WOGLR: German casinos struggle in the face of modern gaming

By Dr. Wulf Hambach, published in World Online Gambling Law Report (WOGLR) issue October 2013 p 11

Player migration to internet adds to land-based casino woes

Whereas the private land-based casino of Berlin (Novomaticowned, for many years the partner casino of PokerStars European Poker Tour) is celebrating its No. 1 ranking as the strongest casino of Germany in terms of revenue (gross profit in 2012: 84,4 million Euro; annual growth: 8.5%) the Bavarian state casinos are all facing huge problems. For years now, Bavarian liberal and green politicians as well as the Bavarian Supreme Audit Office have been requesting drastic consequences up to and including the closing of individual casinos. However, Bavaria is certainly not the  only case. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, most German casinos are experiencing a big crisis. “Since 2008, gross gaming revenues have nationwide declined by 42 per cent,” the Chairman of the Federal Association of Private Casinos in Germany, Martin Reeckmann, explains. But why do certain state politicians stubbornly hang on to their casinos, even as modern game behaviour goes in a different direction? As reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the internet in particular provides ways to ‘make big business with poker and casino games – many players migrate there.’

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