Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg, the authority in charge of implementation of the state policy in Germany, have issued a letter to the German Football Association (DFB), strictly directing them to take down advertisements of gambling companies.
Many gambling companies from across Europe have active advertising deals with the German Football Association. To what sparked this strict and prompt actions from the authorities is the fact that the DFB made public its recent contract with Bwin a famous e-sports and gambling operator.
The letter indicates that the authorities are not happy with Bwin sponsoring DFB for the fact that the operator also provides online casino and slot games apart from sports betting. It reads: “The relevant case-law leaves no room for doubt as to the illegality of such offers” and “advertising for unlawful gambling is prohibited. The gambling supervisory authorities must work to prevent illegal gambling and advertising. ” The letter also warned that in case the DFB doesn’t cease to advertise its client, “there is a risk that the advertising of Bwin is prohibited altogether.”
A debate around advertising gambling and casino operators has been brewing in Germany for quite some time now. Earlier this week, the German authorities also issued letters to TV and radio operators to pull all gambling advertisements citing that the law prohibits airing any advertisement that promotes gambling or is associated with it.
Amidst calls for a ban on gambling advertisements picking up, it wouldn’t be easy for the German Football Association to either disregard the letters or dishonour the contracts with their advertising partners. The ban on gambling advertisement is not new in Europe as earlier this year Uk banned gambling ads targeting kid friendly sites and games.