German police officer arrested in raid on illegal gambling operations

German police have carried out a major raid targetting illegal gambling operations.
German police have carried out a major raid targetting illegal gambling operations.

A police officer was among three people arrested as special forces and tax inspectors took part in raids on 41 houses.

Germany.- A serving police officer and two other suspects have been arrested in a major police operation targeting illegal gambling in the German state of Saarland, on the border with France.

The broadcaster SR reported that around 400 officers were involved in raids on 41 houses, including special forces and tax inspectors. Three people were arrested on suspicion of commercial fraud and illegal gambling.

They are suspected of having manipulated gaming machine software in order to distribute fewer winnings.

Police seized documents, phones and gaming machines in relation to the arrests. Germany’s interior minister, Klaus Bouillon, said the operation was a major blow against illegal gambling.

The raid comes after major gaming operators called for Germany to instigate a clampdown on unlicensed gaming to coincide with the implementation of the country’s new gambling legislation on July 1.

The German sports betting association Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV), which represents operators accounting for around 90 per cent of the betting market, fears that the heavy tax burden and tough restrictions in Germany’s new licensed gaming market could benefit the unlicensed sector.

Meanwhile, final tests are being carried out on Germany’s new OASIS player blocking system, which will allow players across the country to self-exclude. The state of Hesse has said it is optimising the platform and that the tool will be ready to launch in August.

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