Online Casino Law and Regulation in Austria
In this latest entry in our ongoing series on gambling technology, we take a look at online casino laws and regulations in Austria.
In response to rising gambling habits, the government of Austria decided to come up with stronger laws for regulating the gambling industry. The legislative framework that controls gambling in Austria is broad.
Before investors can come into this market, they have to understand what they can do and what is prohibited under the law. In the 2000s, there was a surge in gambling. This is one of the reasons the government chose to impose tough measures on those running casinos and slot machines. This legislation has been extended to affect also the digital gambling world.
The Legal Landscape
The gambling environment is complicated, and there exist two definitions according to the government. Proper gambling is considered as any gambling that involves a lot of money. The second category, on the other hand, involves slot machines and low-stakes card games.
The latter is allowed anywhere while to be part of the former; you would need to be a member of permitted casinos that operate under strict conformity with the law. The situation about regulation is quite confusing because the laws differ in many parts of the country. For example, Vienna due to its population allows fewer casinos per person.
Online Gambling Licensing
Austria-based companies are allowed to apply for gambling licenses for games served through the internet, interactive television, and mobile phones. Only residents of Austria are allowed to use these gambling solutions.
Foreign operators who wish to invest in the online casino world are taken through a number of legal roadblocks and bureaucratic processes. They have to maintain a domestic office and must comply with all requirements issued by the supervisory board. Online gambling is defined by the type of contract, and there is no clear word about the specific games and what they should be subjected to according to the law.
The licensing regime for online gambling includes acquiring the right to run electronic lotteries. As described under Section 14 of the Austrian Gambling Act, only one license is recognized in this category. Online casinos like https://online-casino-osterreich.at are regulated by this section and have to comply with several other laws that mention, among other things, measures to control addiction.
Limitations and Requirements
According to the law, online gambling can proceed in only two ways:
- Over centrally connected terminals (in this case Video-Lottery-Terminals – VLTs)
- Directly on the homepage of the concessionaire
These limitations are dependent on how gambling is served, and operators have to make it known how their systems are configured. For gambling that is provided via the homepage, the law is silent on what concrete regulation should be applied to protect the player. However, players can gain protection by citing the concession granting procedure.
The bidder is expected to ensure the systems are configured in such a manner that some facilities are put in place to discourage addiction. Gambling that is offered through VLTs is regulated under Section 5(3) to (6). This regulation provides that minors are denied access to games of chance. You need proof of identity to be allowed to take part in any VLTs games.
The online casino gaming industry in Austria is regulated just like games of chance played offline. There are specific rules that every investor in online gambling has to comply with. Most of these regulations were introduced as a control measure to protect the youth and young children from the addiction of gambling, which had started to take a toll on the population.