Austria: Illegal gambling is booming

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Peter Brandt January 27, 2021

Austria stands in front of the next big Corona Lockdown, in whose shade the illegal gambling is growing. The government plans tightened measures for the next few weeks to contain the rampant virus. Similar to USA, the gaming industry is affected by the restrictive approach. Casinos and arcades should remain closed, which has increased the illegal offer enormously. In the recent past, the authorities have repeatedly come across secret gatherings that had agreed to play.

In the past few weeks and months, both the Austrian and the American police confiscated countless slot machines. ((© djedj/pixabay)

Illegal corona party dissolved

The Austrian police had already struggled with numerous incidents last year, both against the applicable Corona regulations as well as violate the gambling law to have. Despite the temporary relaxation and a transparent policy, the Alpine state seems to have to continue to deal with this problem in the young year 2021.

Corona measures in Austria. The Austrian government provides to maintain the current Lockdown by February 3rd, 2021 in its current form. The regulations should apply up to and including February 7th. From January 25th, even more stricter restrictions should come into force. This increases the minimum distance from one to two meters. At the same time, the obligation to carry an FFP2 mask for certain areas of public life applies. In addition, the tests in the health and nursing sector are expanded to some professional groups. Economically, the planned tightening means a persistent stagnation, which also affects national gambling.

As the news portal “Vienna.at” reports, a particularly drastic incident is said to have occurred on the evening of January 15, 2021, which reflects the full extent of the current situation around Corona and gambling. After an anonymous note, the police moved to Vienna-Donaustadt to see the right in a family home. Since the house should not have been visible and the door was not opened after repeated ringing and knocking, the special unit “Wega” was requested. This gained access over the patio door and found 50 celebrating people at an illegal corona party before.

According to the official information from the Vienna police, over 100 advertisements were filed because several laws were violated at the same time. Apart from the violation of the covid regulations, the officials found smaller quantities of cannabis and a lavish inventory of gambling equipment. So the “Wega” equalized Four illegal gaming machines Sure, which could bring to the parties involved of up to 30,000 $ per copy.

Incidents are increasing

The latest incident of illegal gambling is only the tip of the iceberg. Since the first Corona Lockdown, the Austrian police have struggled with a variety of illegal activities in this area. This is especially in Vienna Case number grown enormously. A crime scene from April 2020 shows how lengthy the entire process is. The police arrested ten people in a restaurant in Vienna favorites who are forbidden despite the valid corona regulations met. The officials found both illegal gaming machines and intoxicants.

The still more drastically reflects the Operation „Jackpot“ the situation of gambling in Austria. In the course of a long -planned raid, the authorities confiscated around 177 illegal slot machines in September 2020. Around 250 police officers, 45 officials from the financial police and 25 officials from the tax office participated in this offensive against the illegal gambling.

Organised crime. The illegal gambling in Austria and also in USA is increasingly out of control. At the beginning, the incidents did not follow any patterns and were detached from each other. Over time, however, the dark field has expanded enormously and has produced organized structures. As a result, the illegal offer within the industry can hardly be tamed.

Similar situation in USA

Not only the Austrian authorities bite their teeth in the illegal gambling offer in times of corona pandemic. Also on the American market, both the prescribed measures and the Gambling law categorically ignored. Despite arranged restrictions, the police have repeatedly dissolved illegal gatherings in USA, which were largely related to illegal gaming activities. Industry representatives and actors had sharply criticized the restrictive measures in advance and the Handing into the illegal offer Prophecy.

Betting agencies remain open. Although casinos and arcades have to remain closed in USA, at least betting agencies were to reopen their gates. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and Hesse, operators are allowed to legally offer their service. However, tipsters are only allowed to linger in the bars. The stay is only permitted for the tip tax and for the deposit and withdrawal. The increasingly tightening measures and restrictions are also likely to be completely closed again.