How online gambling is regulated in Germany

How online gambling is regulated in Germany

The online gambling market in the European Union is a booming and dynamic industry with an estimated €22.2 billion in revenue in 2018 and a projected 9.2% growth rate by 2020. However, a wide range of laws that occasionally run counter to one another and occasionally clash with one another govern this kind of entertainment in the EU member states. These differences create a complicated environment that presents difficulties for consumers, operators, and regulatory bodies.

This article aims to provide a summary of the current state of online gambling regulation in Europe, explaining the different approaches that different nations have adopted. It also explores the main problems and new developments in this industry.



The country's 16 federal states are responsible for regulating the country's intricate and diverse online gambling industry. The Interstate Gambling Agreement, which was revised in 2020 to establish consistent and harmonized regulation, increase tax revenues, and strengthen consumer protections, is the foundation of the current legal framework for online gambling.

The following rules must be followed by German online casinos:

  • Obtaining a license from the federal state in which they currently reside or provide services. These licenses are valid for a maximum of five years, and the annual fees, which are limited to EUR 50,000, depend on the kind and extent of the license.
  • Payment of taxes based on their gross gaming revenues, which range from 5.3% for poker and casino games to 5% for lotteries and sports betting. Operators also have to pay corporate income tax obligations, which vary depending on the federal state and can be anywhere from 15% to 33%.
  • Conformity to technical and functional specifications, such as the use of hardware and software that has been certified, the provision of tools for responsible gaming, the authentication of client identity and age, and the reporting of unusual transactions.
  • Sports betting, casino games, poker, bingo, and lotteries are among the games that operators in Germany may offer. However, certain restrictions apply, such as caps on wagers, losses, stakes, or session lengths; prohibitions on live betting, jackpots, and table games; and license and slot machine quotas.

The following guidelines are applicable to German users of online gambling sites:

It is required to pre-register with an operator in order to use gaming services. Clients are required to submit personal information, including name, address, date of birth, and ID number. They can also set limits on losses, bets, deposits, and session lengths.
Gamers are able to utilize a variety of payment options to finance their accounts, including bank transfers, e-wallets, credit cards, and vouchers.
The Interstate Agreement on Gambling and the Civil Code both enshrine player rights, which grant privileges like access to gaming history, review of account balances, filing of complaints, use of self-exclusion tools, and use of dispute resolution procedures.Estimated revenues for the German online casino market in 2019 were €2.2 billion, making it one of the largest and most profitable in all of Europe. It stands out for being competitive and diverse, with many operators serving German customers. Top operators are Lotto24, Bwin, Tipico, and Bet365. However, this market is not without its complications and difficulties with enforcement, such as unlicensed operators and rules that are broken. In an effort to address these problems and promote a more stable and open gambling industry in Germany, the Interstate Gambling Agreement was recently amended.

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