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Germany Online Casinos Guide

In June 2020 German gambling laws were in the news.

A regional authority, the Regional Council of Darmstadt, had banned online casino and poker sites but had lost a case brought by a site operator.

The state had used the Third Amendment on the State Treaty on Gambling to issue blocking orders, on casino sites and payment processors.

This is taking place as the nation waits for the Fourth Amendment of the State Treaty on Gambling to come into force.

This is a complicated issue, and decisions on the future of gambling laws in Germany have been pushed down the road until 2021 for the moment.

Let’s have a look at the online casino scene in Germany, including the legal status of gambling in Europe’s biggest economy.

German Online Casinos

The law concerning online gambling in Germany remains unclear as we’ve seen.

This means German players need to be aware of the sites they’re using, and that they can be used legally and safely for German players.

As we’ve seen, not many online casinos are actually licensed by the German authorities. However, a lot of casinos are open to players from Germany that aren’t licensed in Germany.

It should go without saying that German players should only play at licensed sites, with licenses from good-quality jurisdictions.

Look for companies with a .de address, and even better, a street address in Germany and a German licence.

Here, for example, is a list of restricted countries from a major UK casino site:

“Afghanistan, American Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, Ascension Island, Australia, Bouvet Island, Bulgaria, Cuba, France, Gibraltar, Guam, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Republic of, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Libya, Northern Mariana Islands, Palestinian Territory, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Slovenia, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Sudan, Spain, Turkey, Virgin Islands, U.S., United States.”

No Germany there, so you can play from Germany, and this is a reputable company with licensing in numerous other jurisdictions.

You should certainly make sure you’re playing safely wherever you are, and always check that there is good customer service and help-line facilities.

Of course, the safest option is always to use a site with a base in your country and that is licensed in your country.

Enjoy these Popular German Online Casinos Safely

It is hard to find the most popular German online casinos, but here are some we know that are popular and that you can trust:

There are many more online casino brands and sites for Germany.

Whichever one you play at make sure that you are playing safely and using good online gambling protocols that protect your financial health and your mental and physical health.

Germany’s casino laws are very strict by international standards, but you shouldn’t try to get around them by playing at sites you’re not entitled to use. Make sure that any site you use from Germany is one that allows German online casino gamblers to log-in and play legally, otherwise, you could end up out of pocket.

This is a very fluid situation, with court actions and business decisions all playing their part at the moment, so keep your eye on sites like ours to make sure you know the latest news on Germany’s online casino gambling laws.

Gambling Laws in Germany

The history of gambling and gambling laws in Germany is much the same as in most developed modern economies. Games were legal, but often existed in a somewhat grey social and legal area: in order to keep games fair they needed to be regulated, but gambling has historically been seen as a “vice” that good, moral people shouldn’t partake of!

Germany, tragically for the world, was governed by Nazi monsters for a number of years. They banned gambling completely. After the end of Nazi rule, the new German Federal Republic (West Germany) allowed gambling again.

Once the internet arrived this essentially meant that gambling licensed anywhere in the world was de facto legal in Germany.

In 2008 the state reacted by passing the German Interstate Treaty, which banned online gambling except betting on horseracing.

The gambling industry wasn’t a fan of this legislation and went to the European Commission to try to get the laws liberalised so that they could operate in Germany, the EU’s largest economy, in a similar way to the way they operated elsewhere in Europe.

The European Court of Justice ruled in 2010, saying that Germany had to liberalise its gambling sector.

But there is still a problem with Germany’s federal structure, which clashes against the transnational nature of the internet.

It is in this conflict that the current difficult situation lies.

From July 1, 2021, a new gambling law that covers the whole country will come into force. But, until then the 16 states of Germany (now including the states of former German Democratic Republic) can set their own rules. Traditionally, the state of Schleswig Holstein has had more liberal gambling rules than the rest of the country and has granted licenses to online betting companies.

