Online Gambling

Online Gambling Law in Germany
Germany Gambling Laws

Germany has a confusing array of gambling laws based on separate gambling laws in separate German states, and an equally confusing maze of federal and state regulations to work through before a casino can be approved. Operating an online casino is most definitely against the law in Germany.

However, simply placing bets at an offshore casino is viewed as permissible by the authorities even though its considered technically illegal. Police do not want and see no reason to spend costly police resources tracking down people gambling from the privacy of their own homes.

This has made online gambling a popular pastime in Germany. So far not a single German has found himself or herself before the police over place bets over the Internet. Efforts at policing online gambling have been limited to those operating online casinos on German soil.

Those residing in German should avoid playing at bootleg or dark web casinos that may be located in Germany. If there were to be shaky legal ground surrounding placing an online bet, it would be at placing an online bet at a German-based casino.

Currently, there is no process at the federal or state level in German to go about licensing an online casino. This is why it has become a lucrative business to market to the 82 million residents of Germany from foreign locations. Companies outside Germany are free to operate according to local laws and they are outside the reach of German police. Operators are free in many locations to take bets from those located inside Germany.

Where to Play

Any Germans reading this should look to gambling sites based out of the country. Current national law doesn’t allow for the licensing of casino sites, so people resort to foreign operators. Companies operating beyond German borders aren’t effected by the laws of Germany and can take bets from anyone inside of Germany.

One problem with relying on foreign casinos is that there is no legal way to get your money back if something happens. Shady casinos have been known to suddenly shut down without providing any method for players to get money out of their accounts. Sticking with gambling sites licensed in reputable places like the UK will help ensure that funds are available without any problems or unwanted games.

Germany and Gambling Are in a Constant State of Flux

It’s not a reliable thing to analyze the German political market to see where the country’s gambling laws are going. First, everyone at the state and federal level is happy with the current systems. That system is basically a state mish-mash of regulations and a federal ban on online gambling save for in one city (more on that later). Even the turbulence this ostrich method causes is wanted, with incoming governments using gambling as a rallying cry (both pro and con) and completely overturning the last government’s laws.

With this mix of laws, some forms of gambling are permissible in one state while being illegal in another. Online gambling was unregulated until 2008. Until then the law did not address gambling over the Internet and no other laws in Germany could be applied to their online situation. The Interstate Treaty on Gambling of 2008 changed the status quo and outlawed all online gambling outside of sports and horse races that were offered by gambling companies owned and operated by the state.

Every state except one opted to join the treaty and has remained a part of it. Schleswig-Holstein chose to opt out in 2012 and allowed online operators to open shop by issuing licenses to three dozen sites.

The move was reversed after the last election and the new government joined the treaty. The last legal online operators in Germany will have closed shop by the end of 2018.

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