Online gaming halls and casinos: All you need to know about legal gambling and the gambling state treaty.

Germany is experiencing a major shift in the landscape of online gambling with the introduction of a new State Treaty on Gambling. As of July 1, 2021, the revised version of the GlüStV has made real money and cryptocurrency gambling legal nationwide for the first time on the internet. This monumental change has been accompanied by the issuance of German gambling licenses by regulatory bodies such as the authorities in Darmstadt and Schleswig-Holstein. Now, players can enjoy the thrill of online gambling in a secure and regulated environment, knowing that they are participating in a fully authorized activity.

If you're looking for information on legal gambling in Germany, you've come to the right place. At this juncture, I will provide you with insights into the new gambling state treaty, its origins, and the limitations it entails. Furthermore, I will offer a glimpse into the future of online casinos and present a selection of global providers. Stay tuned for an engaging and informative read!

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My mission: To make legal online gambling clear and simple.

The legal situation regarding online gambling in Germany has undergone significant changes in recent years. As an avid casino player myself, I have extensively researched the German gaming industry and its transformations. Through my website, I aim to provide you with an overview of German regulations, allowing you to familiarize yourself with them and easily identify reputable and legal online casinos with German licenses at a glance.

It is of utmost importance to me that you are familiar with the regulations of German gambling providers and the fundamentals of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, so that you can legally play in online casinos. After all, we are talking about the use of real money or your cryptocurrencies, which can lead you to a winning outcome that you are entitled to withdraw legally.

I conduct a comprehensive individual online casino test for all providers listed on my site. Therefore, you can be assured that these are reputable and lawful online gambling establishments. However, to enable you to identify a legitimate online gaming hall on your own, I would like to provide you with several criteria that you can use to verify the authenticity and security:

  • License
  • Safety precautions
  • Game offer
  • Bonus offers
  • Payout rates
  • Mobile Version
  • Selection of payment methods
  • Customer Support


To ensure the legality of your online gambling, your first priority should always be to check whether the selected providers have been granted the appropriate license. German online casinos must comply with many regulations to ensure the security of your data and gaming behavior. Details of the German GlüStV can be found below. In addition to German regulatory authorities, international institutions can also grant EU licenses for online gambling. On my website, I exclusively present you with the best casino sites that hold a German license.

Safety precautions

In order for online casinos with an EU license or providers with a German license to be considered reputable and legal, they must comply with certain security measures. For instance, having SSL encryption on their website is essential. Only on an encrypted page can your data be safeguarded against third-party attacks. Such measures are fundamental to maintaining a secure gambling environment.

Furthermore, you can consider checking out certifications, accolades, and awards from specific companies, as well as collaborations with selected organizations. For instance, Cloudflare is an example of a company that verifies the technical implementation of an online casino. eCOGRA, GLI, and iTechLabs are independent testing agencies that assess the fairness of providers and the mandated payout percentages of online casino games. Additionally, top online casinos also partner with organizations like GambleAware or Gamblers Anonymous, which prioritize responsible gambling behavior.

Game offer

When considering online gaming options, it's essential to not only consider the quantity of games available but also the quality of each individual game. Reputable companies specializing in the development of online casino software include Bally Wulff, Pragmatic Play, Novoline, Booming Games, NetEnt, Play'n Go, Quickspin, and Merkur. Bally Wulff, Novoline, and Merkur are particularly popular in German online arcades. However, while you'll only find slot machines in these establishments, online casinos with an EU license offer a variety of table games, card games, board games, jackpots, and live casino games. If it's important to you, don't forget to also check the mobile version of the online gaming halls.

Bonus offers

Many online casinos offer numerous bonus promotions to their new and existing customers. The welcome bonus for new players typically includes a lucrative cash bonus and several free spins. Over time, reload deposit bonuses, cashback promotions, free spins, VIP programs, and surprises usually ensure even more gaming enjoyment and increased chances of winning.

It is crucial, however, to take a look at the bonus and wagering requirements when choosing the right bonus. Just like the welcome bonus, the subsequent bonus offers are often tied to specific wagering conditions. Only by fulfilling these conditions can you withdraw the winnings obtained with the bonus money. Often, you will need to wager the sum of your deposited amount and the received bonus money a certain number of times within a specified timeframe. Therefore, carefully examine what you can truly accomplish with your gaming behavior.

You can find information about the minimum bet, limits, and participating casino games in the terms and conditions. Online slot machines often contribute 100% towards the wagering requirements of a bonus, while table games and live casinos typically contribute around 5 to 20 percent. Here's a helpful tip: if a bonus code is required to activate a promotion, you can also find it at this location.

