proponents of the rules changes say that they will generate additional state income and combat the black market. Critics worry about the increased risk of gambling addiction, particularly among young people.