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Austria Plans To Ban All Online Gaming Sites But One
- March 6, 2018 By Riley Wilson -
Customers in Austria are in for a not so pleasant surprise, thanks to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance.
According to the available information, the Ministry plans a move which will effectively monopolize the country’s online gambling market.
If this move goes through as intended, all gaming platforms in Austria will be banned, except for the win2day platform, which is the gaming site of Casinos Austria and the Austrian Lotteries.
Hartwig Löger, the Austrian Finance Minister, introduced the proposal last week. Under its provisions, punters will be able to demand losses back from the then illegal online providers, and they will have up to 30 years to do so. In addition to this, the adoption of the new law will nullify all contracts made between players and online providers.
Commenting on the Ministry’s announcement, Claus Retschitzegger, the President of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) said the online operators would defend themselves against the planned IP blocking using all legal and other means.
Retschitzegger stated there were good examples where online casinos were regulated and concessions were created, such as in Great Britain and Denmark, and added all parties would benefit from such a solution – responsible gaming would be regulated, and the state would receive tax income.
He said he still remained confident of finding a solution.
The ban would have a significant impact on the job market as well. Take bet-at-home for example, which has 300 employees in Linz.
This is not a new situation in Austria since the debate on the legal status of online gaming has been going on for years.
At this moment, the majority of around 300 online gambling providers offering their services to customers in Austria posses a Maltese license, with estimated 2,000 illegal gambling sites accessible to local consumers.
If the proposed law comes into effect, the Telekom-Control-Commission (TKK), which has been responsible for regulating the Austrian telecommunications market since 1997, will be tasked with blocking websites operating outside the law.
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