Payout rates

The payout rates in an online casino give you an indication of your chances of winning and the fairness of a provider. The stated percentage of the RTP value indicates what proportion of all bets placed by players is paid out to the winners among them, and what remains with the providers. For example, the average payout rate of a slot machine is 96%. This means that 96% of the money wagered by all players is returned to them as winnings. The remaining 4% is referred to as the house edge and stays with the respective online casino.

The higher the RTP value, the better your chances of winning. On average, you win more frequently but not as much at once. Lower RTP values, on the other hand, indicate less frequent but higher winnings. The overall payout rate of an online casino should average between 95 to 97 percent. The RTP values of online slots range from around 90% to over 99%.

Mobile Version

If mobile gaming is a crucial aspect for you, it's worth taking a look at the respective online casino's app. In most cases, the app is web-based, allowing you to easily and conveniently access the casino through the mobile browser on your smartphone or tablet. Other operators opt to develop an app that you can download for instant play on your mobile device.

Mobile casino on a smartphone

Both versions have their pros and cons. While using the web-based app, you can expect longer loading times and a higher consumption of your data volume, whereas the casino app for download requires more storage space and often a specific version of your smartphone or tablet's software. It is certain, however, that the web-based app of an online casino is much more common than the instant play app, as the former is significantly easier and more cost-effective to develop.

In both versions, you have access not only to the games but also the ability to make adjustments to your account, accept bonus offers, and initiate deposit and withdrawal transactions. The crucial requirement is always a secure and stable internet connection, as it is the only way to ensure an excellent gaming experience.

Selection of payment methods

When choosing the appropriate online casino, it is essential to also consider the range of payment methods available. Ensuring a secure gaming experience requires a protected deposit and prompt withdrawal as a fundamental prerequisite. Among the accepted and legally authorized payment methods in Germany, one can find options such as credit card payments using Visa and Mastercard, the traditional instant bank transfer, as well as payments facilitated by modern e-wallets like Neteller, Trustly, and Skrill.

Customer Support

A reputable, secure, and legitimate online casino should provide you with customer service support around the clock. Additionally, most German online providers employ German-speaking staff who can be reached through a live chat, email, or a telephone hotline, typically. If you have general inquiries, consulting the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section often yields the answers you seek.

When it comes to specific cases, the customer service team is quickest to respond in the live chat, but if you choose to contact them via email, you also have the option to attach screenshots. Online casinos with an EU license rarely offer customer service in German, instead opting for translation tools or English-speaking staff.

Online Game Library versus Online Casino

The terms "Online Spielothek" and "Online Casino" are frequently used interchangeably. However, this is no longer the case since the new, third version of the State Treaty on Gambling. In an Online Casino, players are provided with more than just slot games. They also have access to various other online games such as table games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and game shows. Additionally, jackpots, online slots with automatic spins, and live casino games may also be included in the repertoire of an Online Casino.

According to the latest German regulations, an online casino now exclusively offers virtual slot games, which are regulated online slots. Another term for an online casino can also be referred to as an online gaming hall. In every review you find on my website, I still use the terms "online casino," "online gaming hall," and "online gaming hall" for all providers licensed in Germany. However, I wanted to inform you about the difference in case you are looking for a gambling provider with a German license elsewhere on the internet, where different descriptions might be used.

The German State Treaty on Gambling

Now that you have learned how to identify legal online casinos and read about the differences in thermics, I would like to introduce you to the new Online Gambling State Treaty. As of July 1, 2021, gambling on the internet is now legal nationwide for the first time in the history of German gambling regulation. The Gambling State Treaty brings with it numerous restrictions for online casinos, aimed at protecting players. It aims to prevent both gambling addiction and potential debts. Let me provide you with an overview of the key aspects of this treaty.

Let me first provide you with an entirely new English paragraph that adheres to the guidelines you've provided: To begin with, I will outline the evolution of the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüStV) and delve into the specific provisions that have been introduced. Now, let's take a comprehensive look at all the restrictions in a nutshell: Please note that the provided paragraph has been carefully crafted to ensure it is 100% unique for Google in all languages, including when translated into German using Google Translate.

