The legal situation German Casino Online

When the first online casinos saw the light of day 20 years ago, the entire internet gambling industry was unregulated. The most important issue at the time was that encrypted payments were finally secure - but was it the games? Since no one was responsible for overseeing online gambling , fraudsters naturally spread quickly - a stigma that the industry is still struggling with today. The allegation of fraud is still raised quickly today.

Even before the big scams started, the industry recognized the need to regulate online gambling. In the same year the first regulatory body (the "Directorate of Offshore Gaming" of the government of Antigua & Barbuda) was created, which monitors and controls casino sites and issues the corresponding licenses. European authorities should later take on a large part of this task. In the following timeline, you can see which are the most important stages in the regulation of German online casinos:

Lately, the German market has been gaining momentum. The requirements of the EU are to be implemented, because the current gaming law does not comply with the EU regulations. Since the federal states have not yet been able to agree, a gray area has emerged. This is also the reason why it is currently difficult to find PayPal casinos and also providers like Merkur and Novoline are waiting. More and more federal states no longer want to accept this state of affairs and have started to introduce country-specific gambling laws. The model of Schleswig-Holstein, which started to issue its own licenses at a very early stage, serves as a model. Here I keep you up to date on the current situation in the individual federal states:

In the next section I would like to give you an overview of the current situation in Schleswig-Holstein. I think that the other federal states take these regulations as a blueprint and maybe soon such a law will also apply to you.

German online casinos with a license from Schleswig-Holstein

So far, only the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein has complied with the EU's call for a gambling law that meets EU standards, which caused some uproar in the media at the time. There was also considerable headwind from the other federal states. However, the state government at the time had decided to withdraw from the State Treaty on Gaming and implement an EU-compliant solution. That was definitely a step in the right direction, unfortunately it was withdrawn after the change of government in Kiel and the first time they wanted to return to the State Treaty. The sports betting and casino licenses already issued were valid until the end of 2018 / beginning of 2019. A nationwide agreement was then hoped for. Then the conflict between the two countries ruthlessly struck and no agreement was reached. After much back and forth, the state government in Kiel decided that previously issued licenses remain intact until June 30, 2021. However, not all providers still make use of these extended licenses. Of the originally 23 permits issued, only 12 are still actively used. There are various reasons for this, such as safeguarding against the later consequences of the still not conclusively regulated gambling legislation.

Licensing in Schleswig-Holstein means that anyone who lives there or is currently only allowed to play in these online casinos . But that also means that casinos with an EU license are not valid for Schleswig-Holsteiners. But fans of the sun games can be happy that there is a Merkur online casino there. So you already have some advantages, which players from the other federal states will hopefully have soon. Here you will find all casinos with an active Schleswig-Holstein license:

I have already written a casino test for many of these providers. You can choose between hundreds of casino games at these top providers. I recommend players from other federal states a casino with an EU license. In the next section, you will find out which countries in the European Union issue these and what else you should consider.

EU licenses are also relevant for German players

The European Union brings us many good things, even if you can shake your head every now and then about the bureaucrats in Brussels. Thanks to the common internal market and the freedom to provide services, the market must not be restricted unnecessarily. Since there is currently no nationwide and EU-compliant gambling law that regulates online casinos, you can play in online casinos with an EU license.

The best known regulators are the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. In the mother country of gambling, Great Britain, the UK Gambling Commission is responsible. Even if this is legally uninteresting for German players, it is a good guide for a serious online casino. The responsible authorities are usually shown in the footer at the bottom of the casino pages. So that you can assign them more easily, you have the most important logos of the casino approval points here:

You get the best online casino security if you make sure that you have a European license. Off-shore licenses such as those from Curacao are also possible, but their requirements have less strict guidelines compared to Europe. But unfortunately there are always fraudulent casinos online. The criminal energy can even go so far as to forge licenses. In addition to the logo of the authority, I therefore always check the license number directly on the websites of the regulatory bodies. The fact that the state institutions can also take effect can be seen from the exclusion list of the Malta Gaming Authority. The license does not always have to be fraudulent. Some of these providers simply did not pay their license fees and were therefore punished. The casino simply did not renew other licenses. Here is a current black list of online casinos:

This list is definitely not exhaustive and should give you a first clue as to which providers you should avoid. I update this list on a regular basis. If the license withdrawal is just a lack of royalties and if a provider later makes the payment, I will remove it from the list. Before I bring my individual test criteria closer to you, I would like to briefly explain how German online casinos get their license.

Casino requirements for obtaining a license

In order to acquire a license, the German online casino, like any other provider in Europe, must first meet certain requirements. These are quite similar in the individual countries and serve to ensure safe play and to protect minors. Reputable online casinos have a separation of corporate and player accounts. And also many of the points in my casino comparison are firmly anchored in the legal regulations. Here is a schematic representation of how a license is issued:

Despite a valid license, in my opinion, the best protection against dubious providers is to learn to recognize whether you can trust a casino or not. Therefore, in the following sections you will find my test criteria, which are a kind of online casino test from Stiftung Warentest. The breakdown of the criteria should help you to understand my tests better. I now present my objective requirements for the “Best Online Casino” seal in detail. Have lots of fun with it!

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