Online Casino in Germany: How to Start a Business with Experts

Online casino
Updated 21 october 2022

In terms of gambling legislation, the European Union is one of the exemplary regions. Companies that offer games for money in any format (in both offline and online sectors) are legalised and must obey the rules established for all EU members. The only exception is Germany.

It is explained by the following factor: the country is divided into 16 territories (like the United States), and each of the districts has its regulations regarding the gambling business.

Online casino in Germany: characteristics

The Online Casino Market team has carefully analysed the current situation in the industry and is ready to tell you how to open a casino in Germany, how to legalise it, and which locations are most popular with players.

Gambling in Germany: History of the Market

The first mention of casinos in Europe, including Germany, dates back to the Middle Ages. However, if we are talking about the analogue of modern locations, then such an establishment was opened only at the end of the 18th century. The founder of the industry was Jacques Benazier.

The very first casino is located in Wiesbaden. Leading German and French specialists worked on its construction. The architecture is similar to palace-type buildings: marble, bronze, and stained-glass windows are everywhere. The institution has been given the status of an architectural monument but it continues to receive visitors.

The first law that banned the operation of gambling locations was adopted in 1872 and was valid until 1933. The 20th century was marked by the resumption of the construction of casinos. Land-based establishments were ready to offer customers not only classic card entertainment but also the latest releases — automatic devices.

The second cessation of the activity of the niche took place during the Second World War but already in 1950, it was restored.

Since 2012, local authorities have been trying to regulate the virtual market. Unfortunately, a unified legal framework was not created: the government agencies abandoned the proposed course of action.

Today, over a hundred offline casinos operate in German lands. Some of them are considered state property and some are privately owned. Another small percentage of locations are in mixed ownership.

Geographically, institutions are unevenly distributed: the vast majority of them operate in the southern and eastern regions.

The online sector is still developing without appropriate legal regulations, which is why the EU is constantly displeased. Besides, there is no regulatory framework for German operators.

The only digital entertainment allowed at the state level is betting on horse races (the platforms are considered the property of the country). Local and foreign entrepreneurs are not allowed to enter the German online market.

Upcoming Legislative Changes

The situation with the complete lack of regulation of the web market and full-scale bans on the work of local and foreign suppliers has already become the reason for 2 court decisions (from the European and Federal Administrative Courts). The resolutions contain a direct requirement to bring the current legislative norms in line with the requirements of the European Union.

The first step towards market regulation has already been taken: by June 2021, local authorities have resolved all matters related to the issuance of licences to those enterprises that provide sports betting services. When it comes to online casinos in Germany, the sector remains in the shadows.

Gambling Business in the Country: Current Situation

Gambling business in Germany: situation

Even though it is illegal to own gaming sites by both local and foreign brands, the regional land-based market is thriving.

Any sole proprietor or legal entity can open a casino in Germany after participating in a tender. As a rule, the issued licence is valid for 10 years, and it is also possible to extend the permit for 5 years. The price of the service is deducted from the gross income of the enterprise.

If the number of casinos is regulated by law, then the installation of slot machines outside the club (on the territory of restaurants and in other public places) is allowed with no limits. The main thing is that the devices should be distanced from educational and medical institutions, as well as from specialised centres where gambling addicts are treated.

Betting and sweepstake licences are issued only to horse tracks and breeders.

Solid Reasons to Open a Casino in Germany

Even if the online niche basically does not exist in this region, it may still be a beneficial choice to work in the land-based industry.

Having decided to open a casino in Germany, entrepreneurs can count on:

  • loyal attitude on the part of the tax authorities;
  • variety of allowed games;
  • a constant influx of customers;
  • opportunity to receive foreign tourists in their establishments;
  • use of reliable and certified equipment from the world’s leading vendors;
  • a wide range of partners for international collaboration;
  • a convenient opportunity to enter the European market within the framework of the EU;
  • operation on a legal basis.

How to Open a Casino in Germany: Features of Licensing

Casino in Germany: licensing features

It is worth noting that there are no specific criteria and lists of legal or prohibited entertainment in the country. However, some gaming formats are controlled more strictly than others. An example is the absolute state monopoly on lottery drawings.

The list of types of entertainment that can be offered by casino owners:

  • poker tournaments;
  • betting on traditional sports events (including horse racing);
  • casino games (baccarat, roulette, craps, blackjack, etc.);
  • slot machines and other technical devices;
  • bingo.

The offline sector generates an annual profit of more than 24 billion euros. No more than 8% of the total turnover is accounted for by online casinos in Germany. For this reason, the country is losing huge tax receipts.

Experts hope for a radical change in the situation in the near future. Otherwise, the region will lose one of the most promising sources of budget replenishment and credibility in the eyes of the European Union.

The Best Providers of Gambling Services on the German Market

Full legalisation of the offline sector made it possible for 126 establishments to operate successfully. Let us overview the most popular ones.

Top 5 gambling locations in Germany

Kurhaus Casino

According to Forbes magazine, the establishment is included in the list of 10 best gambling clubs in the world

Spielbank Berlin and Casino Berlin

In the capital of the country, visitors are offered 2 branches at once, which are ready to offer an extensive range of such entertainment as:

  • blackjack;
  • baccarat;
  • bingo;
  • poker;
  • slot machines

Casino Bremen

The gambling club is located in a building with the status of an architectural monument. The complex has 4 poker tables, 5 roulette wheels, 2 blackjack zones, and more than 130 slot machines

Casino Dresden

Its area is about 400 square metres. The location offers many automatic devices. In its catalogue of offers, there is a range of software from the world's leading suppliers: IGT, Novomatic, Atronic, etc.


The largest casino in the country, which is visited annually by about a million customers. It includes both traditional desktop solutions and over 300 slot machines

The Main Things about Gaming Start-ups in the Region

The EU is a promising business area that guarantees high profits. However, having decided to open an online casino in Germany, it is worth remembering that there are some nuances in the attitude of the local regulator and tax authorities.

The country has a ban on conducting any internet wagering activity, except for monopoly state-owned enterprises. Therefore, the only answer to the question of how to open a casino in Germany is the implementation of a land-based project. Any attempts to provide services on the online market are strictly suppressed.

An alternative solution is to launch a gambling start-up outside the country.

Leave an application to the specialists at Online Casino Market, and we will offer you the best conditions for cooperation.

From us, you can also order software for already existing businesses, as well as the development of a turnkey platform and exclusive products based on your sketches. Our team is ready to bring to life the most unusual and creative ideas.

Are you still in doubt? Take advantage of the free demo version of the gambling platform from us. You will get access to the most relevant technological developments and the latest releases in the market. It will remain only to think over the design and order the services of marketers.

With Online Casino Market, your business will reach a new level.

For all questions, please contact our managers.

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Karen Fill


Karen Fill

Gambling business expert at Online Casino Market

Updated 21 october 2022