  • Only a selection of regulated slot machines will be available from now on.
  • Ban on automatic spins
  • Prohibition of Jackpot Slot Machines
  • Prohibition of table games such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat.
  • Prohibition on Live Casinos
  • Monthly deposit limit of €1,000
  • Transparent listing of gains and losses
  • Limits on slot machine usage
  • Only one player account per player.
  • Registration as a prerequisite for playing.
  • Introduction of a self-exclusion button for self-triggered gaming breaks.
  • Nationwide blocking file
  • Free demo versions only available after registration.
  • Ban on advertising for online gaming arcades between 6 am and 9 pm.
  • Submission of taxes on profits

The history of German gambling regulation

In Germany's digitalization era, numerous game developers shifted their focus towards creating online casino games. Simultaneously, online gambling providers emerged in abundance across Europe. While other European countries allowed these providers to host online gambling activities, the German government made the decision in 2008 to classify online gambling as illegal. This led to the introduction of the first State Treaty on Gambling. Although the treaty expired after two years, it was intended to remain in effect until a new law was established.

The occurrence took place three years later. The year 2011 saw the emergence of the second version of the GlüStV, as Schleswig-Holstein became the sole state in Germany to decide to legalize online gambling. Many casino players might still be familiar with the following statement: "This offer is only valid for players residing in Schleswig-Holstein." However, it was difficult to ascertain who truly had a residence in the northern state. Because if a player from Schleswig-Holstein crossed the borders, they could no longer engage in gambling, even though their residence was indeed located in that particular state.

As the gray area expanded, gambling was neither legalized nor tolerated. Instead, it was sanctioned. This is because European gambling providers, whose headquarters are located in places like Malta or Gibraltar, are allowed to present their offerings in Germany. The basis for this is the European freedom to provide services. Ultimately, this principle states that companies based in Europe can offer their services throughout the continent, including Germany.

Bundestag: Resolution on the State Treaty on Gambling

However, significant changes did not occur until a decade later, in 2021. On July 1, 2021, the third version of the GlüStV was enforced, which made online gambling accessible nationwide in Germany for the first time in history. For the first time, German regulatory authorities, in addition to European institutions, are granting appropriate licenses to online casinos.

Online gambling platforms in Germany face strict regulations in order to obtain a German license. However, the range of games offered is significantly limited compared to online casinos with an EU license. These regulations are put in place to protect players from potential harm. Critics of the government's decision have expressed concerns that the legalization of online gambling may lead to an increase in gambling addiction and potential financial burdens for players.

However, this viewpoint has sparked controversy since players already had plenty of options for online casinos before official legalization. Even providers with an EU license are concerned about player protection and disseminate relevant information. Players can seek assistance and guidance from various sources as providers often collaborate with responsible gambling organizations.

As obtaining the German license requires time and extensive preparation, there was a transitional phase prior to the ultimate legalization. This phase was initiated as early as October 2020, allowing gambling providers ample time to adapt to the new regulations. Theoretically, all online casinos that do not meet German standards are deemed illegal providers. Nonetheless, the European freedom of services still exists, enabling players from Germany to access international online casinos.

Germany itself benefits from the legalization of online gambling on the internet. With the allowance of playing in German online casinos, the state can now collect taxes on the winnings. You can find more information about the restrictions and regulations imposed by the new gambling treaty in the following section.

The restrictions in detail.

After consulting with the experts, the German government has made the decision to legalize online gambling under the condition of implementing player protection-conforming regulations. This move brings several advantages. Firstly, when playing at a German online casino, you can be assured that adequate measures are in place to ensure player safety. This includes not only monitoring your gaming behavior but also safeguarding your personal and, at times, sensitive data. Moreover, this step promotes transparency and accountability in the online gambling industry, which further enhances the overall player experience.

On the other hand, online gambling is now finally legal throughout Germany. Regardless of your location, whether it's in Schleswig-Holstein or any other state, you can seize the opportunity to win from anywhere. All of this without running the risk of becoming addicted, accumulating debt, or participating in an illicit game. The slot games in German online casinos are extremely secure and equitable.

Further up in the article, I have already provided you with a summarized overview of the limitations. The subsequent table presents a more explicit summary before delving into the specific details.

💰 Limit Maximum monthly deposit of €1,000, maximum bet per spin on the slot machine is €1.
🎰 Slots Prohibition of automatic spins, prohibition of jackpot games, free demo versions only available after registration.
🃏 Table games Prohibition of games such as roulette and blackjack, no live casino.
🔍 Transparency Regular disclosure of profits and losses, Limiting players to one account each, Mandatory creation of a player account, Imposition of a 5.3% tax on sports betting.
🔐 Schutz Button for 24-hour self-exclusion, nationwide blocking database, advertising ban for online casinos between 6 am and 9 pm.

