The topic of this review will be the situation in the gambling market in Germany. We will touch on the main aspects, such as the legality and safety of German online casinos. We will consider the list of the best sites, and the games which are available to Germans, as well as talk about the methodology of choosing a good casino. Consider the main bonuses that are offered to players from Germany, as well as understand the attitude of the authorities to sports betting. We will learn about the most convenient payment systems and separately talk about the legal status of cryptocurrencies. Let’s not forget about other types of gambling entertainment, such as lotteries and poker.
Best Online Casinos For German People
Now that online casinos are above board throughout Germany, there’s been a big spike in the number of quality sites.
At the moment, some sites are operating with international licenses, while others are carrying local German licenses, like those granted by the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Either way, there are some key things to look out for when choosing an online casino. We’ll get into those details later, but for now, let’s take a look at the crème de la crème of German online casinos:
The story of gambling in Germany goes all the way back to the late 14th century. The first gambling house swung open its doors in 1378 in Frankfurt. Germans have always had a soft spot for gambling, so by the end of the 18th century, you could find casinos and gaming houses in nearly every town.
By the mid-19th century, you could confidently call Germany a country with a highly developed gambling industry, not just because of the number of establishments, but also their quality and variety. However, despite the nationwide love of gambling, the government has outlawed it several times. This happened under the Imperial Government in 1872 and again in 1933, during the Third Reich. After the war ended, the Germans started mulling over the legalization of gambling establishments again. This came to fruition in 1949, alongside the adoption of the Federal Republic of Germany’s constitution. It stated that the level of legality and control over the gambling industry would fall on the shoulders of the federal state authorities.
This legislation has been revised and supplemented many times. But the major game-changer only came in 2008. We’ll delve into that in the next paragraph.
Legality and regulation of gambling
In 2008, the “Gambling Treaty” was rolled out, which put the kibosh on Germans participating in online gambling. This ban encompassed both online casinos and bookmakers operating within Germany. The obvious workaround was to gamble at foreign online casinos and bookmakers, operating under licenses from international commissions.
But this legislation was a bit too heavy-handed, and it was revisited in 2012. That year, an amendment was made to the document, stating that gambling regulation would be handed over to federal state authorities. As a result, some of the states, like Schleswig-Holstein, doled out more than 50 different licenses in a single year. A year later, they did a 180 and stopped issuing licenses, but by law, these could not be cancelled until 2018.
In 2021, a new gambling treaty came out, which brought online gambling fully into the legal mainstream. Thanks to it, the issuance of licenses for online casinos and bookmakers became available nationwide again. The law also contains many restrictions, such as limits on bets in online slots (bets must not exceed €1 per spin), the time between spins must be at least 5 seconds, and a mandatory deposit limit for new players (no more than €1000).
Choosing the best online casinos in Germany
Now, we’d like to break down some key pointers to keep in mind when sizing up an online casino. Primarily, we’re looking at whether they’ve got the proper licenses and whether they’re up to date, as well as what other gamblers have to say about their experiences with the casino. Next, you’ll want to eyeball their bonus scheme and available deposit methods. And finally, make sure they’ve got a 24/7 support service and that their site plays nice with mobile devices. We’re about to delve deeper into all of this.
Legality and Safety
In our reviews, we always zero in on a casino’s license and check if it’s still in the clear. With German online casinos, you can count on both international licenses, like those issued by MGA or Curacao, and local ones from the federal authorities. If a casino’s licensed and the license hasn’t run out, then you’ve got no reason to doubt the game’s on the level.
Keeping tabs on player feedback is crucial, and we factor that in when compiling our online casino rankings for Germany. You can do this on dedicated gaming forums or websites. Among the popular German sites focused on online casino matters, TetCasino.de and CasinoOnline.de stand out.
Bonuses & Promotions
Players from Germany have access to the whole shebang when it comes to bonus programs. From welcome packages to regular rewards and ranking systems. Special mention goes to races and tournaments, regularly organized by the casino itself or the providers. For our rankings, we only pick those casinos that offer the sweetest bonus deals. We’ll dissect the main types of bonuses in more detail in the relevant section.
A decent casino will always have plenty of deposit methods on offer. From traditional methods like topping up with bank cards, to various e-wallets and cryptocurrencies. We recommend you check out the range of payment systems available at a given casino. That way, once you’ve signed up, you can be sure to find a method that works for you.
A key criterion we rate highly in our casino reviews is round-the-clock online support. Good support always provides the info you need pronto and helps solve any issues that crop up. Another thing to consider is the range of languages spoken by the support team; they should be able to communicate not just in English, but also in German.
