Germany Casinos

Germany Casinos

As a federal country, Germany often has different laws for each state. What does this mean for internet betting, though? Are you going to be able to bet at online casinos in Germany with real money stakes? Find out everything you need to know in our guide to gambling in Germany.

Germany Online Casinos

Germany is a country where everything is on the move. Online gambling in Germany had (up until recently) only been legal in a handful of states, and even then, there were strict regulations about what you could and couldn’t bet on. However, one state managed to find the perfect balance between regulation and online betting.

As a result of Schleswig-Holstein’s performance, a new federal law came into effect in Germany in July 2021 that effectively opened the German online gambling industry. The Interstate treaty on Gambling (ISTG2021) allows licensing opportunities for operating. New taxes and regulations have come into play, but at long last, online gambling in Germany is now legal across the board. 

If you are unfamiliar with the new law changes, our team is here to guide you through them. Join us as we explore the key things you need to know about gambling online in Germany from now on. We’ll begin by introducing you to a few top real money online casinos that Germans can join legally.

Best Real Money Online Casinos for DE Players

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Is It Legal to Gamble Online in Germany?

It is now! For years, players have asked, “is online casino gambling legal in Germany?” Most of the time, they were met with mixed responses. “It is in Schleswig-Holstein” was a common answer. Now, though, legal gambling sites are available across Germany.

While land-based gambling in Germany has been legal since the Interstate Treaty on Gambling in 2012, online betting had been largely illegal in the country by a previous interstate treaty back in 2008. Schleswig-Holstein and a handful of other German states did not sign up for that, and this, they were allowed to create their own licenses and offer regulated online gambling options.

Legit DE online casinos catered to players in other German states, much to the annoyance of the German government. To find a middle ground, an updated 2012 treaty saw sports betting and lottery games made legal, but not casino gambling. However, the EU ruled that Germany couldn’t stop its players from joining offshore (other EU casinos), and no players could be prosecuted for doing so. Naturally, Germany needed to have a rethink.

In 2021, the country decided to launch a new Interstate Treaty on Gambling and desired to follow Schleswig-Holstein’s lead. Using their format for licensing and regulation, online gambling (in all forms) is now legal in Germany. Casino, sports, and poker betting are now legalised, although lotteries remain monopolies.

Online Casino

Betting sites can only be considered legit German online casinos if they hold a gambling license. Twenty-five casino licenses have been handed out to German and EU operators. To be legal, German casinos must apply for a license from their own federal state authority. Casinos must offer player protections, such as deposit limits, have KYC processes, and there are rules regarding the length of gameplay, how much can be wagered, etc. Notably, licenses only cover RNG (random number generator) casino games, not live dealer titles. They require a separate license which is currently still in the works.

Germany does not blacklist offshore casinos or other sites based in the European Union. Nor will you be punished for playing at them. However, Germany now has licensed online casinos, so there is no real need to visit many of these sites.

Online Poker

As of 2021, online poker is now deemed legal in Germany. While no poker rooms have yet been licensed, you can regularly find poker games at Germany’s licensed online casinos. Live poker games are yet to be licensed, but this is in the pipeline. Again, there is no penalty for visiting offshore poker rooms to play.

Online Sports Betting

Sports betting has been legal in Germany since 2012. Naturally, there are more sportsbooks licensed in Germany than online casinos, as they have been in operation for longer. The same rules (including additional advertising restrictions) are in place, as can be found with Germany’s casinos. Similarly, there is nothing to stop you from visiting international and foreign bookmakers if you want. 

Online Lottery

Germany partakes in both the EuroMillions and the EuroJackpot lotteries, one of the few countries to be a member of both, much to the annoyance of players in smaller European countries that only participate in the latter. Several German lotteries are also run, including state lottos. These are predominantly run by monopolies. One of the most popular in the country is the Lotto 6 aus 49. Lotteries and keno are legal, but it is only recently that sites such as have been permitted to offer online tickets.

Online Bingo

Bingo is an interesting case in Germany. Officially, the new gambling laws don’t cover online bingo games. Effectively, playing online bingo in Germany is illegal, and no bingo rooms currently exist. However, there is nothing to stop you from visiting offshore bingo rooms to play, and many German players head to UK-licensed sites, where bingo games are heavily regulated and secure. It is believed that this stance will change soon, as Germany finetunes its current gambling laws to permit bingo games. However, those games may ultimately end up run by the state monopolies, like lotto and keno games.

