German Online Casino
German Gambling Laws
Despite the German State Treaty that bans internet gambling (as of 2008), Germans have been known to enjoy the services of online casinos on a regular basis. Schleswig-Holstein is the only part of the state that permits gambling, and the casino operators are welcome to apply for the gaming licence in this jurisdiction since 2012. Other areas of Germany are still struggling with unlicensed gambling, and one of the latest measures implemented to suppress the wave of illicit online gambling activities is eliminating PayPal as a depositing option for German players.
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Certain operators have already excluded the e-wallet as an accepted payment method for the players in Germany, and in December 2018 GVC Holdings announced that PayPal is removed from all the respective casino brands.
So far, the Treaty has been modified several times, and the 2019 proposal has not fared as well as expected. When submitted to the European Commission, the new outline (designed to protect the players and eradicate the unlicensed online casino operators) raised a lot of questions. The main issue was the unreasonably short period of time during which the new measures were to come into effect. According to the third amendment of the Treaty, all online casinos currently operating within the German domain must terminate the gaming services (with the exception of sports betting) and apply for the state-issued gaming licence. Furthermore, the players’ wagers should be limited to no more than €1,000 a month.
Not all were thrilled with the proposal, considering it extremely unfavourable for the operators, and some went as far as to demand an efficiency assessment of the Treaty, which has been struggling to keep the German gambling industry under control since 2012.
Software Developers Powering German-Oriented Online Casinos
Due to the current legal regulations, games by the domestic software companies are not often found in online casinos available to Germans, with Edict as one of the rare exceptions. Other popular providers that produce games for German markets are Bally Wulff, Microgaming (their Quickfire platform was introduced to Schleswig-Holstein in 2011), Evolution Gaming, and Novomatic.
Compared to the internationally acclaimed developers mentioned above, German software providers (excluding Edict and Bally Wulff) are still relatively unknown to the general public outside Europe, although companies like Whow Games GmbH continue to grow through partnerships with other suppliers, such as Betsoft and Spil Games.
Edict is a subsidiary of Merkur Gaming (a part of Gauselmann Group) and a gambling industry pioneer, developing gaming software since 1998. Nowadays, the company is widely
recognized as a leading supplier of B2B casino solutions, slots, table, and card games. Their gaming portfolio includes both in-house developed software and slots produced by partnering providers, Blueprint and Bally Wulff.
Bally Wulff was founded in 1950 as a sole proprietorship, which makes it one of the oldest gaming suppliers in Europe. Today, the company operates as a part of U. Schmidt Group, employing more than 300 people. In addition to gaming cabinets, Bally Wulff also develops online games, and 40 Thieves slot is one of the company’s most popular releases.
Microgaming is one of those developers that needs little introduction – the company launched its first online casino software in 1994, optimizing their offer for mobile devices in 2004. Slots are only a portion of Microgaming’s portfolio, and the company also supplies RNG casino games, poker, bingo, sports betting software, and live dealer games. Players from around the world are obsessed with Mega Moolah, the most popular progressive slot in the market that earned a spot in the Guinness World Records as the game with the “largest jackpot payout in an online slot machine”.
Evolution Gaming entered the German market in 2008, through a supply deal with bet-at-home.com. Over the years, Evolution Gaming became the synonym for the sophisticated and diverse live casino software, available in more than 400 online casinos. Novomatic is the creator of arguably one of the most popular video slots among the German
players in the past few years – Book of Ra. With an estimated annual revenue of around 5 billion EUR, Novomatic Group is a part of the gambling industry elite, employing 30,000
people in 50 locations.
Top Gaming Choices in German-Oriented Online Casinos
German players are quite conventional in their gambling activity choices, gravitating mostly towards live dealer tables, video slots, and different poker variants. Judging by the offer in German-friendly online casinos, “exotic” games optimized for the players from South Asia do not particularly appeal to the players from this country, and they are slightly less inclined to play Teen Patti, Fish Prawn Crab, or even Dragon Tiger and Sic Bo.
Live Games – live tables are one of the preferred gambling forms in Germany, especially blackjack and roulette. Evolution Gaming has recognized the potential of customized live
casinos early on, which resulted in an exceptional selection of native tables, including Live Deutsch Roulette.
Slots – certain market research have found that younger generations of German players prefer slots to other games. It has been estimated than more than 60% of the gambling population play slots, while roulette is a close second. American players, on the other hand, are much more interested in tables games.
Poker – Germans seem to equally enjoy video poker, RNG, and live poker tables, although the latter is slightly more popular. It is safe to say that Casino Hold’em takes the lead, especially among male online casino patrons.
Popular Payment Methods in Online Casinos for German Players
As mentioned, the former go-to payment method for German players, PayPal, can no longer be used for online betting purposes. Those looking for a viable alternative can try SEPA,
Giropay, or Sofort (all online banking payment methods).
Giropay – online banking system introduced in 2006 which allows the users to pay for the service directly from their bank accounts.
Sofort – bank transfer system used in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Belgium, etc. In 2014, Sofort was acquired by Klarna Group and Sofort Direct Banking became Pay Now
SEPA – or Single Euro Payments Area supported in more than 30 countries, suitable for both personal and business transactions (SEPA Business-to-Business Direct Debit Scheme).
German Online Casino Bonuses
When joining an online casino, players from Germany will have to make sure that they are eligible to use welcome offers and other promotions. A successfully completed registration process in no guaranty that one will be able to claim any of the bonuses, which is why consulting the Terms & Conditions page or speaking with a customer support representative might be a good idea.
The most common bonuses are sign-up welcome bonuses, cashbacks, free spins, and live casinos short-term promotions.
The welcome offer is unlocked immediately after the first deposit is submitted, but in some cases, the payment method or the location of the players can void the bonus. For example, those who deposit via Neteller or Skrill will sometimes not be able to claim some of the promotions.
Bonuses related to the specific gaming categories are not uncommon, and the players will often be able to claim poker bonuses, free spins (limited to either a specific slot or a group of slots by a single provider), free bets on sports markets, or free chips that can be used on roulette and blackjack tables.