The police raided two gambling venues in the Austrian capital of Vienna
Austria.- Police have raided and shut down another two illegal gambling venues in Austria’s capital, Vienna.
The financial police and the Federal Criminal Police Office raided venues in the districts of Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus and Donaustadt.
In the former, police seized cash, drugs and seven gaming machines after they found 10 players using the machines.
In Donaustadt, officers found thirty-four customers playing poker at three tables in a hidden, sealed-off ground floor bar at a restaurant.
Officers said players were betting thousands of euros per round. They also found two gaming machines.
Officers said organisers had been detained, while poker dealers and waitresses were also being investigated.
Austrian finance minister Gernot Blümel said: “In Vienna, new criminal structures in illegal gambling have recently arisen.
“The consistent work of the financial police brings these mafia-like gangs from the southeast under massive pressure. The high addiction factor of gambling leads to the fact that addicted gamblers often try to compensate for their financial losses through crime.
“The combination of illegal gambling and drug use, which is increasingly occurring in Vienna, is particularly fatal.
“We will continue to take tough and consistent action against these criminals and continue our excellent cooperation with the police. The fight against illegal gambling will continue to be pushed.”
Austria has seen a rise in illegal gambling in urban centres.
Earlier this week, a major overhaul of gambling regulations in Austria was announced. The treasury will pass responsibility for licensing and enforcement to a new dedicated regulatory authority.