Germany is the European Union country that has the largest population, 81 197 537 people, statistics of 2015, approximately 16% of the whole population of the EU. The country has a dimension of 357 376 km2 that goes from the North and Baltic Seas in the north to the Alps in the south.
Germany borders with quite a few countries in the EU: Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands, a total of nine countries. The capital of the country in Berlin, and the language spoken is German. Germany is one of the founding members of the European Union, back in January 1958, and has been using the Euro since the beginning, January 1999.
Gambling laws in Germany have changed quite a few times over the last years, making the legal scenario complex. Despite this complexity, many Germans gamble as their favorite pastime, and the industry has a turnover of billions in past years, so this says a lot about how strong gambling is in Germany.
Recent changes in legislation have shifted the regulation responsibility from local to national level, meaning that the government is now responsible for it. Before these changes took place, online and betting online were banned. Apart from bets on horse racing, between 2008 and 2012 gambling was illegal in Germany, with the exception of the state of Schleswig-Holstein where it was legal.
New rules were again introduced after 2012 to regulate and license local operators. Steps for the official licensing program in Germany are still being developed, and presently two laws still exist, the Glücksspielstaatsvertrag (an interstate law) and the Glückspeilgesetz.
The Glücksspielstaatsvertrag is in effect since 2008 regulating separate German states. The law was updated recently, enabling online lotteries to be operated, and putting on agenda the licenses for 20 online sports operators. 15 out of 16 German states signed it.
The state of Schleswig-Holstein was only that did not sign the Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, and used instead of the Glückspeilgesetz, but late in 2012, they did sign it Glücksspielstaatsvertrag making the status of their previous law uncertain. Even more confusing when using German words!
The restrictions brought by this law had as a goal the protection against gambling addiction, fraud, and in general criminal activity related to gambling.
The complexity of legislation continues in what online gambling is concerned. From the 16 Federal German States, all have their own laws in what concerns online gambling and poker, so we are talking about 16 different legislation. Not having a national law is naturally a concern.
The lack of regulation in the industry until 2008, was followed by the federal online ban (with the exception of horse racing). The EU Court of Justice ruling in 2010 saying that the monopoly in Germany had to end and that the market had to be liberalized.
This process took a couple of years, and online casino operators were able to apply for licenses in 2012, what was officially approved at the beginning of 2013 for all the 16 German states. This measure of having a bill for online gambling was supported by the EU, and the current legislation creates good conditions for the development of the gambling market.
If you are in Germany and are looking for some quality casinos where to play, we leave a few suggestions of recommended online casinos.
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