Germany’s northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein is to introduce new self-imposed advertising limits relating to online operators licensed within the state, after critics claimed a “massive increase in gambling advertising” in the past few weeks.

The Ministry of the Interior, Rural Areas, Integration and Equal Opportunities of the State of Schleswig-Holstein has agreed with the German Association for Telecommunications and Media and the Central Association of the German Advertising Industry on a self-regulatory model to ensure proportionate nationwide TV advertising of online casino provider’s licensed in Schleswig-Holstein.

“The Schleswig-Holstein gambling regulation allows nationwide advertising of the online casinos approved by the federal state in order to ensure adequate channelling of the authorised players from Schleswig-Holstein,” commented Bernd Nauen, general manager of the ZAW.

“However, the advertising must be both proportional and appropriate to the regional advertising on site. This is what the self-regulation mechanism stands for, on a transparent and verifiable basis.”

The model developed by DVTM, which represents eight of the 11 online casinos licensed in Schleswig-Holstein, and the Ministry limits the TV advertising minutes available in Germany to a maximum of 17,000 minutes per month for license holders.

This total represents the maximum that all providers licensed in the region can put together with their advertising on nationwide free-to-air TV, with the the model ensuring that the volume of nationwide advertising in Schleswig-Holstein at least corresponds to or exceeds that nationwide.

It is said that the model will utilise “neutral media monitoring data” to ensure compliance is being met, with “critics” invited to “check this neutral data at any time”. The DVTM also asserts that regular reports will be filed with the gaming supervisory authority, which will subsequently take sanctions if licensees violate them.

Renatus Zilles, CEO of the DVTM, also addressed claims of a “massive increase in gambling advertising,” labelling the suggestions as “fake news” and adding that “the alleged increase in gambling advertising is regularly circulated by interest groups such as the vending machine industry, but also on the political side”.

Dr Andreas Blaue, who negotiated the model, explained: “The present model of self-regulation for nationwide TV advertising in online casinos is strictly logical and can be easily checked by Nielsen Media Research on the basis of neutral media data. 

“Absolute transparency and fairness are thus guaranteed for all sides. It has already led to the fact that the advertising time for licensed online casinos from Schleswig-Holstein on national television has been significantly reduced since 2019 and, moreover, has not increased during the corona period. “