As we write this, enforcement action against some online casinos has probably been stalled (we’ve seen conflicting reports on this breaking story).

Some states in Germany wanted to completely outlaw online gambling. Others wanted to put very strict limits on the conduct of the sites. But some gambling operators believed that because they were licensed by one stare, Schleswig-Holstein, they could provide services across Germany.

The row on gambling services has become international and also affected payment processors, and is affected by the rules of the Single Market of the European Union. There is also a German casino and gambling sector that would like to operate online and is also raising its voice.

The 2021 Treaty

The law that German gamblers, gambling businesses, and regulators are waiting for will set up a new regulatory authority that will cover the whole state of Germany and will legalise online casinos and online poker.

The law is called the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStv).

While the law regularises the German regulatory machine, it’s not going to majorly liberalise the tight restrictions on gambling in Germany.

Sports betting is limited to game-result and next-scorer markets.

Slot games can be played but the maximum stake is €1 per spin. Games should have no auto-spin function. Jackpots are not allowed, and table games and slots must be segregated. Players will not be allowed to deposit more than €1,000.

States are also allowed to set their own rules on whether they want to allow table games and can regulate whether they allow state lotteries to run monopolies.

There are strict rules on advertising too.

In the meantime, the rules of the Third State Treaty on gambling are being applied by the Regional Council of Darmstadt, which is tasked with issuing licenses to legalise online betting.

What happens next is far from clear, and German casino fans will hope to reach a state where they have certainty about the rules at the very least.

Popular Casino Games in Germany

Gambling in Germany is very much part of the European mainstream, and, in fact, two of the first things you encounter when researching German gambling are international in their nature.

The country’s most famous gambling resort, Baden Baden, got its big break when gamblers stared to cross the nearby French border to get around a prohibition in gambling in that country in the 1830s. And another of the country’s biggest gambling centres, Wiesbaden, is the probable inspiration for the great Russian novel, The Gambler, by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Wiesbaden is famous for its high stakes roulette games, and roulette is probably the most popular traditional gambling game in Germany, both off and online.

We’ve covered the legal complications of German gambling, but off-line you can gamble across much of the country, with casinos or other gambling facilities, and with 86 gambling facilities in total, this includes casinos, bookmakers for sports betting.

Berlin, the capital, naturally, has the most, with 5 gambling venues, hosting 17 table games, and 770 gaming machines.

The biggest casino in German is in Dortmund, where the Spielbank Do-Hohensyburg has 34 tables, 10 poker games, and 368 gaming machines.

So gambling is widespread, but in comparison with the UK or USA, the scene is tiny.

Off-line gambling is licensed and mainly done in casinos, which tend to be quite exclusive in Germany. These are licensed strictly, often with dress codes, and debt guarantees that have to be signed on the entrance. Most German casinos have around 50 to 200 slots.

Table games are big in Germany, and this is reflected in the online market.

The most popular games are: American roulette, baccarat, blackjack, French roulette, German roulette, and poker.

Poker is played in all its variations, and Texas Holdem and No Limit Holdem are the most popular variants.

Sports betting is very big in Germany, including on horse racing (there are about 50 courses) and football, often in a pari-mutuel style, or pool betting.

Table Games in German Casinos

It’s hard to find complete figures for the German gambling industry in the English language, so these estimates are that – estimates based on an informed look at the German online casino scene.

So these are the most popular table games at German online casinos:

Roulette: the ultimate casino game is also the favourite of German online casino players. It comes in a series of variations. We’ve reported that American roulette is the most popular game at German real-life casinos, and that may be down to availability because online we found that European roulette games were more popular. That’s not unusual, because European roulette gives a better return to players in most respects.

Blackjack: Blackjack is the world’s most popular casino card game. Germany is not immune to its charms. Again there are a number of variants on the game, mostly based around what players are allowed to do with their cards. It’s always worth learning about a game before you play and this is very true of blackjack.

