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Germany Online Casinos

Germany Online CasinosGambling has always been a very popular pastime in Germany, and a Federal Health Centre study in 2008 showed that 50% of men took part in some form of gambling. There are many casinos around the country, and figures from 2012 show that the German Gambling Industry produced revenues of EUR 10.73 billion over the course of the year.

Popular forms of gaming here include sports betting, casinos, lotteries, and of course, slot machines. It might seem odd then, that the laws – particularly in relation to online betting – are in a state of flux. It is illegal to operate an online casino from within our borders. As a result, most Germans play at foreign-based websites, often those registered and licensed in the UK. It is legal to visit the casino website and legal to open an account, but technically it is illegal to place an online bet on a ‘game of chance’. However, individual convictions are non-existent and the German authorities are more concerned with the legal wrangling with the European Commission, which we will explain later.

If you're looking for the best German casinos, then check out the list below.

Best German Casinos 2017

  • Rank
  • Casino
  • Bonus
  • Play
1
100% UP TO €1600
2
100% up to €1000
3
100% UP TO €300
4
200% UP TO €1200
5
200% up to €500

Best German Casinos 2017

1
Jackpot City Casino
100% UP TO €1600
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2
LVBet Casino
100% up to €1000
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3
Omni Slots Casino
100% UP TO €300
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4
Casumo Casino
200% UP TO €1200
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5
Karamba Casino
200% up to €500
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Millions of Germans play online every day, but again we should point out that despite little fear of reprisal, they are technically breaking the law. This may well change in the near future, though for now we should be content to play at sites licensed by reputable jurisdictions such as the UK and the Isle of Man.

German Gambling Legislation

2008 was the start of the German gambling saga, when the first Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG) came into effect. The original form of the legislation was intended to impose restrictions on operators in order to protect consumers from addiction and to protect against fraud. Little provision was made for online gambling in the legislation, but it was signed by 15 of Germany’s 16 states and passed into law. The exception was the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

In 2010 this legislation was thrown into question by a European Court of Justice ruling that found Germany’s restrictions on gambling to be illegal. The court ruled that the laws on sports betting constitute a restriction on the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment.

The state of Schleswig-Holstein took a completely different route to the rest of Germany and established its own laws in September 2011, with the regulations coming into effect in January 2012. The legislation stated that operators could bid for licenses for various forms of gambling, including sports betting, poker and casinos. Operators would be liable for 20% tax, and licenses would last for a period of five years with no upper limit on the amount of licenses to be issued.

Around the same time – in December 2011 – the original ISTG was updated to include a degree of framework for online gambling. Provision was made to allow online lotteries and to allow up to 20 licences for sports betting, with the licensed companies liable for 5% tax. The changes also included a removal of the internet blocks on casinos, although they remain unregulated. These concessions required operators issued with sports betting licences to cease offering poker and casino products to German customers, and the legislation may still fall short of both German and European competition laws.

By July 2012, under new leadership, Schleswig-Holstein declared its intention to sign the Interstate Treaty, but by that time it had already issued several licences, including 23 for online casino operators. These licenses are still in operation and continue to run until 2018 when their term finishes. Exactly what will happen to Schleswig-Holstein’s regulations at that point remains unclear.

The European Commission had expressed concerns over the ISTG when the amendments were made in 2012, and gave Federal States a period of two years to evaluate the adaptability of the regulation. That period expired in July 2014, although there have been no clear answers publicised as yet. Meanwhile, in June 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Schleswig-Holstein licences were not consistent with EU legislation, and therefore would not be extended to other states. The court also ruled that it was acceptable for a country to have two separate licensing regimes – as is the case in Germany – as long as the stricter of the regimes does not contradict European competition laws.

Spoiled for Choice

As you’ll gather the legal issues around gambling in Germany remain unresolved and the selection process for the 20 authorised licences is still under discussion. Those in Schleswig-Holstein (around 3% of Germany’s population) can play online slots at the licensed casinos until 2018 at least, but the rest of Germany must wait until licences are approved or legislation is changed.

There are, however, plenty of online casinos based offshore which accept German players and offer their casino platforms in our language. Given we have one of the biggest per capita gambling spends in Europe, it should be of no surprise that most large European operators cater to people here.

As online casinos are not regulated by German law, players should be vigilant about which sites they deposit money to. There would be no legal recourse if an operator disappeared with your money or refused to pay out winnings, so we strongly recommend only playing at the most reputable sites.

We advise all of our users to thoroughly check the license of the casino before playing, as well as reading the reviews on this website. We only recommend the most reputable spots so stick with us and you're guaranteed to find a legit place to play.

In terms of registering at a casino and depositing money to start betting, it couldn’t be easier. Online casinos usually require you to provide some personal details along with proof that you are over 18. There are no restrictions on banking methods, but as the casino is likely to be based offshore, most people use international payment methods such as Skrill and Neteller or cash transfer services.

As well as being more reliable and secure, the larger operators also feature a much wider variety of casino games and slot machines, and most offer mobile versions of their casinos, based on Flash and HTML5 instant-play games.

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