History of Gambling in Germany

Germany has had such an up and down history with gambling for a major European country. Below, we’ll try to chart the key events in recent history:

  • 1300s: Card games proved popular in the Holy Roman Empire and German states. By the end of the century, Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main were notable for being amongst the few places in the world to license and regulate gambling, centuries before many of their counterparts.
  • 1500s: Lottery games were introduced to the German states.
  • 1810: The Casino Wiesbaden claims to be the oldest casino. Its history stretches back to the Roman Empire. However, the current venue was established in 1810.
  • 1824: Friedrich Weinbrenner established the Kurhaus of Baden-Baden, a luxurious casino popular with tourists.
  • 1872: Following the collapse of the German Confederation and the establishment of the German Empire, casinos, and gambling, in general, were outlawed. Monte Carlo and other European hotspots take over as the capitals of gambling in Europe.
  • 1933: The recently established Nazis removed the blanket ban on gambling. Baden-Baden’s casino is licensed once more. Gambling is legalised (to a degree) throughout their rule.
  • 1945: Following Nazi Germany’s defeat at the end of World War II, gambling is once again made illegal by the new West German government. Things aren’t much different on the other side of the Berlin Wall. Despite this, gambling halls and slots continue to operate, albeit illegally.
  • 1989/1990: The reunified Germany discussed legalising online gambling once more, but the discussions draw on for years.
  • 1995: The German government reintroduces legal gambling but attempts to monopolise it. The recently formed European Union disagrees, citing the importance of its single market. Germany legalises gambling, but only lotteries are monopolised. Online betting is in its infancy and does not get a mention in the law.
  • 2008: With a rise in online betting (which isn’t covered by the law), Germany outlaws all forms of online gambling. One state, Schleswig-Holstein, disagrees. They are not part of the deal and decide to license and regulate betting sites.
  • 2012: The Interstate Treaty on Gambling permits sports betting and lotto games (only) to be played online. However, Schleswig-Holstein continues to license and regulate its own gambling industry alongside one or two other states.
  • 2018: The German government wants to curtail access to foreign sites. However, the EU refuses to allow Germany to prevent fellow EU sites from being accessed in the country, despite similar situations that occurred elsewhere in Europe, such as neighbouring Denmark and Sweden.
  • 2021: In a bid to control the industry, Germany passed a new Interstate Treaty on Gambling. It makes casino gambling, sports betting, and poker gameplay legal to play online and gives each state the power to license and regulate its own industries, in accordance with the successful Schleswig-Holstein model.

Is It Safe to Gamble at a German Online Casino?

With the new gambling laws in place, it is possible to find a wealth of safe online casinos in Germany. As many of the states are still wrapping their head around the gambling laws in the country, we’d recommend casinos licensed out of Schleswig-Holstein, as they are regulated to a high degree.

Of course, while it is illegal, it is not punishable to play at casinos licensed elsewhere in the European Union or beyond, such as the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. These casinos are also highly regulated, arguably more so than those in Germany, and make for alternative options if you want to play elsewhere. All these casinos (and German licensed ones) feature a wealth of player protections, RNG-certified titles, and SSL encryption.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino?

As many Germans are new to online casino gambling being legal, they may not have an idea of what to look for in a top site. We have put together a top selection of the most trusted online casinos for DE players below. Head straight over to our online gambling reviews for Germany to find a selection of top casinos.

Each of our recommended casinos complies with Germany’s gambling laws, and you won’t be punished for playing there. Moreover, they are fully secure, licensed, regulated and offer a wealth of top options. We’ll explore some of those options in greater detail below.

Casino Bonuses

Casino bonuses are regulated in Germany. Under the country’s new gambling laws, a casino is forbidden to entice or heavily advertise its services. Therefore, most promotions and bonuses at German casinos are incredibly basic. You won’t get the same array of deals worth hundreds of euros. The terms and conditions (such as wagering requirements, minimum deposit limits and win caps) still need to be fair, and our team takes time to ensure that everything adds up before recommending a German casino or its bonuses to you.

Games and Software

Many German online casinos are still finding their feet. However, we expect to see a top array of games from many providers. This includes not just German and Austrian providers, such as Merkur Gaming and Novomatic, but also established providers from elsewhere, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, Yggdrasil, Pragmatic Play and more.

The Reputation of the Casino

As most legal German casinos are relatively new and inexperienced, their reputation may be untested. However, our team has the skills and experience to know what a top casino should have. Therefore, we know how safe a casino is and how it is likely to develop over time. You can check out a casino’s reputation in our reviews.

Casino Customer Support

Customer support at casinos in Germany must be available in German. Many sites also offer English support and can do so via live chat, e-mail and, in some cases, toll-free telephone. All of this should be available for free.

Payment Methods

German payment methods aren’t just limited to Sofort. We also want to see bank transactions, e-wallets (where possible), fast transaction times and free methods. Moreover, they should accept the euro. 

Online Casino Games Available for DE Players

For German players new to betting online, the selection of top games may be overwhelming. Allow us to introduce you to a few things that all reputable online casinos that accept DE players should offer:

  1. As they are growing, we expect sites to offer a regular supply of new online casino games in Germany.
  2. All a casino’s supported games should be RNG-certified with fair RTP rates.
  3. While live casino games aren’t technically legal yet, we expect them to be offered all the same.
  4. All German casino games should be mobile-friendly and available as a free-to-play demo.
  5. The best online casino games in Germany should span slots, table games and more, including keno, lotto, and instant win titles.

Online Slots

Online slots are now legal for DE players to enjoy. Slot machines in Germany should include progressive jackpot games, video slots, fruit machines, classic slots, and mobile-friendly titles.