Baccarat: French in origin, like many casino games, baccarat is popular in German casinos. The game is best known in East Asia and is often played in variations that originate in those markets.

Poker is very popular in German casinos both off- and on-line. Hold’em variants are very popular, and online games are sometimes played via downloads.

Slots in German Casinos

Slots in German casinos are very much the same as those found in the rest of the world. The internet has shrunk the world and dissolved borders.

When we checked out a German online casino site we found these games listed as the most popular – all titles you might find somewhere else.

Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead; Gold Digger, Cash Noire, Legacy of Dead, Starburst, Fire Joker, Books and Bulls, Crystal Ball and the Sword and the Grail.

Live Casino Games in German Casinos

This sector also follows the international market.

Roulette is popular.

Hold’em poker games, played with a dealer are also popular.

Blackjack is played as a live game in German casinos.

TV Gameshows like Deal or No Deal, Monopoly, virtual football.

Sic bo, baccarat, craps (and related dice games), and other games might be found in German live casinos.

German Online Gambling Companies

There are some online gambling companies based in, founded in, or with strong links to Germany.

They are:

Lotto24, a state lotto company. is an Austrian-founded company with headquarters in Düsseldorf in Germany. The company is big, making well over €100 million in 2019 from its online gambling and sports betting operations.

Tipico is an international, Malta-based company with a branch in Germany, and high visibility thanks to its sponsorships of and partnerships of Bundesliga clubs. Tipico is mainly a sports betting company.

Gauselmann Group. Gauselmann Group is the biggest German online gambling company by a long way. It has a massive international profile and produces games that are played by online casino players around the world.

With long roots back to the 1950s and cabinet gambling games, the Gauselmann Group has genuine history and heritage.

Its online operations include online games, which are developed largely by a company called Merkur, and the operation of online casinos that are run under the company’s main brand.

Merkur produces about 300 online video slots and they are popular in Germany and around the world.

Best Payment Methods at Online German Casinos

This area is also unsure. When some of Germany’s states were clamping down on online gambling in advance of the new law due for July 2021 they put pressure on companies that were processing payments to online sites they said were breaking the law.

This makes it even more important to make sure you’re playing at a legitimate casino.

Payments in German casinos are made in Euros.

As the country is in the European Union you have some rights and protections guaranteed by EU law in regards to date protection and refunds.

Check out these payment methods at online German casinos:

Debit cards: Visa and MasterCard are the biggest brands in this area, and they guarantee the debit cards from a host of banks that you can use at online casinos. Almost everyone has a debit card and they’re very quick and easy to use online these days. You may have protections from your bank, but you should be sure you’re using a secure site when you use a card at an online casino site. Credit cards are banned in some jurisdictions but not in Germany, where the likes of Diner’s Club International can be used at casino sites.

E-Wallets: E-wallets put a buffer between your bank account and the internet. They’re also quick and easy to use these days and many of them are as trusted as high street banks these days. Designed to be used for instant payments, the likes of Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal, the most famous of them all, are designed and built for use online.

Payment cards: Cards like Paysafecard (a German-speaking company initially) are a way to transfer real-life money onto the internet without using a bank account. You can cash up cards – sometimes physical ones, sometimes online virtual cards – and then use a passcode to pay for goods and services online. Paysafecard is now part of the same company as Neteller and is very well trusted.

Other services you might see offered are:

  • Klarna/Sofort. A payment processing system and app from Sweden.
  • RapidTransfer: a money transfer service from Skrill that’s available at a number of German online casino sites.
  • WebMoney: a universal online money management system.
  • Trustly: a bank-level secured online payment system that sends money from your bank account.
  • EUTeller: Another instant online payment service that uses bank accounts.
  • Crypto: Bitcoin is the best-known cryptocurrency and it can be used at some casinos. You may need a payment processor, like Skrill Bitcoin, to act as a middleman.
  • Zimpler: a low-fee and super-fast online payment processing system.