Austria Online Casino Guide

Gambling Industry Overview in Austria

The following approaches will be presented

  • Gambling legislation in Austria
  • Gambling authorities in Austria
  • Online casinos in Austria
  • and more

Gambling is one of the most popular pastimes in Austra. In addition, the public interest has been focused on the gambling legislation of the country for quite some time.

The Austrian rules concerning the procedure of issuing licences to local operators have been criticized by the ECJ, which accused it in a gambling monopoly. That was the reason why the Australian legislator has concentrated its efforts to make a significant revision of the current country’s Gambling Act.

Overview

Flag of AustriaAll kinds of gambling activities and games are currently legal at the casinos on the territory of Austria. However, the gambling industry in the country is strictly regulated by the Government. The legislation is put in a state similar to the ones that can be found in a large number of European countries.

Austria’s latest national gambling bill was passed half a decade ago – in June 2010. The bill was aimed at imposing tougher licensing standards in the country. It, however, had a beneficial impact, too, due to the fact it allowed slot machines to be located over the entire territory of the country.

Currently, the country is put in a unique situation when it comes to gambling legislation. This is due to the fact that the law makes a difference between “proper” gambling that involves large amounts of money and the so-called “small gambling” that is actually gambling with small bets that amount to 50 cents or less. “Small gambling” also includes low-stakes card table and card games, as well as low-stakes slot machines.

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According to Austrian laws, the “proper” gambling is allowed in casinos only. On the other hand, “small gambling” is permitted literally everywhere. However, not every state in the country permits this type of gambling. All this makes the gambling law of Austria probably hard to understand. The thing that usually confuses foreigners is not only the fact that the legislation is based on stakes, but also that the separate states have their individual laws.

Relevant Legislation in Austria

Gambling Legislation in AustriaAccording to the Federal Constitutional Act of Austria, monopoles are allowed to be established in the country by the federal legislator. Such a national gaming monopoly was found in section 3 of the Glücksspielgesetz (the Austrian Gaming Act).

Currently, gaming and gambling activities in the country are controlled in correspondence to the rules imposed with the Austrian Gaming Act. The latter divides the regulatory jurisdiction between the federal state and the nine provinces in the country depending on the gaming product.

The rules set by the country’s legislation aim at ensuring that the security standards are not violated by any gaming operators. The country’s gambling laws are also focused on minimizing the level of risk that players are exposed to, as well as reducing the risk of gaming and gambling operations to be used for criminal purposes. They are also regulating the taxation in order to ensure certain cash flows generated from the industry.

Up to date, the lottery market in Austria is monopolised, with only one operator having a licence. The casino market, on the other hand, exists in the conditions of limited competition, in which the gambling market is shared by a small number of operators. The law, however, sets the opportunity for an additional licence to be granted for running a poker salon.

  • Casino games
    Casino games are described as games of chance that are permitted only in casinos pursuant to section 21 of the Austrian Gaming Act. There is no full list of casino games provided by the Act, but the latter expressly states in its section 21 that when it comes to individual games of chance played within a casino, they must be exclusively pointed out in the casino’s license decree.
  • Slot and other machine games
    The regulation that currently governs the slot machines on the territory of Austria differ from the rest of the gambling regulation in the country. First and foremost, they may be used in the casinos that do not have an applicable limit as to stakes or winnings. Slot machines, however, are allowed to be located outside casinos if permitted by provincial legislator.
  • Betting (except for sports betting)
    Currently, betting for reasons that differ from sports events is not regulated by law.
  • Sports Betting
    Sports betting’s regulation is divided between the federal state and the provinces. The latter are entitled with the responsibility for the legislation and its enforcement when it comes to the totalisator and bookmaker wagers.
  • Games of Skill
    Games of a skill are currently not subjected to gaming monopoly in Austria. The games that are considered as “games of skill” are tarot, bridge, chess, as well as the game “Schnapsen”.
  • Lottery Games
    A full list of lottery games is provided in sections 6 to 12b of the Austrian Gaming Act. The games included in the list are: pools, bonus games, keno, bingo, lotto, lotto with running numbers, number lotto class and number lottery, instant lotteries, electronic lotteries.

Online Gambling

Internet Gambling in AustriaOnline gambling in the country has a rich history. In fact, some of the European largest and most profitable online-based gambling companies originate from Austria. The access to online gambling websites from other countries is not blocked by the local authorities, which provides Austrian citizens with access to international gambling websites, too.

The country’s Government issues licenses for locally-based companies to operate their websites, but it has put a restriction in legislation that accepts only Austrian players to join these websites. This is considered a sign of the Government’s policy of making attempts to control online gambling in the country.

A few years ago, the Government of the country made a decision of tightening the legalization of the industry as part of its program of gambling addictions prevention. This is exactly why Austrian Government has made sure that all types of physical and online gambling activities are strictly regulated.

There is a number of restrictions when it comes to online gambling legislation. The online gambling licences in the country are currently issued by the Government. However, there is a restriction of the players, who are allowed to join local websites.

Austrian citizens are provided with the opportunity to also join foreign websites and wager on the games provided by them. The Austrian legislation on the matter is considered both complex and unique, but it does not reduce the number of locally-based players. The country’s laws, however, provide some aspects for consideration to the Government in terms of national system regulation.

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