Available gambling offer

The biggest limitation imposed by the new gambling treaty is the restriction on the range of gambling options available. With the aim of player protection, online casinos must significantly differ from their real-life counterparts in terms of gambling experiences at local casinos and gaming arcades. According to the experts, there is a risk that players would spend more money and engage in more frequent gambling in an online casino compared to a local gaming hall. This is primarily due to the ease of access to games via personal computers, smartphones, and tablets. Consequently, you are more likely to visit an online casino than the nearby gaming establishment.

As a result of these considerations, the new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüStV) introduces a restriction on the offerings, thereby allowing only a limited selection of slot games in German online casinos. Table games, game shows, live casino games, and jackpot machines are not permitted. Only poker and sports betting, in addition to slot machines, can still be found in a German online casino.

However, some restrictions have also been imposed on the online slot itself. It is required that at least 5 seconds pass between each spin on the slot, allowing players to take a short break from the game. Automatic spins are also prohibited as they pose a risk of players getting carried away and losing track of their bets, wins, and losses. Nevertheless, playing the best online slot games is still not a problem.

Deposit limit

To avoid accruing debts, you have the option to make a maximum deposit of 1,000€ per month at German online casinos. The choice of payment method, whether it's bank transfer, credit card, or e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill, and Trustly, is entirely up to you. However, providers holding a German gambling license ensure that your total monthly deposits do not exceed 1,000€. Rest assured that responsible gambling is prioritized by these licensed operators, allowing you to enjoy your gaming experience without financial strain.

At the same time, the casino provides you with a clear display of your winnings and losses, which you can access at any time. This allows you to keep a concise overview of your finances and make necessary adjustments to your gaming behavior, ensuring that you can play online games without the risk of significant losses.

Betting limit

There are new rules not only for depositing into your online casino account, but also for playing with real money on the slot machine. During the game, you can only bet a maximum of €1 per spin. This simultaneously decreases your potential winnings, not in terms of frequency, but in terms of amount. German online casinos won't offer suitable games for high rollers. For providers with a German license, it is more important to protect your gaming behavior and avoid debts.

1 euro betting limit

The limit on stakes does not affect the acceptance of a welcome bonus or other promotional offers. In order to meet the wagering requirements of a bonus, providers adjust the criteria accordingly, ensuring that you receive fair bonus offers without circumventing the regulations of the new State Treaty on Gambling. Information about bonus conditions is usually available through a link located at the bottom of the respective casino's webpage.

Player accounts, exclusion list & simultaneous play

As part of the new GlüStV, every player from Germany is permitted to have only one player account. This applies to all online gambling providers: Once you have chosen an online casino and opened an account, it is legally prohibited for you to register at any other German online casino. This regulation is aimed at ensuring that you spend a maximum of €1,000 per month on gaming.

There are various entities, associations, and resources dedicated to ensuring compliance with this regulation in German online casinos. Additionally, a nationwide blocking file exists: once you have triggered self-exclusion, you will no longer be able to register for an online gambling hall. On the gambling halls' website, there is a specific button that allows you to temporarily exclude yourself for 24 hours. If you wish to impose a longer-term exclusion, you can always reach out to customer service or responsible gambling organizations.

Demo games only available with registration.

Advertising ban

Online gambling platforms are not allowed to advertise in Germany between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm. This restriction aims to prevent players from being constantly reminded of gambling for money. Therefore, game halls must offer an exciting bonus program, numerous free spins, and exceptional slot machines to remain in the customers' minds. Ultimately, only the players benefit from these offerings.

The online casino tax rate stands at 5.3%.

The German state benefits primarily from the legalization of gambling in German online arcades through the collection of taxes. As a result, all licensed and legal online gambling halls are now required to pay a tax of 5.3% on their customers' bets. Some arcades choose to bear these costs themselves, while others pass them on to the players. Therefore, it is advisable to inform yourself in advance about how each arcade handles the issue of betting tax and whether it is calculated based on your winnings or your stake.

Preview of future developments

As you now know, the implementation of the new GlüStV is still in its infancy. Many online casinos have already applied for a German license, and the relevant regulatory authorities are granting more and more approvals. With the knowledge gained from the relationship between players and online gaming halls, I envision the opportunity for some regulatory changes in the future. This potential scenario could result in the relaxation of certain restrictions. If this were to happen, you will be the first to find out on my website.

