Simon’s Guide to Gambling and Online Gambling in Germany

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Picture of Berlin, the capital city of Germany. Most forms of gambling are illegal in Germany. The only legal forms of gambling are sports betting, lottery and lottery type games.

Guide to Gambling in Germany

 

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic located in West-Central Europe. The country’s population is around 81 million, which makes it the most populous country in the European Union. Germany’s capital and largest city is Berlin with approximately 3,5 million residents. Germany is the most influential member state of the European Union.

Online gambling was made illegal in Germany by an interstate treaty in 2008.* However, as gambling is regulated on a state level in the country, the state of Schleswig-Holstein was able to refrain from signing the treaty and create its own online gambling law. As a result, the only licensed online gambling sites are licensed in Schleswig-Holstein, but are available to all German players.

In 2012 the interstate gambling treaty was reviewed and amended. It now states that although online casinos are still banned, online lotteries and a limited number of online sportsbooks may be operated legally. Following these changes, Schleswig-Holstein also decided to sign the amended version of the treaty. The state no longer issues online gambling licences, but sites with a valid licence may operate up to its full duration (6 years).

However, the gambling ban only applies to domestic online gambling. The EU ruled in 2016, that Germany can not penalize or restrict unlicensed foreign operators, because they made it impossible for them to acquire licenses.** Players are not prosecuted for playing online at offshore online casinos, many of which accept players from Germany and are also available in German(see below).

 

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Sources:

*Federal Gambling Law in Germany

**CalvinAyre – EU Top Court says Germany can’t punish Online Betting Operators

 

Summary:

 

Casino gambling in Germany

 

Online casino gambling in Germany: foreign legal, domestic illegal

 

Online casino gambling is now completely illegal in Germany, although this does not mean that there are no legal options. Online casino gambling was legal for a short time in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, but since 2012, online gambling operators can’t apply for a license there either. Still, online casinos licensed between 2008 and 2012 are still available.

Also, Germany can not penalize or restrict unlicensed online casinos because federal law makes it impossible for them to obtain a license. This means that German players and unlicensed operators are not prosecuted in Germany.

Land-based casino gambling is also regulated on the state level, and currently all states allow them to operate. There are about 50 brick and mortar casinos in Germany, most of which are Vegas-style casinos with dress codes. Available games include roulette, baccarat and blackjack, as well as slot machines.

The following online casinos accept players from Germany:

A banner advertisement (728x90 pixel) for BGO - Beat The Boss online casino. BGO is one of the many casino, which accept players from Germany. The animated banner reads: bgo, 200 free spins and 200% bonus, BEAT the BOSS, join now.

BGO casino – accepting players from Germany

This is a picture of 32 Red's animated GIF banner. 32 Red online casino accepts players from Germany. The animated GIF reads: 32 Red online casino, sign up now, $10 free no deposit required, Gambleaware.co.uk.

32 Red casino – accepting players from Germany

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsson casino. Betsson casino accepts players from Germany. On the banner you can read the following: will you be the next winner?, 100% up to £100, claim your welcome bonus.

Betsson online casino – accepting players from Germany

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe casino. Betsafe casino accept players from Germany. The text on the banner ad reads: Betsafe, 50% deposit bonus up to €25, plus 50 free spins on Gonzo's Quest.

Betsafe online casino – accepting players from Germany

This is an animated GIF banner of Casino Euro. Casino Euro is one of the many online casinos, which accept players from Germany.

Casino Euro – accepting players from Germany

This is an animated GIF banner ad of the online casino Black Lotus. Black Lotus casino accepts players from Germany. The animated banner reads: elemental 7, play now, Bonus code: Earth, 10 free spins.

Black lotus casino – accepting players from Germany

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Lotus Asia online casino. Lotus Asia online casino accepts players from Germany. The animated banner reads: get $1000 free, download, instant play.

Lotus Asia casino – accepting players from Germany

This the banner ad of Gt Bets online casino. The online casino accepts players from Germany.

