The Strange Legal Status of Online Gambling in Germany

Although the legality of online gambling and sports betting in Germany is considered to be complex and contradictory, the actual enforcement of the laws is very lax due to numerous legal challenges that arise each time German laws are amended or updated.

European Union lawsIn 2012, German lawmakers approved a legislative proposal that would actually prohibit online casinos and Internet poker while assigning no more than 20 official permits for sports permits. The Bundestag has not moved to enact the new and controversial legislation due to jurisdictional challenges, which include what seems to be a contravention of European Union laws.

Online Sports Betting in Germany

The prospect of 20 licenses issued to sportsbooks for the purpose of legally operating in Germany for seven years has been welcomed by the online gambling industry, particularly because the current situation is that of a national wagering monopoly controlled by a single business entity known as Oddset. The European Union agrees that breaking up the monopoly is a good idea, but it would also like to see German legislation that is not too restrictive with regard to online sports betting.

Online Casinos in Germany

It may be difficult to believe that online casinos and Internet poker are currently illegal under German law. As expected, the rationale for this ban is that the people of Germany are concerned about the risks of gambling addiction and money laundering; however, the German market is one of the most lucrative for online casino operators.

The European Commission is concerned about how the law affects the reality of the current situation in Germany, which is that millions of people play at offshore casinos or at the local black market servers. By choosing to ban online gaming action, Germany may actually be increasing risk of criminal involvement.