Published: February 26, 2024

GERMANY: LOTTO talk in the tower: Special discussions on the future of gambling in Germany

The speakers of the evening at LOTTO-Talk were Burkhard Blienert, Axel Holthaus, Nadja Wierzejewski, Sven Osthoff, Ronald Benter and presenter Ute Welty.

Hosted by Toto-Lotto Niedersachsen GmbH's managing director Axel Holthaus.  for the third time in a row, the LOTTO Talk in the Tower took place on February 22, 2024 under the motto “Quo vadis gambling?” on the viewing floor of the Berlin television tower. High above the federal capital, top-class speakers and guests from politics and business discussed current topics in the gaming industry at the invitation of LOTTO Niedersachsen, currently the leading company in the German Lotto and Toto Block (DLTB), and its Berlin office.

In the first round of discussions, Burkhard Blienert, Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues, and Ronald Benter, Chairman of the Joint Gaming Authority of the States, discussed current developments in the gaming sector. The two agreed that the fight against illegal gambling while simultaneously strengthening legal offerings in the sense of the regulatory framework was essential. This is the only way to meet the goals set out in Section 1 of the GlüStV 2021 and to ensure comprehensive protection of young people and players. An important instrument for combating the black market and related crime is criminal prosecution, which is why sections 284 ff. of the Criminal Code were advocated for.

The President of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Holger Münch, highlighted an increase in proceedings in connection with financial crime in a subsequent live interview with presenter and political journalist Ute Welty. Money laundering, including in connection with crypto currencies, is a growing challenge for the responsible authorities.

LOTTO Lower Saxony's managing director Axel Holthaus emphasized in the second round of discussion with Nadja Wierzejewski, department head of the states' joint gaming authority, that the volume of the illegal gaming market in Germany is based on estimates - no one knows the actual volume.

“Our current regulation does not lead to significantly less channeling,” says Holthaus. “Illegal market participants should not be a driver for the withdrawal of regulation in Germany.”

The two talk guests also agreed that the upcoming evaluation of the GlüStV 2021 would make it clear how the protective mechanisms for comprehensive player and youth protection work, especially in forms of gambling with an increased risk potential.

“For lotteries, the regulatory guidelines for player and youth protection have been clear for 75 years. We are pleased that the effects of the new legal regulations will be assessed on an evidence-based basis and that possible undesirable developments will be countered.”

, explains Sven Osthoff, Managing Director of LOTTO Lower Saxony.

As a conclusion to the evening, Holthaus emphasized:

“What is important in the fight against illegality is a good, effective exchange between all players in the gaming industry. We all have an interest in a legally secure area in the sense of player and youth protection. Because ultimately it’s about the most important thing: our customers.”


The Berliner Fernsehturm was transformed into Germany's largest lottery ball for one evening on February 22, 2024

The #Zukunft of gambling moved speakers and guests at the expert discussion at LOTTO® - Talk im Turm, to which the German Lotto and Totoblock (DLTB) had invited. After the welcome by the lead, Sven Osthoff and Axel Holthaus from Toto-Lotto Niedersachsen GmbH, the political journalist Ute Welty moderated the discussion rounds on current developments in the gambling sector and the fight against illegal gambling. Among those present were Burkhard Blienert, Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues, as well as Ronald Benter and Nadja Wierzejewski from the Joint Gambling Authority of the Länder (GGL). The significance of the legal state lottery offers and framework conditions for success in the #Zukunft were discussed. Last year, a total of 3.28 billion euros was generated for the #Gemeinwohl by all 16 state lottery companies that belong to the German Lotto and Totoblock. That's 9 million euros every day, which are available for social affairs, sport, art and culture, monument preservation and environmental protection!
BKA President Holger Münch impressed with his impulses via live link. Growing challenges in the fight against illegal gambling are the increasing international and digital crime in terms of money laundering, including in connection with cryptocurrencies. During the round of talks, we received the latest decision on the location of the new European money laundering authority AMLA in Frankfurt am Main. This is a #Gewinn, according to Münch, because the proximity to this authority can be an advantage. When asked by Ute Welty what he would like to see in order to get illegal gambling under control, the answer was: "an asset investigation law and the possibility of being able to secure large suspicious amounts of money even without committing a crime."
The event "Quo vadis gambling?" was enriched by the content of the intensive expert discussion and the guests from the gambling industry, members of the Bundestag, representatives of supervisory authorities and ministries. After the talks, the observation deck with the new bar in the Berliner Fernsehturm provided an excellent ambience for discussions about #Chancen for the #Zukunft of legal gambling in small groups. It was nice to meet people who are passionately committed to our business model with a focus on #Gemeinwohl.

Many thanks to the Berlin office of the DLTB with Ulrike HillerJulia Schneider and Patricia Raatz for organizing the LOTTO® - Talk in the Tower, for the third time in a row a successful event!
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