Austrian Laws for gambling online and land-based

Gambling in Austria

Gambling in Austria was legalised and is regulated at two different levels: at the state level and the provincial level. Both land-based and online casinos are part of the monopoly that is controlled by the Law on Games of Chance or Austrian Gambling Act (GSpG) at the federal level. The law has only provided 15 licenses to run the casinos and they all belong to Casinos Austria AG. The total revenue of gambling establishments in 2015 was more than 310 million EUR. About 7.5 million players visit the casinos on an annual basis. The players have access to 545 gaming tables and 6,365 gaming machines as well as 5,193 points of sale of lottery tickets. Online gambling in Austria is also a monopoly and is run by Casinos Austria AG, the company has been operating in the market for over 15 years. Nevertheless, foreign online casinos are also populare amoung Austrian players. Austrian legislation defines online games mainly as electronic lotteries. Online lotteries and poker games are provided on the win2day platform. Sports bets is a brand belonging to tipp3.

Gambling Games in Austria

Novomatic is based right in Austria, this is exactly why this company's slot machines are represented in large numbers. The story with online casinos is a little bit different. These are the most popular slot machines featured on the largest Austrian platform Cave Explorer, Robin of Sherwood, Almgaudi, Moby Dick and River of Riches. Cave Explorer is a slot developed by Rabcat. The theme of this five-reel slot is related to crystals. The slot features cascading reels, where winning symbols disappear and news ones fall into their spots from the top. The reels contain special fields where symbols will turn "Wild". You have a chance to earn 15 free spins. Robin of Sherwood is a five-reel slot by Rabcat that features 243 ways to win. The bonus feature turns the entire reel into a Wild one. You have a chance to win a series of free spins. You also have a chance to hit the jackpot. The risk game can double your winnings. Almgaudi is a slot by Rabcat, whose theme is related to a mountain farm. The slot comes with 5 reels, two Wild symbols and 25 paylines. You have a chance to earn some free spins and win two jackpots. Moby Dick is a five-reel slot by Rabcat. The bonus feature will hold the symbols on the reels which gives you more chances to win. You can also win some free spins and the jackpot. The risk game will let you double your winnings. River of Riches is a slot that resembles Book of Ra by Novomatic. This slot developed by Rabcat is themed to Ancient Egypt. The slot features 5 reels, 25 paylines and two Wild symbols. You have a chance to get some free spins and hit the jackpot.

Gambling Legislation

The legislation that regulates gambling industry in Austria consists of the following acts: Law on Games of Chance or Austrian Gambling Act (GSpG) regulates the monopoly on both land-based and web-based platforms, the Austrian Civil Code covers all types of gambling, the E-Commerce Act controls online gambling and betting, Law on Unfair Competition - covers gambling services in media and promotional services.

All types of gambling are allowed. Betting is regulated by the provincial legislation. Both the bookmaker and the sports betting operator must be licensed by the local authorities. Charity games are not regulated by any separate law, but they are mentioned in the Law on Games of Chance. Lotteries are conducted by one organisation called Österreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft m.b.H. Unfair Competition Act, based on the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, is a list of activities that were banned, including ones in the gambling industry. This act bans any direct advertising that targets underage people. Pyramid-type games are banned, where clients are rewarded for bringing new players.

Legislation on gaming machines in Austria

Austrian legislation differentiates between gaming machines in casinos and machines in provincial salons. The latter ones are not part of the monopoly of Casinos Austria AG. Provincial salons are halls with 10 to 50 slot machines. Other platforms are allowed to have up to three slot machines. The difference between casinos and provincial salons is in the sizes of bets and winnings.

Bets in provincial salons are limited to 10 EUR. The maximum reward is 10,000 EUR. If a slot machine stands separately — in a restaurant or at a petrol station — you can bet up to 1 EUR and win 1,000 EUR accordingly. These salons are not allowed all across the country, but only in several provinces: Burgenland, Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), Oberösterreich (Upper Austria), Kärnten (Carinthia) and Steiermark (Styria).

Regulators of gambling industry in Austria

Ministry of Finance oversees the compliance with the Austrian Gambling Act (GSpG). The Minister also issues licenses for running lotteries and casinos. All licenses remain valid for 15 years, after which they need to be extended. Since this is a monopoly, all other operators, including foreign ones, can never access the market.

Licensing in Austria

There are a total of 15 licenses to run casinos, which are issued at the state level by the Ministry of Finance. Holders of these licenses must be based in Austria.The Governments of nine provinces have the right to issue licenses to run halls with slot machines. Each of the regions can issue a maximum of three permits. The overall number of slot machines is limited by the state law. Social casinos are not required to be licensed. They are allowed as long as they are organised for entertainment only with minimum bets placed.

Licensed varieties of gambling

Austrian casinos feature games that are popular all around the world. You may infer which games are the most played in the country by the number of tables (or slot machines): Gaming machines - 2,010 machines (includes only slot machines in casinos), Electronic roulette - 193 tables, American roulette - 68 tables, Blackjack - 63 tables, Poker - 50 tables, Hold'em - 16 tables, Tropical Poker - 13 tables and other games: Punto Banco, Baccarat, other versions of blackjack, poker and French roulette. It should be noted that the lottery is in even greater demand. In 2015 Austrian lotteries sold tickets worth 3,084 billion EUR. Win2day, Keno, Lotto 6 aus 45 and EuroMillions are the ones played most often, which are all brands of Österreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft m.b.H.

Development of the Gambling Market in Austria

September 2016 marked the successful restructuring of Casinos Austria. The company's financial report for that year stated that its profits had reached 18.9 million EUR. Austrian casinos have been expanding abroad. For instance, in the same year Casinos Austria was licensed in Hungary and opened Sopron Casino. Novomatic still keeps pursuing its aggressive politics of acquisitions of casinos and developer companies. The company has been diversifying its business and focusing on new markets such as South Africa and Latin America.

The European Union discourages Austria from supporting the monopoly in the gambling industry. Yet the laws have been ratified in such a way that they technically allow other companies to enter the market. In fact, foreign operators and new developers have been experiencing almost insurmountable bureaucratic hurdles. The gambling industry in Austria has been developing steadily and is increasing its pace. New studios come into existence, and more and more companies have joined the giants, increasing their presence in the Austrian market.

Gambling Software Developers 

Austria is known for its large number of developers of slot machines, games and casino equipment. The list is below: Amatic Industries is a developer of slot machines (cabinets), electronic roulette games and terminals for video lotteries. The company also supplies jackpot systems and systems for running the casinos. The company was founded back in 1993 and has its corporate headquarters in the city of Rutzenmoos. APEX Gaming Technology is a developer of slot machines for online platforms and mobile and table games, jackpot systems and casino equipment. This is the company that developed the EVO platform. Its corporate headquarters are located in the city of Gutau. The company was founded back in 2003.

Novomatic is a company that designs slot machines, games, cabinets, multi-players, lotteries, sports betting solutions, systems for running a platform and media technologies for casinos. Most of the operations are aimed at land-based facilities. The group was founded in 1980 and its corporate headquarters are located in Gumpoldskirchen. This is the holding company that Greentube, Mazooma and other slot developers belong to. Rabcat is a developer of gaming apps for mobile and online industries. The company's portfolio contains video slots, video poker games, table games for casinos and 3D games. The company was founded back in 2001 and is based in Vienna. All games are available on the Quickfire (Microgaming) platform.

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