Online Casino Gambling in Germany
The game of poker is derived from the German word ‘pochen’, which means to brag or bluff, but you will have to consider yourself extremely fortunate to be able to play it online in the country famous for its beer and sausages. Despite there being alterations to Germany’s strict online gambling laws, its federal government has pulled out all stops to retain full control over its gambling monopoly. This is because physical sports betting and land-based casinos are completely legal and the industry generates a large amount in tax revenue.
ITG a stringent regulation
Online casinos and bookmakers were banned under the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ITG) in Germany from January 1, 2008. The only exception to the rule was betting on horse-racing which continues to be legal and is regulated by state-operators. Under the ITG, the German government was vested with powers to prohibit banks from processing payments derived from online casinos and internet service providers were forced to block access to such sites.
Many betting firms and official bodies including the European Gaming and Betting Association feel that the treaty is unjust. The European Court of Justice to agreed when it said that Germany would have to let go of state-control over the online gambling industry. The German government responded with an update to the initial treaty in 2012, saying that it would issue 20 licenses for sports betting online and has nearly received 100 different bids for winning them. However, the deadline for granting of the licenses have been pushed back scores of times with the result that no licenses have as yet been granted.
Schleswig-Holstein the black sheep
In 2012, Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of the 16 states in Germany, decided to break ranks and liberalize the gambling market and allotted licenses to 50 operators for online sports betting, online casinos and poker. The holy grail of German online gambling turned out to be too fleeting, since Schleswig-Holstein signed the ITG in 2013. However, it could not revoke the licenses it had issued for online bet placements, which created a strange and rather complex situation in Germany. While these licenses may not be cancelled, there is all likelihood that these licenses will not be extended after 2018 when they are due for renewal.
Despite online casinos falling in a grey area as far as German laws are concerned, they have generated enormous interest from gamblers in the country where the industry was considered to be worth Euro 10 billion in 2009. However, gamblers wary of the legislations against online gaming are free to play their favorite games at state-run land casinos. In the online market, betting on sports is most popular compared to poker and casino games.
Court of law still a ray of hope
The inherent contradictions created by Schleswig-Holstein’s year outside the ITG and the status of the 50 licenses it issued to various casino and poker sites will be decided by the European Court of Justice. Based on it, Germany will be forced to take review its national policy on gambling. However, until then, Germans will be able to place bets at the several sites that were issued licenses by Schleswig-Holstein only up to 2018.
Some important casino sites for Germans
- NetBet Casino has a reputation for delivering fresh titles on a constant basis. It has an incredible gaming room with popular titles for all players. Besides traditional Blackjack, Roulette and Video Poker, players have the option to play reel games with titles such as Bruce Lee slot, Golden Goddess slot and Seven Lucky Dwarfs.
- Luxury Casino offers members a choice between download and no download casino platform. It offer over 470 titles of the best slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker and table games.
For the very latest on online gambling in Germany stay tuned to Girl’s Entertainment Network.
Sites for German Players
These are some of the sites that are recommended to German players who are interested in playing at online casinos.
FAGS - Problem gambling help for people from German here.
Anonyme Spieler - Gamblers anonymous and meetings information for those who reside in Germany.