• Germany's news in English

State politicians took free hotel stay to discuss gambling rules

The Local · 2 Apr 2011, 11:06

Published: 02 Apr 2011 11:06 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Heads of their respective ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Free Democrats (FDP) parties, Christian von Boetticher and Wolfgang Kubicki as well as Hans-Jörn Arp, head of the CDU's parliamentary party in Schleswig-Holstein, and Lower Saxony economics minister Jörg Bode of the FDP, were all at the two-day conference on the north German island of Sylt, according to Der Spiegel magazine.

The magazine reported on Saturday that both parliamentary parties as well as the Lower Saxony economics ministry confirmed that the politicians’ hotel costs were met by the magazine Sponsors.

The magazine describes itself as the leading specialist magazine for the German-language sport business sector, and as a critical and independent information service for the market’s protagonists. It also organizes conferences including the one in question on Sylt.

The attendance list included high-ranking representatives of private gambling companies, media firms, business and sports organizations as well as the former tennis professional Boris Becker.

The invitation suggested, “Together with you, in a very exclusive group, we want to set the course for the time of a politically liberalized market for sport betting and online poker.”

Certain sectors are now being offered, “the unique possibility to profit from this new billion-euro market – and to help set its orientation,” the invitation continued, according to Der Spiegel.

German state premiers are set to meet on Wednesday to discuss potential changes to the gambling market in the country. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday that the federal government was considering tightening the rules on gambling machines to make them less attractive to users and reduce the number of addicts.

This would include the reduction of the maximum loss per hour from €80 to €60, and the maximum win from €500 to €400. The average hourly loss should also be reduced from €33 to €20 according to the paper sent by the ministries of economics and consumer protection to the states.

Scientists estimate there are several hundred thousand gamblers who are so addicted to playing that they in the worst case endanger their entire existence by spending all their money on in particular the automatic machines.

Story continues below…

Pressure is being exerted by Mechthild Dyckmans, the government’s expert on drugs and addiction, who is calling for the gambling machines to be banned from pubs as minors cannot be effectively prevented from using them there.

Although the proposals which will be considered by the state premiers are not as tight as Dyckmans has been demanding, the Süddeutsche Zeitung said that talk within the industry was of ‘hefty cuts’ which will make the business more difficult to run.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

19:19 April 2, 2011 by auniquecorn
I demand they all resign.

So, get on the band wagon.

14:52 April 4, 2011 by dalhousie
nice information friend i have some hotels information in hotels dalhousie (INDIA) please visit this link@ http://tinyurl.com/6ksvotq
Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd