Regulation of online gambling in Germany?

Some passionate lucky and poker players may not have believed in it anymore: But it seems there is movement in the regulation of online gambling. Is it true that there will soon be German online casinos? Will players no longer have to move around in the grey zone or see the message „Only for people with permanent residence in Schleswig-Holstein“ in TV commercials?

A regulation is of course also interesting for poker players, because if they make the game their profession, they are in a very clear grey area when they play online – where many tournaments are held. A lot of gamblers rely on bitcoin casinos nowadays, read more at

How does it look at the moment?

Gambling is a national matter. What looks good on paper actually means that each federal state literally cooks its own soup. Or that „Asterix the Gaul“ provides the basis for the current situation:

  • All of Germany – to stay with the comparison, all of Gaul, refuses online gambling. The state lottery companies are permitted, with Oddset the state sports betting institution and, thanks to a ruling, some sports betting providers who applied for a license in 2012 are allowed. However, the licences have not yet been issued.
  • Schleswig-Holstein – the exception in Gaul. Schleswig-Holstein has already issued and extended its own online licenses for gambling. This of course leads to problems, because these licenses are only valid for Schleswig-Holstein. This means that everyone can see the casino advertising, but as a non-resident of the federal state these casinos can not reach. Which of course is not true, because the casinos also work with an EU license – this is used for all of Germany.
  • EU – in the allegory it should be the gods or Miraculix with the magic potion. EU law prohibits the Internet from being restricted and bordered. For this reason, online casinos with an EU licence may also be accessible to German players. There is a grey area.

If all the ingredients are mixed together, the result is of course not a delicacy, but a rather viscous soup in which everyone fishes in the turbidity. Suppliers trade in a grey area, they have EU law behind them, but not at their side. Players have so far been ignored, but under German law they use illegal gambling, which is punishable by law. But EU law would also apply here.

In summary, a genuine regulation has long been necessary. Because only by waiting it is not probable also that the gambling in the new country does not intersperse itself no further. Which, by the way, also has extreme consequences for Germany and the individual countries. Online gambling is booming, but tax revenues are forced to go to where the company’s registered office is. Malta is happy, Germany is going away empty-handed.

What does this mean for the players so far?

Even though players themselves have never been prosecuted, they are always in the dark. In addition, grey areas always have residual risks that are not easily recognisable for the individual. Some effects for players summarized:

  • Uncertainty – every online player currently has to trust that the license given is correct and means real control. There is no German authority in the background and people who don’t speak English hardly have the possibility to contact the licensor or claim points. For this reason it is especially important as a poker player to look out for reputable providers and to inform yourself exactly beforehand.
  • Payment – this is especially interesting for poker players. Purely after German right banks may participate in no way in the illegal gambling. That includes in and naturally disbursements also. Theoretically it would be thus possible that the bank retains a Pokergewinn, freezes and the authorities announces, if the money is transferred to the winner.

Those are certainly only two of the most common effects like the problem of seeing TV commercials from casinos like or Because how is a normal citizen, who never deals with gambling state treaties, supposed to know that what he sees in TV advertising and even in public broadcasting around football broadcasts, is possibly not allowed for himself?

  • Licensing – licenses are to be granted which are of course subject to clear conditions and rules.
  • Control – a control should be created that protects all parties.
  • Security – this is specifically about the question of how players are protected against gambling addiction when they play online.

The problem with this is that not all countries are yet moving along. NRW, Hesse, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate are quite open to the online offer and now want a real change. Other federal states see this differently. Already now one considers that there are different gambling state treaties on basis of the federalism. Surely this solution also offers more security for players, but only if they live in the right federal state. Otherwise it can come to a genuine patchwork carpet, in which for example Brandenburg assigns licenses, Berlin however not. A real solution would again not be created, because it would again be up to the players to look at licenses or the legal situation in the federal state.

Conclusion – the chaos must come to an end

Whether poker, casino games or sports betting: The chaos surrounding online gaming must finally come to an end, because the current regulations or the emergence of new patchwork rugs will not help those in particular who are to be protected by the State Treaty on Gaming: the player. Finally an unclear regulation also means that a player in the „wrong“ federal state can only ask for help with difficulty if he has personal problems. In fact, he would have to deal with gambling addiction on his own, because admitting to public authorities that he is playing illegally according to federal state law is another hurdle that should not be imposed on those affected. Therefore, it can only be hoped that the whole of Germany will finally find a solution that corresponds to modern times.