A Look At The Gambling Laws In Germany
Overall, the online gambling law is quite muddled as it is illegal to hose a gaming site, but the legality of placing an online bet is unclear. Many locals would insist that online gambling is completely illegal, but the authorities make no attempt to enforce the law towards that end. Online gambling is every popular throughout Germany and no German has ever got in trouble for placing a bet online. German national law does not permit the licensing of online casino sites which means their residents will resort to foreign websites. Foreign websites are not subject to German law and are free to accept wagers from anybody.
Germany is broken up into states (in a similar fashion to the USA) and many of the states had their own individual laws, separate from each other, prior to Germany joining the European Union. As a result, laws differ from state to state, some forms of betting are allowed in some states but not permitted in others. In some cases, the incumbent governors are not afraid to reverse laws made by their predecessors.
Prior to 2008, online gambling was not regulated at all in Germany, and then the Interstate Treaty of Gambling was passed. The treaty completely outlawed all kinds of online gambling other than sports betting and horseracing. Only the state of Schleswig-Holstein opted out of the treaty and instead offered licenses to over 30 operators. With the world's biggest online casino win being a staggering €17,861,800 according to Ladbrokes' Top 10 Casino Facts, it would be no surprise to see the residents of Schleswig-Holstein proving the online casinos to be popular, with such a huge amount of winnings to play for, until the contracts end in 2018.
However, Schleswig-Holstein's independence from the treaty was abolished within the year and was a subject of great debate from the German citizens, and the EU who declared that it was not acceptable for one state of a country to have a completely different set of gambling laws from the rest of the country.
All operators who obtained licenses from Schleswig-Holstein will remain unaffected in the time being as their existing contracts run through to 2018. That will then lead to the ISTG coming into effect throughout Schleswig-Holstein as well and the treaty becoming a lot sterner as a result. The EU has also chastised Germany for their considerably harsh gaming laws, but Germany show little sign of letting up any time soon.