A lot of German gamblers prefer to play on their mobile devices. Consequently, an online casino site should be well adapted for mobile devices across different operating systems. This includes the deposit window, which should allow you to top up your account or withdraw winnings quickly and hassle-free.
Bonuses and promotions for German players
As we’ve mentioned before, German gamblers can bag all kinds of bonuses. These can be earned both for initial deposits and subsequent top-ups. Not to forget the special VIP schemes and loyalty rewards, which you can pocket even without making an extra deposit, provided you’ve racked up enough points. Let’s now take a closer look at the main types of bonuses.
The welcome bonus is either a boost to your deposit amount or a set number of free spins. Any new player who’s successfully registered can claim this. At some casinos, you’ll need to punch in a special promo code, which you can find in the promotions section, but most of the time it’s automatically applied to your first deposit, or you get to pick a bonus when you top up.
Regular Player Bonuses
Regular players can score bonuses like weekly reloads, certain cashbacks depending on your level, and special VIP systems. For instance, frequent visitors at Frank Casino can get a special birthday bonus, as well as join the “Status System” where 25 levels (called “stations” here) await you. The more spins you make, the more ranking points you collect. So, the higher your level, the juicier the rewards.
Races and Tournaments
Races and tournaments are special events where you bag points for every action you take. They’re open to all players, and to sign up, you just need to hit the right button. The required actions vary depending on the type of tournament, but overall, you just need to spin the slots from the given list and aim for a high spot in the final rankings. Wild Tornado Casino offers the following tournaments:
BGaming Slots Tournament – a tournament held in games from the Bgaming provider. The total prize pool is 1000 euros and 1000 free spins, plus 2500 tornado points.
Welcome Tournament – a tournament for new players. Held every 3 days, the prize pool amounts to 500 EUR.
Daily Tournament – a daily tournament held by Wild Tornado Casino. Each day sees a pot of 150 euros and 250 free spins. So, over a week, players are paid out a total of 1050 euros and 1750 free spins.
Sports betting in Germany
Sports betting is all the rage in Germany. Like most forms of gambling, they’re totally above board and the country has regulators that license bookies and keep an eye on their activities. Some of the most popular betting joints with a license to operate in Germany include bwin, Interwetten, MyBet, Betano, and many others. Sports itself is a big hit in Germany, with the most popular ones being:
Football – A sport that’s practically the national obsession in Germany. The country boasts a top-notch youth football system, churning out stand-out players for the German national team, which is one of the powerhouses in the world game, as its four World Cup titles attest.
Golf – Another hit sport in Germany, seen as a bit posh by society. Golf was largely popularized by star golfer Martin Kaymer who, in 2011, stayed top of the world rankings for eight weeks, a rare feat at a young age.
Ice Hockey – A popular winter sport in Germany, with loads of major German cities boasting their own hockey teams that represent them in the German Hockey League. All told, the German national team is seen as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage, as evidenced by its numerous medals from the Winter Olympics.
Basketball – Lots of professional German players play in the American NBA league. Among them are Detlef Schrempf and Dirk Nowitzki, who did a lot to make basketball well-known in Germany. Its popularity is also helped by the good sports infrastructure, with hundreds of basketball courts both indoors and outdoors all over Germany.
Formula 1 – When talking about popular sports in Germany, you can’t leave out Formula 1 racing. Names like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel are familiar even to people not into racing. German drivers have long been in pole position in this discipline, earning them nationwide love and recognition.
Convenient payment systems
Germany is rightly considered one of the most advanced countries when it comes to e-commerce. So, it follows that there’s a multitude of ways to shop online in general, and top up your online casino account in particular. This can be done either with your bank card or account, or via various e-wallets. Let’s now delve into a few of the most convenient payment systems in Germany.
Recently, online casinos have become fully legal across Germany. As a result, banks have stopped blocking relevant transactions. So, you can top up your account in any licensed online casino in Germany directly using a Visa/Mastercard. An advantage of this method is instant top-up with a low commission. The downsides include a relatively long withdrawal period (from 15 minutes to 3 days), and the need to leave your details on the casino website.
A slick solution that makes it a breeze to do both direct top-ups from your bank card and bank transfers. The system acts as a sort of middleman between you and the online casino, helping to keep your deets hush-hush and beefing up the safety of your transactions.
Well-known e-wallets that gamblers are pretty hot on. Main perks? Swift sign-up and a simple verification process, after which you can top up your account right away. Once you’ve topped up, you can make a deposit at an online casino or cash out your winnings with just a click. Fast transactions and low fees – these systems have got the edge.
A popular German service that lets you bridge the gap between the online casino and your bank account quickly and efficiently. No sign-up necessary, just select this method when you deposit at the casino, and you’ll be taken straight to your online banking page, which is hooked up to the GiroPay system.
