Online casino Germany: Despite being a leading world country, known for its particularly flexible and liberal laws, Germany is actually one of the strictest countries in Europe when it comes to gambling and online gambling laws. In fact, German federal laws pretty much prohibit online gambling as a whole, save for one state, Schleswig-Holstein. This, as you can imagine, presents a bit of a dilemma when it comes to players wagering at online casino sites in Germany.
Online casino Germany gambling laws
Officially, online gambling is banned in Germany in all states but one (the aforementioned Schleswig-Holstein). This truly controversial topic hasn’t seen German players totally out of luck, though. The laws in Germany prohibit operators from offering their services to German players, though there are no specific laws in place which prohibit German players from playing at offshore casino sites.
Whilst Schleswig-Holstein has it good right now, it won’t always be the case. The region did sign up to the Interstate Treaty on Gambling which came into being in 2008, although they did not sign it until 2012. By that point, up to 50 German casino licenses had been issued out of the state, and Schleswig-Holstein was not permitted to revoke them. This means that the six-year licenses are due to expire in 2018, and after that, all online casino gambling is likely to end in Germany.
However, the European Union makes it quite clear that no territory has the right to officially ban gambling, on the basis that any member state which issues valid gambling licenses should be allowed to offer operators under said license to players in another state. This is a matter the German Government lost when they were taken to court by Bwin.
Of course, whatever the situation eventually turns out to be, barring a federal law which legalises online gambling and casino games in Germany, German players are going to have to look at offshore casinos as their main source of online casino action.
These casinos typically offer German language gaming to players in the country, offer the euro as a currency, and are not shy about theming their casinos and/or games to tailor to German players’ preferences, either.
Banking options for German players
Part of the appeal offshore casinos have to German players (aside from offering gameplay in German) is the selection of payment methods they offer. Offshore casinos try to be as accommodating as possible to Germans, by ensuring that they offer payment methods and banking options which your typical German is likely to use frequently.
VISA, MasterCard, Klarna, Sofort, Pay Direkt, Trustly, Skrill and Paysafecard are all popular payment methods at German online casino sites, and most offshore casinos which are trying to appeal to German players will offer players access to most of those options listed above. Of course, countless other payment methods are also available at the majority of those sites.
German casino safety and security
Unless you happen to be playing in one of the online casinos which is legally licensed in Schleswig-Holstein, the only other German online casino sites you can play at are offshore ones. Let us be clear, as long as there are German online casinos which are licensed out of the country (as Schleswig-Holstein’s currently are) we could recommend that you play at these sites since they are tailor-made for German players.
If you do visit an offshore casino for your online casino gaming action, then it is always advantageous to choose one which is licensed out of a respectable jurisdiction. Malta, the United Kingdom and Gibraltar all represent these options. If the EU law on being able to freely offer goods and services across member states comes to fruition for online gambling in Germany, then it is likely that the UK and Gibraltar licenses will no longer be valid in Germany post-Brexit.
Other offshore casinos such as those licensed in Kahnawake and Curacao are also fairly well regulated, but casinos licensed out of Costa Rica or Panama tend to be less so.
Mobile casino gaming in Germany
Germans won’t be able to play mobile casino gaming quite to the extent that their British or Scandinavian cousins can (where online gambling is totally legal), but they will be able to access mobile games in a manner of speaking. No apps will be downloadable, but players can visit online casinos via their phone or tablet’s web browser and play those games in an instant play format on those devices.
German casino games
Certain games tend to be far more popular with German players than other titles. Online slots always attract a crowd, no matter which country’s residents happen to be playing them. German casino sites tend to favour 5 reels slots, with at least 25 paylines of action. German-themed slots include those based on beer houses and Oktoberfest, as well as Bavarian culture slots.
Roulette is popular in Germany, too, with European and American roulette favoured over French roulette. Blackjack is popular in the country and thus can be found in number at German online casinos. German blackjack games are all pretty basic, but there are a number of variants out there for you to try.
Lastly, Germans take to punto banco and baccarat a lot more than you might think. This tricky game is not a fan favourite in many European countries, but German players do tend to have a taste for this often complicated and complex card game.
German online casinos do not offer as many poker games as other European casinos, though most will also offer sports bets, as betting on the Bundesliga (for instance) is very much in demand.
Online casino bonuses for German players
Most German online casino bonuses and promotions revolve around deposit deals. From the very moment that a new player signs up at a German online casino, they will be invited to claim a welcome bonus, and potentially a no deposit bonus to boot. Further redeposit deals (in euros) are also eyed up carefully.
German casinos tend to offer few daily, weekly or monthly promotions, though, and even loyalty bonuses are not as popular at German online casinos than at other major European casino sites.