Online casino gaming is prohibited under the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (“Interstate Treaty”).
Consequently, the Interstate Treaty does not provide for a licensing procedure or determine a competent authority.
Regulatory intervention has so far only been initiated on a state-by-state basis by the respective gambling supervisory authorities (mostly the Ministries of the Interior in the respective state) in charge, despite the fact the German states could theoretically instruct one state to act on behalf of multiple states as per the Interstate Treaty.
In Schleswig-Holstein, the Ministry of the Interior is the regulator responsible for supervising licensees under the former Schleswig-Holstein Gaming Act (repealed in 2013).
It will also be the regulator responsible should action be taken against non-Schleswig-Holstein licensed operators on the basis of the Interstate Treaty.
Bricks-and-mortar casinos are regulated under state laws, not federal law, and the Ministry/Senate of the Interior of the respective state will, in general, be the authority responsible for licensing and supervision.
Poker is permitted, in most of the German states, in state-owned casinos and regulated by the Ministry/ Senate of the Interior of the respective state.
In Saxony and Baden-Wuerttemberg, poker is not expressly mentioned, but will be approved when presenting an adequate gaming concept when applying for a licence, and is therefore not excluded.
The central responsibility for issuing sports betting licences was assigned to the state of Hesse.
Initially, Hesse’s Ministry of the Interior took on this responsibility.
The responsibility has since been shifted to the Regional Council of Darmstadt.
The Regional Council also handles online horse race betting licensing.