What is the legal situation for online gambling in Austria?
In Austria, the legal situation for gambling is quite unique in Europe. But this is not the only area where the Austrians like to show themselves a little different. In Austria one differentiates between the big and the small game (it is actually distinguished by name in Austria). And the Austrian government also distinguishes in its legislation between the big and the small game. This usually concerns the offline game but also with online casino companies, online-casino-osterreich.at has a comprehensive list that operate in Austria.
The big games are the traditional casino game; roulette, blackjack, games in which you can bet very large sums and also lose or win big. The small games are games where a stake of 1 to 50 cents is a standard bet. This usually applies to slot machine games. And the little game can be played everywhere in Austria, the slot machines can be installed in gambling halls, restaurants and in any publicly accessible place, they are only illegal for children.
Austrian Online Casinos
In Austria, as in other areas, casinos have a monopoly. Licensing is quite stubborn and sometimes with outdated laws. The only operator currently allowed to operate land-based casinos in Austria is Casino Austria AG (CASAG), which of course has always earned itself substantial profit. But things have changed in recent times, customers have been declining for the last few years. Why? It’s easy, they stay at home and prefer to visit an online casino instead.
What do you do when you suddenly realize that income is declining? One investigates where they are going, are customers spending less money, or are they taking it somewhere else? Once you find out that the money is now flowing into online casinos, which are brazenly pushing their way onto the Austrian market with European licences and are competing for customers, then the government will want a slice of the profits. In theory, or according to the law, only one provider of games of chance is licensed in Austria. The necessary licence is tied to a lottery licence. In Austria, they are also considering blocking all foreign online casino providers. However, this will lead to considerable difficulties and not be so easy to implement. The game-enthusiastic Austrian would probably also defend his/her right to freedom of choice.
Austria Must Face the Truth
The Austrian system is antiquated, CASAG’s casinos which already enjoy a monopoly position, should also become the sole beneficiaries of the new online licenses once the government gets to the point of being able to legislate.
But this is just another fallacy. It is 2018 and competition is stimulating business – foreign suppliers like 888 Casino will not disappear so easily. Austria must continue to watch as all income goes abroad or it must join the modern world and regulate the market.