The anti smoking law, which is being applied in a progressive way since January in Germany, threatens the existence of casinos in favor of illegal gambling halls and Internet bets, according to information released by Focus magazine.
Spokesman of the Federation of German Casinos (DeSIA), Matthias Hein, affirmed that in the next three years three to five casinos will close. “Four of five casino customers smoke. Smoking and gambling are inseparable”, said Hein and added that, due to the smoking ban, the illegal sector is growing, as well as Internet betting.
In the first quarter of the year, the number of visitors to casinos and gambling venues decreased a 17.7 per cent to be USD 1.75 million.
For Hein, the anti smoking law, which will be applied from June 1st, damaged the sector. He commented that incomes on roulette and black jack tables were of 981 million euros in 2002 and 923 million in 2007.
Hein remarked that crisis of casinos and gambling venues due to the anti-smoking law will also have effects in the public finance, because financial authorities will stop receiving us$ 160 million euros in taxes.