Around half of Germany’s casinos are state-owned while the other half are owned by a combination of private and public enterprises.
Germany’s casino earnings topped €660m in 2016, €19m higher than in 2015, despite the closure of a handful of casinos in recent years.
Although Germany carries some of the highest gaming tax burdens in Europe, it is still the fourth highest earner in terms of revenue in the continent.
With just 66 casinos now in operation, players made 5.5m visits to German casinos in 2016, 200,000 fewer than in 2013 and a decline of nearly two percent.
Employment across the casino industry has remained largely static. Just 85 jobs have been shed since 2013, bringing the number of full-time staff employed by the sector to 5,000 in 2016.
At the same time casinos have faced smoking bans, restrictions on advertising, more stringent ID verification processes and the denial of ATM cash access for players, along with new identification requirements to combat money laundering.
In early 2016, the state of Hesse put forward a draft bill to legalise online casino and poker, combat widespread unlicensed online offers and generate additional tax revenue, but it was struck down in the courts.
Attempts to agree an Interstate Treaty on Gambling have continually stalled by similarly obstructive disagreements between the German government and individual states.
Germany’s land-based casinos today abide by a wide range of legal requirements with regard to player protection measures, ranging from strict registration and identification procedures to the establishment of player protection concepts.
Casino employees participate in regular training and the casinos themselves comply with responsible advertising controls and anti-money laundering measures.
The German casinos originally initiated and established all player protection measures contained in the Gambling Law (esp. Interstate Treaty), specifically the social concept requirement and the joint client exclusion system.
The Interstate Treaty requires licence applicants to submit a player protection concept (so-called “social concept”) in which they outline how they will guarantee a high level of player protection, in particular by means of early diagnosis and prevention.
They are also required to provide information and warnings on the addiction risks of gambling and on the probabilities of possible wins and losses. Together land-based casinos also operate a joint client exclusion system that applies across the industry.
Casino licence holders are required to develop and document individual programmes for player protection, which incorporate records of staff training and interviews with vulnerable players.
The exclusion of gamblers can take place either at the request of the player, at the initiative of casino operators, or by third parties that are directly involved. The ban lasts at least one year.
After this period the player can make a written request to lift the ban. Operators can be held liable for losses if they fail to prevent vulnerable players from playing.
Self-exclusion forms are available at every German casino. Furthermore, many casino operators offer these forms on their websites. A self-exclusion in any of the licensed German casinos will result in a ban for all the licensed German casinos.
All licensed operators are obliged to control access to slots and table gaming areas to ensure that self-excluded gamblers are not permitted to play.
The participation of minors in gambling is forbidden. Although generally players should be at least 18 years of age, some state casino laws require players to be at least 21 years of age.
Support for problem gamblers: Evangelische Gesellschaft Stuttgart e.V. & Universitätsmedizin Mainz
Legal Gambling Age: 18 Years Old
Smoking Ban: YES, NO, RESTRICTED TO SPECIFIC AREAS
Terrestrial: Multiple licences (not capped).
Online: Prohibited but without enforcement so, in practical terms, unregulated
Terrestrial:Table games, card games or roulette-based games, slot machines.
Terrestrial:Casinos are licensed and regulated by the state in which they are situated.
Size of Illegal Gambling Market:State authorities estimate the 2015 gross gaming revenues from illegal casino games and online poker to be €885m (Source: Jahresreport 2014 der Glücksspielaufsichtsbehörden der Länder, 22.12.2015).
The size of the total illegal gambling market in Germany is estimated by various studies to be €4 to €22bn (Source: Reeckmann, Illegal gambling – Need for research and action, ZfWG, European Journal of Gambling Law, 2015, p. 106).
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:Local authorities may ban illegal online and poker games at an ISP level by issuing an order. Advertising and payment blocking tools are also permitted but rarely used.
Currency : Euro
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 29,02,913
Internet Penetration (Internet Users):86.2%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 120%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):15
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: August 2017