Types of Online Casino in Germany
The current situation with gambling in Germany is highly controversial. Casinos are located throughout Germany. Almost every major city has at least one casino. In addition, in the cities of nature tourism and spa tourism centers in Germany there is no shortage of casinos. In total, more than 70 casinos operate in Germany. The casinos of Germany are significantly different in appearance and interior decor. Some are built in a modern style – steel & glass, some are classic palace structures.
However, most casinos in Germany offer classic games: American and European roulettes, blackjack, baccarat, Punto Banco, Texas Hold’em poker, Omaha poker, electronic roulette and bingo, video poker, and a lot of slot machines. Also, most casinos regularly organize tournaments for poker players. In addition, most German casinos are strictly gambling-driven establishments and do not offer large entertainment programs.
Despite this, today, online-casino institutions are very developed in Germany. Many people can play cash games from the comfort of their homes or using their phones, but most interestingly, there are no online-casino institutions in Germany. This fact is affected by the presence of certain laws and problems in the legal sphere. In this regard, any resident of Germany, having played games for money on the Internet, appears a potential violator of the law, but, in spite of this, in the entire history, no one has yet been tried by the court.
Thus, in recent years, more and more players in Germany prefer online-casino institutions to the traditional ones, and there are many reasons for this. The times when the player had to crowd in the queue to a table with a favorite game remained in the past. It is for this reason that players in Germany have access to both online browser versions of institutions and downloadable applications with improved optimization of work.
Moreover, one more type of online entertainment is becoming popular today in Germany – live casino. Now you can get comfortable, choose any casino game and focus on strategy. Moreover, thanks to the development of modern technology you can play from your mobile anytime, anywhere.
Nevertheless, despite the high quality of online games, some players lack the spirit of a real casino. Live casino was able to overcome this barrier in Germany, and now everyone can plunge into the atmosphere of a traditional casino from their own home. The players on the other side of the screen are real live dealers with whom you can communicate in real time.
All this and even more is available now for players in Germany on any international sites.
Types of Casino Games for German Gamblers
Online gambling-driven entertainment in Germany is almost completely banned, with only 20 licenses for online sports betting issued. But online betting on horse racing and promotional licenses are allowed in Germany.
Licensing petitioners must prove that they have sufficient financial means, reliable and with the necessary experience. They also prove sufficient IT and technical supply.
Current licenses for online activities are valid until the end of June 2019, although there is a possibility that the authorities will extend this period until 2024. After that, the experimental period of the current legislation in Germany will end.
The cost of an online sports betting license is calculated on the expected income. The minimum rate is 0.01% for annual income up to 30 million EUR.
Among the most popular slot machines are machines from manufacturers that are popular around the world: Novomatic, Microgaming, Playtech and others. Here is an example of the most popular slots on the sites loved in Germany:
- Book of Ra;
- Lucky Lady’s Charm;
- Game of Thrones;
- Jurassic Park;
- Sherlock Mystery;
- The Avengers.
The slot machines of the Austrian giant Novomatic have proven themselves for many years of their work in Germany. They are often highly volatile, with a fairly simple and almost never changing interface, besides offering high payouts for expensive symbols.
More modern manufacturers, like Microgaming and Playtech, attract the attention in Germany with bright and unusual gameplay, favorite characters and a large number of bonuses. Often in such slots there are multi-level free spins or interactive additional games.
In Germany, two large manufacturers are based:
- Bally Wulff Automaten;
- Gauselmann Group.
Bally Wulff Automaten is a manufacturer of gaming machines. The developer is based in Berlin and mainly focuses on the German market. The company was founded in 1950. Now the company is owned by SCHMIDT Group – a major German supplier of IT-products.
Gauselmann Group is a corporation that produces games and slot machines, builds entertainment centers and casinos, and develops solutions for sports betting and bingo. Also the company supplies systems for financial management in Germany.
Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in Germany
Gambling-driven business in Germany is legalized. The country is in fourth place among European countries in terms of casino field. And this is despite the high taxes, which are considered among the most burdensome in Europe.
The scope of ground-based business in general matters is regulated since 2012. Additional laws are adopted separately by each of the 16 states. Gambling-driven online business is prohibited.
