Gambling in Germany
If you are a German player seeking the very best casinos in this country, then you have come to the right place. In this Top Germany Casinos guide we’ll show you where you can find the biggest and the best casinos; we’ll tell you where you stand legally and if online gambling is legal in Germany; and we’ll also help you to gamble safely online.
There are many great real money online casinos in Germany, and this is your guide to all of them.
Many German cities are well known for their night-life and their relaxed take on certain laws. For instance, prostitution is legalized throughout major cities and if you walk down a German street on a night-time you will see red lights spilling out from business and residential premises. However, as relaxed as they are about sex and prostitution, they are a little tougher on online gambling laws.
Sports books, casinos and poker rooms are not as common as they are in other countries, including France, where gambling is, for the most part, highly restricted. That’s why many Germans prefer to do their gambling online, with flocks of casino gamblers, sports bettors and poker players taking to the internet and to sites like Bet365, BetWay and WilliamHill.
According to official statistics, the gambling market is worth close to €1 billion every year in Germany, even if this is predominantly a grey area (as discussed below). Many gamblers like to spend their time on poker sites and in online casinos, but there is also a significant share that place bets on sports books and betting exchanges, focusing on football leagues like the German Bundesliga, the Spanish La Liga and the English Premier League.
Germans love the sport, but they also dabble in card games, slot machines, bingo games, lotteries and all other forms of gambling that are popular throughout Europe.
Germany Online Gambling Laws
Online gambling is not strictly legal in Germany, but it’s not really illegal either. The gambling laws are at their most confusing in this country, but it’s not all bad news for players. There are a few things to bear in mind when asking “is online gambling legal in Germany?”.
- Online German Casinos: It is not legal for online casinos to establish themselves in Germany, simply because there is no ruling authority that will allow them to do such a thing. In other countries there are regulatory bodies, commissions and license issuers that make it possible for online gambling companies to setup. There is no such thing in Germany though.
- Oversea’s Casinos: While there are no online casinos in Germany, there are many overseas casinos that offer their services to Germany players. This includes some of the best online casinos in the world, including many names you will almost certainly recognize.
- Arrests: While it is still technically a grey area and while the law might suggest that you are not able to gamble online in Germany, it’s important to note that no players have been arrested for partaking in online gambling in Germany. This is often the case and applies as much here in Germany as it does to more restricted countries like the United States.
- Availability: Because of what we mentioned above, as a player you should be free to do as you please. If a casino lets you signup and play, then you should signup and play. Simple as that. They are the ones offering the service and they are the ones taking on the German authorities in the process. You’re merely a player, and if anyone is breaking the law it is definitely not you.
- Safety: While there are many great and legal online casinos in Germany, there are just as many scam casinos that are looking to take advantage of players who think they have limited choice. Those players know about these rules, they know that some of the world’s biggest sites won’t let them join, so they take more risks. This is essential at times, but it doesn’t mean you should settle for casinos that don’t offer you what you need.
Why Are So Many Germany Casinos Based Overseas?
As mentioned above, many online casinos are based outside of Germany because that is the only way they can legally offer their services. In fact, if you find a casino in Germany then you should be very cautious. There is no official licensing body in the country, which means that there is nothing to keep it legal, safe and fair.
Such casinos are likely to be scams, setup to rob you of your money and/or your card details, so they should be avoided at all costs. And quite frankly, with so many great online casinos based outside of the country, there is simply no need for you to focus your attentions on the ones that are based inside the country and are operating illegally.
What Makes a Good Germany Casino?
If you are based in Germany then the first thing you should do is look for casinos that are established somewhere in Europe and offer their services to players in your country. These casinos tend to have the .EU domain name and most of them are available across Europe. For the most part, these casinos are focused on the UK gambling market, but there are also casinos like DruckGluck that were created solely for the Germany market.
The European casino that you choose should have the option to play in Euros and they should also let you use banking methods that are common in Germany, including PayPal, Skrill and other web wallets. You can also use debit cards and credit cards if they allow them, but because of the issues with online gambling in Germany many players prefer not to have this paper trail.
Bonuses are also a key aspect of a good online casino in Germany. Many players assume that they don’t have a wide selection of casinos to choose from and they settle for something with few to no bonuses as a result. But the truth is that you have the online casino world at your feet if you are based in Germany. There may be a few casinos that don’t allow you to join, but they are the exception and not the rule.
So, shop around and make sure you never settle for anything less than a sizable welcome bonus, including a matched deposit bonus, a free spins bonus and a loyalty scheme.
What Makes a Bad Germany Casino?
A bad casino for a German player is one that tries to take advantage of the confusion regarding online laws. To avoid these, make sure you always check the casinos you join on Google. A simple search will tell you whether they are backlisted or not, while providing you with a host of genuine reviews and ratings from players like yourself.
Do not take the casino on their word about certificates and audits either. Check everything. Make sure the numbers match-up and make sure they really are what they say they are.