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The German slot maker trade body has sharply criticised Gambling Atlas Germany 2023 for alleged methodological inaccuracies.

The atlas is a government-supported annual report that aims to compile the current scientific understanding of problem gambling in Germany.

But the Association of the German Vending Machine Industry (VDAI) has made 30 separate criticisms of the publication.

These include complaints over unreliable sources, methodological defects and incorrect claims and conclusions within the report.

“At first glance, [the report] appears to offer a comprehensive collection of well-founded information on the subject of gambling from a wide range of scientific works,” wrote the VDAI.

“However, upon closer inspection, especially when analysing the list of sources, it becomes apparent that the authors quote themselves to a conspicuous extent without any confirmation from other scientific sources.

“Many of the assertions and theses made do not stand up to scientific scrutiny through relevant study of sources.”

The VDAI argues the quantity and “clearly tendentious orientation” of the sources within the atlas goes beyond carelessness and are in fact the result of hidden political objectives.

The trade body criticised the one-sided portrayal of gambling that focuses exclusively on harms while ignoring the consumer perspective.

It also claimed the study offered an “alarmist” view of the problem gambling issue, while characterising channelisation concerns as not a big problem.

Problem gambling stats questioned

Published 13 November 2023, the document has already faced scrutiny from the Germany Sports Betting Association (DSWV) and other bodies.

Claims in the atlas that have been questioned include its assertions that gambling addiction is at “epidemic” proportions, with 8% of the 18-70 demographic experiencing harms.

“It is obvious to me that the work here was not done properly,” said CDU politician and health expert Simone Borchardt in February.

“In the interests of scientific transparency, the data must be published.”

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