Germany’s state lottery association the Deutscher Lotto- und Totoblock (DLTB) has reported a marginal decline in amounts wagered on lotteries for 2019.
Customers wagered €7.3bn (£6.2bn/$8.1bn) across Germany’s 16 state lotteries, representing a 1.2% year-on-year decline in stakes.
However Jürgen Hafner, managing director of Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz and current chair of the DLTB, said he was “very satisfied” with the result, suggesting that fluctuations in the Eurojackpot prizes on offer were to blame for the dip.
The Eurojackpot draw, which in 2018 saw sales increase 61%, suffered from a lack of large prize pots, resulting in a 14.4% decline in customer stakes. However Hafner said that this was to be expected after the prior year’s “extraordinary” growth.
In 2019, the Lotto 6aus49 game proved most popular with players. It alone accounted for almost half – €3.5bn – of all stakes, which Hafner described as a “good starting point” for a planned revamp of the product in 2020.
In autumn the game will be tweaked to offer more high jackpots, to be financed by an increase in ticket prices to €1.20 per line.
There was evidence that state lotteries were growing their online presence, with €651m-worth of tickets purchased online, an 11.6% year-on-year increase.
Hafner noted that state lotteries paid over €2.9bn in taxes and fees in 2019 – equal to around €8m per day, he added. DLTB funds are used for a range of social causes, such as welfare, sports and cultural initiatives, the preservation of monuments and environmental protection.
“These are funds that good causes in our country would have to do without if the state lottery companies did not exist,” he said.
Looking to the future, Hafner said that the current lottery monopoly was “a model for the future” that lawmakers currently working on developing new federal regulations should follow.
“Our responsible gaming safeguards perfectly satisfy the requirements of addiction prevention and player protection,” he said. “We are confident that an amendment to the 2021 State Treaty on Gaming will be based on this [model] with the agreement of all parties.”
While lawmakers committed to overhauling gambling regulations last year, there have been no public updates on progress towards a new model. This is due to come into force from 30 June, 2021, with the third amended State Treaty – allowing a restricted version of sports betting, taxed on turnover – implemented from January 2020 as a placeholder.
He added that lottery betting, an ongoing target for the DLTB, must remain prohibited under any future incarnation of the State Treaty. Lottery betting operators are guilty of “product piracy”, Hafner claimed, adding that they pay virtually no taxes and do not support good causes in the country.