The IMA 2011 has begun!

Guest Speaker Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf encourages the Amusement and Gaming Machine Industry in its Battle for an Economic Level Playing Field!

Paul Gauselmann, Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf and Uwe Christiansen
Paul Gauselmann, Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf and Uwe Christiansen

Düsseldorf/Espelkamp. Together with the Chairmen of the German Amusement and Vending Machine Industry Association (VDAI) Paul Gauselmann and Uwe Christiansen, Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf, former German state president, opened the 30th International Trade Fair for Amusement and Vending Machines as this year’s guest of honour on 18th January 2011 in Düsseldorf, the state capital of North-Rhine Westphalia.

The news presenter Jan Hofer closed his traditional opening presentation after a short review of the past three decades with the observation that this year sees not only the 30th IMA but at the same time is the 30th opening accompanied by the VDAI Chairman Paul Gauselmann.

Paul Gauselmann particularly focused in his speech on the current public discussion concerning commercial gaming that he has neither experienced in such a way in the past 30 years as association chairman nor as entrepreneur with over 50 years company history.

“For us all it was clear in 2006 that after the introduction of the new Gaming Ordinance that after four years we could expect a contested period of time”, explained Paul Gauselmann. The at times unserious means employed nevertheless by the state monopoly to try to bring more than 70,000 employees in the German amusement and gaming machine industry into discredit has been clearly understated. “We have to protect ourselves against this by fair means! We will prove that our industry can deal with both the economic striving for success as well as the social responsibility towards our employees and players!”

Guest speaker Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf encouraged the industry representatives there in the plea for more self-assurance and tenacity: “Don’t be irritated by the discussions with which the public sector is attempting to moralise economic activities”.

As a lawyer himself, he also sees the remarkable inconsistency that the state offers a completely unlimited possibility to succumb to the passion for gambling yet sees commercial gaming as the single cause of pathological gambling even though commercial gaming is subject to considerably comprehensive legal general conditions. “At the end of the day, addiction comes into being not due to the number of players but due to the size of potential wins!” stated Prof. Dr. Biedenkopf.

It is clear for Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf that the main aim of the state is gaining profits to be attained by excluding the competition of commercial gaming. There is absolutely no justification why a state establishment should be treated differently to the commercial industry.

“If the states have a task in the field of addiction prevention, then this lies moreover in the early detection and therapy of young people addicted to internet gambling who in their childhood have often lost contact to the outside world.”

Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf completed his speech with the Saxon greeting ‘Glück auf’ (‘good luck’) and opened the 30th IMA in Düsseldorf together with the VDAI Chairmen Paul Gauselmann and Uwe Christiansen.

“The IMA is the most important indicator for the economic development of our enterprise”, stated Paul Gauselmann during the subsequent exhibition tour. “Each order we take back from Düsseldorf also secures approx. 1,700 jobs in the district of Minden-Lübbecke as well as the 6,500 jobs within the entire group of companies!”