GT Bets accepts players from Germany- accepting Bitcoins as well

 

Bingo in Germany

 

Online bingo in Germany: foreign legal, domestic illegal

 

Online bingo is officially not available legally in Germany, as it is considered to be a casino-type game. However, German players are not prosecuted if they decide to play bingo at an offshore online casino due to the 2016 ruling of the EU top court.

Land-based bingo halls could receive a licence in Germany, but as bingo is not among the more popular types of games, there are very few of them in the country, if any. The larger casinos also don’t usually offer any bingo games.

The following bingo websites accept players from Germany:

This is an animated GIF banner ad of BGO Bingo. This online bingo ad features Paris Hilton. BGO Bingo online bingo website accepts players from Germany.The animated banner reads: spend £10, play with £50, BGO Bingo.

BGO bingo – accepting players from Germany

This is the animated banner ad of Betsson Bingo. This GIF online bingo banner is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsson bingo is one of the online bingo websites, that accepts players from Germany. The animated GIF reads: welcome bonus package up to R$1200, receive bonuses on your 4 deposits.

Betsson Bingo – accepting registrations from Germany

This is the animated banner ad of 32 Red Bingo. This GIF bingo banner is 728x90 pixels wide. 32 Red bingo is a an online bingo website, which accepts players from Germany. The animated GIF reads: Get £10 To try the all ne 32 Red Bingo, We've got Penny, Bogof and free bingo, guaranteed prites and loads more, plus all the great slots and jackpots we all love, All that's missing is you.

32 Red Bingo – accepting registrations from Germany

 

Poker in Germany

 

Online poker in Germany: foreign legal, domestic illegal

 

Many card players argue that poker requires a whole lot more skill and strategy than luck, and many consider poker to be a sport rather than a form of gambling. In Germany, however, it is still considered a form of gambling, which means online poker is theoretically a casino game and thus banned. However, players are not prosecuted for playing poker online from Germany on foreign websites.

Poker has been steadily gaining in popularity in the past few years. This has shown in the increasing number of poker rooms and halls in the country. Germany has also been one of the stops of the European Poker Tour, further increasing the

The following online poker sites accept players from Germany:

This is a banner ad of Betsson online Poker website. This is a 728x90 pixel banner. Betsson online poker is one of the many online poker rooms, which accept players from Germany. The animated banner reads: plus 30% rakeback, 100% up to €1000.

Betsson online Poker – accepting players from Germany

This is the animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe's online poker website. It is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsafe online poker is one of the many online poker websites, which accept players from Germany. The animated banner reads: betsafe welcome deal, 3 great reasons to join the fun, up to €1000 deposit bonus.

Betsafe online Poker – accepting players from Germany

This is the animated GIF banner ad of 32 Red's online poker website. It is 728x90 pixel wide. Betsafe online poker is one of the many online poker websites, which accept players from Germany. The animated banner reads: 32 Red 30% rakeback, $1000 welcome bonus, €2500 freerolls.

32 Red online Poker – accepting players from Germany

 

Sports betting in Germany

 

Online sports betting in Germany: legal, licensed

 

Sports betting is probably the most popular form of gambling in Germany, especially when it come to football games. This is not surprising seeing as German teams are among the best in the world. Although online sports betting was banned between 2008 and 2012, the amended version of the interstate gambling treaty allows up to 20 licensed online sportsbooks.

Prior to this change, OddBet had a monopoly on all forms of sports betting, whether online or offline. This monooly has been challenged quite a few times. In fact, in 2016, a German court declared that even this 20 licence restriction is illegal, opening up the German sports betting market to the whole EU – at least in theory. Actual effects of the decision have yet to be seen.

 

The following online sportsbooks accept registrations from Germany:

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsson sportsbook. Betsson online bookmaker accepts registrations from Germany. On the banner you can read: claim your welcome bonus, bonus 100% up to €25.

