Gambling Addiction Rife in Berlin
The German capital city of Berlin is rapidly becoming a haven for gambling addicts. Berlin is home to 600 gambling arcades, 300 sports betting houses and about 2,500 café-casinos. Unfortunately, a fifth of Germany’s 100,000 gambling addicts also live in Berlin.There have been tough regulations introduced to try and help addicts, such as a rule forbidding the opening of a new gambling outlet within 500 meters of an existing one. However, so far these have made no difference.
Recently Berlin police found that 90% of the city’s gambling shops are violating tough regulations adopted in 2011 which lead to Wolfgang Petersen, the head of the department’s gambling wing, saying “Berlin is Las Vegas for poor people.”
A large part of the problem is that there are far too many slot machine arcades for regulators to visit on a regular basis. A spokeswoman for the federal association of private casinos, Miriam Benert, said, “Operators of arcades feel they are unobserved, so many of them violate the regulations. This only comes to light once the police conduct a surprise raid.”