Best Online Casinos in Germany
Germany has one of the most regulated and safe gambling markets globally, and if you are fond of making bets, you will find that Germany is rather gambling-friendly.
However, this is not the case when it comes to online gambling! Als, no online casino German and other types of gambling entertainments in the web are allowed. Even licensed operators of Germany are not allowed to offer their games to locals online. All online gambling is prohibited under the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, and we cannot expect the situation to improve in the nearest future. Even casino mobile is unavailable legally.
Technically, it is illegal to make any bets or wagers online. However, there is no particular law that prohibits Germans from accessing foreign online casinos run by operators from abroad – like online casino Austria. Most German punters prefer UK sites, or sites at other neighboring countries, where the state government issues licenses to online operators.
In practice, it means that you will not be able to find a safe and licensed German platform with casino games, or a site for betting. Even sports betting and horse racing betting online are banned.
However, the good news is that you can always choose from offshore online casinos accepting players from Germany. While Germany takes effort to limit access to such sites, there are no known cases of persecution for the players.
Moreover, dozens of licensed, safe, and reliable gambling platforms will gladly accept punters from Germany as real money customers. And we have already made a list of the best non German online casinos available to you from Germany. All that is left is to choose the site, claim your bonus, and win real cash online!
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Best online casinos in Germany
History of Gambling in Germany
It is known that Germans have always been particularly fond of games of chance, and also games of skill. Cases of gambling for fun or for the sake of profit are documented in the country’s history in different periods. Therefore, we should not be surprised that the government is so good at regulating this market by now.
Talking about more recent history, the trace of chance in the gambling legislation in Deutschland begins in 2008. Before 2008, all gambling in the country was not under the control of the government. Yet, in 2008, the Interstate Treaty on Gambling was approved, and all web gaming platforms were announced illegal.
Two years later, in 2010, the German gambling market evolved into clear monopoly. While other EU countries were not happy about such situation, and would have preferred free market for their casino operators, Deutschland banned all foreign casinos for its residents. And it also banned its own operators from offering services in the web.
In 2012, the Schleswig-Holstein state invested into local gambling market and started to issue licenses, including those for operation in the web. For a short period of time, betting in the Internet became legally allowed. Yet, already in 2013, all web gaming was totally banned, and no more licenses were issued. Those already issued were about to expire in 2018, with no right for renewal.
In 2017, the country decided to remove the condition of monopoly on its market to boost the niche. They allowed more licenses to different betting businesses. However, the European Commission was still unhappy with the outcome. The same can be said about German punters who are limited to playing and entertaining legally only at brick and mortar facilities.
Current Situation on Gambling in Germany
So, to make head or tail of the unclear gambling situation in Germany, let’s explore the current state of events point by point.
Firstly, it is totally legal to make bets and take part in gambling activities at brick and mortar venues all around the country. No illegal casino or sportsbook is able to operate, so you are safe and welcome to play for real money offline.
Secondly, the lottery is still national, which means monopoly and exclusive rules. If you prefer bingo, the same rules as to lottery, apply. Sports betting fans should be aware that betting on sports is legal offline, but prohibited in the web.
Thirdly, legislature on gambling to a great extend belongs to local authorities. Which means that in some areas, internet providers may be blocking foreign sites more actively than in other places. Some banks are not allowed to process transactions to and from websites resembling online casinos, as well.
However, according to the most recent regulations, Deutschland stopped prosecuting casino operators from other European countries that offered their service to residents of Deutschland. The European Court of Justice rules it was illegal to prosecute operators that held legitimate licenses in the niche, just issued by other authorities. As a result, Deutschland has increased the number of issued licenses on its territory.
Some German states already share the opinion that foreign casinos must not be banned. Other states still consider this aspect. However, it must be mentioned that gambling is very popular in Deutschland, and actually brings around 16 billion Euros of taxes to the state, so perhaps there is a glimpse of hope that online gambling will be allowed soon.
Laws for Gambling in Germany
Federal legislation regulates the market of gambling only in a very limited manner. The majority of regulation depends on competency and authorities of every of the 16 German states. On the one hand, it means that legal gambling situation can be slightly different from state to state. On the other hand, it means that some states may be more web gaming friendly.
However, the main law is actually the same for the whole country. Organization, promotion, and even participation in an unlicensed and unauthorised game of chance (or game of skill) is a criminal offense that falls under the sections 284 and 285 of the German Criminal Code. Advertising of the games of chance is also prohibited.
These rules do not comply very well with the rules of free market for countries that are part of the European Union. However, while both businesses and players hope for the situation to be improved, German government does not seem to be very willing to change anything in the current legislation.
Regulatory Authorities in Germany
Every state has their own Ministries or Senates of the Interior. These agencies are responsible for the gambling-related situation in the state, plus they collaborate closely with the federal government. These state agencies can also appoint other lower agencies that are local, to deal with specific problems or aspects. Generally, the main task of every state’s local authority is to license and supervise brick and mortar gambling houses, and watch for unlawful operation by unlicensed companies.
