Regulation of Games of Chance
The main objective of the policy on games of chance is to regulate and control games of chance, with a particular emphasis on counteracting gambling addiction, protecting consumers and preventing unlawfulness and crime.
Regulatory policy objectives are as follows:
- Prevention of organised crime (e.g. money laundering, financing of terrorism and other illegal activities)
- Prevention of consequential crime (theft, burglary, fraud) committed by gambling addicts
- Youth protection
- Consumer protection
- Financial market stability (pyramid schemes)
Gambling in Austria
Gambling, casinos and lotteries are regulated by the Law on Games of Chance (GSpG) and fall within the remit of the Ministry of Finance. Furthermore the Ministry of Finance is the responsible authority for the supervision of licensed companies. The gambling law also determines which games are considered games of chance, among others. The few exceptions from this monopoly (certain betting activities, games of chance with low stakes and games of skill) are then in part regulated by the Federal States of Austria and their different regional laws.
A cross-border supply of gambling activities is not allowed. Gambling activities, e.g. via electronic media (Internet) offered internationally, are also subject to the national gambling monopoly and may not be advertised or executed within Austria. Interventions into the monopoly are punishable by civil law or administrative penalty regulations of the gambling law.
Traditional Sports Betting Services fall within the remit of the Federal States of Austria (regional governments).
The “Österreichische Lotterien GmbH” is licensed to offer Lotto, Toto, Goal Betting, Letter Lottery and Scratch Cards as well as Electronic Lotteries via the Internet and via Video Lottery Terminals.
The “Casinos Austria AG” operates twelve casinos in Austria and offers various table games and slots.
Gambling Protection Measures
With effect from 1 December 2010, under the terms of Section 1 (4) of the Gambling Act (GSpG), a Staff Unit was established at the Federal Ministry of Finance for preventing addiction and offering addiction advice (Staff Unit for Addiction Prevention and Counselling). This Staff Unit is dedicated to highlighting the importance of gambling protection and preventive measures under Austrian gambling law and also provides technical support to the Austrian Gambling Regulatory Authority.
The objectives of the Staff Unit for Addiction Prevention and Counselling are the following:
- Creation of an improved data inventory relating to treatment and advice for patients through gambling addiction facilities in Austria;
- Support for gambling addiction research;
- Educating and informing people of the risks involved in gambling;
- Better coordination of the work of the individual gambling protection facilities;
- Generating and presenting best-practice models of collaboration between gambling licence and permit holders and independent gambling protection facilities;
- Generation of common quality standards for approval of gambling protection facilities within the meaning of the Gambling Act as well as generation of an approval procedure for such gambling protection facilities.
- Evaluation of the 2010 Gambling Act Amendment in 2014;
- Technical assessment of gambling protection concepts of federal licence holders.
- In addition, the Staff Unit for Addiction Prevention and Counselling seeks collaboration with those other federal ministries and provinces which continue to share responsibility for gambling protection.
Unit for Addiction Prevention and Counselling
Hintere Zollamtsstraße 2b, A-1030 Vienna