Online gambling is sure one of the most important sources of entertainment whether for people worldwide or for people in Germany. On a legal basis, it is illegal to host a German casino, but as what regards placing a bet online the law is unclear. Some people might say that the laws state that online gambling is illegal, but the truth is that authorities seem only interested in which operators can offer services to the public.
In Germany there are two categories of players: those who are avid online casino players and players who are a little bit more hesitant joining such an activity. It all comes from the uncertainty that resides from gambling regulations that don't state clearly if you can participate in gambling or not.
As the industry is growing at a fast pace, it could become a source of big incomes for the government. Another important matter is the fact that laws should state clearly if betting is legal or not. Such regulation would provide players a sense of security and they could take part in responsible gaming. The following article aims to clear the waters regarding the current status of online gambling in Germany.
Interstate Treaty on Gambling
There is a great potential on the German gambling market, but the truth is that the country has remained in a legislative limbo. There haven't been any changes in the legislation during the past five years and at this point it seems that no clear decision will be taken to clear the uncertainty.
Earlier this year, a new Interstate Treaty on Gambling has been approved by the 16 German states. There is some bad news though. This is basically a more refined version of the law that was introduced in 2012. The treaty makes room for sports betting services across the German states.
Another issue occurred in relation to the Treaty. The European Commission didn't like it too much as it doesn't fit the free market regulations.
Increasing Interest Regarding the German Market
According to the 2012 treaty only 20 operators were allowed to have a license to provide their services in the country, although there were 35 gambling operators who wanted to provide their services in the German market at that time.
Ever since the law passed, it was frowned upon not only by operators but also by the European regulatory bodies. It went so far that the Court of Justice for the EU ruled the law illegal as it violated the free trade standards and service provision among member states of the EU.
Many expected that the new law would be more permissive as there were many operators interested to enter the market, but it remained restricted. The former law permitted a limit of 20 licenses to operators, now there are 40 such licenses. So it has permitted access to the other 15 interested operators on the market. But it is only a temporary fix as the online gambling market is expanding continuously and it is almost certain that in the near future other operators will want to access the market.
Taxes on Gambling Winnings
The rule regarding taxation is the following for operators: state-owned casino are charged 80% of their gross gaming revenues, while privately owned ones fall under a different set of rules in what regards taxation.
Although there is a great uncertainty surrounding the legalities of online gambling in Germany, many people indulge in such entertainment. Still, one big question remains. Is the tax for players 80% as well? Well, one thing is sure. Germany is one of the few countries where winnings aren't taxed. So you can happily play your favorite games without having to worry about tax restraints.
Gambling in Germany – The Future
One thing is certain – although there is still uncertainty regarding gambling in Germany, they are starting to feel the pressure that comes from various sides. The European Commission isn't satisfied with the law as it conflicts with the standards of free trade. So it might happen that they will instruct Germany to revise and better construct their legislative framework.
Legalizing not only sports betting, but online casinos as well will generate bigger incomes for gambling operators and for the state as well. Therefore, the best option for Germany would be to completely legalize online gaming. Doing so, they will increase their earnings and they will prove a more safe industry for the citizens who participate in online gaming.
If you are a player from Germany you can rest assured there is no problem to participate in online gambling activities. There will be no prosecution if you partake in the act of online gambling at offshore online casinos. You should know that there are several online casinos that do not accept players from Germany, therefore you should pick your online casino carefully.