Sports betting is a popular and completely legal activity in the country of Germany. German bettors can access betting sites operated directly out of Germany or at foreign betting sites. Although only one company has the licensing required to run a betting site in the country of Germany, the government does little to stop bettors from accessing sportsbooks in other countries. This means that there are several top Germany betting sites for German bettors to choose from, to the point that picking the best ones can be a difficult decision.

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Germany Online Betting Information

Wagering at German betting sites is an easy process. German bettors must first sign up for an account at a Germany betting site, either the ones offered inside the country or foreign betting sites that accept German bettors. When picking German betting sites outside of Germany, bettors should be aware of the currency used to make wagers. Many sportsbooks allow bettors to make wagers in Euros, the official currency of Germany, though for sites that use American Dollars, bettors are subject to a conversion rate.

In Germany, sports betting is completely legal. However, inside the country itself all sports betting is run through one company. While the German government has not allowed any other companies to set up betting sites at this time, they do not specifically restrict access to foreign betting sites either. Some German bettors, however, may find difficulty in making payments to foreign betting sites from their bank accounts in Germany. Foreign betting sites should also offer Germany deposit options to make it easier for German bettors to fund their account.

Attributes Of The Best Germany Betting Sites

There are a few things to keep in mind when picking the best German betting sites. The top betting sites that cater to bettors from Germany offer German language web sites and customer support. Security is another big concern when choosing a Germany betting site. In addition, the best Germany betting sites should have banking options that are German compatible. One way to tell if a German betting site is worth the time is to check out how many bonuses or promotions the site has to offer. The top German betting sites reward bettors for signing up and continuing to wager at the sportsbook.

Sports betting is legal in Germany, so there are several Germany betting sites online. Choosing the best Germany betting site often depends on which sites have German language options, use Euros for making wagers and offer Germany deposit methods. Besides having the best security and customer service, the top Germany betting sites also have the best bonuses and promotions.

Gambling Laws

To put it mildly, Germany’s online gaming laws could use some clarification. The state has tried to pass a variety of bills that have either raised the ire of the European Union or failed to achieve their stated goals. Fortunately, things are much simpler for players: there is not a single law at the national level that makes it a crime to play online wherever you want.

An ongoing dispute between German lawmakers and the European Commission is partially responsible for the current state of confusion. Things should eventually be clarified once lawmakers finally get around to updating our gaming laws, but for now just know that you can place bets online whenever you want and wherever you want.

The situation is equally confusing for online poker players in Germany. Each state takes a different approach to gaming regulation and the laws that are on the books are confusing. There exists not a single, national framework for the regulation of internet poker (or any other type of gaming for that matter).

To date, nobody has been prosecuted for playing poker or casinos games or betting on sports. However, one poker player in the state of Saxony was unable to cash out a $60,000 payout after winning a poker tournament on PokerStars. His bank refused to honor the withdrawal stating that online poker is outlawed in Saxony.

That appears to have been a one-off incident because we haven’t heard of any other players having issues withdrawing their winnings. But still, it goes to show that the gaming laws in Germany are anything but cut-and-dry.

A Brief History of Online Betting Legislation in Germany

The German government addressed online betting for the first time in 2008 with the passage of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling. The treaty outlawed all forms of online gambling with the exception of horse racing wagering, which is controlled by a state-backed monopoly provider. The European Commission found the treaty to be contradictory to EU law and tasked lawmakers with revising the treaty to bring it in line with EU free trade treaties.

German lawmakers bowed to the commission’s demands and offered an updated version of the treaty in 2012.  The revised treaty made it possible for operators to apply for licenses to offer limited forms of online sports betting. Eventually all German states except for Schleswig-Holstein signed onto the treaty. The treaty will supposedly issue a total of 20 online betting licenses for international operators, but none have been awarded to date.

Schleswig-Holstein decided to forget its own path forward and enact a completely different set of regulations that would issue a total of 50 online gaming licenses. Seven 6-year-term licenses were awarded in 2012, but a change in state government resulted in the state law being rescinded. The new government chose to honor the existing licenses with the intention of letting them expire in 2018 rather than deal with a protracted court battle between the state, licensed operators and the European Commission.

More recently, the European Commission once again ruled against Germany’s gaming laws. In 2016, the court found the laws to be sporadically enforced and protectionist in nature. The current set of laws are seen to be geared more towards protecting the state monopoly rather than a legitimate effort at regulating online gaming.

Horse Racing Betting in Germany

Online horse racing betting has struggled under Germany’s confusing mess of laws. The state maintains a monopoly over horse racing betting, but the only website authorized to offer real money wagers closed in 2014. Gaming officials cited competition from foreign websites and Germany’s failure to enforce the law as reasons for the site going out of business.

The closure of the country’s lone racing betting platform has had little impact on racing fans. Citizens can still place bets on horses through any number of foreign sports betting sites that continue to operate in Germany to this day.