Regulations for Online Gambling in Germany in 2021?



Staff member
May 3, 2008
Germany’s Online Gambling Regulation for 2021

The online gambling industry continues to grow every year. The annual revenues are bigger at each 12-month mark. The current global annual revenue by online casinos is around $60 billion and experts believe that the number will double in the next 2 years. More people are visiting the casino sites to enjoy these games each day.

Online casinos are attracting numerous players from all over the world due to their advantages over land-based casinos.
Their payout percentages are much higher, they hold numerous promotions, players are rewarded with handsome bonuses each day, and most importantly – online casinos are far more reachable. You can play your favourite game at the comfort of your home at any time. They offer their services 24/7.

Germany is one of the countries that has a long and complicated history with online gambling.

The law system is pretty strict when it comes to this industry and there are many restrictions. Many organizations have had a sort of a battle with the government to try and ease the restrictions. The German Betting Association (DSWV) is at the forefront of this battle. The government is set to change some of these regulations in the next year, but the DSWV is not too pleased with what they have to offer. Before we discuss the details, let’s see what the current state of online gambling in Germany is.

The Current State of Online Gambling in Germany

Up until 2008, online casinos weren’t even regulated. All of that changed when the Interstate Treaty on Gambling was passed. Since the introduction of ISTG, all forms of online gambling were banned. All states joined on the Treaty except Schleswig-Holstein. This state opted out in 2012 and started handing licenses to numerous operators, but only for a short time.

The regulatory authorities are assigned to the Ministries or Senates of the Interior. They are not allowed to issue licenses for any types of online betting/gambling.

To this day, online gambling remains an illegal topic. There are good news and bad news in this situation.

The bad news is the obvious – it is not legal to participate in this activity. In fact, Germany treatment of online gambling defies EU’s regulations of free market and competition. The good news, on the other side, is that nobody cares about its legality. Not even the government, to be honest. Germans love the idea of online betting and gambling and they participate in these activities quite often.

Today, there are only 20 operators that are allowed by law to operate in Germany. But, with the new Amendment of the Treaty, all of that is set to change. Let’s discuss what that Amendment is exactly and what do the German states think about it.

How Will All of This Change in 2020 and 2021?

All of Germany’s 16 states were holding regular talks to discuss the future state of online gambling. The result was the Third Amendment of the Treaty on Gambling. Under this new Amendment, licenses started being processed and approved in January 2020. This means that the legality of online gambling is set to change and some operators will be allowed to offer their services in Germany.

This new regulation is set to clear all the dilemma that surrounds this industry, but that remains to be seen.
The Third Amendment also sets a €1,000 monthly stake limit, which was heavily criticized by the DSWV.

DSWV’s argument on this is that even though the new regulation will bring some benefits to the scene, the monthly limit is too low and will drive out most of the players. Some people that are even willing to wager high on games, will have little to no fun due to the low limit. Players will also have a 5% tax on turnovers.

It is important to mention that this Amendment considers just online betting operators, not online casinos. Sports betting, horse racing, and lotteries are allowed to operate. The tricky part about the lotteries is that private lotteries are only allowed to operate if they sell lottery tickets for the state lottery companies. In other words, they can only act as distributors.

In short, some forms of online wagering will be allowed in Germany and 2020 will be a testing period. The Third Amendment is set to be revised in July 2021. A new amendment that will create a better framework for this industry might be on the way and many of the states are already discussing this topic. The new Amendment is likely to legalize online casinos and allow German people to play their favourite casino games.

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