Illegal gambling

What is not permitted?

Illegal gambling

What is not permitted?

What action do the public authorities take against illegal gambling?

§ 3 GlüStV 2021 lists the forms of gambling that are permissible. Not everything that is not included here, is deemed to be illegal and therefore prohibited.

The following are permissible pursuant to GlüStV 2021 and the supplementary German state provisions:

  • the organisation and acceptance of payments for lotteries (including a professional acceptance of bets) and sports betting,
  • the organisation of virtual slot machine games, online poker and online casino games or the operation of casinos and amusement arcades,
  • the organisation and acceptance of bets for online horseraces pursuant to the German Act on Horse Betting and Lotteries.

§ 4 (1) GlüStV 2021 therefore states “Public gambling can only be organised, or bets accepted for such with the authorisation of the responsible authority in the federal state concerned. The organising and acceptance of bets without this authorisation (illegal gambling) and the participation in the making of payments in connection with illegal gambling is prohibited. …“

The following are examples of measures that the GGL can adopt against illegal online gambling:

  • an initiation of prohibition proceedings incl. enforcement measures pursuant to the German Administrative Enforcement Act,
  • an initiation of criminal proceedings (§§ 284 et seq. Of the German penal code StGB) or referral to the department of public prosecutions,
  • the reporting of fiscal crimes to the inland revenue office,
  • the reporting of money laundering offences; and
  • IP and payment blocking.

Whistleblowing portal

To report unauthorised gambling or a report/complaint about gambling advertising, use our anonymous whistleblowing portal.



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