Online Gambling in Germany: Laws, Taxes and Much More
Germans are known as some of the most avid online gamblers in Europe, however the rules in the country are slightly complex. This doesn’t stop many German players from heading to online casinos and poker rooms every day though. If you want to learn a little more about the ins and outs of gambling online in Germany, you’ll find loads of information below…
Is Online Gambling Legal in Germany?
The law in Germany is complex, however essentially all German states have banned online casinos from operating within their borders. There was a brief period when Schleswig-Holstein issued licences though, and the casinos founded with these licences are currently legal – although the licences will not be renewed. These laws don’t stop players from signing up with offshore online casinos though.
There is some good news for German players though, as the Court of Justice for the European Union has ruled that Germany’s restrictive gambling laws are illegal, and has said that they must be changed. While the case focussed specifically on online sports betting, it is thought that the ruling could also be applied to other forms of online gambling as well.
Are Online Gambling Winnings Taxable?
The tax situation surrounding online gambling in Germany is a complex one. The main tax to be aware of is the 5% tax applied to sports bets though, which is deducted from the stake. Some sites have decided to absorb these taxes themselves, thus meaning that they don’t affect the player, while others only tax winning bets. Professional gamblers, who get the majority of their income through skill (which mainly means poker players), are subject to income tax. This is why many German professional players now live in countries with more favourable tax laws.
How German Players Make Deposits at Online Casinos
Despite the reasonably restrictive gambling laws in Germany, it is still possible to make deposits using a number of different methods. This is because, unlike in some countries, banks have not been instructed to block payments to online gambling sites. This means that the most popular way for Germans to deposit at online casinos is using a credit/debit card. Other popular depositing methods in the country include Sofortuberweisung, Neteller and Skrill.
German players will also find that the vast majority of online casinos and other gambling sites accept Euros, which makes gambling online much easier. To play using Euros, a player simply needs to select the option when making a deposit into their account.
The Best Software for German Players
German players will be able to use the full range of different software options from some of the world’s biggest online gambling software producers. While not all software providers will have games at casinos licenced in Germany, the fact that players can play at offshore sites means that they are still accessible. Like the majority of players throughout the world, German players prefer the games produced by the biggest names in the industry – names such as Playtech, Microgaming and IGT.