Overview of Online Casino Industry in Germany


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And here comes Germany, continuing our series of articles devoted to online gambling in different countries. We all know that Germans know how to have fun (just think about the Oktoberfest) but, surprisingly, the fun doesn’t really involve online gambling. The sad news is that online gambling is considered to be illegal inside the country. We say “considered to be” because, in reality, the situation is quite unclear and is not going any better.

The first thing to know about German gambling is that offline casinos are legal and even supported by the government as they bring a lot of tax money together with sports betting systems. So if you are in Germany and want to play some slots, you’d rather go to one of many land-based gambling venues than to your laptop or smartphone.

For the online gamblers, things are going pretty controversial today in Germany. On the one hand, online gambling is illegal, on the other hand, gamers can easily use international online casinos to make their bets and it’s completely okay. Even though it is not stated by any laws, foreign casinos are allowed to get betting money from the German customers. The situation is complicated by the states’ right to impose their own gambling laws. And they do use this right. In 2012, one of the German states Schleswig-Holstein suddenly allowed online gambling and issued licenses to some popular providers. The good days lasted about the year when the state government backed down and made online gambling illegal again. The licenses were not terminated though and will be in force until 2018.

To sum up, we can say that for today, there is not a chance for any gambling provider to get the license in Germany and the ones who already have it will lose it as soon as 2018 comes. Even though such a strict gambling policy is criticized by the EU, it doesn’t look like German government is going to impose any changes in the near future. So the German gamblers will still have to use foreign online casinos or limit themselves to the brick and mortar casinos and sports betting that is, by the way, quite popular within the country. The bets on German football championship (the Bundesliga) bring more than 5 billion euro to the public treasury yearly.