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Gambling in Germany: Features and Opportunities

Despite the fact that gambling is very popular entertainment in Germany, the sphere of gambling is quite strictly regulated by law. But the local gambling market is already waiting for significant changes.

How the gambling business works in Germany: features of the legislation

Let’s review the specifics of the gambling market in Germany and the prospects for its development in the coming years.


The history of gambling in Germany began in the 14th century - it was then that card games appeared in Europe, which quickly became popular. The German city of Ulm even became a center for the production of playing cards - from there they were exported to other European countries.

Also at the end of the 14th century, there were specialized houses in Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main where some gambling was played. Real casinos appeared in Germany later - at the beginning of the 19th century, but they were soon banned.

Over the years, gambling in Germany has been outlawed several times and legalized again. In particular, they were allowed in 1933, but at the end of World War II all casinos had to be closed again. They only resumed work in the 1950s. Together with casinos in the middle of the 20th century, other gambling entertainments - lotteries and sports betting - became legal and popular.


The main legal framework governing gambling in Germany is the 2012 State Treaty on Gambling, adopted by all 16 states. It sets out the main goals and elements of gambling regulation - consumer protection, fraud prevention, and the fight against the black market in gambling. This document provides for a state monopoly on lotteries, a ban on online casinos, and also describes the licensing process.

In addition, along with the State Treaty on Gambling and individual state laws, other regulations apply to regulate gambling, in particular, the Casino Laws, the Trade Regulatory Law, the Gambling Ordinance, the Horse Racing, and Lotteries Law, and others.

Germany does not have an exhaustive list of permitted and prohibited gambling, but some of them are defined by law as being subject to government regulation. This includes poker, sports betting and horse racing, casino live games, slot machines, lotteries, bingo.

Gambling licenses are issued by the state government. Each separate region has its own rules for obtaining licenses and certain restrictions regarding the type of gaming activity, the number of licenses, the location of the gambling establishment, and the like.

Upcoming changes

On July 1, 2021, a new State Treaty on Gambling entered into force, which automatically invalidated a similar document of 2012. It allowed licensed online casino operators to operate nationwide for the first time. Prior to this, virtual casinos were only available in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The new law rather strictly regulates the activities of online casinos and contains many stringent conditions and restrictions regarding the size of the players' bets, the maximum monthly amount they can deposit into the account, and many other aspects. But players can check an absolutely legal platform for online gambling and try their luck there.

Responsible Gaming

The new law requires virtual establishments to develop a responsible gambling policy. The club publishes a risk warning, links to organizations that help fight gambling addiction on the website. A system that tracks the statuses of clients of gambling sites will be launched.

The following restrictions await German players:

  • Betting Limit. Players can spend no more than 1000 € per month. When registering, they must set the limit on their own in their personal account. And the club, accordingly, is obliged to provide such an opportunity.
  • There is one more restriction for playing slot machines - no more than 1 € per spin.
  • The inability to play in several clubs at the same time. The provider, when connecting a new player, must check his activation status before allowing playing on the machines.
  • Limitations on session time. After 60 minutes of betting, an online casino in Germany is obliged to warn the player about the dangers of excessive addiction to slots.

It is forbidden to accept bets on real money or any other currency from users under the age of 18. Legal gambling clubs must use reliable software for age verification. The lack of a secure system in the club can lead to the loss of a license and a fine of up to 500 000 €.

Ground establishments

Germans can also use the services of land-based gambling houses. There are several zones in the country:

  • "Kurhaus" in Baden-Baden is called "the most beautiful casino in the world" by the players. The building with high columns, painted ceilings, gold trim was built in 1824. It was visited by all the European nobility of the 19th century. The hall with 113 machines and 25 tables is open from Thursday to Sunday. Address: Kaiserallee 1, 76530 Baden-Baden.
  • Gambling club "Aachen" - an institution with 119 slot machines, 11 tables. Visitors can play blackjack, roulette. There are 11 cash tables for poker lovers. Address: Krefelder Straße 205, 52070 Aachen.
  • Bayerisch is a gourmet restaurant, Viamala, located in Lindau. Unlike other clubs, it works every day. Offers a wide variety of table games and slots. Address: Chellesallee, 1, 88131 Linday.

Ground-based halls offer comfortable rest, show programs, and other entertainments for guests are provided.

Prospects for the development of the gambling market

Despite its severity, the new State Gambling Treaty could significantly expand the German gaming industry. It is likely that a single regulation for the whole country will be able to reduce the number of "black" casinos and ensure the safety of gamblers during the game process.

Experts predict an increase in the gambling market in the coming years because it is quite attractive for foreign operators. In total, new online casinos and land-based gambling establishments that are successfully operating will provide much larger tax revenues to the country's budget.

For interesting leisure and pleasure from the process, it does not matter where exactly you play - in a land-based casino or a virtual one. The main thing is to remember that gambling must be treated responsibly.

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