Austria: Police successful again in gambling raid

A few days ago, 91 slot machines were seized in Austria. These were located at a total of 17 locations. The police achieved this great success by using a certain trick. Only in this way was it possible to confiscate the mentioned number of illegally installed slot machines in one night.

Police struck at several locations at the same time

The trick that led to the success was ingenious and simple at the same time. There were 28 policemen and 51 employees of the Financial Police used, which also occurred at 17 locations. This prevented the operators of the illegal gambling dens from informing each other, as is normally the case. The places visited by the police included Vienna, Wels, Linz and Traun.

Interestingly enough, compared to before, the police had no problem entering the gambling dens. Usually the doors are locked and the police have had to break them open several times. This was not the case the night two days ago. The police were allowed in and most of the machines could be removed without any problems. Only a couple of slot machines were bolted to the floor so the fire department removed them.

The police were amazed at the number of slot machines in the individual "businesses". Often more than 10 machines were found. The police were unsuccessful at only one location because the suspected gambling den was not in operation.

There is a threat of restaurant closings

Of course, not only the slot machines were secured, the operators of the illegal gambling dens can probably expect high fines. Another problem comes up for the owners or operators of the locations in which the games took place: The games took place in narrow streets that were considered closed. Anyone who wanted access to the restaurant had to undergo an access control.

The operators of these restaurants expect a closure in many cases . Such a closure is pronounced by the state police and has now also been implemented. Such a penalty could lead to a decrease in the number of illegal gambling dens in the future. At least Austria's Finance Minister Blümel is proud of the police's success. The police have also recently been able to secure numerous machines. In September 2020, 177 machines were seized in just one night .

The police can only achieve such a success if the relevant investigations are carried out beforehand. This always seems to be the case. But one problem always remains: the backers who are responsible for the illegal games can never be identified. So the problem remains that there will always be new gambling dens. As long as the masterminds are not caught , the general problem will not be solved.

Reasons for the illegal games

Some may ask why there are so many illegal game rounds in Austria in the first place. This may be due to the fact that only two gaming providers in Austria have a license to operate a casino or amusement arcade: Novomatic and Casinos Austrias. This reduces the offer and the players may not find their favorite game. On the other hand, the legal venues were not allowed to be open due to the Corona regulation. Anyone who wanted to challenge their luck live with other players joined the illegal games.

Online casinos are not always the best choice in Austria either, as this offer is also limited by the government. This may also be a reason why there are always new illegal gambling halls. The fact that land-based machines will decrease even more in Austria in the future does not really help in the fight against illegal gambling.

The situation is similar in Germany: Here too, illegal gambling has increased. This was no wonder during the lockdowns. But even the new German State Treaty on Gambling will not necessarily help to end illegal gambling. After all, according to the new law, no roulette games may be offered . Only slots and online poker are allowed. Anyone who loves roulette has to go to a local casino. If you do not want this, you could still resort to illegal gambling.  Unfortunately, online casinos do not help here.