Illegal slot-machine owners fear job cuts

Complaining of police persecution in a crackdown on illegal gambling that followed last week’s disgracing of a slot-machine playing MP, about a hundred video arcade owners and employees held a protest rally in Thessaloniki yesterday. Protesters in the port city’s central Aristotelous Square said thousands of jobs could be lost if the campaign against slot machine gambling slackens off. But video-arcade owners claimed yesterday that the government should clarify the legal status of slot machines. According to their spokesman, Savvas Grigoriadis, there are some 3,000 video arcades in Thessaloniki, which employ between 12-15,000 people, adding that establishment owners pay 900 euros a year in tax for each machine.. Police raided video arcades suspected of operating illegal slot machines all over Greece, after PASOK MP Alexandros Chryssanthakopoulos, who chaired a Parliamentary committee against illegal gambling, was captured on video working an illegal slot machine.

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