Bundestag's sports committee

Germany: Parliament committee rejects sports sponsorship ban for gambling companies

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A proposed ban on sports sponsorship in Germany was rejected at a public meeting of the sports committee of the German Bundestag (the national parliament). Experts cited the critical funding that sponsorships provide to German sports as the primary reason for their rejection.

Inka Müller-Schmäh, managing director of the Association of Sports Sponsorship Providers, emphasized the need for a legal framework to support the continuation of sports sponsorships. “Sports sponsorship must remain possible, no matter where, when, and how sport takes place and is broadcast,” Müller-Schmäh said.

German gambling faces significant challenges, particularly with black market activity. Strict regulations have driven many players towards offshore operators. A 2023 University of Leipzig study found that only 50.7% of German players bet with legal online operators, raising concerns about bettor safety.

Current regulations prohibit operators from advertising online or on television between 9 pm and 6 am, restrict the use of sports clips in advertising, and ban partnerships with sports personalities and influencers. Luka Andric, managing director of the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), criticized these “extremely strict” restrictions.

Other European countries are seeing sponsorship bans. Since July 2023, the Netherlands has banned sports sponsorships by gambling operators, allowing a transition period for existing agreements to end.

In England, Premier League clubs agreed to stop front-of-shirt sponsorships by gambling companies starting from the end of the 2025-26 season. However, in April, Aston Villa struck a deal with Betano to make it a front-of-shirt sponsor until 2026.

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