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DLTB hails “crisis proof” German lottery performance in 2020

| By Robin Harrison
Germany’s state lottery association the Deutscher Lotto und Totoblock (DLTB) has revealed that amounts wagered on the vertical grew year-on-year in 2020, resulting in €3.10bn (£2.80bn/$3.82bn) being returned to state governments through duties and taxes.

For the 12 months to 31 December, Germans staked €7.90bn across the country’s 16 state lotteries, an 8.2% improvement on the €7.30bn of tickets sold in 2019

“The 16 German state lottery companies proved to be crisis-proof and reliable during the 2020 [novel coronavirus (Covid-19)] pandemic,” said current DLTB chair and managing director of Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz Jürgen Häfner. 

“This good annual result shows that are gaming offerings are as popular with participants as before – despite numerous points of sale having to close temporarily during the pandemic.

“Many customers compensated for these closures, for example, by submitting multi-week tickets and using our online offers.”

As usual, the most popular game was Lotto 6aus49, with sales of €3.98bn, exceeding 2019’s total of €3.50bn, or more than half of all lottery stakes. This, Häfner said, was aided by increased prizes on offer, resulting in a slight increase in ticket prices to €1.20 that came into effect from 23 September. 

The pan-European Eurojackpot game also enjoyed a strong year, with stakes growing more than 18% to €1.47bn, after a weaker performance in 2019. Häfner said this reflected a series of long-running jackpot cycles, of more than €90m.

The shut-down of retail venues also saw increased spending online, with customers buying €913m in tickets through state lotteries’ local websites, up 40.2% year-on-year. It also meant that digital sales accounted for 11.6% of lottery stakes for the year. 

This was accompanied by increased visitation to Lotto.de, the DLTB’s service and information portal.

Germany’s gambling market is set for major changes in 2021, with the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) due to come into force from July. While this opens up the market to online casino as well as sports betting – something the DLTB has fought in the past – Häfner welcomed the treaty’s introduction. 

“We see the new regulations as confirming and strengthening Germany’s lottery monopoly – which operates for in the public interest – and expect that it will help suppress the illegal online market,” he said. 

The DLTB would continue to offer a “moderate” form of gambling, to ensure it continued to make returns to good causes across the country. 

From its 2020 sales, DLTB members generated €3.10bn for state coffers, up 6.9% year-on-year and equating to more than €8.6m going to good causes each day. More than 145 players, meanwhile, won sums of €1m and above during 2020. 

“This is money that benefits the common good in our country and without it, many projects in the areas of welfare, sport and culture as well as in the preservation of monuments and in environmental protection would not be possible in all federal states,” Häfner added.

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