Thus, the basic law in the gaming business in Germany is the Interstate Treaty on Gambling. It defines the protection of users, protection against fraud and measures against the illegal market. The law was passed by sixteen states in the same 2012. Only Schleswig-Holstein accepted it in 2013.
The state of Schleswig-Holstein in January 2012 proposed its own law, according to which 47 licenses were issued for gambling-driven entertainment establishments. The distinction of this act was that it allowed online business. But then the government changed, and the province accepted the Interstate Treaty on Gambling common to all.
Slot machines are governed by federal law and Trade Regulation Act and Gaming Ordinance acts. Horse racing is controlled by the Federal Race Betting and Lottery Act of 1922 (as amended in 2016).
The organization of illegal games is punished according to two articles of the German Criminal Code – 284 and 285.
States separately form their Casino Acts and Casino Ordinances, which regulate gambling-driven entertainment locally.
The age requirement is 18 years. Land-based casinos in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria do not allow visitors under the age of 21. In Germany, casino activity is governed by federal laws. This means that each of the 16 existing federal states has the right to license and regulate casinos in their area. Each province has its own rules that apply to casinos. They also set casino limits. The control bodies for gambling-driven entertainment activities in German lands are the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance.
The rules governing the operation of casinos in Germany are complex and place high demands on casino owners in order to protect players and prevent illegal cash flow. Procedures for registering players in the casinos of Germany are harsh, and casino employees are regularly trained. In order for a player to be allowed to play in a casino, he/she must be over 18 years old, although some casinos in Germany require attaining the age of 21 years. An identity document is required to visit a casino in Germany. Dress code and opening hours vary, however, in most cases, board games open only after noon, while slots may be available earlier and work until late at night. Also in Germany, there are significant restrictions that apply to casino advertising.
It is also an interesting fact that in every gambling-driven establishment in Germany, there is an unspoken charter, called upon to fight against ludomania among visitors. If the pit boss notices that the client has encountered a similar problem, he politely asks to stop the game. If the same client again shows the same dependence, then he/she will simply fall into the “black” list of players who are forbidden to enter the casino. It is difficult to lift such a ban: the gamer needs to present the casino administration not only a certificate of income, but also a conclusion from a psychiatrist, which will confirm that this person does not suffer from gaming addiction.
According to German law, only land-based casinos are legalized in the country, which cannot be said about online gambling. You are unlikely to meet a German online casino operating legally. The fact is that in Germany online gambling-driven games are prohibited, this law does not affect only horse racing bets. The government of the country several times tried to legalize online gambling, but did not dare to bring the matter to its logical conclusion, and the German regulars today play on foreign platforms.
Best Deposit Methods for German Gamblers
You can almost always pay for various kinds of services in Germany, including online betting, with one of the following local cards:
- Electronic Cash (Girocard);
Electronic Cash or Girocard are names of the same type of plastic cards. They are tied to the debit Girokonto (giro account). Such an account in most banks can be opened for free. In this case, the owner may set limits on the amount of funds withdrawn from the account per month. Interest is not charged on debit transactions. The calculation takes place instantly. When opening a bank account, the card is issued free of charge. Its recovery also does not require costs, but the new card and PIN-code will be sent only to the address you provided when concluding the contract.
In order for the EU card to be used to pay outside Germany, it is integrated with international payment systems, most often with Maestro (MasterCard). EC is the most common type of payment card in Germany.
GeldKarte are popular bank cards in Germany which balance is recorded directly in the chip. Thus, they are a cross between a standard debit card and an electronic wallet in Germany. GeldKarte are of two types: tied to the account and not tied (White Card).
Sofort allows you to instantly pay directly from accounts using online banking services, where a customer enters when making a transaction. Transactions thus are carried out using bank transfers. The system is popular not only with online stores, but also with casinos, Forex brokers and companies trading binary options, due to the speed of work.
The world-famous PayPal among the players in Germany enjoys the highest popularity. The reason is reliability of operations and high protection of personal data. An account with an associated email address and a bank card is all that is required. Information about the payment is nowhere passed, except in the system, and the client’s account is insured for a decent amount ($ 100,000).
