Rapid growth of illegal gambling machines in Germany

Rapid growth of illegal gambling machines in Germany

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Rapid growth of illegal gambling machines in Germany

The popularity of illegal gambling machines in the German market is currently so rapid that a study predicts that if nothing is done, by 2026, the number of illegal machines would outnumber the legal ones.

According to a DICE Consult report commissioned by the trade group VDAI on the market and its dynamics since inter-state gambling treaties went into effect in 2012, there will be 137,383 legal gaming machines in Germany in 2022, down from 211,887 in 2016.

According to DICE, the majority of the 137,383 legal market machines in 2022—as opposed to the 58,336–116,672 illicit ones—were kept in large cities’ “coffee shops.” According to the report, between 45 and 62 percent of an established base of about 250,000 machines will be illegal by 2026 if the market continues to expand at the current rate. By next year, it is expected that the illicit market will surpass the legitimate ones.

Through an interstate agreement, the 16 federal states have largely undertaken responsibility for the operation of the German gambling machine business in arcades and pubs since 2012. This, together with many federal regulation modifications, has drastically reduced the appeal of the legal industry. The study claims that because of the industry’s ongoing restrictions brought on by worries about player safety, the illegal market has been influenced to grow significantly. 

Field studies by the Working Group Against Gambling Addiction are quoted in the report as saying:

“Pragmatism must be accepted: the legal gambling offer must be attractive enough to be used by gambling guests. Illegal gambling offers generally exceed the limits of legislation and player protection in order to increase their attractiveness compared to legal gambling offers. When regulating gambling, the legislator is therefore required to take into account alternative movements to illegal gambling venues or illegal gambling media and to take measures to prevent them.”

Georg Stecker, CEO of DAW, the umbrella organization of the German gaming machine industry, said:

“The dimensions of the illegal market are now frightening; we all know that there is no protection for players or young people here. In order to effectively combat the black market, two things are needed: strengthened enforcement and a sufficient and attractive legal offer.”

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