Liechtenstein: fight against arcades

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Peter Brandt 19. August 2021

Liechtenstein wants to decisively act against the flourishing development of the arcades within the country. Gambling has become a kind of figurehead in the principality for several years. However, if it goes to the government, it will soon be over. Due to the increasing pressure of the public, politicians want to consider the influence of the arcades and casinos considerably. The initial restrictions have already been decided and are to come into force from 2023. Further measures should follow. The “Circus Maximus” game casino is also currently taking care of additional attention, whose owners will soon have to answer in court.

To date, the gambling and the casinos have always been welcome to the government in Liechtenstein. ((© Jonono / Pixabay)

Violation of the gaming law law

InundefInedLiechtenstein Live around 38,000 people. Despite the manageable population density, the principality has been in the past few years Get gambling stronghold. The dwarf state houses five casinos, at least five more should follow in the foreseeable future. According to reports from the “Zeit” and “South American”, a gambling temple is even planned in the pedestrian zone of Vaduz. Then it is to be played in the capital on two floors.

The flourishing development of the local gaming market is no accident. The country’s arcades and casinos are up to now always welcomed politicallybecause they give the state both money and tourists. But now the construct built seems to crumble. The first domino stone fell with the “Circus Maximus”.

The casino in the municipality of Schaan has been for several months Case for the judiciary, since the public prosecutor accuses the owner of both a violation of the applicable gaming law and unfair competition. The focus is on a American gaming entrepreneur, who, according to matching press reports, is no stranger in the gambling industry. The person is said to have around 30 years of experience.

Gambling boom. The gambling in today’s form was forbidden in Catholic principality for around 150 years. In 2015 and 2016, however, there was a taboo break when the government loosened the Conservative Gaming Act with the approval of the Liechtenstein Fürstenhaus. The first casino in the country opened in August 2017 with the Casino Admiral.

Concern about loss of image

With the publicly effective judicial case around the “Circus Maximus” the Criticism of gambling has become louder. Many Liechtensteiners are dissatisfied with the status quo and would take care of the image of their own country in view of the many casinos. The principality has already struggled with the image as a tax haven in which shady figures can wash their money. A too great influence of gambling is not in the interest of the population. Much more was perceived as a clean financial center or associated with the tool manufacturer “Hilti”.

Circus Maximus. Nevertheless, the casino “Circus Maximus” in Liechtenstein is like a gold -decorated bunker, the amphitheater from the former Roman Empire serves as a model.

The government has already reacted to increasing pressure and increased its financial participation in the gross player yields of the arcades. From January 2023 the Programming rate increased from 2.75 to 5.5 percent will. With these restrictive measures, politics hopes to weaken the development because the casinos have to pay significantly higher taxes.

Regulations for gambling market

The European gaming market has been found for some time Liberalization process Instead, which, under certain prerequisites, enables the industry to be legally gambling. However, the opening of the market in many European countries is associated with strong regulations that are the players offer safe and serious environment must. The government in Liechtenstein now wants to install a similarly strong market regulation.

For example, a uniform and even more professional training for the staff in arcades and casinos is planned. In addition, the principality with neighboring Switzerland is in exchange, which through blocking lists their own population protect against the potential dangers of gambling would like. This list would contain the names of endangered and addicted players, who are denied admission to gambling institutions as self -protection. Liechtenstein apparently plans a similar protective mechanism.

Half -cooking restrictions? Despite the planned restrictions, industry critics and opponents of gambling require a significantly more energetic approach to the casinos. The new measures are half -cooked and would only scratch the surface of the problem, it is said. The truth is that the government does not want to miss financial revenues from national gambling. Last year, despite the difficult conditions, the principality took the equivalent of 71 million $ through Corona pandemic and Lockdown. A loss of income is therefore not in the interest of politics.