PayPal is mainly used for payments in dollars, and for the euro, users in Germany more often choose British Skrill (formerly MoneyBookers), in which email is the identifier. Customer opportunities here increase with the number of data provided. Benefits include ease of use, safety of operations and widespread use in Germany. The system supports 43 world currencies, allowing you to send electronic payments to more than 200 countries. The site supports 14 languages. The protection of personal data is provided by 256-bit encryption.
Plastic cards VISA, MasterCard, American Express are not widely used and are rarely accepted.
Summarizing, we can say that the market of electronic currencies in Germany is able to satisfy any customer requests. It is innovative, creative and develops dynamically.
Accepted Currencies in Germany
Considering the fact of Germany’s entry into the Eurozone, the official monetary unit in Germany is considered to be the euro (EUR). The Germans made the transition to euro money back in 2002, until then the country had used its own national currency (the predecessor of the euro) – the German mark. At the moment, the currency is completely withdrawn from circulation, and all operations in Germany are carried out in euros.
The Deutsche Mark (DM or DEM) was put into circulation in 1948. The government of Germany began withdrawing the money supply of marks from everyday use since 2002, after the European successor replaced the national currency. The German Federal Bank (Bundesbank) acted as the issuing center. The money was used in the form of paper banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 marks. In addition, metal coins were minted in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 coins, as well as 1, 2 and 5 marks. In addition, at one time, the Bank of Germany issued several commemorative coins, in denominations of 2 marks.
The national currency in Germany was famous primarily for being considered one of the most stable in Europe and in the world. It has officially ceased to be an independent currency since the beginning of 1999, when the transition to the euro was made. Until 2002, it was used as a currency subordinate to the euro.
In addition, since 1999 to 2001, the German mark temporarily acted as an unofficial settlement unit in Kosovo, as well as Montenegro. This situation was due to the fact that local currencies were practically devalued due to excessively high inflation.
In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty on the creation of a single economic and monetary space in the European Union was signed. It was this agreement that defined the euro as the main currency of Germany. In order to make the transition to the euro, the countries that are part of the European Union pledged to adapt the state’s economy to the relevant criteria. For example, there was a requirement for a three-percent budget deficit of a country, a small debt ratio, etc. There was also a requirement for a low inflation rate. Exemption from the transition to a single monetary space under the contract received only Denmark and the United Kingdom. It was then that the currency under the name “euro” was created, which is now so actively used in the economic life of Germany. However, that appears extremely convenient, because most international online-casino institutions offer the opportunity to bet in euros, and sometimes the euro is the only available currency.
Predictions About the Future of Online Gambling in Germany
The gambling-driven business in the country is actively developing for the most part in land-based casinos, being legalized. Card games are in great demand: poker, baccarat and blackjack. However, online gambling-driven entertainment is still a disputed territory. To date, the network allowed only bets on horse racing. In this regard, the EU authorities regulating the provision of online gambling-driven entertainment services have expressed dissatisfaction. The unprepared German market law does not provide conditions in which foreign suppliers could provide services in the territory of the state. Players who use the content of foreign resources are at risk of being punished with imprisonment or an administrative fine.
To date, several foreign online-casino institutions are operating in Germany, licensed in Schleswig-Holstein from 2012 to 2013, when the district law on issuing licenses to foreign companies was in force. After the abolition of the law, new licenses were not issued, however, Internet establishments that managed to get a permit still work today.
The controversial situation is emerging in the field of online betting. EU members have filed with the European Supreme Court a ban on Germany imposing fines on online betting operators. The monopoly on the German bookmaker market is contrary to the provisions of the law applicable to all EU countries.
The set of laws governing online gambling in Germany, in the form in which they operate now, is considered not to be consistent and needs to be improved. In the absence of legal acts, the shadow business is developing and there is an outflow of funds from consumers of Germany abroad. Such processes are not beneficial for both Germany and the European Union countries: players of Germany do not know how to access online poker tournaments and other gambling-driven competitions in qualifying rounds, since visiting foreign platforms is illegal and implies administrative or criminal penalties.
Perhaps in the near future, the list of acts regulating the work of online-casino institutions in Germany will be expanded, supplemented and enforced. Considering the benefits of the development of the virtual gambling-driven entertainment industry, we should expect relief from foreign providers and operators in the national market. Otherwise, this may entail litigation in the EU Supreme Court, since the current legislation does not comply with the requirements relating to the gambling-driven entertainment market.