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Germany – Petition against minimum distance laws in Baden-Württemberg attracts 5,000 signatures

By - 24 February 2021

More than 5,000 names have given their support to the petition for fair state gambling law in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The petition, started by the vending machine industry, will be sent to the Baden-Württemberg state parliament, demanding a fair state gambling law. At the same time, it is opposed to the threatened mass closings of state-licensed gambling halls in Baden-Württemberg on June 30 and, and with a view to legalising previously illegal online gambling offers, it is calling for gambling hall regulation based on qualitative rather than quantitative criteria.

From June 30, state-licensed gambling halls in Baden-Württemberg adhere to a 500m minimum distance requirement to education and youth facilities, which will close up to 80 per cent of the existing locations, threatening up to 8,000 of the 10,000 jobs currently offered by the industry

Georg Stecker, spokesman for the board of directors of the Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft eV (DAW), said: “It is absurd to regulate gambling halls with a ruler in the digital age, because online gaming has long since fundamentally changed the gaming market. Instead of antiquated regulation that destroys entrepreneurial livelihoods and thousands of jobs, we need modern regulation. A regulation that relies on qualitative criteria and thus actually strengthens youth and player protection. ”

Dirk Fischer, board member of the Automaten-Verband Baden-Württemberg eV (AVBW) added: “June 30 must not become the guillotine of legal games on offer in Baden-Württemberg. Our companies and their employees need a secure future. With the best will in the world, I don’t understand why proper, family-run businesses are being forced to close and thousands of people are being made unemployed because of arbitrary minimum intervals, while everyone will soon be able to legally play on their smartphones. On the bus, at home on the sofa or in the school yard. The great support for our petition in Baden-Württemberg and beyond shows me that this is incomprehensible to thousands of other people.”

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