Date: 18.04.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Last update: 08.05.2024 12:22

German Industry Leaders Address Challenges in Illegal Gambling and Entertainment Tax

During a recent parliamentary evening hosted by the German umbrella organization Die Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft (DAW) and Automaten-Verband Rheinland-Pfalz, key stakeholders including state parliament members, government representatives, and industry associations gathered at the State Museum in Mainz to discuss pressing issues facing the gambling industry in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Legislative Framework and Industry Regulation

The event, opened by Kathrin Anklam-Trapp, Vice-President of the State Parliament, focused on the balancing act required in gambling legislation.

Anklam-Trapp emphasized the necessity of dialogue to enhance protection and prevention measures while ensuring the economic viability of the legal gambling market. The Interstate Treaty on Gambling, established in 2021, serves as the backbone for efforts to curb gambling addiction and manipulation within the state.

Tackling Illegal Gambling

Georg Stecker, spokesperson for DAW’s board of directors, highlighted the moderate regulatory approach of Rhineland-Palatinate compared to neighboring states. However, he raised concerns about the widespread availability of illegal gambling offerings across Germany.

Stecker stressed the importance of a strong enforcement and a market-driven supply to combat illegal activities effectively, discussing the “Round Table” initiative with government bodies aimed at addressing these challenges.

State Government’s Positive Evaluation

Nicole Steingaß, State Secretary, represented the state government, praising the Rhineland-Palatinate State Gambling Act as a successful model that balances industry interests with comprehensive gambler and youth protection.

The effectiveness of the state’s gambling supervisory authority, ADD, through regular inspections, was also highlighted to ensure a safe, legally compliant gambling environment.

Economic Challenges and Tax Burdens

Michael Thiery, Chairman of the Rhineland-Palatinate Vending Machine Association, voiced concerns over the economic pressures faced by operators due to rising entertainment tax rates and the ongoing competition with the illegal market.

Thiery noted that the inability to pass on these tax increases to customers is jeopardizing the financial viability of businesses, potentially leading to reduced entertainment tax revenues for municipalities and a proliferation of unregulated gambling activities.

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