Another Winning Year For Austrian Lotteries

27 May 2003

The Österreichischen Lotterien GesmbH, the monopolistic Austrian Lotteries, had a record-breaking year in 2002 with a turnover of 1.29 billion euro (an increase of 3.9 percent from 2001) and the group is doing even better this year.

The total turnover for the year 2003 (as of week 20) is 525.0 million euro ( a 1.3 percent increase from last year).

In Austria, all sports betting products, with the exception of toto (pools), do not fall under the gaming monopoly. Licenses for sports betting are obtained from the separate states.

Austrian players won in total 684 million euro and the tax office was happy to receive the sum of 384.8 million euro. Sports good causes benefited from 40 million euro. The lay in per week was 3.09 euro pro capita. (The population in Austria, as of June 2002, was 8,169,929.), the Austrian Lotteries gaming site that commenced live cash gaming in December 1998, after a period of extensive end user, audit and security testing, and a period of restricted live running, scored a turnover in 2002 of 205.3 million euro. Since January 2001, players have been able to order and buy tickets via mobile phones through the Austrian Lottery’s WAP-Portal. The Österreichischen Lotterien claims that this service was the first of its kind in Europe.

In February 2003, the successful WebClub, was replaced by Via this gaming platform, developed by the Austrian Lotteries and Casinos Austria (a shareholder of the Österreichischen Lotterien GesmbH), one may enter 10 games rooms, play five casino games and participate in the Lotto games "6 out of 45" and "Joker." One can play via Internet and WAP-Handy, and in the near future via interactive TV and PDAs. (The Austrian Lotteries have their own TV studio!)

Internet Penetration

According to a study by SPECTRA Marktforschungsges.m.b.H. (October 2002), the penetration of online households in Austria is 31 percent. Another study, conducted by Integral and Fessel-GfK in August 2002, shows that 55 percent of Austria's adult population are online. That means 3.7 million Austrians over the age of 14 years, have access to internet.

Mobile Penetration

FESSEL-GfK , Austria's leading market research institute, shows that the mobile penetration in Austria is 71 percent (as of December 2002). In the 20-24 year-old group, the penetration was a staggering 95 percent. The study shows that 4.7 million Austrians over 15 years old now own mobile phones.

Only 17 percent of Austrian mobile users are interested in multimedia messaging services, Integral Markt- und Meinungsforschung Ges.m.b.H. found in October 2002.


The Österreichischen Lotto Toto Gesellschaft m.b.H. was established in Vienna on July 2, 1986.

The shareholders of Österreichischen Lotterien are:

  • Casinos Austria AG: 34 percent
  • PSK. Beteiligungsverwaltung Gesellschaft m.b.H.(Participation Company: 34 percent)
  • Lotto-Toto Holding Gesellschaft m.b.H.: 26 percent
  • Österreichischer Rundfunk (Austrian Public Broadcaster): 6 percent

In Spring 2000 the Österreichischen Lotterien and the Casinos Austria AG, together with a media partner, founded the Österreichische Sportwetten Gesellschaft (Austrian Sports Betting Company). The participants are:

  • the Entertainment Glücks- und Unterhaltungsspiel Gesellschaft m.b.H.(then 50 percent owned by Österreichischen Lotterien and the Casinos Austria);
  • the "Mediaprint Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlag Gesellschaft m.b.H. & Co Kommanditgesellschaft";
  • the "undesländerverlage Beteiligungsgesellschaft m.b.H."

The "Entertainment Glücks- und Unterhaltungsspiel Gesellschaft" holds 56 percent of the shares of Österreichische Sportwetten Gesellschaft. Other shareholders are Mediaprint 26 percent and Bundesländerverlage (18 percent).

Casinos Austria AG, the group's parent company, was formed in 1967 at the bidding of the Austrian government. The company took over existing casino operations as well as the task of expanding gaming related activities in a manner consistent with the country's national tourism and economic goals.

Casinos Austria is a leading national and international gaming company with numerous locations in Austria and other countries. It manages 12 casinos in Austria: Casino Baden; Casino Badgastein; Casino Bregenz; Casino Graz; Casino Innsbruck; Casino Kitzbühel; Casino Kleinwalsertal; Casino Linz; Casino Salzburg; Casino Seefeld; Casino Velden; and Casino Vienna.

The Austrian casinos offer international table games: French roulette, American roulette, baccarat, (chemin de fer), blackjack (twenty-one), wheel of fortune, red dog, sic bo, European seven eleven, poker and slot machines.

Casinos Austria International AG (CAI)

CAI is a casino project development and management company with operations all over the world. Established in 1977, CAI has opened over 200 casinos (including casinos on 80 cruise ships) in 25 different countries, and has evaluated projects in nearly every country in the world. With the Austrian Mint and several Austrian banks and insurance companies as key shareholders, CAI enjoys a solid financial backing for its international activities.

At present CAI has over 8,000 employees from 35 different nations and is currently active in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Hungary, India, the Palestinian Authority, Rumania, South Africa, Switzerland and Venezuela.

CAI is looking forward to becoming (again) the main casino player in the drive to re-introduce casinos in Turkey. Its best known casino was in Jericho on the Westbank; this casino and a linked hotel became a popular destination after opening in 1998. But in October 2000, after the eruption of the second Palestinian intifada, the casino was forced to shut down, as hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians moved closer. CAI is still involved in a suit against Gaza Alahlia, a Palestinian insurance company, for $45.7 million for losses suffered at its West Bank casino closed due to fighting with the Israelis.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.