Austrian police seize 123 illegal slot machines


The financial police also confiscated cash in a series of raids.

Austria.- The financial police in Austria say they have seized and destroyed 123 illegal slot machines. The machines were confiscated in raids in Upper Austria and Salzburg, with 72 found in Salzburg alone.

The operation is a part of a wider campaign against fraud in the country. The police said many venues were disguised as legal businesses. In Salzburg, officers found slots venues disguised as an internet shop, a wine bar, a crêperie and even a waxing studio. 

Other venues used heavy security to prevent intrusion, including reinforced iron doors. Several machines were disguised as legal games of skill, officers said. 

Under Austrian law, operators of illegal slot machines can be fined up to €4,000 per machine.

Magnus Brunner, Austria’s minister of finance, praised the financial police for its continued effort in cracking down on unlicensed operators.

In September, Bet-at-home warned that it faced an increased risk of not being able to meet financial obligations due to the impact of its decision to leave the Austrian market due to legal issues. On top of the Austrian exit, Bet-at-home has also surrendered its British gaming licence and withdrew from that market, too.

The company has raised its assessment of its liquidity risk level to “medium”, noting that it faced uncertainty in its cash flow, assets and liabilities and that even small negative shocks could result in a shortfall.

Last week, Allwyn Entertainment reported its results for Q3, with revenue up 11 per cent year-on-year to €958.6m. EBITDA was up by 10 per cent at €319.9m. The lottery giant, which has recently agreed to buy Camelot UK, said that revenue and EBITDA had grown organically. 

CEO Robert Chvatal said this demonstrated “the resilience of demand for our products and of our business model”. He noted that Allwyn’s online business and Austrian casino business had performed especially well.

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