The big gambling

In Germany, online gambling for money is allowed. The state wants to earn money – is it driving gamblers into the arms of criminals?

There are a good 220,000 slot machines in Germany.

DAniel Henzgen’s situation is not easy. “In political discussions, I am often looked at as if I were eating baby dogs,” he says. Henzgen probably doesn’t do that. But as one of the managing directors of Löwen Entertainment, he represents the interests of the largest gaming arcade operator in the country, which is also one of the largest German gaming machine manufacturers. “I think it is insolence and arrogance of a pseudo-intellectual middle class to socially disqualify visitors to gambling halls as having failed”, Henzgen grumbles. He paints a completely different, almost idyllic picture. “It is perhaps the last remaining place where people can move around without social stratification. Nobody here can mark the fat Max with a 500 euro note like in the casino. Everyone is the same here. ”The maximum stake is ten euros. “We see an image of society here, party-goers before going to the disco as well as residents from the old people’s home who see the money in as an entrance fee for participating in life.”

There are currently around 8,000 gambling halls in Germany. There are over 220,000 slot machines there and in restaurants. The gross gaming revenue for providers with a state license before the outbreak of the corona epidemic was six billion euros. That’s the amount that players put more in the machines than they got out of the year. If you convert that to the five million regular arcade visitors, you get 1,000 euros per person per year; It is 200 euros for each of the other five million people who, according to information from the industry, play irregularly. That’s a lot of money. But there are also more expensive hobbies.