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Regulation of Online Casinos in Germany

Germany is one of the largest countries in Europe and has a very complex legal system. It follows that casino regulations that deal with gambling are as complicated and confusing in the area. The acts differ from entity to entity and are varied for online and offline gambling. Due to pressure from the European Union and the public, the legislation has changed several times in recent years. Let's take a closer look at this topic regarding licenses.

A Brief History of Online Gambling in Germany

Until 2008, online gambling in Germany was not regulated in any way. However, in 2008, the state adopted the Interregional Treaty on Gambling, which banned citizens from participating in it. Technically, this means that Germans had no access to websites. So if you were casino and trying to play games, nothing would have worked out. In practice, the situation is slightly different. The law in no way prohibits players from betting on sites that are licensed outside of Germany. Thus, many locals continue to enjoy their hobby by visiting foreign casinos and bookmakers and have a joyful experience with fast withdrawal payments.

The original legal document was considered too strict, and in 2012 an amendment was passed allowing local entities to regulate this sphere themselves — under the supervision of the state. The licenses could not be revoked, so they remained in force for another six years, until 2018. The Treaty on Gambling has received a lot of criticism from the European Association for Sports Betting, arguing that it violates EU regulations without justification.

Is Online Betting Legal in Germany? Gambling Laws and Regulations Germany 2022

The agreement only affects online gambling, while land-based casinos are regulated by state laws. Therefore, all sites that are allowed to do business in the country are those that have permission from the state. These tend to be the larger institutions, as the smaller casinos have recently come under attack. On July 1, 2021, new legislation on German gambling came into force. It was adopted in March 2020, when the ratification pact was signed by the ministers-presidents of the 16 federal states. The new legislation benefits online casino and slot machine operators


German licenses for betting on horse racing are available at the regional level. Private operators in the gambling industry were allowed to apply for betting licenses from January 1, 2020. Starting July 1, 2021, German entrepreneurs can apply for virtual slots and online poker licenses. The basic legal framework of the regulation has been the subject of much controversy and has been heavily criticized by the European Commission and by interested states within Germany itself.

The 5 second rule when playing at online casinos in Germany

With the changes that have been made to the German gambling industry, many rules have been introduced. Customers already have the opportunity to visit the best casino without 5 seconds rule to enjoy the game officially. It is not contrary to the gambling laws. It must take five seconds in activities after a spin or slot before the system unlocks another round for the corresponding round. This regulation was introduced as part of the new law and to protect gamers from excessive gambling.

Game Regulation

Table game offerings, such as roulette, blackjack, and portals with live dealers, are limited to land-based casinos, most of which are state-run. In February 2022, Germany's new regulator, the Joint Gambling Authority, launched its website. It is due to officially begin operations in January 2023. That is, it is clear that the licensing process is not easy.

Verification Policies

Verification of the account is done remotely and takes from one to three days. But the timing of the document analysis may vary depending on the policy of a virtual casino. First of all, the player should go through the standard registration, as well as:

  • agree with the rules and conditions of staying on the online site;

  • confirm the phone or e-mail and log in to the site;

  • create a game account by selecting a currency;

  • fill out the questionnaire in the profile, indicating all the necessary data.

German gambling casinos are almost identical in similar queries. Personal information must be identical to passport information. To withdraw funds, the security service of the casino asks for photos of documents confirming identity.


The last agreement has revolutionized gambling advertising and affiliate marketing in the industry. It will be impossible to advertise sports betting not only right during the competition but also shortly before the start. Interestingly, advertising about gaming activities is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regarding affiliate marketing, the most popular revenue-sharing remuneration model will be banned. Operators will have to find other ways to reward affiliates for high-quality traffic. The payment question remains open.

On the other side, there are good alternatives for players looking for casino with fast payouts. Even though some payment methods are restricted, it is a reliable opportunity to find casinos with fast withdrawal from good review platforms. Additionally, to explore enjoyable bonuses and feels without borders in international casinos.

Foreign-Owned Operations

One interesting factor in this area is the treatment of foreign operations. According to local law, non-German-owned casinos must have a physical base in the country and be taxed at 5.3% of turnover. One of the interesting factors in this area is the treatment of foreign operations, which relate to online games. Advantageous for the locals is that companies that open this kind of business need to hire German employees to be able to obtain a gaming license.

After All

Given the latest data, the online gambling market in Germany was not fully developed until the last moment. This was the reason why the destinations could not pass a certain milestone in order to reach a new first-class level. However, since 2021, new legislation has been in place in the country, and the marketplace is now experiencing an unprecedented boom. New projects and well-known brands will have more opportunities for expansion. On the other hand, one of the provisions in the new casinos law prohibits operators from using affiliate links or paying affiliates a percentage of their revenues in Germany. This means that affiliate marketing in the online games of the chance sphere is almost completely banned.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes

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