Another handy method that’s taking off big time with online casino players. Its main draws? Easy crypto purchasing, speedy transactions with low fees, and total anonymity.
NOTIFY Germany was one of the first EU countries to get stuck into cryptocurrency regulation. In 2011, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) recognised cryptocurrencies as units of account, referencing the German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz). In 2017, as part of an update to the legal framework, cryptocurrency was given the status of a financial instrument. However, it doesn’t qualify as electronic money because it doesn’t have a central issuer.
So, it’s fair to say that cryptocurrencies are completely above board in Germany. Anyone who fancies it can mine them, buy/sell them, or use them to pay for goods or services online (including depositing at online casinos).
Popular gambling providers in Germany
Germans are known for their precision, so when it comes to slots, they rate quality and accuracy highly. Consequently, the providers that are most popular are the ones whose games are hard to fault. Whether it’s the quality of the graphics and sound, or the variety of game mechanics and themes. Next, we’d like to take a look at the top five most popular providers:
An undisputed bigwig in the industry, it’s struck a chord not just in Germany but all over the world. A roll of the dice on their slots, card games, or live action is always a blast. The folks behind the scenes put top-quality products and riveting gameplay front and center, and hit the jackpot. That’s why they take the cake when it comes to popularity rankings.
A household name hailing from Sweden, they too, like Pragmatic Play, spare no expense to craft top-drawer products. The result? A boatload of slots with varied themes, offering more than just eye candy, but a high shot at scoring big. Their branded offerings, cooked up with well-known names and companies, are an extra feather in their cap.
Another Swedish developer, a bona fide old-timer in the game. Over the years of successful and active development, they’ve churned out key products that have stayed in the hearts of punters around the globe. German betters are hooked on the provider’s popular slot series, like Gonzos’Quest, and quirky games with progressive jackpots.
Spinomenal – “it’s simply phenomenal” is the company’s catchphrase. It’s bang on the money, given their unique products which blend creativity with popular concepts.
An old hand at the game, they double down on progressive mechanics. Germans love staying in the thick of the action, and thus have a soft spot for those providers whose games are always abuzz with activity. BetSoft is one such name, as most of their products have built-in mechanics that kick in every few spins.
Land-based casinos in Germany
Given their legal status, Germany is home to a ton of brick-and-mortar casinos. Some have been around for centuries, existing longer than modern Germany itself. These establishments are a big deal throughout Europe, having played host to many famous personalities. Here are a few standout joints:
The Baden-Baden Casino – a gaming hall nestled in the German town of Baden-Baden. Crafted by renowned architect Friedrich Weinbrenner in 1824, it gained international fame in the 1830s due to a gambling ban in France. Over the years, it’s played host to eminent figures like Fyodor Dostoevsky and Marlene Dietrich.
Today, it’s a swanky casino boasting a multitude of rooms, their interiors nearly untouched, echoing the aura of yesteryears. It offers a sprawling range of games, from table and card games to a variety of slot machines, including those with progressive jackpots. The casino welcomes only those who are 21 and above. Men also have to follow a dress code, which entails wearing a jacket and a light shirt. If need be, you can buy a shirt and rent a jacket on site. The casino often hosts poker tournaments and regularly features cash games with €2/€4 and €5/€10 stakes.
Spielbank Berlin – a swanky casino built in modern style, located in the German capital, Berlin. It consists of 4 buildings scattered throughout the city:
Potsdamer Platz – the main building of Spielbank Berlin is situated right at this square and has been in operation since 1998. It offers 8 tables for American Roulette, 18 card tables, and over 500 slot machines.
Fernsehturm – this gaming area is housed in the complex associated with the Berlin TV tower. While its gaming assortment isn’t as wide as the main building, players can still find 2 American Roulette tables, 50 panels for roulette bets, 7 card tables, and 100 slot machines.
Ku’damm 31 – a part of the casino located inside the BMW building at Kurfürstendamm 31. It features 2 American roulette tables and 40 electronic betting stations for roulette, 2 blackjack tables, and 2 baccarat tables, as well as over 100 slot machines.
Ellipse At The Rathaus Spandau – a gaming area located away from the bustling city center. It offers 5 poker tables, 1 blackjack table, and 100 slot machines.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in Germany
Lotteries, along with other types of gambling, are legal in Germany. The state, represented by the Federal States, holds a monopoly on lotteries. Although technically a lottery can be private, state representatives must always be involved in the draws. This helps prevent fraud and control the profits, 50% of which must go towards social needs and the development of health, sports, and arts projects, among others.
