Addiction researchers accuse the gambling industry of breaking the law

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June 10, 2019 7:43 am

spielautomaten

Berlin – The vending machine industry uses technical tricks at ATMs to override current laws. The consequences: The addiction potential of legal gambling at slot machines has increased enormously.

The operators benefit with annual growth rates of an average of ten percent. This is the result of the current yearbook Sucht, which was presented today in Berlin by the German head office for addiction issues (DHS).

The rapid increase in the earnings of the vending machine industry began in 2006 with the amendment of the Spielverordnung (SpielV). After a transitional period of four years, all slot machines installed since 11 November 2018 must comply with the Sixth Amendment to the 2014 Gaming Ordinance, explained addiction researcher Gerhard Meyer of the University of Bremen, warning: “Initial findings on the implementation of the requirements by the slot machine industry show that the legislation is still being blatantly undermined.

As an incentive to gamble, the machines continue to attract potential winnings, which represent a considerable asset. This should actually be prevented by the amendment of the gaming ordinance. Gambling at the machines is thus associated with an immediate stimulating effect. It promotes diversion from everyday reality and the pursuit of loss compensation. The potential for addiction is correspondingly high.

The market for online casinos growing

In addition, the practice of online casino games in Germany was criticized. Addiction experts agree that the danger posed by online casino games is particularly high – among other things due to the round-the-clock availability, said Ilona Füchtenschnieder, Chairwoman of the German Association for Gambling Addiction. The online casino market grew from 2.5 billion (2016) to 3.18 billion in 2017.

Despite the prevailing ban, online gambling providers would organize and broker casino, scratch card and poker games on the Internet. According to Füchtenschnieder, compliance with existing laws must be enforced, gambling supervision must be expanded in terms of personnel and technology and gambling advertising banned.

In the ambulatory addiction, advisory centers money slot machines stand however still in the first place. They would be indicated by more than 80 percent of the concerning than main play form, reported the director of the Bremen specialized place gambling addiction Meyer. It is also the task of the operators to refer gambling addicts to one of the 1,500 addiction advice centers in Germany. In some federal states, this is even obligatory.

“Only one of 903 players from addiction advice centers interviewed stated that he had been referred by a gambling hall.” Gerhard Meyer, University of Bremen

However, an evaluation in Hesse shows that the operators are not implementing this. “Only one of 903 players from addiction advice centers interviewed stated that he had been placed by a gambling hall,” said Meyer. An evaluation of the lock files came beyond that to the result that in the first 40 months 14,000 play addicts could be locked for the automats. “The portion of the locks by the machine operators was with under one percent”, criticized Meyer.

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