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Itinerary finalised for Federal Congress on Gaming and Gambling in Germany

| By iGB Editorial Team
Lootboxes, unlicensed gaming and state lotteries among topics to be covered at October event.
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This year’s Federal Congress on Gaming and Gambling in Germany, organised by iGB’s partner Glueckspielwesen.de, will take place in Berlin at Maritim Hotel proArte on 4-5 October.

The conference will assess the political situation regarding gambling in Germany and across Europe and discuss a number of important questions, including the regulation of online gambling, player protection and the current land-based situation.

Elsewhere, speakers will debate when the first online casinos are expected go live under the Interstate Treaty on Gambling and who will lead the way: NRW, Hesse or some other Länder? They will also cover other topics such as lootboxes and influencer-marketing, and who has the say here – Germany or the EU? Two assessments (one on the Gaming Ordinance and one on the Interstate Treaty) are upcoming – what answers can providers and the regulatory authorities furnish? 

An evening reception will take place on 4 October, at which many interesting discussion partners will be present. The congress proper gets underway on 5 October.

The full agenda is:

Wednesday, 4 October 2023: evening reception 

17:30 Admission and registration 

18:00 Welcome address 

Uwe Proll, editor in chief and publisher, Behörden Spiegel 

18:15 Keynote 

Georg Stecker, spokesman of the executive board, Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft 

Thursday, 5 October 2023: Congress 

09:00-09:10 Welcome address

– Robert Hess, senior consultant, Behörden Spiegel 

09:10-09:30 Opening speech

– Burkhard Blienert, commissioner of the federal government for addiction and drug issues 

09:30-10:45 Opening Discussion

Since 1 January 2023, regulation of online gaming has undergone fundamental changes. Terrestrial gaming/gambling is still on offer. Where do we stand and where is there a need for modification? 


– Sebastian Buchholz, head of department licences and supervision legal gambling, GGL 

– Mathias Dahms, president, Deutscher Sportwettenverband 

– Simon Priglinger-Simader, vice-president, Deutscher Online Casino Verband 

– Georg Stecker, spokesman of the executive board, Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft 

– Georg Wacker, managing director, Lotto Baden-Württemberg (digital) 

Break for coffee

11:00-12:00 Combatting unlawful gaming

Whether it be unlicensed gambling on the internet or illegal slot machines in bars and pubs – in spite of all efforts to date, there do not seem to be any prospects of eliminating the black market. How big the black market really is and how to strengthen the legal market to counter it remains an exciting question lying in the field of tension between “the attractiveness of legal offers” and “player protection”. 


– Daniel Fritz, senior economist, Düsseldorf Competition Economics 

– Regierungsdirektor Hans-Peter Kalenberg, ministry of the interior NRW, Gambling Officer 

– Manfred Stoffers, member of the board, Gauselmann AG 

– Nadja Wierzejewski, head of department combating illicit gambling and files, GGL 

– Jörg Zehender, lawyer, business law firm Rybak.Zehender. 


13:00-14:15 Lootboxes and Responsible Gaming

Lootboxes, which have become omnipresent in the gaming sector, and the debate surrounding their regulation have become more salient this year. At the same time, the gaming market is one of the most innovative industries in Europe. So how does one strike a balance between protecting young people from the dangers of addiction and promoting the industry? We will be discussing which problems need to be addressed at the European and German levels as well as potential solutions. 


– Urim Bajrami, lawyer, Stadler Völkel law firm 

– Dr Lennart Brüggemann, lawyer, HLB Schumacher Hallermann law firm 

– Fabian Gramling, member of the Bundestag, CDU/CSU parliamentary group (digital statement) 

– Linda Heitmann, member of the Bundestag, Bündnis 90/die Grünen (digital) 

– Lena Werner, member of the Bundestag, SPD Parliamentary Group 

– Dr Andreas Woerlein, lawyer, Melchers law firm 

Break for coffee 

14:45-15:45 Parallel Forums

14:45-15:45 Forum 1: Online gambling and advertising

As recently as April, the federal government commissioner on drugs and addiction published a study commissioned by him, according to which more than half of Germans favour a ban on advertising of sports betting. This is a clear indication that advertising of gambling is a very sensitive issue and that there is a great need for a discussion involving all stakeholders. This is indeed a fascinating topic that needs to be de-emotionalised. After all, how are players supposed to find what they are looking for in the way of legal services on offer without advertising? 


– Sebastian Buchholz, head of department licences and supervision legal gambling, GGL 

– Mathias Dahms, president, German Sports Betting Association 

– Dr Wulf Hambach, lawyer, Hambach&Hambach law firm 

– Dr Tobias Hayer, gambling researcher, University of Bremen (digital) 

– Dr Jörg Pietsch, head of the working staff at the federal government commissioner on addiction and drug issues 

– Tobias Krull, member of the Landtag Saxony-Anhalt, chairman of the CDU Saxony-Anhalt local politics aassociation 

– Dr Simon Planzer, lawyer, senior fellow in gaming law, University St Gallen 

Forum 2: Malta Bill 55 

With the amendment of the Maltese Gaming Act, the Maltese government is trying to protect its domestic gambling industry from monetary claims from abroad. In this forum we discuss, among other things, the question of how compatible Bill 55 is with European law. 


– Claus Retschitzegger, president of the Österreichischen Vereinigung für Wetten und Glücksspiel 

– Dr Benedikt M Quarch MA, co-founder and managing director of the RightNow Group 

– Sabine Verhegen, Mmember of the European parliament (requested) 

Evaluation of the Gaming Ordinance and the Interstate Treaty 15:45-17:00 

An initial assessment and stock-taking of the Interstate Treaty 2021 is scheduled for the end of this year. We would like to venture a sneak preview a few months beforehand to see if some key issues that still need to be addressed in the Interstate Treaty can already be identified. The second assessment, which is being eagerly awaited focuses on the Gaming Ordinance, which will play a crucial future role when it comes to terrestrial services on offer in gaming halls and gastronomy. 


– Professor Dr Gerhard Bühringer, addiction researcher, TU Dresden (digital) 

– Professor Dr Tilman Becker, Stuttgart 

– Dr Tobias Hayer, gambling researcher, University of Bremen Institute for Public Health and Care Research (digital) 

– Christian Reidel, lawyer, former public prosecutor and judge 

– Georg Stecker, spokesman of the board, Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft 

More details can be found here (in German)