The Term "Gambling" in German Federal Law

Published in German in Zeitschrift für Wett- und Glücksspielrecht (ZfWG, European Journal of Gambling Law) 2013, p. 23


The essay discusses the various terms used for gambling within the German Penal Code (Strafge-setzbuch, StGB) as well as in the German Inter-State Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, GlüStV) of 15 December 2011 which entered into force on 1 July 2012 and in the German Inter-State Broadcasting Treaty (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag, RStV) of the German Federal States. The discussion of the term “gambling” has not yet been finalised. However, the literature and case law tend to view the regulatory gambling term of § 3 GlüStV to be broader than that of the criminal law gambling term. The term “gambling” of § 8a RStV causes, through § 2, para. 6 GlüStV, an exemption from the GlüStV for games in broadcasting having a participation stake of up to 50 cents. The gambling term of § 8a RStV does not affect the gambling term of § 3 GlüStV, however, insofar as such concerns gambling in comparable telemedia as defined in § 58, para. 4 RStV.


Miriam Benert studied law in Berlin and London. In the meantime she focused on public and European Law. She was admitted to the Bar in 2010 and is inter alia working for the Federal Associaton of Private Casinos in Germany (BupriS). She represents the association`s concerns at national and, in cooperation with the European Casino Association (ECA), European level.

Martin Reeckmann, retired senior government official, worked for the state of Berlin from 1989 to 2002 and was, in this capacity, head of the gambling division. Since 2003, he practices law as a founding partner of the law firm Reeckmann in Berlin, specializing in gambling law. From 2007 to February 2009, he was a member of the “Scientific Forum for Gambling” (Wissenschaftliches Forum Glücksspiel), which developed the method to measure and evaluate the risk potential of gambling products. Since April 2009, he represents the interests of privately owned German casinos, first as CEO, since 2010 as executive chairman of the Federal Association of Private Casinos in Germany (Bundesverband privater Spielbanken in Deutschland e.V. – BupriS). Martin Reeckmann is recognized for his numerous publications on gambling.