Sports betting, poker and lotteries on the Internet are booming, but very few users worry about the legal situation. And actually is  the legal status of the legality of online gambling somewhat confused. In principle, gambling offers on the Internet are legal provided the operator has a recognized license. Since it is difficult to recognize this, especially as a beginner, the following article shows how to recognize legal online casinos and how the legal situation is currently assessed. If you as a user know what to look out for when choosing an operator of online gambling, you can legally indulge your hobby and challenge your luck on the Internet. 


Online Gambling Legality: A Simple Answer

First of all, the all-clear for all gamblers, before we delve deeper into the subject of the legality of online gambling: Online gambling with reputable providers is allowed!

Now, of course, attentive readers ask themselves two questions. First: What requirements must be met for online gambling to be legal? And second: How do you recognize a reputable online gambling provider? Let's answer the questions one by one and start with the necessary legal requirements for legal online gambling. The topic of gambling is regulated by the so-called “State Treaty on Gambling in Germany”, which regulates the regulations uniformly in all states of the Federal Republic of Germany - with one single exception: Schleswig-Holstein. The northernmost federal state deviates from the State Treaty on Gambling with its state law and also issues licenses for online casinos and sports betting to private providers. It was only in 2014 that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed the special legal situation in Schleswig-Holstein as legally compliant. Good news for all fortune hunters, as they are very welcome in the Las Vegas of the north. The special position in Schleswig-Holstein means that online casinos that are based in the northernmost federal state can apply for a legally valid license. Users who participate in the offers of these licensed operators on the Internet do so completely legally.

In Sections 284 and 285 of the Criminal Code, only “... offering as well as participation unlicensed Gambling ”is a punishable offense. As soon as the casino provider has a German license, online gambling there is officially approved and therefore legal. This not only applies to local casinos, but also to online gaming offers.


However, the legal situation is inconsistent at online casinos that have a foreign license but can be used from Germany. The availability of the registration service in Germany alone is no guarantee of legality. As a user, you should make sure that at least one license from an EU member state is available. Using the example of the operator StarGames this can be easily illustrated: The providers of online casinos from EU countries have corresponding licenses from these same countries, for example from Malta. Although the exact legal situation is unclear, there is a tendency for courts to award a license from an EU country a legalizing effect. By the way: Obtaining a license from the competent authorities in Malta is exactly the same, if not more difficult than in Schleswig-Holstein, for example. In addition, the EU-wide regulations on data protection or consumer protection guarantee a uniform level of security.    

Legal online gambling: Pay attention to reputable providers

How important it is to choose a reputable provider in the field of online gambling often only becomes apparent in an emergency. If you have a lucky hand with one of the games on offer and thus a high profit, you would of course also want to have the winnings paid out. Now, however, there is a risk, especially with providers from non-EU countries, that high profits will simply not be paid out. Anyone who thinks now that they can simply sue for the winnings is making a capital mistake: Missing winnings cannot be sued in a German court. So in the worst case scenario, even if you hit a jackpot, you will go home with empty pockets. So it makes sense to choose a suitable one Casinos to pay attention to important characteristics that guarantee a seriousness. The most important thing to begin with is not to react to spam that is sent to you by email from untrustworthy providers. The promises made there will definitely never come true. On the other hand, it makes more sense to actively search for online casinos yourself and to find out about the reputation of individual providers via internet portals. Bonus offers that seem strange at first glance shouldn't be given much credence. The great competition among the individual providers of online gambling entices dubious casinos to make bonus promises that it is impossible for them to keep.

Online Gambling: Are Online Casinos Legal?

It is also important that the provider clearly communicates the license it has received. If you as a user cannot find out which license a casino has, you should be more careful. Serious providers publish information about their EU licenses and also place the information in easy-to-find places, for example in the imprint. Good providers also operate a customer support service that is available to help users with questions. In any case, one should pay attention to the respective payout conditions, which are transparent and can be viewed via the Internet with reputable online gambling operators. This also applies to the general terms and conditions, the conditions for bonus payments and the information about payment options. On the technical side, adventurers should make sure that the casinos use well-known and proven software. Indicators of quality that are comparatively easy to recognize are also user numbers and, above all, customer opinions on the Internet. 

If you take these factors into account when choosing an online casino, nothing stands in the way of having fun.