Online Gaming in Austria

The online gambling laws dictate that Austria-based companies are eligible for online gaming licences via the internet, mobile phones and interactive television, but only Austrian residents are allowed to use them.

In August 2017, Austria’s Ministry of the Interior announced plans to amend telecom laws to require internet service providers to block unauthorized online operators. The Ministry of Finance followed up with draft amendments in February 2018 to the Gambling Act, but they were eventually withdrawn due to alleged "technical oversight" issues.

Austria’s government has refused to issue licenses to international gambling sites, while still requiring them to pay 40% of their Austrian revenue in taxes.

In October 2012, the Austrian government issued an exclusive 15-year online gaming license to Austrian Lotteries, a subsidiary of Casinos Austria International. Foreign operators are not allowed to advertise to Austrian players, although Austrians may play at foreign sites.

In January 2013, the Austrian courts upheld the legality of the exclusive online gaming license after it was challenged by Bet-At-Home, Lotelo and Bandal.

Bet-At-Home was also on the losing end of a European Court of Justice (ECJ) case against Austria's online gaming laws in 2011. The ECJ ruled in that case that Bet-At-Home, which was indicted by the Austrian government for not respecting the online gambling laws of the country by operating in Austria with a Malta online gaming license rather than an Austria license, could be prosecuted. Although the European Union recommends that its member states mutually accept each other's gambling licenses, it still gives them the option of accepting them or not.

Gambling, casinos and lotteries are regulated by the Law on Games of Chance (GSpG) and fall within the remit of the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance is also responsible for the supervision of licensed companies.

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