How casinos pay out winnings

Do winnings from the online casino have to be taxed?

Casino games are being played more and more frequently, especially in the era of online casinos, and have now finally reached the masses. A few years ago there were isolated cases who were willing to throw their money into slot machines. Today, online gambling in particular is a widespread entertainment medium, and you can make significant profits on the side. For these reasons, many people create accounts in online casinos. The main question for many interested parties is whether there can be problems with the tax return due to juicy winnings in the online casino.

Today internet casinos are a dime a dozen and you don't have to be an insider to enjoy online gambling. The only question that remains is in which of these exciting online casinos you would like to register. Although the selection of a suitable gaming venue is not the topic of this article, it does play a major role in relation to tax levies. In order to make everything legal and “tax-free”, the gaming facility must have a European gaming license. The agony of choice is not that easy for many newcomers. Today a casino can offer a € 25 no deposit bonus or other amazing offers as a welcome gift.

Today internet casinos are a dime a dozen and you don't have to be an insider to enjoy online gambling. The only question that remains is in which of these exciting online casinos you would like to register. Although the selection of a suitable gaming venue is not the topic of this article, it does play a major role in relation to tax levies. In order to make everything legal and “tax-free”, the gaming facility must have a European gaming license. The agony of choice is not that easy for many newcomers. Today a casino can offer a € 25 no deposit bonus or other amazing offers as a welcome gift.

Taxes on winnings from gambling - legal situation

In Germany, from a legal point of view, any winnings that are based on luck or chance are tax-free. However, there are some restrictions that must be observed. Particularly real "lucky guys" can be asked to pay a tax back afterwards. In principle, however, profits do not have to be declared in the tax return.

According to the racing betting and lottery law (RennwLottG) and the sales tax law (UstG), all winnings from games of chance made in the EU are tax-free as of today!


The amount of the winnings is completely irrelevant.

Interest resulting from profits

Interest generated from a profit is considered income and must be taxed. If you invest the money, the interest is tax-free in the first year, but after that a withholding tax of 25% is levied. It is important to declare the interest on your tax return.

Real lucky guys or "professional players"

Players who are more fortunate can be classified as "professional players" and asked to pay a tax. This happens when winnings from gambling regularly exceed professional income. Particularly passionate and above all successful poker players are often judged to be professionals and an income tax is levied.

Profits that are not made in the EU

Danger! This point is particularly important in online casinos. Online casinos within the EU already pay sales tax in a European country and in some cases even a gambling tax. So it would be double taxation if the tax office were to demand additional taxes from the payouts from the end customer. Since the Germans who are currently in Germany are only allowed to play legally in an online casino with a European gambling license, the winnings from non-EU casinos can be completely confiscated by customs. At stationary casinos, such as in Las Vegas, things are very different. When importing into the EU, profits must be declared to customs, but remain tax-free.

What exactly is "gambling" in Germany?

Online casinos, bookmakers, casinos, arcades and lottery companies are considered to be the organizers of games of chance. For this reason, the following games, among others, are officially classified as games of chance:

- slot machines
- Sports betting / horse betting

So, the games of chance that fall under the RennwLottG are based on luck or chance. While active action and possibly personal skills play a major role in games such as poker, it is still a matter of chance which cards are dealt. Sports competitions or chess games are not considered to be gambling.