Online Blackjack

You can now play blackjack online for real money in Germany. These games are available at online casinos and any dedicated poker rooms once they start going live. At present, only RNG games are available.

Online Roulette

Like blackjack games, the best online roulette gambling sites in Germany tend to be casinos for now, not dedicated roulette rooms. Similarly, only RNG (random number generator) roulette games can currently be played.

Live Dealer Games

Hosting live casino games online in Germany requires a site to obtain a separate license from the state they are based in. This hasn’t yet happened, so as of now, live casino games are still illegal. This will change soon, though.

Other Online Casino Games

Keno and lottery games remain monopolised, and bingo may go that way, too. Video poker, instant win titles and other oddball games can be found in Germany’s top online casinos.

Most Popular Casino Software in Germany

Now that gambling online is legal in Germany, you can find Microgaming casinos for DE players and participate in the top slot titles at the best NetEnt casinos in Germany. While it may be tempting to play games from these providers, alongside titles from German and Austrian developers, such as Merkur Gaming (GER) and Novomatic (AUT), there are plenty of alternatives. These include:

Banking Information for DE Players

It is vitally important that any German online casino accepts conventional payment methods and the euro currency. For instance, we want to see online casinos in Germany accepting VISA. Only German online casinos licensed in the country offer PayPal as an option. Any payment methods you use should have low minimum deposit limits, high maximum withdrawal caps, offer free transactions and speed transaction times.

Naturally, Sofort is a hugely popular option in Germany. Here are a few of your other options:


It is not possible to deposit at German licensed casinos using cryptocurrencies. However, other EU licensed sites, such as those with MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) licenses, do accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others.

Reasons why you may wish to look at offshore casinos for cryptocurrency gameplay include:

  • Faster withdrawal times than with fiat options.
  • A great array of games are now crypto-friendly.
  • Better anonymity if that is important to you.

Mobile Gaming in Germany

Mobile casino gaming in Germany doesn’t always require an app. Whether a site offers online gambling apps to DE players varies from site to site. Those without iOS and Android apps are still developed in HTML5, so you can play via your device’s browser instead.

German Online Casino Bonuses & Promo Codes

As touched on earlier, while some sites do offer the best bonuses of any online casinos in Germany, bonus deals are heavily regulated. There is an emphasis on offering player protection, such as letting players choose to accept or reject bonuses. They can do this with opt-outs, or DE players at online casinos can use bonus codes to make it clear that they wish to claim an offer.

Our team regularly checks the terms and conditions of all bonuses before recommending any to you. Each of the casinos we promote has deals with fair terms and conditions, low minimum deposit limits, high win caps (where they are present at all), and good game eligibility rules for their offers.

No Deposit Bonuses

No deposit casinos in Germany aren’t often available as they encourage gambling. Any new DE no deposit casinos that offer you free bonuses with no strings attached will be analysed by our team and reviewed here, though.

Deposit Match

A first deposit bonus is possible at a casino in Germany. However, not all casinos offer them. By using our reviews, you can seek out DE online casinos with low deposit terms, allowing you to get a fair and prosperous cash match bonus without having to deposit large sums of money.

Free Spins

Online casinos with free sign-up bonus deals often provide free spins with no deposit required to Germany’s players. Free spin deals are not that common, though, as they, too, encourage gambling amongst the population. We’ll cover them where they are available, though.

Reload Bonuses

Reload bonuses give you a shot at boosting your balance with free funds when you deposit, much like welcome bonuses. Our team regularly checks the Ts and Cs of these deals before recommending any of them to you. Like welcome offers, they are rarer in Germany than in other European countries.


Below, you will find answers to a few of the more common queries relating to German online casinos and internet betting.

Will I need an ID to verify my account when betting online?
Absolutely. The newly unveiling German betting industry relies on plenty of player protections and having a transparent KYC process is part and parcel of operators obtaining a license. 
What is the legal gambling age to bet online in Germany?
German players must be aged 18 to bet on any form of gambling game in the country.
What is the legal status of German online casinos?
As of 2021, betting on casino, sports, poker, and lottery games are legal in Germany, assuming the site is licensed by one of the German states. However, Germany doesn’t punish players for visiting offshore casinos and those located elsewhere in the EU.
Can I play at German online casinos if I am located elsewhere?
Yes. German casinos aren’t limited to only accepting from Germany. They are open to accepting players based elsewhere, assuming your country allows you to visit offshore casinos.
Who regulates the online gambling industry in Germany?
Each German state is responsible for regulating and licensing its own casinos. However, the overall gambling law that they must adhere to is the most recent Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021. 
Are my winnings taxed if I gamble in Germany?
Germany’s new gambling law brought new taxes. However, those taxes are for the operators and license holders. Those taxes deduct any winnings the betting sites pay you. German players do not pay tax or VAT on anything they win. At least, not yet. While this is not thought to be changing, the legalised industry is still so new that we wouldn’t say it can’t happen.
Do I need to use a VPN to bet online?
No. German licensed casinos can be accessed by those outside the country. Moreover, Germany doesn’t block offshore and international sites, so Germans shouldn’t need a VPN to access foreign casinos and sportsbooks. 
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