In 2023, the police conducted 82 checks in the red-light district of Vienna

An interview was published on, where the reported visited a legal brothel in Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, where four sex workers waited for the customers. However, there were no clients in the brothel during the time period of the interview, and according to the brothel operator, this happened because of the illegal prostitutes in private apartments.

The report also mentioned the Loverboys from Eastern Europe, who keep a significant portion of their earnings to sex workers.

The article also highlighted other key facts of the industry.

Clients and Loverboys can be both involved in violence against illegal sex workers

Violent incidents involving clients, increasingly asylum seekers, are reported both by investigators and venue operators. No statistics exist, as illegal workers refrain from reporting incidents to avoid attracting law enforcement attention.

Furthermore, the threat from ‘Loverboys,’ who often use violence to keep them engaged in illegal prostitution, adds to their vulnerability.

We could learn key facts of the recent police raids and the average fines for illegal prostitution:

  1. Illegal prostitution often occurs in private apartments. In 2023, the Vienna Police conducted 82 checks in the red-light district, averaging one check every four days. However the Austrian prostitution laws are determined by individual states, Vienna has the strictest regulations.
  2. The police inspected 217 private residences in Vienna, resulting in 614 violations of the Vienna Prostitution Act. In January and February 2024, there were 12 focus points, leading to the closure of five regularly used apartments.
  3. Fines include €200 for unregistered prostitution, €400 for lack of health examination, and another €400 for illegal residential prostitution. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resurgence of apartment prostitution has been noted as legal (red-light) venues were forced to close.

Bureaucratic is also a big problem

However, legal brothel operators are often provide with information to authorities about illegal prostitutes, the enforcement often falls shortdue to bureaucratic hurdles.

A proof held by third parties is insufficient; the police must conduct undercover operations, resulting in significant overtime.

According to Krone, legal venue operators also criticize the relatively low fines for illegal apartment prostitution, emphasizing the stark contrast to fines imposed on legal establishments.Police counter that fines for illegal apartment prostitution are around €1,000 and that thorough monitoring occurs. Collection of fines proves challenging as these women often lack registered addresses in Vienna.

Illegal prostitution is a huge problem

We published a lot of articles lately why illegal prostitution is a problem for the whole industry; for brothel operators, legal sex workers and customers as well:

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Do you want to stay on the safer side? Brothels in Vienna Magazin has a top list of the best brothels in Vienna. Click on the button to reach it:

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