25 April 2023
Salzburg Raids Result in Seizure of Illegal Gaming Machines
Several illegal gaming machines were confiscated by the Austrian financial police in Salzburg during a series of raids to combat the activity. The crackdown, conducted in partnership with the Salzburg police and a Cobra task force, took place from 6 to 14 April, resulting in the seizure of 76 illegal gaming machines. The ministry has stated that the police had a “great deal of success” in their actions. The operators of the illegal machines could be fined up to €30,000 per unit, with average fines typically being around €5,000. During the four days of operation, 15 financial police officers worked together with 20 local police officers to carry out the enforcement action.
The police visited seven bars, all of which were disguised as different types of businesses, such as nail salons, tanning salons, and internet cafes. The individuals who operated the locations had secured all the premises with magnetic locks and video-monitoring equipment. The Finance Ministry highlighted one operator who had acted “particularly boldly.” Nine machines were confiscated on the first day of operation from the venue, and another nine devices were discovered five days later when the police again visited the bar.
Another bar was found in a basement where 15 illegal slot machines were discovered. The ministry added that the operator had no shame and had placed the company right next to an official building, with access via the official car park. Austrian finance minister Magnus Brunner said that “resolute action by the financial police is of great importance here, and we will not show any tolerance towards criminals in the future either.”