How many slot machines are there in Germany? How high is the turnover that the gambling industry generates with slot machine games& Co. Makes? And: How many people in our country have lost control of their gambling behavior? Answers to these and other questions are provided in the 2015 Yearbook on Addiction, which was recently published.
Revenues in the German gambling market remain high
33.4 billion euros was the turnover of the gambling industry in 2013 – if only legal gambling services are included. Compared to the previous year, this means an increase in turnover of 0.9 percent for the providers of games of chance. Commercial slot machines account for the largest share of revenues. Here, total turnover was 19.1 billion euros – slightly less than the year before, but still the biggest slice of the gambling market pie: 57 percent.
Slot machine games make a lot of money – but only for the providers!
Gross gaming revenue (total stakes minus winnings paid out) from slot machines was 4.37 billion. This value is also interesting in the "historical" Comparison. Because as the author of the gambling chapter in the Addiction Yearbook, the renowned researcher Prof. Gerhard Meyer, clarifies, since the amendment of the gaming ordinance in 2006, the revenue brought in by commercial slot machines has increased by a full 86 percent, d.H. More and more money remains with the providers!
263.000 slot machines and 71 casinos
And how many slot machines are there now in German pubs and gaming halls? In 2013, there were a total of 263.000, compared to 2.000 less. And even more figures: There are 71 casinos in Germany (also as of 2013), and together they account for a gross gaming revenue of 522 million, most of which comes from the slot machine gaming business.
Less demand for gambling in Germany …
Four out of ten people in Germany have taken part in a gambling game in the last twelve months (before the survey in 2013). This result of a study by the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) is also listed in the Yearbook Addiction. Thus, the proportion of the population with "gambling consumption within the past year" has decreased. The number of people who have experienced gambling of any kind at some point in their lives has also fallen. In 2013, this percentage was 79 percent.
… For it increase with automat plays
However, demand is growing for one of the riskiest types of gambling, of all things. Once again, we are talking about commercial slot machines in pubs and gaming arcades. In 2007, 2.2 percent of respondents in the BZgA study reported that they had gambled on machines in the course of the previous year. By 2013, 3.7 percent of the total population of. That's about 2 million people.
The other side of the coin: almost 800.000 people with a gambling problem
High revenues for providers of games of chance: The "bill" is paid by the gamblers – especially those who can no longer control their dealings with games of chance. 362.000 people in Germany exhibit problem gambling behavior, and a further 436.000 people gamble pathologically. As studies have consistently shown, slot machine games are a major contributor to this worrying state of gambling in Germany. For example, three quarters of the clients in outpatient addiction counseling centers focus their problems on gambling at slot machines.
High levels of debt at the end of a "gambler's career"
One actually speaks of a career when things are looking up for someone. However, in what is often referred to as the "gambling career" of gamblers, the direction is (as good as always) reversed. Pathological gamblers in particular often chase gambling losses – a hopeless endeavor, because in the end it is always the machine or the bank that wins. And the gambler is left with a high level of debt in addition to often disrupted family relationships.
About 17 percent of the people who receive care at an outpatient counseling center because of their pathological gambling behavior have more than 25.000 euros in debt. Only 33 percent have no debts at all. By comparison, among clients who receive counseling because of their alcohol dependence, the proportion of debt-free individuals is 74 percent. Pathological gambling is thus particularly associated with high financial losses. Given that some people have also lost their jobs because of their gambling addiction, the level of debt can make a new start more difficult. That's why comprehensive counseling also includes debtor counseling.
Counseling for problem gamblers often successful
The Yearbook on Addiction also has good news to report. Counseling is successful for 37 percent of people receiving outpatient care, and a further 46 percent achieve a significant improvement at least. However, there is one condition: There must not have been a premature discontinuation of counseling. If they do, the prognosis for the clients in their care is much worse. On our subpage on counseling centers and self-help groups in Hamburg, you will find a list of relevant services.
Source: Meyer, G. (2015): Gambling – Facts and Figures. In: German Central Office for Addiction Issues (ed.): Yearbook Addiction 2015.