Gambling Law History and Germany Interstate Treaty
During World War II, gambling in Germany was terminated. After that, with a new constitution, Germany created a new gambling law, making the matter manageable by individual states in the west. The new German gambling laws focused mainly on lotteries and sports betting with the inclusion of horse racing at the beginning. At the same time, the laws that control the casinos were very restrictive as far as some states having residency requirements on players. Fortunately, these restrictions were amended over time and by 1995 were completely gone.
The Interstate Gambling Treaty, also known as the Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, was passed in 2008. Unfortunately, the European Supreme Court stated that it went against fair competition regulations and rules in the European Union. The first revision of the treaty was made in 2011 and was passed later next year. This new version allowed online lotteries, interstate lottery jackpots and casino advertising. This would re-open the field and improve the gambling situation in the country, as well as allow twenty different bookmakers to operate independently of the state. The Schleswig-Holstein state, which abstained from the treaty and gave out licenses to only a handful of online casino operators, joined the treaty in 2012 due to a change in its government. Online casino operators were allowed to keep their licenses through 2018 and Schleswig-Holstein proposed an extension of their original licenses through 2021. The same year, the German online gambling law is set to expire.
Overview of German Gambling Laws Depending by Game
While both land-based gambling and online gambling are legal in Germany in general, everything seems to take various forms when you look at different states. The same goes for games, and that’s why we would like to talk about them. For example, for in-person card and table games, while legal, can be hosted and run without a state permit, as long as the buy-ins are under €15. On the other hand, sports betting is legal and doing well. Germany has land-based bookmakers available, as well as online bookies, some of which are 888sport, Admiral, Tipico, Stargames, LeoVegas and more.
Lotteries are very popular and serious business in Germany. As mentioned earlier, each state makes its own rules, creating a number of private and public lotteries. All individual state lotteries, including totalized sports betting, are coordinated by an organisation called the main lottery. There is also a main lottery organisation for the class two lotteries, such as Germany Lotto, GlücksSpirale, 6aus49 and more. It is also possible to play your favourite ones online because it is legal in the whole country. You can also watch TV stations that hold their own lotteries, like Aktion Mensch and Die Fernsehlotterie.
Everyone’s favourite slots are legal and available at land-based casinos and slot salons. You can find them in 14 of the 16 states that Germany has. The states that do not have casinos are Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The majority of casinos are state-owned but depending on where you are there can be also private-owned establishments. There are also many slot halls spread around Germany, but there is a limit to the amount that you can bet and thus the wins you get. The country’s gambling laws do not allow online slot play.
Online Gambling Licenses
As mentioned earlier, most of the online gaming licenses were given to casino websites in 2011. Schleswig-Holstein has made a move to renew these licenses and the vote was taken in May 2019. The casino operators that are due to get their permissions renewed are:
- Cashpoint (Malta) Ltd.
- Admiral GmbH
- ODDSET Deutschland Sportwetten GmbH
- Oddsline Entertainment AG
- Primebet International Ltd.
- Bwin ElectraWorks Ltd.
- Digibet Ltd.
- Bet-at-home.com Internet Ltd.
- Ladbrokes International PLC
- Bet90 Ltd.
- Deutsche Sportwetten GmbH
- Mybet Personal Exchange International Ltd.
- Betfair Polco Ltd.
- Intermedia GmbH
- Bernd Hobiger Wettbüro Goldesel
- RULEO Alpenland GmbH
- Racebets International Gaming Ltd.
- Albers Wettbörsen Deutschland oHG mbH
- Bet3000 IBA Entertainment Ltd.
- Star Sportwetten GmbH
General Summarisation of Germany Casino Laws
If you would like to gamble at a land-based casino, you have a wide plethora of options in all German states. There are more than 9,060+ gambling establishments scattered around the country, out of which 60 are casinos placed in 14 states where you can play in-person, and more than 9,000 slot halls in all territories. You can partake in totalized sports betting and other lottery variations at newsstands, tobacco speciality stores and land-based private bookmakers, which are common sights in any state.
As you can see, the gambling laws in Germany are very unique and specific. The brick and mortar gaming locations are pretty much completely legal and a standard thing, while online gambling is something like a grey area. The country allows you to play online lotteries, and place bets on sports and racing while having online slot games be illegal. Although the legality situation surrounding them is due for a change thanks to the actions of Schleswig-Holstein, if a change in the government happens, all current progress on legalising online gambling could grind to a halt.
Online Roulette Games are Legal in Germany
Of course, you can enjoy your favourite roulette games in a land-based casino in one of the sixty establishments throughout 14 states in Germany, but we would like to talk about doing that from the comfort of your home. We can recommend visiting out real money roulette casino list and partake in any type of online roulette that you want. All of the listed entries have been thoroughly checked and reviewed by us. Also, all the casinos there are fully certified by multiple major government entities and audited by third-party organisations like eCOGRA, that check if the casino and its software are answering to regulations and retain fairness. If you are a person that is constantly on the move but would still like to be able to play your favourite games, then you are in luck. Almost all online casinos have their website thoroughly optimised for mobile devices or have a dedicated application that you can download and install.
Roulette is not the only game that you can play in the online casinos. You can also enjoy other classic table games like poker, blackjack, baccarat and more. Additionally, all brands, including each online blackjack casino in Germany, the poker platforms, sports websites etc., have a dedicated section for online slots.
Unfortunately, we cannot confirm if you will be able to partake in all titles, as the laws surrounding online gambling in Germany are in a grey area right now. You can freely contact the support team of any casino and confirm with them regarding availability in your state. For more information, you can check out our best German casino sites list.