German casino group DSbV (Deutscher Spielbankenverband) has highlighted growth of eight per cent for Germany’s casinos so far in 2022, confirming that it expects ‘results as before the pandemic in 2019.’
Kerstin Kosanke, CEO of the German Casino Association DSbV, said she is optimistic about the rest of 2022.
“Just as the home office became too cramped for many, our guests also take the opportunity to experience gambling as a social coexistence again after the opening of the casinos,” she said. “Although it was still marked by the pandemic at the beginning, there are signs that the figures from 2019 are achievable. In the first quarter, earnings were already almost eight per cent higher than in the first three months of 2019. That gives serious hope. For the remaining months, we expect gross player revenue to return to 2019 levels. This shows that the casino brand has come through the crisis well and that quality pays off. It was right to keep our employees in the houses.”
Kosanke expects a development similar to that in tourism. “Travelling is also starting again. People want to get out again and use the freedom they have regained to do something with others. Home office is a bridging strategy to master emergencies. It’s similar with gambling. Home gaming was a way out in the Corona era. But if you appreciate ambience, lifestyle and gaming culture, you will come back to the stationary casinos.”
This confidence is supported by forecasts such as those of the Goldmedia institute, which see a “V-trend” upwards, with the proviso that such assumptions have a degree of uncertainty. Kosanke sees locational advantages of brick-and-mortar casinos over online gambling, which are also increasingly on the legal agenda: “In public casinos, there are no such long legal disputes about repayments of losses,” she explained.
Recently, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt dealt with claims for repayment of losses by an unlicensed online casino. Previously, the Regional Court of Giessen had spoken in the matter. Ms Kosanke explained: “Repayment procedures are increasingly being judged positively for players in court. This shows growing uncertainty towards gambling providers on the Internet without a permit, which do not offer reliability in gaming processes and financial transactions such as licensed casinos.”
Kosanke has announced an initial assessment of the new State Treaty on Gambling with regard to online offers for the second half of the year: “However, we must always differentiate between unauthorized providers and those who will have a license in the future on the basis of the new State Treaty on Gambling. Here, the states are called upon to act far-sightedly and to flank the stationary game with a sensitive state policy of licensing.”
For example, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has agreed by law to grant a maximum of five licences for online casinos only in its territory. In Thuringia, the state itself will offer games, as these will then be manipulation-free and moderate, according to the state government.