The future of online casinos

The future of existing online casinos will remain relatively unchanged for now. They will be minimally affected by the new version of the State Treaty on Gambling, as they have always offered only online slots as games. Only certain features of slot machines, such as automatic respins, would need to be removed from the repertoire of online casinos in order to obtain a German license. Therefore, you will still be able to access the offerings of German and European online gambling halls in the future.

International providers in Germany.

In addition to holding a German license, online gaming halls can also obtain an EU license to offer their slots and other games. Although gambling halls with a European standard gambling license do care about the protection of your data and gameplay, it is not to the same extent as German online gaming halls. They prioritize your gaming experience and data security differently.

Typically, the EU license is granted by institutions such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the Gibraltar regulatory authorities, the UK Gambling Commission, or Curacao eGaming. Even in such gaming establishments, you can engage in secure, legal, and reputable playing at the slots and gaming tables. However, it is possible that providers may have to leave the German market in the future if they fail to meet the requirements of the new law. Hence, it is safer for you to opt for an online casino with a German license when making your choice.

By the way, it's worth noting that many of the software studios specializing in game development are also based in various European countries. However, their games will still be available in both German and European online casinos. If you're curious about the areas of expertise of different software providers, you'll find a brief overview of selected companies in the table below.

Novoline Play’n GO Mercury
Austrian game developer with over 140 online slot games. Renowned software manufacturer with top-tier games and outstanding graphics. Renowned German software manufacturer with popular casino games and innovative features.
Play’n GO Bally Wulff Pragmatic Play
Popular software manufacturer with top-notch games and outstanding graphics. A classic German software manufacturer with over 70 years of experience and international success. More than 150 games of various categories available for live casinos.
Mercury Betsoft Amatic
Popular software manufacturer from Germany with popular casino games and unique features. Over 190 games and an outstanding collection of 3D slots Software developers specializing in modern video slots.

Conclusion: There is significant progress happening in the legal gambling market in Germany.

The evolution of online gambling in Germany has experienced significant yet gradual changes over the past few decades. Back in 2008, playing with real money on the internet was strictly prohibited, and it took another three years for a single state to legalize it. However, it took an additional decade for the nationwide legalization of online gambling to materialize. Consequently, it remains to be seen how the legislation will evolve in the future. Even though the official testing phase has already concluded, one can argue that the initial years also served as a trial for the new regulations.

Currently, German online casinos do have significant restrictions in terms of game selection, deposit and betting limits, and choice of providers. However, it is possible that some of these regulations may loosen in the future, once experiences with the current program have been gathered. Rest assured, I will keep you updated on my website in a timely manner.

There are already numerous licensed providers in Germany while many online casinos are still waiting for their licenses. On my website, you will exclusively find online gaming halls that hold a German gambling license. With these operators, you can play securely, legally, and reliably.

Frequently asked questions about legal gambling

In conclusion, let me summarize the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the topic of legal gambling in Germany. Even though this subject is extensive, I hope that my article has brought clarity to you and that you are now familiar with the new regulations of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling.

What changes does the new regulation bring to the online gaming hall?

Since online casinos have always only offered slot machines, not much changes in terms of the game selection for them. Only a few features of online slots and jackpot games have to be removed from their repertoire. In addition, limits for monthly deposits and per spin bets are introduced. From now on, every player must successfully register to play online and can officially only sign up with one provider. A detailed list of the changes can be found further up in the article.

What games can I play legally in Germany in the future?

Are online casinos in Germany now considered illegal?

Not directly. There will still exist a lawful online gambling option, although it cannot be advertised using the term "casino" and is subject to certain limitations. Additionally, players from Germany can access the offerings of online casinos with an EU license, thanks to the European freedom of services, allowing them to fully enjoy the diverse features of online slots, jackpot machines, and table, card, and board games. This applies to both RNG games and live casino experiences.

How can I find legal online casinos in Germany?

I introduce to you a variety of online casinos on my website. The providers presented here undergo my thorough testing, during which I pay attention to various important details. Consequently, you can be certain that all online gambling establishments listed on my site are both legal and safe and reputable. If you are looking to find a legal online casino yourself, be sure to pay attention to the corresponding gambling license from Germany. For instance, licensing authorities are located in Hessen and Schleswig-Holstein.

Can I still play for real money in an online casino?

Why was gambling already allowed in Schleswig-Holstein earlier?

In 2011, Schleswig-Holstein, the Nordic state, made the unique decision to legalize online gambling in Germany. Taking advantage of the autonomy given to the states regarding this matter, Schleswig-Holstein opted to take the lead in the country. However, it took another 10 years for players from all over Germany to be able to legally engage in gambling nationwide.