As Germany is known to be a country that shows outstanding performance in numerous sports, it is only natural that Germans are keen on making sports bets. While there are some legal restrictions, trying to ban interactive gaming on the territory of the country, enthusiastic bettors pay little to no attention to them.
Germany is a member of the European Union which does not have strict laws concerning online gambling. This is why the country does not feel a serious pressure to refrain from promoting virtual casino gaming and sports betting. Since there are numerous fans of gambling and betting in Germany, there are quite a few unlicensed operators that disregard the regulations within the jurisdiction. This is why, in practice, German punters can make real-money bets online.
While many bettors resort to foreign sites to enjoy sports betting, there are a couple of local reputable sportsbooks where German punters can make various bets. These are the brands Tipico and Bet3000 which in addition to their websites for international bettors, also provide sportsbooks specifically dedicated to punters based in Germany. The intriguing part about these bookmakers is that they are actually licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Despite not being completely on the clear with the interactive gambling legality on the territory of the country, German punters still enjoy a wonderful online betting. Both international and local sportsbooks offer them bountiful promotions and numerous betting markets on the sports popular in the country.
Legality and Regulation of Sports Betting in Germany
There is no specific regulation on interactive gambling and betting on the territory of the EU. This is why each country has to decide the laws to regulate online gaming within its respective jurisdiction. Overall, the European Commission strives to support the attempt of EU countries to change their online gambling laws and allow a more modern, free but still properly regulated interactive gaming industry.
When we are discussing the situation in Germany, we will mostly concentrate on the term “games of chance” rather than using “gaming” or “gambling”. According to the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, when an individual is offered a chance to win in return of wagering money and the outcome depends mainly on luck, the form of entertainment is considered as a game of chance.
While in 2012 there was a licensing process for sports betting, but since this act was found for outlawed, currently the country cannot issue any licenses. While in 2016 the states of Germany did try to introduce a new Amendment Treaty. Thanks to it, 35 operators were to receive licenses at the beginning of 2018, however, this Amendment Treaty did not pass. The reason for that was that the states of Schleswig Holstein, North Rhine Westphalia and Hesse did not approve the changes to the law.
Key Sports Betting Laws
The most important law that German punters should be aware of is the aforementioned Interstate Treaty. This law was passed in 2008 and throughout the years it has been altered several times. It determines which forms of gambling can be legally offered on the territory of the country and the treaty is the current act that German operators must abide by.
In 2008 the Interstate Treaty was implemented in the policy of 15 out of the 16 states in Germany. According to its initial form, the Interstate Treaty did not permit operators to promote or offer any form of online gambling. The only exception was horse racing which left German punters with almost no options to enjoy interactive betting. This law also affected international sportsbooks that accepted German punters, as these foreign operators were sanctioned. German banks were also not allowed to accept any transactions directed by betting or casino sites.
Since Germans make a huge percentage of the betting devotees all around the world, it was natural that there was large disapproval of the strict policy that the Interstate Treaty implied. Despite being illegal to bet online, many Germans found a way to enjoy their time at foreign sportsbooks and they actually comprised a major part of the bettors across numerous international bookmakers.
A couple of years later, in 2010, the European Court of Justice made the decision that the Interstate Treaty is actually not following the European law. The court insisted on Germany revising the Interstate Treaty as it also was contradictory to the freedom to provide services in the EU.
In 2012 the Interstate Treaty was changed to a certain point and there were some alterations which led to more liberal regulations of sports betting in Germany. In the following year, the state of Schleswig-Holstein decided to regulate the gambling activities within the territory independently from other German states. The Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein, unlike the Interstate Treaty, allows the licensing of private sportsbooks and virtual casinos. Despite that, there were changes in the government which led to the state acceding to the Interstate Treaty and it does not issue new licenses.
The sportsbook operators that were licensed by the state of Schleswig-Holstein will have their licenses expire at the beginning of 2019 or even sooner. Despite that, the state has decided to issue some temporary licenses which will allow sportsbooks to offer their services until new valid licenses are issued.
Even though in 2012 there was a licensing program being introduced, there are no sportsbooks that have obtained a license by the Interstate Treaty. This is due to the obstacle of the German and European courts announcing the licensing program as a violation of the transparency and non-discrimination policy.
