Germany has undergone something in the way of a metamorphosis when it comes to its regulation over online gambling. However, there is a long way to go before it is in step with other, more progressive jurisdictions. The battle, as usual, is with the European Union, which is leaning toward more fairness and uniformity.
We mention those things because governments are faced with a situation in online gambling where they don't really control what goes up in cyberspace, and the technology is often ahead of the law. There was a certain "states rights" policy in place in Germany when it came to gambling, but all the states got together in 2006 to sign a treaty that effectively blocked the ISP's of German citizens to online gambling websites and also banned German banks from participating in gambling-related transactions, much like the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) has done in the United States.
But countries who are members of European Union are going to be under certain pressures to open up their markets, and such was the case in Germany as well, where there was monopoly power at work. Many operators actually sued for the right to do business with German citizens, and the European Court of Justice ruled in their favor. Germany responded by awarding a limited number of sports betting licenses, while leaving online casinos out of the picture for anyone who did not have a land-based casino license already. The tax rates on the sports betting operations were very high, however, and that caused interest to wane.
Over the last year or so, the laws started to open up a little. The states can still make decisions as to who receives licenses, but the idea that such a thing would be open to a bidding process raised eyebrows. And only sports betting and lotteries were on the table. Without online casino games and online poker, many operators were not going to be able to offer their full range of products, and that made them unhappy too. Expect more movement in the months ahead.
For those Germans who want to play in online casinos, we can help you. Here at Online Casino Lobby, we do comprehensive reviews of online casinos, and invariably there are going to be some that are to your liking. In fact, we have designated some of the casinos to be German-friendly, and we have done a certain filtering process for you.
For one thing, the casinos that we recommend to Germans are those where the Euro can be used to make transactions like deposits, as well as receive bonuses. And in all likelihood, customer support can speak the language. They are available around the clock to answer any questions and might even have toll-free numbers you can use. So don't despair!