German gaming machine groups criticise new legislation

A proposed amendment would prohibit gaming halls from being located within 500m of a school.
A proposed amendment would prohibit gaming halls from being located within 500m of a school.

DAW and AVRP have attacked an amendment in Rheinland-Pfalz that they claim could close more than 50 per cent of gaming machines venues.

Germany.- The associations Die Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft eV (DAW) and Automaten-Verband Rheinland-Pfalz eV (AVRP) have criticised an amendment to Rheinland-Pfalz’s Gaming Act (LGlüG) that they claim could devastate the gaming machines industry in the southwestern state.

The legislative change being considered by the state’s Landtag would prohibit gambling halls from being located within 500m of a school or youth centre.

DAW and AVRP, representing the private and state sectors respectively, say that means more than half of licensed venues would have to close shop. 

They said it would lead to major redundancies in a sector that employs 4,000 people in Rheinland-Pfalz.

DAW spokesman Georg Stecker said: “The present draft law destroys the legal offering of slots in Rheinland-Pfalz because it means the end for more than half of all state-licensed gambling halls.

“Hundreds of the mostly second or third generation family-run vending machine companies would stand in front of the ruins of their business and 2,500 people in Rheinland-Pfalz would lose their jobs.”

Stecker argued that there was not enough evidence to suggest distance rules protected minors.

He said: “We need regulation based on qualitative criteria that strengthens youth and player protection and maintains proper operations, also in Rheinland-Pfalz.”

AVRP chairman Wolfgang Götz also criticised the bill, contrasting the move with Germany’s imminent legalisation of igaming.

He said: “The draft law is a slap in the face of the ordinary medium-sized vending machine companies in Rheinland-Pfalz and hits us particularly hard in the midst of the economic crisis.

“And while more than every second state-licensed amusement arcade in the country under threat of closure on July 1, 2021, the online gaming market is being legalised at the same time, where there are naturally no minimum distances. Nobody understands that.”

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