Horse Racing is regulated by the federal law in Germany. Initially, it was the state of Hesse that took upon issuing sports betting licenses. Later on, however, this duty was transferred to the Council of Darmstadt. The same state is in charge of issuing horse racing licenses as well.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the Interstate Treaty, many punters find a way to bend the law. This is why German punters are quite active at international sportsbooks and enjoy betting on numerous different sports and horse races.
Germany Sporting Events Coverage and Markets
The reason why there are constant attempts to change the gambling regulation in Germany is that there are actually plenty of betting fans in the country. Since Germans exceed in various sports, it is natural that there are actually plenty of sporting fans who wish to support their national teams and bet on them. German bettors enjoy sports betting predominately at foreign sportsbooks. Although there are no virtual bookmakers licensed in Germany, there are definitely many sports which are favorite to residents of the country.
At German-friendly sportsbooks, you will notice that the most popular betting markets are the ones offering odds on football. Just like many other European countries, Germany has a huge passion for this sport. Since the Bundesliga is the national football league of the country, it is only natural that German punters enjoy betting on games under this and many other big football leagues. The national football team of Germany is also participating in every FIFA World Cup and it has won it four times. This is why it is yet another major football event that German bettors enjoy betting on.
Another major sport that attracts numerous German bettors is golf. This is in no way surprising, considering that Germany is on the top of the list of European golf countries. Due to the huge support for the sport in the country, it is natural that many punters are looking for the best odds on major tennis events. This is why the betting markets on tennis are definitely favorite of the majority of German bettors.
The next sport which has a huge fan base in Germany is ice hockey. The popularity of the sport has led to the majority of cities in the country having their own ice hockey teams in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. German punters definitely enjoy betting at sportsbooks which offer odds on ice hockey games from this league and many other major ones. The fact that the German ice hockey team beat Canada, the eight-time winner, at the Winter Olympics in 2018, has increased the popularity of the sport even further.
One sport which may seem pretty obvious as a betting choice for German punters is motorsports. Arguably, Germany is the country with the best cars in the world which is among the reasons why motorsports are extremely popular in the country. Naturally, German bettors enjoy betting on huge motorsport events such as Formula 1. The fact that the famous racers Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher are Germans has made this sport even more popular in the country.
Among the betting preferences of Germans, you will also notice basketball. The reason why this sport is also very popular in the country is due to the famous former NBA player Detlef Schrempf and the current professional NBA player Dirk Nowitzki. Both of them are Germans and sparked the love for the sport among their countrymen. Of course, in addition to making bets on NBA games, Germans also enjoy putting their money on their favorite teams from the Basketball- Bundesliga (BBL).
Popular Odds Format in Germany
Whenever punters want to decide which sportsbook offers the best odds, they need to easily calculate the profit they might earn when making a winning bet. This is why it is important for punters to understand the format of the odds that a certain bookmaker is offering.
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of odds formats that can be seen at numerous sportsbooks across the world. It is not easy to determine one format as the easiest one to comprehend and disregard the other two as each country has its preferences for how odds should look.
The first commonly used format is the decimal one. You may also see some punters refer to them as European odds. This is due to the fact that most countries in Europe prefer to use them and Germany makes no exception. There are actually numerous bettors who prefer using decimal odds as this is an easier way to determine what will be their potential profit if their bet wins. The bigger the number of the decimal odds is, the better the return will be. If you, for example, see odds of 2.2 this would indicate that you will receive $2.20 for every $1 you bet.
The second type of odds that can often be seen at sportsbooks is the fractional one. They also are pretty easy to understand and the UK and Irish punters are mostly the ones that use them. When you see odds along the lines of 10/11, the number on the right will show the amount of the bet, while the one on the left will express the potential profit that wager will bring. The 10/11 odds mean that a wager of $110, will earn bettors $100 when the bet is won.
The last odds format that is used in many sportsbooks is the American one. Some punters find it a tad confusing but American bettors seem to prefer it to other formats. This type of odds is represented by negative and positive numbers. If you see a betting option with odds -200 this means that punters must bet $200 in order to win $100. On the other hand, if the odds are +200, this means that punters who stake $100, will win $200.
As it was mentioned earlier, German punters definitely prefer to deal with decimal odds. The good thing about most virtual sportsbooks is that they often allow their patrons to choose the format of odds they like to see.