Some of the lower bodies that are assigned responsible for gambling niche in the particular state, include, for example:
- Regional Council of Darmstadt (Hesse) - issues sports betting licenses
- Regional council of Darmstadt (Hesse) - issues licenses for horse betting entertainment, plus watch for expiring licenses
- Ministry of the Interior of Lower Saxony - watches for violation of the law on national lotteries, expired licenses, and also implements blocking payment options for unlicensed online casinos
- Regional government of Düsseldorf (North Rhine-Westphalia) - approves and regulates issuing TV and Internet ads of lotteries and sportsbooks.
These examples show how well the Deutschland does its job of regulation and control. State agencies are free to assign as many smaller local agencies as they deem necessary, to closely observe the market, and persecute the violators.
On the one hand, this is good news, because it means that the market is safe and regulated for the players. On the other hand, it means smaller operators cannot get through the wall of licenses and permits to provide their services - whatever good! - to willing punters in Deutschland.
Taxation Laws on Gambling in Germany
All operators offering punting entertainment in Deutschland, whether offline or somehow online, have to pay taxes to the state. There are nuances, of course, but in the majority of cases, gambling businesses are to pay 19% of the gross gaming revenue. Lotteries have to pay 20% of the revenue, while sports gaming pay 5% of every stake.
On the part of the player, most winners do not have to pay taxes on their winnings, because their tax is already included into the sum of the minimum bet allowed, and all the taxation is done by the gaming business. As far as we know, maximum tax per winnings for the player is 5%.
However, professional punters like poker players have to beware, because they are expected to add their winnings to their standard income tax. Depending on your income as such, plus the size of your winnings, sometimes the sum of the income tax can reach up to 18%.
If you gamble at real money online casinos operated from abroad, it is up to you to decide whether you want to pay taxes on your winnings as a result of online gambling in Poland or other country. If the winnings are not that impressive, you may choose not to do that. However, in case you hit jackpot, or win a huge sum playing poker, we are afraid you won’t be able to hide such winnings from the authorities, and will have to pay the tax. Moreover, you should consider a reliable banking method to use for withdrawal of your winnings, because some German states do block transactions to and from platforms that might be online casinos.
Land Based Casinos in Germany
There are over 80 land based facilities for betting, games of chance, and games of skill in Deutschland. You will easily find something of your preference, because those facilities are licensed, and suited to every fancy. here, we will shortly review some of the biggest and the most popular venues that offer the widest range of entertainment, and a real festive atmosphere.
This casino operates since 1998, and it is one of the favourite places for residents of Berlin. here, you will find 12 table games, 8 poker tables, and over 350 slots machines. They have a restaurant and a bar with spirits from all over the world. All poker tables are located on a special poker floor.
This is one of the oldest gambling houses in Europe. Casino Esplanade was opened back in 1978, and has been working seamlessly since then. Here, you will find 13 table games, 150 slots machines, and five poker tables. This is a huge facility, and a luxurious one. Besides actually betting events like tournaments, and happy hours at dining places, they hold musical and dance events on a regular basis.
Banking Options for Gambling in Germany
When you gamble in Deutschland offline, you will find a bunch of banking methods available to you freely and legally, without any issues. You will be able to make bets paying with cash, or you can use your plastic cards issued by local or international banks. Talking about plastic, cards accepted include:
- American Express
Some land based facilities will be able to accept payments provided via online systems, like
Yet, if you prefer playing online, despite all the risks, what you definitely need is an e-wallet or another web payment processing system that would be fast, safe, and casino-friendly. We remind you that many German banks are likely to block your deposits and withdrawals. Instead, consider using one of the following systems:
- Amazon Payments
Most of them are included into banking methods list available at gambling site that operate on international basis. What is more important, most of these payment systems are casino-friendly.
Popular Cities in Germany for Gambling
An overwhelming majority of German cities have one casino per city. Considering there are over 80 gambling houses in the country, plus there are lotteries, sportsbooks, and horse racing courses, you are unlikely to suffer from lack of betting entertainment. Yet, if you would like to map your casino gaming more precisely, check out the list of cities with 2 and more casinos available:
- Berlin - 5
- Frankfurt am Main - 3
- Fulda - 2
- Hamburg - 4
- Hannover - 2
- Homburg - 2
- Kiel - 2
- Saarbrücken - 3
- Wiesbaden - 2
Just in case you would like to combine your gambling fun with touristic entertainment, here is the list of historically and culturally important German cities that have their own casino houses:
Now you know where to go for playing and entertaining in Deutschland!
Facts About Germany
To give you a bigger picture about the country, here are some fun facts:
- there are over 2100 castles
- there are over 1500 kinds of beers in Germany
- Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris
- the first book ever printed was written in German
- the very first magazine launched was German
- there are over 300 different kinds of bread
- there are over 1000 kinds of sausages
- the biggest beer festival in the world is held in Bavaria
- Christmas tree tradition originated from Deutschland
- one third of the country is covered with forests
- Berlin zoo is one of the largest in the world
- gummy bears were invented in Deutschland