Sports Experts Say Nein to Sponsorship Ban in Germany

Germany's Sports Committee of the Bundestag has voted against a proposed ban on sports sponsorship during a public meeting held last week.

Germany flag in front of a building. The German betting industry is beset by tough regulations. (Source: Ingo Joseph, Pixabay)

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According to experts, sponsorships play a crucial role in supporting sports in Germany, and such restrictions could lead to a significant cut in funding, which could potentially harm the development of sports in the country.

Inka Müller-Schmäh, Managing Director of the Association of Sports Sponsorship Providers, emphasized the need for a legal framework for sports sponsorship to remain a vital pillar of the German sports system. She stressed that “sports sponsorship must remain possible, regardless of the location, timing, or broadcast format of sporting events.”

Strict Regulations in Germany’s Betting Market

The sponsorship ban adds another layer of restriction to a market already beset with tough regulations.

The German sports betting industry has been subject to strict laws, including the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStV), which has imposed significant restrictions on advertising, bonuses, and other sports betting operations.

Operators are prohibited from advertising online or on television between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Furthermore, the government restricts the use of sports highlights in advertisements and completely bans partnerships with sports figures and social media influencers as brand ambassadors.

More Regulation News

50% of German Gamblers Play in Black Market

Experts suggest that these limitations have driven players towards offshore operators. In 2023, research conducted by the University of Leipzig found that almost half of all online gambling in Germany is conducted via unlicensed operators.

The report concluded that the black market appeals more to German players because it is easier to access, well-advertised online, and does not impose the strict gambling regulations and bonus restrictions that licensed operators require.

Other countries like the Netherlands and France have banned sports sponsorships in their jurisdictions.

In April 2023, English Premier League clubs agreed to stop displaying gambling company logos on the front of their jerseys. The change will be implemented at the end of the 2025-26 campaign.


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