German lottery sales dip in 2021 despite online growth

| By Robin Harrison
The German public spent €7.9bn buying lottery tickets in 2021, a marginal decline from the prior year, though online sales continued to increase.

The figures from the German State Lottery Association (DLTB) show that €3.2bn was generated for the public good through stakes and duties, equating to around €8.8m per day. This is allocated to welfare programmes, sport, cultural activities, monument preservation and environmental protection.

Axel Holthaus, joint managing director of Toto-Lotto Niedersachsen, which took on the chairmanship of the DLTB from 1 January this year, said the results were satisfactory, in the face of prize pool fluctuations and fewer jackpot cycles.

Over the year, the Lotto 6aus49 game remained the most popular, accounting for €4.0bn, or 50.6%, of sales across all channels. This was aided by a change to the draw formula, which resulted in higher prizes across all categories and bigger jackets. 

Eurojackpot, the pan-European lottery game, also drew in players, accounting for €1.4bn (17.7%) of sales. This was down year-on-year, however, as a result of shorter jackpot phases resulting in lower prize pools.

Despite this dip in total sales, online ticket sales were up 7.8% year-on-year to €985m. This, Holthaus’s joint managing director Sven Osthoff said, was evidence that DLTB members were able to fulfil their duty of channeling gambling to regulated portals. 

These efforts, he added, were aided further by the implementation of the new State Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStV) from 1 July 2021.

“The comprehensive political consensus supporting the 2021 State Treaty on Gambling is a success, as otherwise there would have been a patchwork of gambling regulations, with a detrimental effect on the protection of players and minors,” Osthoff explained.

On beginning Toto-Lotto Niedersachsen’s three-year tenure leading the DLTB, replacing Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz, Holthaus said one of its key priorities would be to improve lottery products that pool players across states, to better compete against the expanding igaming market. 

Osthoff added: “We look forward to being able to use our digital expertise to aid the DLTB. It is important to sustain the goals of serving the common good through this digital transformation.”

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