The Billion-Dollar Potential of Sports Betting

Soccer Fans


Over nine billion euros have bet players in 2019 on sporting events. Many believe that their expertise can predict outcomes. And become addicted.

There are over 180,000 pathological gamblers in Germany. This is the figure of a representative survey conducted by the Federal Centre for Health Education in 2017.

The market for sports betting is gigantic

The data on how many people are specifically addicted to sports betting was not collected. After all, seven percent of respondents stated that they had participated in sports betting once in their lives. This corresponds to around four million Germans.

The entry usually takes place through the interest in the sport. Horse lovers bet on horse racing. Football fans to their favorite club. The market for sports betting is gigantic. It gave rise to eat-and-run verification sites to protect players from fraudulent sportsbooks online.

According to official figures from the German Football League, players worldwide bet 40 billion euros on the German Bundesliga alone in 2018. The turnover of sports betting in Germany has been rising for years. In 2013 it was just under four billion euros, in 2017 it had already doubled to almost eight billion. Finally, in 2019, players in Germany bet a little more than 9.3 billion euros in sports betting. These figures are based on the values of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Online sports betting and internet casinos are allowed under conditions from March 2021

Internet business is particularly treacherous: it satisfies addicts’ need to maintain their arousal by betting quickly and over again. Within seconds, they can bet on events of a running game: on the next corner, the next yellow card, and the next goal.

For a long time, Internet gambling was banned in Germany. That’s why the providers acquired their license abroad and paid taxes there – concessions in Malta or Gibraltar are popular. In autumn March 2020, after years of tough wrangling, the federal states agreed on the “third gambling amendment state treaty”. It is intended to allow online sports betting and casinos on the Internet under certain conditions. In addition, it allows more than the previously approved 20 gambling providers. The new treaty is scheduled to enter into force in mid-2021.

With the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling, advertising for sports betting with active athletes and officials will be inadmissible. This is stated in the first section of the treaty under paragraph 5, article 3.

The main points of the new State Treaty on Gambling

  • Online live betting should be limited.
  • Sports betting providers must ensure that minors cannot sign up and bet.
  • The deposit limit of a player is to be limited to 1,000 euros per month – across all providers.
  • For this purpose, a central cross-provider lock file is to be set up.
  • A gambling authority based in Saxony-Anhalt is to monitor these new rules.

ALSO READ: Most Played Types of Online Slot Games

Federal states earn with

Certain sports betting offers are legal in Germany: Products of the German Lotto and Totoblock, Oddset.

For each sports bet in Germany, the providers must pay a five percent betting tax. These revenues are distributed among the Länder. Baden-Württemberg earned a good 56 million euros in 2018, five years earlier it was only 32 million. Rhineland-Palatinate was also able to almost double its income from sports betting within five years. In 2013 it was 19 million euros, in 2018 already 33 million.

The federal states do not take action against sports betting providers. You earn with it.

Betting providers – sponsors for top German teams

Countless clubs today have betting providers as sponsors and consequently their logo on the jersey.

The providers of sports betting know how to sweeten the entry into gambling for new customers. They lure them with gifts. Almost everyone offers a 100 euros bonus, some lure with up to 500 euros. The principle is simple: If you bet 100 euros, you get 100 euros on top.

In addition, the sports betting providers suggest that “real experts” could even earn money with betting. But numerous studies have shown that it makes no difference whether laymen or experts type. It remains a matter of luck.

The Misconception of Being in Control of the Game

Nevertheless, bookmakers promise that players with good expertise can earn money when betting on sports results. According to a study by the German Sport University Cologne, particularly active athletes are subject to this misconception.

After years of negotiations, the federal states seem to have agreed on a state treaty on gambling with binding requirements. It is due to enter into force in 2020. In addition, education is important – especially in sports clubs.

Gambling addicts do not stand out

Gamblers do not smell alcohol, have no empty beer bottles in the locker, and no pinpricks in their arms. They usually have a high school diploma and are at work. They can hide their addiction from relatives and friends for a long time. And accumulate an average of 25,000 euros in debt, as Dr. Wolfgang Kursawe from the Gambling Addiction Unit reports.

Education is important

Especially in sports clubs, education is important. There, the entry into addiction often takes place, when tips and forecasts about the performance of the favorite clubs are exchanged after the sport in a sociable round. Because if you bet regularly, it can develop into pathological behavior.

So far, only the Federal Centre for Health Education offers brochures on the subject: in German, Russian, Turkish, and some other languages. With a questionnaire on the net, everyone can determine for themselves whether their betting behavior is already problematic.