Is online poker legal? All information about the legal situation in Germany

Opdateret: 27. juni 2020

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Beginners will ask themselves a reasonable question when they start dealing with online poker. This is: Is online poker legal? On the legal side, when you play online gambling on CasinoSlots, you are allowed to do so, and may you have to tax your income? As part of this guide, we will carefully study the current legal situation in Germany and explain why you, as a German player, can play online poker online legally. In order to be able to provide services legally in this country, providers must meet certain guidelines and regulations. Therefore, nothing can hinder Germany's successful poker career.


Is online poker legal? Important facts

-Poker providers with valid licenses are legal

-Reputable providers are controlled and regulated by the gaming commission

-Poker providers may not provide poker rooms from Germany

-Gambling contracts will regulate the future of online poker

-Legal providers usually have licenses in Malta or Gibraltar


Gambling contract: current gambling rules


In 2013, 20 well-known German sports betting and casino providers obtained a German license to provide services legally in Germany. The permit is granted by Schleswig-Holstein and providers with a formal permit must pay taxes to the German tax authorities. Then, the status is satisfied and the offer is legal. It is this regulation that many other providers (including major poker venues that have not yet obtained permission) have filed lawsuits. In October 2016, the ministers of the federal states agreed to restructure the gaming contract. Not only should 20 providers be allowed to provide services legally in the future.


Why only play poker with legal providers?


This is a good question and easy to answer. Anyone playing real money games online must be able to rely on logging in with a reputable partner. You just have to imagine that you have been playing poker for a while, and you have a good bonus in your player account. If you want to pay immediately, it’s unavailable, or the credit suddenly disappears from the player’s account, but it’s not transferred to the bank account. If you have now contacted a reputable and legal provider, their support will ensure that you pay off the points. However, if you end up with a suspicious rather than a legitimate provider, you will never have money again. This provider is not under the control of the Gaming Commission, and you have no opportunity to request state help here CasinoSlots


What conditions should a legal online poker provider meet?


Here, we explain the most important points that online poker providers must meet in order to be included in our ranking of the best providers. In addition to the legality of the offer, some points must be met. The poker sites we display in the portal meet all of these requirements and can therefore be classified as legal and serious poker sites.



License: regulated by the Gambling Commission

We have explained this to you in the introduction. Poker providers must always have an official license in Malta or Gibraltar in order to legally provide their games in the EU. Only in this way will the supplier be inspected and supervised by the responsible EU financial institution. The new gaming contract will show whether the German poker provider will and will appear on the market in the future.


German quotes and German support


Another important aspect that allows you to find yourself in the poker portal is provided in German. Now, almost all providers meet this. In this way, for beginners, it is easier for you to understand all the terms and find a suitable quote on the portal. This aspect plays a more important role in support. If something goes wrong, the German-speaking employee must solve the problem.


Deposits and withdrawals: safe and suitable for German players


Especially where poker providers are not in Germany, they can benefit from deposit and withdrawal offers. Say here are options specifically for German customers. Providers must provide PayPal or other wallets, which is important because this is the only way to guarantee extremely fast deposits and withdrawals.


Quiz: German professional players

Real poker professionals are currently having a particularly difficult time living in Germany. Although online poker is not yet included in the game contract, this does not prevent the German tax authorities from cashing in on professionals. As a professional, you must register a company and tax your income like normal sales. At the same time, you may not ask for loss of poker as a fee. In the past few years, some cases have even entered the press. In one case, the player must then pay tax on his income. The Inland Revenue Department calculated the approximate income of the past five years and required tax payment. If you plan to play poker professionally, in order to prevent this from happening, it is recommended that you carefully read our detailed guide on poker careers. Here you will find all important information, from the reserves you should have to the business registration.


What are the dangers of illegally providing poker?


In addition to the quotations from legal providers we provide and test, there are many scumbags on the online CasinoSlots. These are illegal offers that should not be used under any circumstances. Usually, you can no longer withdraw bonuses there, or resell credit card information to hackers. In any case, we recommend that you make such a quotation on a large scale online. Whenever a provider that offers incredible advertising promises is coming, you should also listen carefully. Unfortunately, like other games of chance, online poker has not completely gotten out of trouble. Many illegal offers are largely to blame. As long as you engage in poker activities with one of the providers we introduced, everything will turn green.


Online poker and money laundering law


When online poker becomes very interesting, criminals use it to launder money. It's easy. A poker account is opened, and the money is deposited and transferred from one account to another until it is no longer possible to determine the source. Security measures have been taken so they cannot be used for money laundering. One is the identity check required by law, and each provider should ask the player before making the first payment. The provider is obliged to do so, so anonymous payments should be prevented. At the same time, the provider limits the options for you to transfer funds from one account to another. This is no longer as simple as the early days of online poker. Today, the protection mechanism is so complicated that criminals seek other methods to launder money, and online poker offers (at least legal) are no longer an option.


Frequently asked questions about the legality of online poker


Why is the legal situation in Germany so opaque?

This is politically wrong. Poker website operators and players are waiting for the prime minister to sign a gaming contract including online poker. Online poker is currently not protected by German law. EU law currently applies, in this case the law is higher than German law. This means that if the poker provider has a license in the EU, you as a German player can legally play on their portal. The reason is simple, the progress of the game contract is so slow: politicians think there are more important problems, only to solve these problems


What is the future of online poker?

Hard to say. Development depends on the prime minister. It cannot be assumed that a new contract can be signed in 2017. At the earliest and the end of this year. Since the Bundestag elections will be held in the fall of 2017, the new government may only become part of federal elections in early 2018. It is not yet certain whether the new contract will cover poker. If this is not the case, you can still play with providers with EU licenses.


How do you identify legal poker offers online?


We have already explained this in detail in this guide: Providers mainly need valid licenses, and they must be inspected and supervised by state regulators. By the way, this applies to all the providers we introduce. If you choose a poker provider from our ranking, you will be safe. You bet against a reputable and legal provider, who will reliably pay you a bonus. Illegal offers will keep your bonuses, and in the worst case, sell your credit card information to hackers. Save yourself the trouble and limit yourself to the legal quotation.


Why don't I have to pay extra poker tax when playing poker?

Anyone who has played sports betting knows that some bookmakers directly deduct betting taxes from their betting slips, while others take over them to customers. There is no betting tax on online poker. The provider must transfer the tax to the tax authority normally. These are usually passed to the player, but the player will not notice anything. These fees are included in the purchase fee and company fees.


Why must an identity check be made before the first payment?

If the poker provider wants to provide its offer legally, it must do so. Identity checks can protect providers from fraud and money laundering. It also prevents anonymous payments. At the beginning of online poker, this was very possible and attracted various criminals who used the portal to launder money. This is no longer possible today. If the provider wishes to provide services legally in Germany and wishes to pay customers in Germany, he must comply with applicable laws and make a check payment before the first payment. If no such check is required, this is an important warning sign and you should make sure you are playing with one of the providers we introduced on CasinoSlots

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