Approximately one in thirteen gamblers develop problem gambling behavior, according to the “Gambling Atlas Germany 2023: Numbers, data, facts”, presented yesterday in Berlin by Burkhard Blienert, the Commissioner on Narcotic Drugs at the Federal Ministry of Health.
In the wake of the report’s findings, revealing that 4.6 million adults suffer from gambling addiction or are considered at-risk gamblers, the government minister insisted on stricter measures extending to a ban on sports betting TV ads before 11 pm.
Of the 4.6 million adults, nearly 1.3 million are afflicted by gambling disorders, while the other 3.3 million exhibit initial indications of gambling addiction. The report’s figures further demonstrate a reduced rate of 30% of Germans gambling in 2021, as opposed to 55% in 2007. However, 7.7% of adults develop health, social, and financial problems attributable to addiction to slots, sports betting, and other gambling products. The report unveiled that in many of the cases the implications are severe, with families falling apart and livelihoods being lost.
During the presentation of the report, Commissioner Blienert further added that “gambling rarely makes participants happy”, while Christina Rummel of the German Center for Addiction Issues (DHS) defined gambling as a “disease”.
The Government Report Manifests Clearly All Aspects of Problem Gambling
The 2023 report is based on data collected in 2021 and backed by scientific publications by experts at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Addiction and Drug Research in Hamburg, the Gambling Research Department at the University of Bremen, and the German Center for Addiction Issues in Hamm.
The comprehensive study classified gambling addiction as “excessive and destructive participation” in gambling leading to social isolation, financial troubles, and loss of control.
The Gambling Atlas further revealed that the most susceptible groups of society included young individuals aged 21 to 35, as well as people struggling with alcohol addictions and psychological disorders. Dr. Tobias Hayer, head of the Gambling Research Unit at the University of Bremen, added that migrants also fell within the social groups at particular risk.
Additionally, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic aggravated the situation, according to the report, with many vulnerable individuals feeling isolated and enduring financial constraints.
Besides the allure of slots and table games, the report examined the fast-paced growth of sports betting, with football providing favorable conditions for gambling addictions. This is the sector that came under closer scrutiny by Commissioner Blienert, who called for stricter measures concerning sports betting ads on TV.
The report concluded with figures revealing a gross gaming revenue totaling €13.4 billion, bolstered by €4.8 billion from slot machines, €4.1 billion from lottery products, and €1.4 billion from sports betting, while the taxes collected from legal gambling operators in Germany reached €5.2 billion in 2022.
Ultimately, the Gambling Atlas Germany 2023 was regarded as not only a clear representation of the gambling addictions landscape in Germany but also as a guide for politicians, healthcare professionals, and gambling experts to devise a coordinated approach to the problem.