Liechtenstein wants to remain ‘Las Vegas of the Alps’ and rejects casino ban | Abroad

The inhabitants of Liechtenstein voted with a large majority against a ban on casinos in the dwarf state on Sunday. The referendum was attended by 70 percent of the population. A total of 73 percent opposed the proposal.

The country with only 40,000 inhabitants has six casinos and is also called the ‘Las Vegas of the Alps’. Liechtenstein has an area not much larger than the city of Utrecht and is sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland.

Casino opponents say they lead to gambling addiction and damage Liechtenstein’s reputation. The casinos in the small Alpine country are popular with gamblers from countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The referendum came about due to pressure from the citizens’ movement IG Volksmeinung, which speaks of a “tidal wave of casinos” in the principality. But the government of Liechtenstein opposes a ban, because casinos are an important source of income.

A ban would also be too drastic to combat problems such as gambling addiction. In the run-up to the referendum, Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein had also spoken out against a ban.

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