Raids against illegal gambling

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Peter Brandt 30. June 2021

Raids of the Austrian authorities in various restaurants continue the fight against illegal gambling. The new searches are another part of a number of targeted actions by the authorities against illegal gambling in Austria. The police and financial police employees performed numerous restaurants both in Austria’s capital Vienna and Upper Austria. According to the financial police, around 80 officials were involved in the campaign. Various slot machines were confiscated in the raids. In order to solve them from the restaurants, heavy equipment is said to have been opened.

In Austria, the authorities consistently continue the fight against illegal gambling. ((©Julius_Silver/Pixabay)

Recognition from the finance minister

The campaign lends itself into the government’s hard-led campaign against illegal gambling, which in the country through the Corona pandemic and the associated, Crossing closures of the casinos was continued. The partial structures in this sector reminiscent of the mafia have been a thorn in the side of the authorities for a long time.

The latest raids were well coordinated and included at the same time access to the Vienna districts Favorites and Ottakring as well as the cities of Linz, Wels, Steyr and Traun. The campaign was under the strictest confidentiality and had to be optimally coordinated and at the same time expired, since the suspects are mostly networked with each other and, according to the police, have a pronounced early warning network.

However, the reacted strike is consistently evaluated by those responsible, after all, 17 locations could be taken up in which regular, illegal gambling was held. There were a total of 91 slot machines confiscated. For this reason too Finance Minister Gernot Blümel from the ÖVP, The main person responsible for the fight against illegal gambling, in an official statement a positive conclusion from the deployment:

“The balance of the application night is impressive. A total of 91 devices were confiscated and removed by the financial police. I congratulate the colleagues from the financial police on this blow against gambling mafia and for professional work. ”Gernot Blümel, Finance Minister of Austria, Official press release from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance

Also used fire brigade and the Cobra commando

Most of the raids focused on inconspicuous restaurants, which mostly appear to be out of operation through covered windows and closed doors. In this way, curious fully consecrated should be kept away from the restaurants. However, only one thing turned out to be really closed and not in operation of all searched establishments. In all other restaurants, the financial police investigators stuck partly Up to 17 illegal slot machines Pro local.

Automatic game in Austria. The legal situation in Austria in the area of the slot machine game, i.e. the small gambling, is very different. While the machine game is not permitted in the capital of Vienna and the federal states of Salzburg, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, arcades and restaurants in Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Carinthia, Styria and Burgenland can carry out the operation of slot machines. However, strict requirements must be taken into account. In principle, the slot machine game is allowed in official casinos such as the Casinos Austria.

The operators of the restaurants and organizers of the illegal gambling seemed to be clear quickly when the officials appeared, since not a single operator kept the official access and therefore no violence on the part of the authorities. The situation was different in five of the searched restaurants. In order to be able to confiscate the illegal slot machines, even had to The fire brigade and the Cobra commando commando, to solve the play equipment from the sometimes massively screwed anchors.

The presentation, fastening and the construction of the play equipment clearly suggest that the restaurants should also serve as secret arcades in the long term. So far, the police have not been able to determine who the string pullers are behind the illegal gambling facilities. However, the backers are made by the authorities assigned to the gambling mafia, against which the government currently has a tough struggle, which the past few months show.

Authorities reach through

The police led in Vienna recently A large raid in the Concord Card Casino through where 22 officials were used to examine the popular poker casino for illegal activities. Among other things, the focus was on the structure of the payment modalities and the employment relationships of the employed dealers and croupiers. The background of the raid is one, also in public battle for the Interpretation of the Austrian Gambling Act Between the authorities and the controversial entrepreneur Peter Zanoni. It currently seems more than likely that Austria will continue the fight against illegal gambling with all hardness.