As online gambling opens up from country to country, it’s never been more important to know where you can and cannot play. Germany, like many other countries, is a mixed picture. There’s a host of top-of-the-range land-based casinos for players to take their pick from, but the online picture is bleaker with only 1 of 16 law-making German States regulating and allowing online gambling. Ready to get the full low down on gambling in Germany? From the best online and land-based places to play to the hottest casino games online and gambling laws!
Like the USA, Germany has a system of State and Federal law so what you can and cannot do changes in different areas of the country, which is confusing, to say the least. What unifies the German gambling landscape is the love of land-based casino gaming and betting, which is approved across the board!
On this page you’ll find:
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Germany is a hothouse of gaming activity (gambling revenue in 2018 matched the UK’s at 14.2mill). As a pro-gambling country, choice is the spice of life, and players are spoilt with what Germany has to offer. Especially when it comes down to land-based betting and gambling. With more than 60 land-based casinos and 9,000 Slot Halls spread across the country, there’s something in every city and the whole industry is booming in terms of revenue. But when it comes down to online gambling, there’s a strict list of regulated operators and it’s nearly impossible to get on the list if you are not already due to new legislation.
Gambling in Germany has had a colorful past, with most infrastructure destroyed by the impact of the second world war, it’s end brought a new constitution. This installed a system of Federal and State governance, much like in the USA. In regards to gambling regulation at the Federal level, Germany has only treaty; the Interstate Gambling Treaty.
Proposed in 2008, but passed in 2012 after heavy revision, the Interstate Gambling Treaty maintains State monopoly of the lottery, limits sports betting licenses, allows for individual States to make their own rules regarding online casino games and introduced a total ban on online casinos and games. It also called for a regulatory body to come into force to monitor the gambling industry in Germany. All, but one State signed up to the act. The abstaining State was Schleswig-Holstein who is now home to Germany’s only online casinos.
The Interstate Gambling Treaty is still alive in Germany, but it has been challenged by the European Union Court of Justice, who ruled that Germany may not punish citizens who wish to play at offshore online casinos or the operators who provide the service as it is incompatible with free trade rules. What does this mean? Well, whilst the government of Germany is happy for land-based gambling to take place on their territory, they clearly do not want their citizens playing online, but they are not able to prevent it from happening. Further to this, they are also not allowed to punish either the operator or player.
The Northern German State of Schleswig-Holstein abstained from the Interstate Treaty and created its own Gambling Act. It allowed for online casinos and sportsbooks, giving 23 casino licenses and 25 sports betting licenses. Whilst no new licenses have been given since the 2012 establishment of the Gambling Act, those who hold licenses continue to do so. This means online players in Germany have two choices when it comes to gambling online, using those sites registered and regulated by the State of Schleswig-Holstein or opting for an international (offshore online casino). Either way, there are plenty of choices available as all online casinos accept euro transactions.
The lottery is big in Germany and each of the 16 States is able to run their own version, independently. There are many variants of the lottery being played and even the T.V stations are in on the action. Tickets can be purchased online and the prizes are huge for the lucky few whose numbers’ are drawn.
Land-based gambling is all the rage with casinos, bookies and slot halls are common across all 16 German States. In total this country is home to 60 casinos, 9,000 slots and table game halls and tones of bookies, which is pretty impressive. All land-based operators in Germany are regulated by 3-types of licensing depending on their category of gaming.
As land-based and social gambling is popular and allowed in Germany, all types of casino games are popular. If we look at the market share, enjoyed by each type of gambling activity then it breaks down like this:
For all German States, other than Schleswig-Holstein, there is a strict ban on online casinos. However, those that are operating and licensed by the State of Schleswig-Holstein have plenty of bonus action on offer. Typically delivering big welcome deals, loyalty programs, reload bonuses and loads more for active players, German online casinos are operated by some of the biggest and best-reputed companies in the iGaming industry, which means sky-high bonuses. Think daily log in deals, free spins, no deposit bonuses, cashback and much more!
German players have a wealth of payment options available as the whole e-commerce market is well developed. Additionally, Euros are one of the most widely used currencies so no matter what casino you opt to play with, you’ll never need to worry about this.
Popular, safe and regulated payment methods for the German gambling market include; MuchBetter, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Trustly, Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and many others. PayPal is the only notable exception from the German casino payment methods scene. Sadly, they withdraw in 2019. That aside, players have a wealth of Credit and Debit, e-wallet and mobile payment systems available in German markets.
All in all, the gambling scene in Germany is alive and kicking thanks to a plethora of land-based options and a scattering of licensed online operators. Whether you’re gambling on or offline in this country, the reality is there’s a fantastic range of world-class software on offer for players including games from Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Playtech and many others. You’ll also find Live Dealer Tables in your native tongue when playing online. Ready to start playing? Pick a casino and grab a welcome deal now!
Yes, Germany is pro-gambling and has many gambling establishments. However, they strictly regulate against online casinos operating from inside the country. German citizens may play with offshore casinos.
Yes, you can win lots of real money prizes playing at both land-based and online casinos in Germany.
In the State of Schleswig-Holstein online casinos and gambling is legal. Otherwise, players may opt to use an offshore casino.
The State of Schleswig-Holstein abstained from the Interstate Gambling Treaty where all but they voted to make online casinos illegal in the country. Schleswig-Holstein then issued licenses for betting and casino operators to establish online casinos registered in their territory.
At this point it is unlikely, but you never know. Germany is surrounded by pro online gambling countries and booming industry, so hopefully, they may soon look to full legalisation.
Yes. You can play at either a land-based casino, in a social setting with friends or at an online site.
We’ve rated and reviewed the best casino sites for German players at the top of this page. Take a look and find a cracking casino to play with now.
Yes. Almost every online casino accepts euro transactions. They also facilitate a wide range of payment options to suit most preferences.
Yes. German players have their pick of amazing welcome deals at international online casinos. As you can play at pretty much any site you’ve got a massive collection of bonus deals available and can take the biggest and best!
Operators pay gambling taxes on their profits in Germany, not players, making it a great jurisdiction to gamble in.
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