For many of us, sport and gambling go hand-in-hand. A cheeky accumulator on the football or a flutter on the horses might seem par for the course in the UK, but it’s worth bearing in mind that in Germany things can be a little different.
Despite the rich and varied sporting heritage of the country, betting has been quite heavily regulated since the introduction of the 2008 Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which was adopted by all but one of the 16 German states. This treaty prohibited all sports betting with the exception of horse racing – however, in a drastic turnaround the European Court of Justice ruled in 2010 that this violated European law.
Since then, the German gambling markets have become partly liberalised, with private enterprises having been invited to apply for licences to operate online. Taxation of 5% was imposed on all stakes, and casino games such as roulette and poker remained illegal under the updated 2012 rules.
Some critics of the regulations felt that the German government were protecting their state-owned gambling model, as despite 20 licences for online vendors being available, not one applicant was successfully accepted until recently.
A handful of licences have been issued to a select number of gambling sites with a tentative expiration date of December 2018, with the ban on casino games also having been lifted.
Despite some rather confusing legislation, the good news is that there are now a number of ways to enjoy online gambling in the country without fear of repercussions. Without further ado, we’ll take a look at which bookies welcome German customers, and why you should consider signing up.
Perhaps the best news for German gamblers is that bet365 is available in their native tongue and even accepts euros from those placing a stake. It covers all of the major sporting events across the country including all the Bundesliga action, German basketball (the BBL), motor racing from the Nurburgring and Sachsenring, volleyball and more.
With over half a million customers worldwide, bet365 has truly cemented its reputation as an international online gambling hub. New customers can expect to bag a host of enticing sign-up bonuses and special offers, which change regularly but are always worth keeping an eye out for.
Like Bet365, German gamblers can expect great odds on everything from football to tennis and golf, without forgetting about horse racing either. As one of the oldest online betting portals (BetVictor was launched back in 1990), the site is flexible and can be accessed from all popular platforms (PC, Mac, mobile) and new members are provided with a free bet matched to their initial deposit.
As a European-based betting site, it makes sense that 888Sport would tailor their market to appeal to punters living in Germany. There are numerous ways to deposit funds including PayPal and bank transfers, making it quick and easy to get your stake on and get stuck into the action.
888Sport also offers a “best odds guaranteed” promise, meaning that if your luck’s in, you can enjoy larger winnings than any other site on the continent.
All the standard sign-up bonuses are on offer, including free bets and stake-back options.
ComeOn prides itself on offering a “no-nonsense” service – that’s clear, concise odds and easy-to-understand rules regardless of whether you’re betting in-play or enjoying some time in their virtual casino.
Registration is also incredibly simple, and gamblers can be placing bets in a matter of seconds. The company operates on the philosophy that gambling should be fun, which is why there’s as little complication as possible – and the best news is that it’s also quick and easy to cash out when you win big – with minimum red-tape and maximum security encryption: just the way it should be.
While Germany is a huge footballing nation, not everybody chooses to gamble on the beautiful game. PokerStars is marketed as the world’s largest poker table and affords players the opportunity to take part in a plethora of casino games, betting against the house or competing against contemporaries from all over the globe. Of course, sports betting is still available for those who wish to take a punt on the latest football or horse racing, although the focus of the site is on card games – as a matter of fact, a round of poker starts every single second onsite.
As one of the longest-serving traditional brick and mortar bookmakers, Ladbrokes have managed to digitally capture their expertise and present punters with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface which makes placing bets in real-time an absolute breeze.
There are a number of attractive sign-up options available to first-time customers, and with a varied sportsbook Ladbrokes opens up an entire world of gambling opportunities – and with that, the chances to win big are increased too. From sports to slots, everything’s on offer.
The home-grown German gambling site Tipico is favoured among football aficionados, as it offers an attractive range of betting options to keep even the most meticulous statistician happy. In-play betting is a joy to behold as all odds can be combined, even with the standard sports bet range. Unique features like this ensure that punters keep coming back to Tipico. Punters are encouraged to gamble in euros, making it ideal for those in Germany or indeed the wider EU.
As one of the biggest names in the online gambling world, you can expect great odds and monthly offers as a reward for signing up. Like Tipico, bwin leans toward football, however there are a plenty of live casino games on offer for those who want to mix it up a little.
As a relative newcomer, Mybet has plenty of promotions running in order to attract customers – which means plenty of incentives to sign up, like matched initial deposits and multiple free bets. There are lots of different sports on offer (including rugby union for those British ex-pats currently in Germany) and the intuitive interface makes gambling with Mybet a complete and utter joy.