German punters are among the most passionate online gamblers in the European region. In fact, they form a massive fan base for online casinos, and almost every European online casino strives to attract German players to their platform. However, the local government does not take kindly to gambling activities and has used a complex system of local laws to discourage online gambling. These laws are typically directed at online gambling platforms and not at the casino players though.
The unfriendly legal landscape in Germany has forced casino businesses to operate mainly operate out of the country. So, German players must visit offshore gambling sites to enjoy their favorite pastime.
Comparsino has created a definitive list of top online casino sites that accept German players and cater to their specific needs. Almost all of the sites in our list support the German language on their website and even offer customer support in the language.
So, pick one of the websites below and enjoy countless hours of uninterrupted casino joy.
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History of Gambling Laws in Germany
If you are generally curious to know how the German legal landscape came to be this screwed up, then let us give you a quick overview of the history of online gambling laws in the country.
It all started in 2008 with the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, 2008. The states in Germany signed this treaty to coordinate with each other in their efforts to prohibit online gambling altogether across the country. This led to a lot of confusion as the treaty was found to violated EU law. However, the Federal Administrative Court upheld the treaty.
Then the treaty was modified and a new one was signed in 2012. It’s the Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2012. The state of Schleswig-Holstein outrightly rejected this treaty and went ahead with granting online gambling licenses to several casinos. The licenses issued by it were valid for 6 years. By the time Schleswig-Holstein acknowledged the treaty and signed it in 2013, it has issued 6-year gambling licenses to 48 online casino and sports betting licenses. All of these were to expire between 2017-2019, and they did.
Come 2017, the 2012 treaty was found to be in violation of the EU law. The agreement enforced a limit of 20 sports betting licenses and zero online casino licenses in the country. Therefore, the limits were removed with an amendment to the treaty in 2017. Naturally, the amendment did not make all the states happy. For the amendment to pass, all states should sign it. But, three states never did and the amendment did not get legalized in 2018, as intended.
Over the years, the gambling establishments have been closing owing to the non-issue of licenses by the states.
Despite this, the German online gambling market is a booming industry. All the money that could have gone to German companies and government tax collections is instead being siphoned off by overseas operators and governments. The authorities are slowly waking up from their slumber, and there’s now talk of creating a more conducive online gambling jurisdiction in the country.
FAQs on German online casinos
None. The regulatory bodies tax the casinos instead of the players on their winning amounts. So, you are not required to pay a single euro in tax on your casino winnings in Germany.
That depends on the casino. Most European online casinos support euro transactions. Even online casinos from elsewhere may support euro transactions. Check the information on the casino’s site before you register.
Yes. The identity verification is to prevent underage people and fraudulent people from engaging in online gambling activities. However, the verification is usually required by the casinos when you are withdrawing your money.
Depending on the payment method you use, it can be processed instantly, in a few minutes, or even in 1 working week.
Yes, many online casinos offer live dealer games that allow you to play against other players live. You can meet fellow Germans on these live dealer games.
Whew! We would find it rather easier to explain the plot of the novel, Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, rather than explain the legal environment surrounding physical gambling and online gambling in Germany. But we’ve ventured to capture the main points of the legalities for you here.
Germany is comprised of 16 landers (states), and each of them has the freedom to formulate their own gambling laws, and they do. So, we now have a complex web of gambling laws that change from one lander to another in the same country. Therefore, the degree of restrictions on online gambling varies from one region to another.
There’s a silver lining though. All these states are required to work in tandem with each other. So, each state’s gambling laws interact with those of other states in a kind of complex equilibrium that only the German government has the genius to create.
The result – an environment that is toxic to online gambling.
Yet, we have some good news for you. The gambling laws in Germany prohibit businesses from offering online gambling services to players. However, the players are not generally prosecuted for playing online gambling. In fact, there’s only 1 known case of a player being fined a nominal amount when the player’s bank tipped off authorities on suspicions of questionable transactions after the player withdrew hundreds of euros in casino winnings.
So, the German players are generally safe to engage in online gambling.
Things to Consider When Gambling Online in Germany
As a German player, you will be spending your time and money on overseas online casinos. Therefore, you need to know how to play safely, responsibly, and with minimum risks, all the while extracting maximum fun from your activities. Here are the things you must consider when playing on overseas online casinos:
Licensing –Sure, you can play on any online casino, but that doesn’t mean that the one you choose respects your rights as a player. Genuine, legal, and player-friendly casinos have gambling licenses from a trustworthy regulator such as the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, and so on. Always check the licensing information before you give you money to a casino.
Payment Methods –Although German authorities do not prosecute German players for engaging in online gambling, the singular case that we mentioned above cannot be ignored altogether. So, you might want to use payment options that protect you from unnecessary harassment by your bank or the law. E-wallets like Trustly and PayPal are a lot safer, and cryptocurrencies are the safest. If you are no so worried about such things (since there’s virtually no risk), you can always use VISA, MasterCard, Maestro, Giropay, Sofort Banking, etc.
Customer Support – Firstly, look for casinos that offer fast customer support options – live chat and phone support. For most of your needs, the email option works. But, when you hit an issue that is sending you into full panic mode, you need something reassuring from the casino to address your concerns and do it fast. Also, if the casino offers customer support in the German language, then that’s a bonus.
Games & Game Providers – The online casino scene is dominated by game developers and their games. If you want to experience the finest in online gaming, then you will eventually learn to distinguish the best games from the mediocre ones. When you do that, you’ll find that the best games are all owned by the top game developers in the industry, such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Yggdrasil, and so on. Instead of learning it the hard way, start looking for online casinos that offer games from such top developers. Also, variety and choice are equally important. The more games you have, the more fun you can have. So, look for casinos with huge games selections.
Bonuses –Typically, you’d have to visit the various online casinos, check the bonuses offered by them, and then choose a casino that gives you the best rewards. Comparsino has simplified this for you. The German casinos we have listed above are accompanied by the best promotional offers from them. So, compare the offers, click on the casino of your choice, and enjoy countless hours of casino entertainment.
Mobile Gaming –A significant number of online gambling aficionados take to mobile devices to enjoy their favourite online casino games. It’s handy, convenient, and always with them. So, they can whip out their mobile phones and enjoy a quick gambling session whenever they like. So, make sure that the casino you choose has a mobile-friendly site or a dedicated mobile app.
Safety – Who wouldn’t want their money and personal info to be safe! So, make sure that your choice of online casino has robust online security features on its platform, including HTTPS, which indicates secure encryption.
Try Before Play –Casinos and their games have vastly different winning odds. So, try the games on a casino to get an idea of the winning odds they offer. The good news is that most online casinos allow players to try the games without making any real money deposit. You can play games for free. That will help you get a better idea of the kind of experience you will be getting on the casino.
There is a lot of choices when it comes to online gambling entertainment these days. There are slot games, table games, live dealer games, progressive jackpot games, and more. There are also no-account casinos that allow you to enjoy gambling without creating an account. Some casinos are introducing VR gambling too. Try everything out before you settle onto your favorites.
The future of online gambling is bright, even in Germany, as authorities are forced to acknowledge the loss in revenues due to the prohibition of online gambling. Who knows, you might be able to play on local online gambling sites very soon.