Monday March 25,2013 : AUSTRIAN AUTHORITIES GET TOUGH ON ILLEGAL POKER
"Sharp action" against illegal poker games
Austrian Police reportedly struck against illegal poker operators over the weekend, targeting "card casinos" suspected of operating poker games along with the staple rummy and bridge games.
Casinos Austria is the only operator authorised to legally offer poker according to a Constitutional court decision enacted earlier this year, said a Police spokesperson.
Rigobert Rainer of the Styrian Police said: "In Styria, this is the beginning of a number of many controls that will expand to Carinthia. It clearly signals that illegal gambling will be fought using all measures".
According to authorities thirty-three "card casinos", who advertise on very official looking websites, are suspected of offering poker in hidden backrooms.
14 poker tables were seized during the operation conducted at the premises of Card Casino Graz but Financial Police have reportedly requested complete closure of the premises saying operations such as this deprive the state of Millions.
"These are quite accurate calculations of the Treasury – it is estimated that the exchequer loses up to Euro 100 million annually because of these illegal operators," said Rainer.