The most popular German lottery is Deutsche Lotto 6 aus 49, launched back in 1974. The state-run company Deutscher Lotto und Totoblock conducts the draws, overseeing various types of lotteries:
Lotto 6 aus 49 – the classic and most popular version of the lottery. Players must pick 6 numbers within a range of 6 to 49. The more matching numbers you get, the higher your winnings. There is also a separate ‘mega ball’, a match with which can multiply your winnings many times over. The draws take place every Wednesday at 18:50 and Saturday at 21:45 local time.
To hit the jackpot, you must correctly guess all 6 numbers, as well as the number of the mega ball. This way, you can hope to win a multi-million prize, which can exceed 45 million euros in some cases. In total, there are 9 prize categories, and we’ve compiled a table with estimated payouts for each category:
6 + mega ball
5 + mega ball
4 + mega ball
3 + mega ball
2 + mega ball
Spiel 77 – is an additional feature available when purchasing a ticket in the main 6 aus 49 and EuroJackpot lotteries. When you buy a ticket, you can activate the Spiel 77 function, which will cost you an extra €2.5. Here’s how it works – after you purchase your main lottery ticket, you receive a set of 7 numbers (6 picked by you and 1 mega-ball number). This set is also used in the Spiel 77 draw, but in reverse order. There are 7 prize categories in total, and the more matches you score, the bigger your win:
7 last numbers
6 last numbers
5 last numbers
4 last numbers
3 last numbers
2 last numbers
1 last numbers
Eurojackpot – is a multinational lottery participated in by almost all of Europe. To enter, you need to pick 5 main numbers from 1 to 50, and 2 euro numbers ranging from 1 to 12. There are 12 prize categories in total. They are determined based on the number of matches in the main draw and the number of matches in the euro numbers. On average, the jackpot ranges from 90 to 120 million Euros.
Poker is another extremely popular form of gambling. In offline mode, you can play in one of dozens of German casinos, but online poker was only legalized in 2021. The truth is, life didn’t necessarily get easier for many players after legalization. According to new laws, for a poker room to operate online, it needs to meet ITG license requirements, which, among other things, requires a security deposit ranging from 5 to 50 million euros. This doesn’t affect the average Joe much. But the deposit limit of €1000 per month, as well as the inability to play at more than 4 tables, definitely does.
As a result, online poker has shifted from being a gray industry to a white one, but players have faced a number of restrictions that have greatly impacted the comfort and results of the game. This is especially true for those who earn a living through online poker. Regarding poker rooms, some of them left the country, like Ipoker, while others registered additional .de domains: 888Poker, PartyPoker. Also, some rooms have imposed a maximum deposit limit, like GGPokerok, Pokerstars.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in Germany
Since 2021, the Interstate Treaty on Gambling / ITG has been in effect in Germany. This document serves as a kind of license, outlining the rules of the game and the conditions under which online casinos, bookmakers, and poker rooms can operate. The issuance of licenses, as well as the control over their implementation, is the responsibility of the Federal authorities of each of the states. There are some conditions to receive a license, such as making a security deposit and connecting a central “limit control file”. It’s also worth noting that almost all licensed online casinos in Germany require mandatory verification, as playing in multiple casinos at the same time is forbidden.
Total government control also has a number of advantages – the chance that a licensed casino will treat you unfairly is virtually nil. Just like the chance of using subpar or dishonest software. In any case, you can always turn to local authorities to resolve a disputed issue, if one arises.
It is worth noting that in terms of gambling legislation, Germany is ahead of the rest of Europe. Instead of a complete ban, it offers its residents full legalization, but under certain conditions. Thus, Germans can fully enjoy all kinds of gambling: from land-based and online casinos, to sports betting, various lotteries and poker games. A convenient point is the presence of a well-developed banking infrastructure, which simplifies the deposit in online casinos. And special services that help to make the payment, protect user data. The presence of legal status of cryptocurrency is also a positive moment, as this tool is widely used by players in the gambling industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are online casinos legal in Germany?
Yes, online casinos are completely legal in Germany. Their licensing is the responsibility of the local government.
Are there any land-based casinos in Germany?
There are several dozen different establishments represented in Germany, some of which are centuries old.
How is sports betting in Germany?
Like most other gambling activities, sports betting is completely legal in Germany. Both offline outlets and online betting shops.
Can I play poker legally in Germany?
You can, you can do it both in land-based casinos and in various online poker rooms such as GGPokerok, PokerStars, 888Poker, Partypoker.
Can I fund my online casino account with cryptocurrency?
Yes, because cryptocurrency is fully legal in Germany. As a result, you can freely buy and sell it, as well as use it for casino deposits.