European betting shops are fighting with tough measures

Unfortunately, the corona pandemic still has us in front of a firm grip. This is now also felt by betting shops in Scotland. For these betting shops, further measures were taken that should actually be relaxed. Another country in Europe also has to deal with severe measures: Spain imposes advertising restrictions.

Beliebte Spielautomaten stehen in Casinos und Wettbüros.

According to the British gambling association Betting and Gaming Council, slot machines may not be operated in betting shops.(©Bru-nO/Pixabay)

Scotland betting shops to prevent corona spread

Betting shops are still not allowed to offer slot machines in Scotland. According to experts, using them could increase the spread of the coronavirus instead of stopping it. Many are afraid that infected people will transmit the virus to the machines. If another player plays a few minutes later, they could become infected. In addition, the slot machines contribute to the fact that the players stay in the betting shop much longer. This fact could also spread the virus.Actually, the ban on operating slot machines in betting shops should have been lifted again. However, the ban was not lifted, but extended further. This is a message from the British gambling association Betting and Gaming Council.

Unfortunately, the regulations go much further: It's not just slot machines that are banned. In general, betting shops are not allowed to set up chairs. This is also intended to prevent individuals from staying too long in these rooms.These regulations and bans represent a medium drama for the industry: The general lockdown already led to losses in this industry. These losses could possibly have been compensated for now if more games were played on slot machines. After all, the jackpots attract many players. If you really want to get this, you often place high stakes. These bets would benefit the betting shop in part as revenue.

Why are no hygiene measures taken?

It is questionable why slot machines are bannedbut no corresponding hygiene measures are taken . Such measures could prevent players from getting too close and thus spreading the virus. In addition, disinfectants could be provided with which the devices could be cleaned. Or players must generally wear respiratory protection and keep a sufficient distance from other players. Other countries have successfully implemented such measures so far. A complete ban on slot machines will drive betting shop owners into further losses. In addition, themessage was published at relatively short notice.Actually, everything should be back to normal by July 22nd, 2020. All operators of the betting shops had certainly prepared everything for this - only to now undo everything again.

However, the extension of the ban hides another problem: employees may have to be laid off. On the one hand, because losses continue to be incurred and, on the other hand, because these workers no longer have any work to do. This fact seems all the more annoying when you realize:The gaming industry was not included in the rescue package and had to cope with the lockdown on its own. This situation already carried the risk that some casinos and betting shops would have to close.

Advertising ban in Spain leads to losses

Spain is not struggling with measures caused by the coronavirus.This country is fighting an advertising ban effective October 2020. Originally it was planned that only casinos would not be allowed to run advertising, or only targeted advertising. The background was of course player protection: If many casinos advertise for customers, dubious bonuses could be paid out. In addition, many people only get the idea of ​​taking part in gambling through advertising. Seen from this perspective, an advertising ban makes perfect sense.

Now, however, the advertising ban should also apply to betting shops. This was announced by Consumer Protection Minister Alberto Garzón. The reason is said to be exactly the same: to protect players from starting to place bets. It is said that the poorer sections of the population in particular are trying to earn an income from gambling.The advertising ban is intended to give these people particularly strong protection.

However, there is another problem in Spain: young people like to go to betting shops or arcades, and not always just to gamble. It is said that drinks are offered cheaper there, which is why the young people deliberately meet in these bars. If this is the case, the handle to the slot machine is not far away. It is also a problemthat young people are not checked when entering casinos or betting shops. If admission controls were also carried out here - as is also the case with online casinos - there would not have to be a ban on advertising.

Of course, this measureover the long term leads to considerable losses at casinos and betting shops. The advertisements could be targeted to offer welcome bonuses or other promotions. These are always counted positively and cause the stakes to increase. Of course, online casinos are increasingly using these opportunities – but local casinos and betting shops also use advertising sensibly to acquire new customers. And this situation is now prevented.

Ultimately, it always remains a question of whether it makes more sense to protect the players or to prevent afinancial loss of the bar. Basically, both are valuable, which is why a middle ground is always worthwhile. These middle ground don't seem to be welcomed at the moment. This is how the affected owners of the gambling industry will most likely see it.

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The article was published on August 10th, 2020 in the cpaws-ov.org magazine under the keywords,,,,,, published.
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