German health body demands 9pm watershed for TV and online ads

By Zak Thomas-Akoo

A German health body, the Federal Centre for Health and Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung/BZgA) has warned of the rise in online gambling advertising, calling for a 9pm watershed on gambling advertising, including online ads.

The federal government commissioner for addiction and drug issues, Burkhard Blienert, critiqued the rise in gambling ads:

“Advertising for online gambling and sports betting is spreading at breakneck speed. This trend is concerning because hundreds of thousands of people already have problem gambling or are even addicted,” he said.

The commissioner also outlined a watershed policy recommendation.

“I urge countries to stop advertising such offers. In plain language, there should be no more sports betting advertising before 9pm on the TV or on the internet.”

The news comes in the wake of the regime created by country’s fourth State Treaty on gambling. The treaty created the provisions for the regulated national online casino market, on top of the existing online sports betting market.

Acting director of the BZgA, Professor Martin Dietrich, said: “There is a particularly high risk of addiction from gambling offers on the internet: they are available at all times and lure people with high winnings,” he said. “The supposed prospect of quick profits makes online sports betting particularly popular.”

He elaborated on the importance of raising awareness on this topic:

“That is why it is so important to raise awareness of the risks of gambling and to take countermeasures in good time. We support this with our offers, for example an online program that supports changes in gambling behaviour.”

According to data from the BZgA gambling survey, there are around 229,000 problem gamblers and 200,000 compulsive gamblers in the Federal Republic.

In 2021, German sports betting operator association DSWV rejected calls from a state minister to ban all forms of gambling adverting in Germany.

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