BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – The month-long corona lockdown is also hitting the gambling halls hard – the industry is observing a shift to illegal gambling on the Internet and in back rooms. “To fight the black market, it needs a functioning enforcement and a sufficient, attractive legal offer – the lockdown shows that once again,” said the board spokesman of the Association of the German Machine Industry, Georg Stecker, the German press agency.
Health protection is the top priority. “We think testing the population is a good idea.” They opened up the option of reopening gambling halls. There is a strict alcohol ban and there is enough space for visitors who hardly move.
The situation in the industry is dramatic, said connector. “The amusement arcades have been closed again since the beginning of November. In 2020, the branch of slot machines had a drop in sales of 50 percent.” This also affects the industry, which supplies devices to casinos that are also tight. Many companies have used up reserves. Aid continues to flow slowly. “We expect company closings.”
The industry is in motion anyway. A new State Treaty on Gambling is to come into force from summer 2021. Games of chance on the Internet such as online poker or online casinos are to be allowed in the future. Connector said the contract was good because it made clear quality standards.
With a view to implementation laws in the federal states, he added: “The federal states are at a crossroads: They must now decide whether to regulate arcades according to quality criteria and thereby strengthen the protection of players and minors, or whether to destroy the legal offer and thus the black market pave the way. In the latter case, irreparable damage threatens. “
Plug warned of company closings and a Downsizingwhen countries regulated gambling halls according to minimum intervals. Rather, it would depend on the protection of players and minors in the arcade itself. In view of the future legalized, universally available online offers, minimum distances would also make no sense./hoe/DP/he