Austria Starts Making Over its Regulatory Guidelines for a Fall Launch

Published March 7, 2021 by Lee R

Austria Starts Making Over its Regulatory Guidelines for a Fall Launch

Austria's outlook is quite bright for 2021, with new regulatory guidelines on the way.

The player protection movement has stretched into Austria, where a revamp of current iGaming guidelines addresses measures to increase player protection at various levels.

The Changes

The changes were announced by Austria finance minister Gernot Blümel.

The overhaul of the country's regulatory framework will increase player controls; introduce new transparency requirements; and form a new supervisory authority to oversee the country's iGaming regulation, moving licencing and enforcement duties out of the Austria Treasury's portfolio.

New Priority

Blümel asserted the priority of the new regulator would be player protection, as initiated in the form of a series of new controls to be implemented addressing both legal and illegal gambling:

“Player protection is of particular importance, as gambling is a very sensitive area for players, their families and for society, which also carries considerable risks.”

Limiting Addiction's Impact

Blümel expressed concern over the financial, psychological, and existential issues that can player players suffering from addiction.

Self-Exclusion System

To this end, the first duty of the new regulator will be to establish a national self-exclusion system applying to both online and land-based gambling.

IP Blocking

The new regulator is also set to enforce existing restrictions against unlicensed operators, with the authority to block IP's of unlicensed sites and generate a blacklist of unlicensed domains.

Germany Example

The Minister called the German regulation model the standard Austria was emulating, with measures Austria was set to duplicate including monthly deposit limits; stakes limits; and playing time for online slots, with the specifications to be determine after consultation with gambling addiction experts.

Tax and Ad Controls

Industry taxes will also be rising in the new guidelines; ensuring operators contribute to problem gambling treatment and prevention programs. Gambling ad guidelines will also be tightened to reflect controls similar to tobacco ad guidelines.

Protecting Against Corruption

Blümel made a special effort to cite new anti-corruption safeguards as a part of the regulation process, as Austria emerges from a wide-ranging political scandal whose involvement included Austria-based operators Novomatic and Casinos Austria.

Outlook

With regulations fleshed out by the end of April, and a passage target date of Autumn 2021, this is a good time to start exploring possibilities in the jurisdiction to get a foothold on a new EU market in Europe.

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