The German betting market expected to become one of the dominant markets in Europe

Article by Martin Oelbermann

New study indicates that the size of the German betting market will grow from currently Euro 2.2 billion to about Euro 5 billion by 2010.

In its new study the consulting company MECN examines the fast growing German betting market in detail and addresses many open questions about this industry sector.
In part the study is based on the results of a survey among industry experts conducted earlier this year.

News reports about the German betting market are arriving daily in unprecedented numbers and with every passing day the betting sector moves further into the limelight of public interest. Market experts expect a further decisive milestone early in 2006 when Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court will finally set the course either for „enormous growth or for a return to the old model.“

In other words, it is time to analyse this sector closely and replace speculation with information. Martin Oelbermann, director of MECN, adds: „Up to now, the betting industry in Germany has been one of the great unknowns, and there was only sketchy information available about its size, structure, and relevant providers.“
MECN‘s new study therefore addresses some of the most important issues:

  • The betting market currently accounts for about 5%-10% of the total German gambling market (ca. Euro 30 billion – based on handle).
  • German betting providers (both statecontrolled and privately operated) currently achieve betting stakes totaling an estimated Euro 2.2 billion annually, and the industry experts surveyed anticipate that this figure will grow to ca. Euro 5 billion annually by 2010 (see fig. 1).
  • More than 70% of betting sales are realized by private operators.
  • The number of private betting offices isgrowing rapidly; their number is currentlyestimated at about 2,500.
  • The legal status of the private providers continues to be complicated and far fromclear. The Federal Constitutional Court isexpected to render a landmark decisionearly in 2006.

The future development of the market and potential scenarios all depend on that court decision. As Martin Oelbermann explains: „Although many experts anticipate the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision to be a rather liberal one, nothing is known for sure yet. Starting this fall, both state-controlled and private providers will focus all their energy on lobbying.“ Clearly, suspense and excitement still characterize this market, which is well worth a closer analysis.

The study essentially targets betting companies (state-controlled and private) as well as businesses that consider entering the German betting market. The report can be ordered at

Figure 1 Development of betting turnover in Germany, 2004 - 2010

Contact: Martin Oelbermann, Tel: +49(0)89 3835 6785, e-mail: