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Germany – German slot machine association warns against a trivialisation of illegal gambling

By - 5 January 2024

The Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ) is planning a revision of the Criminal Code. This is the result of a recently published key issues paper. Various paragraphs, which, among other things, criminalise illegal gambling, are to be repealed. The umbrella organisation Die Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft warned that the illegal gambling market in Germany is growing at an alarming pace. It is now estimated that one in three slot machines is illegal. People who get caught up in these structures play without any protection of players and minors, without betting restrictions, without the supervision of professionally trained personnel. In addition, they easily come into contact with procurement crime and thus get into a dangerous vortex. In addition, the illegal gambling market represents intolerable competition for the legal, orderly companies of the German slot machine industry.

Like the DAW, the Joint Gambling Authority of the Länder (GGL), the Federal Government Commissioner for Addiction and Drug Issues, the German Association of Judges (DRB) and the Police Union (GdP) criticise the plans of the Federal Ministry of Justice to repeal §§ 284 to 287 of the Criminal Code. The DAW explicitly warns against a trivialisation of illegal gambling and the associated further growth of the black market in Germany.

Georg Stecker, spokesman for the board of the German vending machine industry, said: “The plans of the Federal Ministry of Justice go in the wrong direction. We need decisive action against the illegal gambling market by effective means. This also includes §§ 284 to 287 of the Criminal Code in their currently valid version. And we urgently need good regulation that strengthens legal providers. This is because illegality is effectively combated above all by a sufficiently available and needs-oriented, competitive offer from legal gambling companies.”

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