The Gambling Atlas report, based on 2021 data, indicates that about one-third of German adults partake in some form of gambling. This is a decrease from the 55% figure reported in 2007, but the report also reveals concerning statistics.
Commissioner Burkhard Blienert presented the report, which was a collaboration between the Institute for Interdisciplinary Addiction and Drug Research in Hamburg, the German Centre for Addiction Issues, and the University of Bremen’s Gambling Research Department. It found that 7.7% of German adults over the age of 18 experience social, financial, or health distress due to gambling addiction, amounting to around 1.3 million adults. Additionally, 3.3 million adults are showing early signs of potential gambling addiction.
The report also highlighted that young adults and men aged 21 to 35, those with psychological disorders, heavy alcohol consumers, and migrants are more susceptible to developing gambling problems. The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the rise in gambling addicts, especially among those who faced isolation and financial difficulties.
The report also noted the increase in live sports betting as a contributing factor to gambling addiction, particularly in the context of partnerships between betting companies and German football associations and clubs. Commissioner Blienert called for restrictions on gambling advertising, including a TV ban prior to 11 pm. This despite the industry generating €13.4 billion in 2022 and €5.2 billion in tax revenue in 2021.
In September, Germany’s gambling regulator announced measures to protect online players from gambling addiction, while the National Parliament was also considering regulations on loot boxes in video games to mitigate the risk of gambling addiction.
The association of sports betting providers in Germany criticized the misinterpretation of data from a 2021 Gambling Survey. The Deutsche Sportwettenverband questioned how the media presented the number of problem gamblers.
The report sheds light on the prevalence of gambling addiction in Germany and the need for measures to protect vulnerable individuals from its harmful effects.