Austrian financial police seize 123 illegal slot machines

| By Robert Fletcher
Financial police in Austria have seized and destroyed 123 illegal slot machines in the Upper Austria and Salzburg regions as part of ongoing anti-fraud operations in the country.

Many of the machines confiscated across the two regions were being used in facilities that were a front for illegal gambling venues. In Salzburg, these venues included an internet shop, waxing studio, wine bar and a crêpes delivery service.

In Upper Austria, the police said operators had used a host of methods to prevent the police from entering their venues, such as reinforcing doors with iron plates to prevent access. 

Police also discovered that some of the games on the slot machines were disguised as legal “games of skill” as opposed to illegal slots. 

Upon emptying the slot machines prior to them being destroyed, authorities were able to recover more than €17,000 (€14,654/$17,699) in cash that was handed over to the police for safekeeping.

For each illegal gambling machine seized, authorities can impose a fine of €4,000 per device.

“The regular focus controls of the financial police are pushing back illegal gambling and making the business increasingly unattractive for criminal operators,” finance minister Magnus Brunner said. “In terms of player protection, we will continue to take tough action here.”

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