Owned and Operated by the 16 State Capitals
Germany draws plenty of tourists and visitors for its scenic beauty and historic sites, but fans of casino games such as slots and roulette have more than 50 casinos to choose from throughout the country. Many of the largest German cities have casinos, with many of them run by the state, which can lead to a more formal, calm experience than you’ll find in Vegas casinos. While private contractors are used to actually run many casinos, only the 16 German states can own and operate a casino, so you won’t be visiting MGM Hamburg or Wynn Stuttgart.
Some of the more well-known casinos that you can visit in German include its oldest casino at Bad Ems (which dates back to 1720) and the Baden-Baden Casino, which both provide the chance to enjoy casino games as well as plenty of time in the spa. Casinos in Germany don’t offer much in the way of entertainment or shopping such as you’ll find at mega hotel/casinos in Vegas and Macau, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for during a night out at the casino.
While not every German casino offers poker, the country has hosted several international tournaments in recent years. The European Poker Tour (EPT) held an event in Berlin in 2010 and again in April 2011. Some poker fans plan their vacations abroad with the schedule of the EPT and other poker tournament series in mind, so that during their trip to Germany and other countries they get to take a shot at a big poker tournament as well. Winners of EPT events often take home €500,000-€1,000,000 in prize money so playing a little poker on your next trip could turn out to be a very profitable decision.
If you must play,
decide upon three things at the start:
the rules of the game, the stakes, and the quitting time.-- Chinese Proverb
Be prepared for more than a few differences in German casinos as opposed to those in many other countries. The legal gambling age is 18 in most casinos (although some are 21 and older) and don't expect any free drinks at the table, although tipping of cocktail waitresses and dealers isn't expected.
All German casinos are non-smoking as of 2008 and most open at noon or later, and remain closed for many state holidays; closing time is 3 AM or earlier, even on weekends, so unlike playing at an online casino you’ll need to keep an eye on the closing and opening times of the casinos in Germany you’d like to visit.