Can you play casino games in Germany using cryptocurrencies? What are the best games and bonuses. Find out in our DE crypto gambling guide.
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Yes, gambling is legal in Germany. The state holds no monopoly over the industry. Both individuals and private companies are allowed to open land-based and online gambling establishments as long as they follow the necessary licensing procedures.
The country recently underwent significant gambling regulation changes. In July 2021, the state adopted the new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG 2021). It liberalized the ability of private operators to offer gambling services within the country. While the new licensing procedure did have its flaws initially, many companies successfully applied for and received permits.
Before that, each of Germany’s 16 individual states had its own jurisdiction over gambling activities. Despite that, there were two centralized gambling licensing authorities. The Darmstadt Regional Council regulates online sports betting licensing procedures. The State Administrative Office of Halle is responsible for the licensing of virtual slots and online poker.
However, the two authorities will cease to provide licensing services as of December 31, 2022. Instead, a new joint gambling supervisory authority called the GGL will monitor unlicensed gambling operations and advertisements. Online licenses will also fall under the GGL’s authority. The agency will also have the power to initiate criminal investigations against suspicious gambling operations.
Not only are cryptocurrencies available in Germany, but the country has also been named one of the most crypto-friendly places in the world. It is indeed impressive how the state has handled the advancement of technology and harnessed its power to transform the entire economy.
In 2019, Germany became the first country ever to adopt a blockchain strategy. This led to a rapid and sustainable digital transformation. Thus, the state became a top-desired destination for innovation, including the rise of cryptocurrency.
The local German Savings Banks Association, which comprises 400 savings banks in German-speaking countries, developed its own blockchain applications to facilitate the buying and selling of digital coins.
Other industry sectors followed shortly. World-renowned companies like SAP, Volkswagen, BrainBot, and many others entered the world of crypto payment applications. Further, Germany has ranked among the world’s top 10 countries for crypto mining. It is also the home to Northern Data, the European Union’s biggest crypto mining enterprise.
In 2021, almost 3 % of Germans had used digital currencies, and another 44 % were willing to invest in crypto. The country also has very clear policies on the taxation of digital assets.
Gambling in Germany has very well-established roots that go way back in history. Historians date the first fortune-based games to the times when the Roman Empire conquered ancient Germanic territories. The Romans were known to be among the early adopters of gambling, so, naturally, they brought this pastime activity to the newly taken lands.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Germany became the home of one of the earliest casinos that ever existed – Casino Wiesbaden. Its concept was entirely based on the history of Ancient Rome.
While gambling in Germany had its ups and downs over the centuries, things dramatically changed after the end of World War II. A new world order was now installed, and the state had to undergo certain changes.
The local government decided to have casinos individually regulated by the German states in the West. Each state would have its own laws directed towards protecting both businesses and gamblers. However, the laws mostly concerned lotteries and sports betting. Many casinos introduced restrictions according to which only local bettors could play in them.
After much thought, in 1995, these restrictions were completely lifted. The German government saw the benefits that gambling revenue could have on the state economy and took decisive steps to legalize and regulate wagering activities.
In fact, it went so far as to try to monopolize gambling. However, the European Union was fast to react and prevent that. Nowadays, private companies and individuals are allowed to open gambling establishments in Germany as long as they abide by the rule of law.
Thanks to the most recent legislative developments in Germany, the country’s casino industry is currently booming. This comes to show how important sound market- and player-oriented state regulation is. We can only hope for more countries to adopt a similar approach.
At present, Germany boasts more than 400 gambling establishments. These include land-based casinos and cruise ships. Talking about physical venues, the gambling age for playing at these varies between 18 and 21 years.
The number of online gambling sites for players from Germany is also steadily growing. The reasons for this trend are diverse. Some of the major ones include the country’s adoption of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, mobile technology penetration, and the nation’s dynamic lifestyle, which favours online access to a variety of services including casinos.
According to recent statistics, German players wagered EUR 9.3 billion in 2019. This is a huge number, even for a nation that traditionally gambles, so let us see where all of this money went.
The top choice of German punters is sports betting with 38 % of the overall wagers. This fact is not surprising at all, given that Germany is a country, which loves sports. What is surprising is the stark dominance of two sports over the rest – football and horseracing. Yet again, Germany has some of the best football teams in the entire world. It is also a land of aristocracy, and horseracing has always had an element of nobility to it.
Casino games come second with 34 % of Germany’s population wagering on all sorts of high-roller and budget-friendly tables. Roulette, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo – you name it, and it will be available at the nation’s top casinos. As you may easily guess, online slot machines are also among the most favourite choices of German players.
Third come poker tables with a 24 % market share. Germans love all of the available poker varieties, and they spend a good deal of money wagering.
As we have seen throughout this article, Germans are keen on gambling. Therefore, it is no wonder that casinos and sportsbooks are constantly looking for new ways to attract players. The most effective tool to accomplish this task is to offer generous promotions.
German bettors are lucky enough to enjoy attractive bonuses consisting of free spins, additional cash, free bets, and so on. Most gambling operators offer well-structured loyalty programs with many extra bonuses. The reason is that retaining existing players is just as important as attracting new ones. That said, no deposit bonuses top Germany’s most sought-after promotions.
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