Arcade operators ban together in attempt to prevent industry-stifling regulatory changes
German gaming industry leader Paul Gauselmann recently announced the formation of the Deutsche Automaten Wirtschaft, an umbrella organization for the industry’s several trade associations. It is intended to “speak with one voice” for the entire business.
The move was seen as necessary in the face of initiatives by several of Germany’s federal states to impose addition gaming regulations on the country’s 10,000 arcades. They plan to use an inter-state treaty to alter German gambling laws.
These would make it more difficult for private companies to operate arcades, with Gauselmann saying it would wipe out 70 percent of the industry in Germany.
Regulations for consumer protection or self interest?
Industry spokespeople expressed the fear that closing arcades would lead to fewer legitimate options for gamblers, pushing them into illicit gambling dens and unregulated online casinos. Arcades offer an alternative to online casinos in Germany, some of which escape regulation.
In addition, German federal states own casinos, which compete directly with the privately owned and operated arcades. Many opponents of regulation see it as corrupt leaders looking to protect their own interests, not those of the public.
The commercial gambling sector employs roughly 70,000 people and produces EUR 1.7 billion annually in tax revenue. It appears that closing arcades down is not in the public interest. It smacks more of self-serving behavior on the part of the powerful.