Gambling is legal in all 16 states of Germany and is entirely state controlled. Since the early 2000s, gambling has taken off in Germany and the German government generates a substantial amount of tax income from its citizens’ desire to gamble.
Germany has a long history of gambling and in fact may be the birthplace of poker and the site of the first casino. In the middle ages, the Germans played a game called pochenspie that is very similar to poker and the first public casino opened in 1764. Gambling was considered illegal under the Nazi regime who considered it counterproductive to the war effort.
The growing interest in gambling in Germany has caught the attention of international investors. There are more than 352 million Euro invested in the gambling industry by foreign investors.
Poker remains a popular game to the Germans to this day. They prefer Texas Hold’em or No Limit Hold’em but are also quite fond of Omaha and Seven Card Stud.
Poker is not the only popular table game in Germany. Other popular table games include American Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, French Roulette, and German Roulette.
According to worldcasinodirectory.com, there are 76 casinos in operation in Germany. Its casinos are heavily regulated in an attempt to prevent gamblers from becoming addictive. Their government is interested in ensuring that any gambling instinct is not stimulated beyond a limit that would have adverse consequence on the social aspect of the country.
The Spielbank Casino claims it is the only casino in Berlin and is one of the country’s most famous. The basement of the three-level building is home to a myriad of slot machines, while the top two levels house various games such as roulette, Poker, and Blackjack. Both European and American Roulette are available.
Casinos sprung up in different parts of the country after 1990 when legislations were loosened regarding gambling. Most of the gambling occurs in casinos and on special casinos cruises. Most of the casinos are situated in Hamburg while the biggest casino is located in Hohensyburg.
It is not uncommon for casinos to be fairly high-end with dress codes for occupants. Almost all of them don’t allow men in if they are wearing blue jeans or sneakers or sandals. Casinos such as the Spielbank Baden-Baden, Spielbank Aachen, and Casino Berlin & Forum Hotel Berlin require men to wear ties.
A January 2008 law forbade online gambling in any form in Germany. The ban prohibits all traditional online casino games as well as sports betting, online bingo and online lotteries.
German lawmakers defended the law by saying it was put in place to protect Germans from the perils of online gaming. Critics say the law was enacted so states could safeguard the state-controlled gambling industry. They also point out that the law is in contrast to an existing European Union law that specifically allows online gambling. Several legal challenges have been formed as a result.
Despite strict control and the illegal status of online gambling, it appears to be very popular in Germany. Profits have steadily increased over the past decade and interest has skyrocketed.