Betsson online sportsbook – accepting registrations from Germany

This is an animated GIF banner ad of Betsafe sportsbook. Betsafe online sportsbook accept registrations from Germany. The text on the banner ad reads. betsafe, 50% deposit bonus up to €25, 2nd tier bonus, open an account today.

Betsafe online bookmaker – accepting registrations from Germany

This is a banner of 32 Red Sports, the online sportsbook of 32 Red Casino. 32 Red online sportsbook accepts players from Germany. The animated GIF banner reads: £10 free bet, Place your first bet & get a £10 free bet plus 10 free games on one of our fantastic slots, + 10 free games, 32 Red Sport.

32 Red sport online sportsbook – accepting players from Germany

This the banner ad of Gt Bets online sportsbook. The sportsbook accept players from Germany.

GT Bets online bookmaker – accepts registrations from the Germany, also accepts Bitcoin

 

Lottery in Germany

 

Online lottery in Germany: legal, licensed

 

Arguably, the lottery is the most common form of gambling in the world. It is safe to say that where gambling is legal there is a national lottery. The most popular lottery in the country is Lotto 6 aus 49 but players can enjoy Euro Millions and Keno as well.

Although for a long time tickets were not available for buying on the website, Lotto.de, 6aus49 is now also playable online. Players from Germany can also participate in foreign lottery draws, especially since the 2012 changes opened up the online lottery market in Germany.

The following websites let people from Germany purchase lottery tickets online:

Coming soon!

 

Bitcoin gambling in Germany

 

Bitcoin gambling in Germany: foreign legal, domestic illegal

 

The German Finance Ministry announced back in 2013 that bitcoin is now essentially a “unit of account” and can be used for the purpose of tax and trading in the country. However, it does not count as a foreign currency or e-money as of now.

Despite this, Germany does not have any specific regulation concerning Bitcoin gambling. Bitcoin trades mostly occur via the internet so technically Bitcoin gambling is a form of online gambling. The forms of online gambling that are currently illegal in the country most likely remain illegal when the transaction happens in Bitcoin as well.. However, players are not prosecuted for playing at offshore Bitcoin casinos, due to 2016 ruling of the EU Court of Justice.

The following Bitcoin casinos accept players from Germany:

This a banner ad of GT Bets bitcoin casino. It accepts players from Germany.

GT Bets accepts players from Germany, and also accepts Bitcoin

 

If you have questions or any feedback don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Please let me know in the comments section if you think we might have gotten something wrong or if you have additional information, clarification about the legal status of online gambling in this country.

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This page is part of Simon’s List – Legal Status of Online Gambling – a definitive guide to the legal status of all forms of online gambling activities in every country around the world.

 

Last updated: 2016. 09. 16.

Summary
Article Name
Simon's Guide to Gambling in Germany
Description
An overview of the legal status of gambling and online gambling in Germany, including Germany's efforts to limit online gambling, and their disputes with the EU on the matter.
Author
Simon's Online Marketing Kft.

5 Responses

  1. Meir Sarig says:

    Hello Simon,

    I would like to ask you a question, and I will appreciate it if you can help me. I am an affiliate of England based lottery page and I would like to promote this page to German people. Do I need a license of some kind to market it online in Germany?

    I hope you can help me with that, because I don’t want to make any mistake here.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Regards,

    Meir Sarig

    • If you are an affiliate you can’t really do much wrong. First, ask the parent company about this and if they give you a written confirmation (an email will suffice) that it is okay to that you target German people and they accept registrations from Germany, then you should be able to publish German webpages targeting people from Germany. It’s simple as that, when it comes to online marketing. If you were to advertise in German newspapers or on billboards, that would be a different matter entirely.

    • “Do I need a license of some kind to market it online in Germany?”

      You as an affiliate don’t need any kind of license. The parent company already has a license, and they should know what that gambling license allows them to do, and what it doesn’t. Nobody knows better than them.

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Simon

    Is there a list anywhere with all the EU licensed sportbooks?

    Regards

    Michael

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