Online Gambling in Germany

Germany is mired in red tape

and political nonsense as the politicians in Germany have made a bit of a mess with their gambling reform.


They wanted to crack down on gambling, but maintain the lucrative revenue from the lottery. They just wanted complete control over gambling and how it would happen and where the money would go. There are 16 states in the country and they first have to agree on the new laws, but they can’t even agree on how the laws should be enforced.

Online gambling is illegal in Germany.

The government has imposed stricter rules on gambling, which has forced many of the gaming and slot machines halls to close. This has created a huge underground and illegal online gambling presence. Many countries have a booming online gambling business because the recognized the trend and put themselves in a good position to profit from it. Those who want to gamble either do so on illegal sites in other countries, or in a sort of legal way. There are sports betting sites with EU licensing that German government is aware of but turns a blind eye. As long as it doesn’t take away from the lottery money, they don’t seem to be overly concerned.

Germany, however, is stuck battling government red tape and inconsistent governance of the rules. The rules aren’t clear and how they are enforced changes from region to region. The states all have different ways of handling gambling causing confusion. Schleswig-Holstein is liberal towards gambling and gives licenses to only betting sites that applies only to that region. 

The sites are accessed by people all over Germany. The new gambling rules make it incredibly difficult to get official approval for licensing. The registration process itself is cumbersome and difficult to navigate. People get frustrated and give up.

In another town, Bingen, a company makes slot machines and has a myriad of gambling halls. The local government is trying to shut down each of the gambling halls one at a time. As each one closes, those who used to gamble in the halls move on to internet gambling. All that means is that the money is flowing out of Germany instead of within it. Gambling is a lucrative business and the country is doing itself a disservice by not allowing gamblers to gamble.

They are going to do it anyway. Germany might as well keep the money in the country. It has been estimates that revenue from gambling, after payouts to the gamblers, is around 14.2 billion Euro ($16.5 billion US) per year. About 1.5 billion Euro of that comes from unregulated underground gambling on sites based outside of the EU. Germany is really missing the boat. If they had just structured their crackdown differently, they could be making a killing on the revenue from legal gambling. Instead they decided to go the route that would shut down gambling halls and are losing out on all that money. It doesn’t make much sense for the Country.