Online gambling in Germany – legal or illegal?

Online gambling is gambling that can be played online via computer, cell phone or other internet-enabled device. More and more people are spending more and more time on the Internet. According to the ARD-ZDF Online Studie 2020, 94 percent of the population in Germany now uses the Internet. This means that this proportion has risen by a whole five percent in the (first) year of the Corona pandemic.

Staying in touch with other people, banking, shopping: the Internet has become the central everyday medium for many people. Games are also increasingly being played on the Internet, including gambling. So are online games of chance simply another example of an activity that is shifting more and more to the Internet? Just as more and more people are shopping online or booking a trip on the Internet?

Online games of chance are games:

  • in which there is something to win (usually money)
  • for whose participation a stake must be paid
  • in which the outcome of the game depends entirely or at least predominantly on chance.

More than two out of five Germans have taken part in a game of chance online or offline in the past twelve months. That could well become even more in the near future: In July of this year, the online gambling market was legalised in Germany. Online offers such as sports betting, poker and so-called slot games are now permitted.

In many other countries around the world, too, players have many opportunities to bet and stake their money in the hope that it will grow. In our latest International Gambling Report 2023, we used Global Gambling Profiles, our segmentation and tracking tool for the gambling industry, to analyse data from 13 countries around the world and take a closer look at, for example, preferred types of gambling as well as drivers and barriers around gambling.

List of the best legal online casinos in Germany 2023

  • Nitro Casino
  • Just. Spin
  • Speedy Casino
  • Cookie Casino
  • Euro Palace
  • Vegas hero
  • Night rush
  • BetHard
  • CasinoLand

Online beats offline

The fact that online gambling has been largely legalised in Germany also picks up on the desire of many gamblers to bet online: 58 percent of all those who have ever taken part in online gambling prefer the online to the offline variant. In other countries, the preference for online gambling is even more pronounced: in India, the UK and Italy, it is 76 to 69 percent of those we surveyed representatively.

In summary, the following applies to all 13 markets analysed: classic lotteries and sports betting are by far the most popular types of online gambling. The exceptions are Italy and India. Sports betting and poker are particularly popular in Italy, and fantasy sports in India. Here, players act as a kind of coach and manager, virtually assembling a team from players that actually exist. Their score is then measured, for example, by the goals scored or the possession of the ball by the respective players in the real running game.

The International Gambling Report shows how different the preferences of different age groups and genders are when it comes to online gambling and which different forms are used and how. However, it draws attention to the fact that both players and potential players are concerned about problem gambling and expect the relevant companies to deal with it sensitively.

Taxes on online casino winnings – Germany the tax haven

According to Germany’s current money gambling law, which has been in effect since January 1, 2019, there is a clear regulation for taxes on money gambling winnings. Those who win up to CHF 1 million in online gambling banks get away tax-free. From exactly CHF 1,000,001, the so-called withholding tax in the amount of 35% must be paid.

The organiser is obliged to report these winnings to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) without being asked to do so, using the appropriate form 121. The same applies to profits in kind exceeding one million CHF. So if you win a yacht for more than 1 million CHF, you also have to pay taxes. This is also reported by the organiser, i.e. the casino operator, using form 122.

Swiss online casino tips and tricks 2023

The best online casino in Germany is not much use if you do everything wrong when playing casino games. It also takes a little experience so that you can take perfect advantage of best online casino offers. Therefore, our casino experts will give you some practical tips here. Always take advantage of the full welcome bonus. If an offer says: 100% up to CHF 100, then deposit CHF 100 as well. Because this offer is no longer available after the first deposit.

Many online casinos offer slot tournaments. Play along and benefit twice from higher chances of winning. On the one hand, a lot of players play in the tournament on a particular slot machine, which increases the chance of winning. In addition, you can also win prizes in the top places of the leaderboard.

In online gambling, it always depends on your statistical chances of winning. Therefore, you need to choose your bets so that you can play as many rounds of the game as possible. If you play a hundred rounds, you have a good chance of winning. Almost every casino in Germany has a loyalty program. If you play with real money in the online casino you should always participate and take advantage of the benefits. Because you do not have to pay anything extra for it.

Is online gambling legal in Austria?

When it comes to online gambling regulation, the situation in Austria is similar to that in Germany – only that in Austria there is actually a gambling monopoly of Casinos Austria. However, it is the same here with the EU: Austria can make any laws in this regard. In the end, gaming libraries from foreign providers with an EU license are still allowed. A good thing for Austrian players who have a lot of choice. You can find more information about the situation of online casinos in Austria in 2023 on the Casino portal.

In 2017, a new gambling law (GSpG) came into force in Austria. Today legal casinos in Austria have to present their license on the website. In addition, a secure connection (SSL encryption) and the regulations on gambling addiction prevention must be observed. The Austrian Federal Ministry is responsible for online gambling in Austria. At players can find out more about the providers, prizes and laws as well as player protection.