In purely theoretical terms, there is still this gambling monopoly that contradicts European law. Until recently, there was an intensive dialogue between the EU and the Austrian government about adapting Austrian law. However, this came to a complete standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime, Casinos Austria was quickly sold off, as apparently all politicians were somehow involved in the scandal, as was the Austrian Finance Minister himself recently. For years now, an ancient law, § 12a of the Gambling Act, has been used as a justification for the gambling monopoly. However, this only speaks of electronic video lotteries.
But at the end of the day there is a monopoly and it contradicts EU law. The freedom to provide services according to Art 56 AUEV states that a company with a license from a member state of the European Union may offer its services in all member states. If you read the short text of this provision, you will immediately see that it does not say anywhere that it should not apply to online casinos.
The practical implementation of the law in Austria
For this very reason, the practice in Austria looks completely different from what one would expect according to the law. The Austrian judiciary is reluctant to take legal action at all when it comes to the gambling monopoly. The last time an online casino from Malta was convicted was in 2017. There was a ridiculous penalty for the casino operator of € 2,291.10 after the player had lost € 133,972.50 there.
But the important message from the judgment at the time is: the player himself had nothing to fear at all. Because there is not a single law according to which the player is prohibited from playing in the online casino. A player therefore does not have to worry about the tricky legal situation in Austria. Not a single Austrian was ever prosecuted for playing in the online casino.
Are licenses from other EU countries valid?
There is only one criterion for a player who does not only want to play online at Casino Austria: It is best if the online casino has a gambling license from an EU country. There are a few reputable authorities in the European Union that issue excellent gambling licenses:
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Swedish spine inspections
- New German Gambling Commission
According to the aforementioned freedom to provide services, they can also legally offer an online casino in Austria. However, gambling in other casinos is also not prohibited under Austrian online gambling law.
What applies to sports betting in Austria?
If you are wondering what is going on with sports betting because there are so many providers in Austria, here is the answer: Sports betting is not a game of chance in this country. Therefore, every company approved in the EU can also offer sports betting in Austria. For us, that has nothing to do with gambling.
What does this mean for the Austrian players?
It is therefore important for Austrian players to look for seriöse online casinos. The gambling sites should meet a number of criteria. You should check these carefully so that you only play on fair sites. If a player gets into a dispute with an international provider, he can not expect too much support from home. The above example has clearly shown this. However, online casinos in Austria cannot be used because there is only one.