Payment Solutions for Sports Bettors from Germany
When punters bet at foreign sportsbooks, they have to be sure that they will have convenient payment options to choose from. This way they will be able to manage their bankrolls with ease and will be sure that their money will always be safe. Whenever they wager real money online, German bettors have several solutions that offer instant deposits and secure withdrawals.
The first option that punters are provided is using credit or debit cards by Visa or Mastercard. Since this a commonly used payment service, numerous sportsbooks allow their members to deposit their funds instantly via a credit or debit card. German punters will also be able to use their Mastercard or Visa-branded cards at various online bookmakers. This way they will be able to make real-money bets as soon as they boost their betting balance. Credit and debit cards can also be used for withdrawals which spares the inconvenience of utilizing different payment options for deposits and cashouts.
Another extremely convenient banking solution that bettors from Germany can utilize at interactive bookies is resorting to an e-wallet. Many punters prefer this method as it allows them to easily upload money to their betting balance and withdraw their winnings in no time. Often, sportsbooks accept payments via Skrill, Neteller and PayPal digital wallets. The deposits are always instant and the withdrawals take less time compared to other services.
Prepaid cards by Paysafecard, as well as the virtual ones by Entropay, can also be used by German punters for instant deposits at interactive bookmakers. They allow extremely safe payments and prevent bettors from exposing sensitive information.
Many online sportsbooks also accept payment options which are dedicated to helping German bettors. Thanks to services like Giropay and Sofort, punters from Germany can use online banking for instant deposits by transferring money from their personal bank accounts. Both of the services allow fast and secure payments and are perfect for bettors based in Germany.
Bank transfers are also an option that can be used by German bettors at online sportsbooks. Although it is an extremely safe method, however, it takes a lot longer to successfully top up one’s betting account. This is why not many punters resort to using bank transfers as their preferred payment solution.
German punters will also have the opportunity to use cryptocurrencies at a few sportsbooks. This is actually a very convenient payment solution as it allows instant deposits and withdrawals. On top of that, companies like Bitcoin ensure an extremely safe way to transfer your money to the bookmaker of your choice. Since there are usually no fees and the transactions are immediate, Bitcoin becomes widely accepted at numerous virtual sportsbooks.
Bonuses and Rewards for German Sports Bettors
One of the reasons why German punters enjoy betting online is the fact that virtual sportsbooks often reward their members with various incentives. This way bettors can enjoy a lot more fruitful and rewarding sports betting and enjoy a gripping betting experience.
Often sportsbooks offer their new patrons Welcome Bonuses, while regular bettors can enjoy different perks. Whether it is given as a Welcome Bonus or a regular promotion, a free bet is often what virtual punters can enjoy.
Often betting enthusiasts are required to deposit a certain amount and then wager it in order to be eligible to receive the free bet. In most cases, the free bet is the same amount bettors have deposited or 50% of the amount they have uploaded.
It is important punters read the terms and conditions that come with sportsbook offers. In order to qualify for receiving a free bet bonus, punters often must follow certain restrictions about the wagering of their deposit. Usually, there are also wagering requirements for the bonus the bookmaker has awarded. This often includes staking the sum of the deposit and the bonus several times on a certain minimum of odds.
Among the promotions sportsbooks provide, punters often have the chance to bet on enhanced odds. It is definitely worth checking the offers bookmakers are providing as German punters can also enjoy quite the fruitful experience.
Customer Support at German Sports Betting Sites
It is normal for punters to have some questions when they bet online. Thankfully all proper sportsbooks make sure to provide a great Customer Support. German bettors can find detailed information about various topics at the FAQ page of the bookmaker of choice. This section usually provides answers to question many punters often ask.
The majority of German-friendly sportsbooks also offer Live Chat options. This allows bettors to quickly resolve any issue by speaking to an agent of the betting site. More often than not, there is also an email address punter can use to send their questions to the Customer Support team. As some bettors may find chatting or sending emails inconvenient, many sportsbooks also offer the option to request a call or call directly the site’s number. German-friendly sports betting websites often have international numbers which will allow punters from Germany to call and speak to a Customer Support representative.
Another great perk that many betting sites offer is Customer Support in German. Many sportsbooks support the language which allows native speakers to have a smooth betting experience online.