Friday , December 4 2020

Gambling Act: Stelzer insists on novella, Fox sees "not a good style"

Gambling Act: Stelzer insists on novella, Fox sees "not a good style"

LINZ / Vienna. Fighting Illegal Games: Novella was announced in the fall of 2018, but it is still unavailable. Finance Secretary Fuchs (FP) now promises them for "this year".

Gambling Act: Stelzer insists on novella, see Fuchs

Regular illegal slots are seized and discarded. It helps a little. They are usually replaced immediately by new ones. Picture: laumat

Illegal demonstrations in front of the house of a lawyer in a district authority, seized machines that are replaced within a few hours, and illegal venues that begin after an official closure simply with another straw man as operator: OEN readers sometimes know brutal methods and fool gambling -Mafia in Upper Austria.

Already in November last year, Upper Austria's governor Thomas Stelzer (VP) in the OÖNachrichten federal government call demanded a rapid change to the "toothless gaming law" in order to stop machinations better.

Secretary of State Hubert Fuchs (FP) had promised such a change in the autumn of 2018, but so far there is not even a draft.

> Video: Treasury Secretary: "Changing the Gambling Act Later This Year"

In the current issue of the news magazine "profile" and in front of the OÖ news, Stelzer follows again. "I'm too slow," he says. "With the current legal situation, operators are always a step ahead of us." He therefore calls again to change the "unbearable and unsustainable legal situation". Apparently, however, in the federal government, "the relationship with the problem is not as present as ours in Upper Austria".

Upper Austria – and especially Wels – is one of the hotspots of illegal gambling in addition to Vienna. Security Advisor Elmar Podgorschek (FP) promoted the fight against illegal gambling as one of his priorities. In 2017, more than a thousand slot machines were confiscated in 300 raids and more than 50 venues closed. But it is a fight against wind turbines, says Gerald Sakoparnig from the state office for criminal investigation. "We pick up the vending machines from the bar on Monday, and one day later we deliver new ones from a central warehouse."

Fuchs wants a return of the burden of proof

In the ORF press release, the responsible Secretary of State Hubert Fuchs (FP) announced yesterday that the gambling change "will definitely come in 2019". Among other things, a reversed burden of proof is planned, Fuchs explained. "The game operator must prove that he is not engaged in illegal play". The fact that the Austrian governor Stelzer Säumigkeit held onto him called Fuchs "not a good style".

For illegal machine operators, despite the seizures, the company pays: A new machine costs about 2000 euros, but plays according to estimates, but up to 10,000 euros a month in profits. Even high administrative sanctions do not deter the illegal gaming operators. Administrative sanctions are delayed by the court – and if they are final, simply not paid.

Then, in February, the Welser police entered a suspected member of the gambling mafia in the network, which, according to "profile", had accumulated open administrative sanctions of 870,000 euros. The man now sets a substitute sentence instead. Of course, he will never repay € 870,000: imprisonment of more than six weeks can be rejected for administrative crimes – and six months between two arrests.

> Also read the editors of OÖN editor Markus Staudinger

The little gamble

The small game (especially slot machines outside the casinos) was banned in Upper Austria until 2011. "But it was ignored by the authorities for a long time," criminologists say. "During this time, major illegal structures have grown."

In 2011, the little gambling was legitimized. For installing a machine, but you need a license. In Upper Austria about 1200 machines are legally created. According to estimates, so many illegal machines come. The license is linked to the player's protection measures. Licenses in Upper Austria include Admiral Casinos, Excellent Entertainment and PA Entertainment.

In four federal states (Vorarlberg, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vienna), the small game is completely forbidden.

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