Austrian Authorities Report An Increase In The Number Of Illegal Gambling Establishments

Article by : Helen Aug 3, 2020

Recently, Austria’s Financial Police has successfully conducted about 278 inspections of various gambling establishments operating on an illegal basis. As a result of such raids, the regulator confiscated more than 660 slot machines. More than half of the seized equipment falls in the capital of the country.

According to the Austrian Financial Police, the results achieved are entirely satisfactory. They indicate significant progress in the regulation of gambling establishments. Also, police representatives said that the bulk of illegal gaming platforms are often organized in metropolises. According to the information provided by the financial police, the regulator managed to achieve the following results:

  • The total amount of issued fines exceeds 13 million euros.
  • 123 slot machines were taken in Upper Austria from January to June.
  • There was also an increase in the number of illegal operators in the Linz area.

However, if we consider only the latest checks across Upper Austria, the police managed to confiscate 38 one-armed bandits. Nevertheless, if you pay attention to cases of identification of illegal establishments in rural areas, their number has significantly decreased. In many ways, similar results were achieved thanks to the well-coordinated and focused work of the police. Initially, their main goal was to reduce the number of illegal gambling throughout the country quickly.

Now illegal playgrounds can be found mainly only in large cities, which is an excellent result of the work of the financial police.

Gernot Blümel, Austrian Minister of Finance

The minister also said that the fight against illegal operators is a primary step to protect players from dishonest casinos. She will make every effort to create a special body that monitors gambling throughout Austria. Such a statement by the minister was the result of the earlier Austrian Gambling Trade Association calling for an end to the casino monopoly.

Currently, to become a licensed gambling operator in Austria, a company must comply with clear rules and requirements. First of all, the operator must be physically located in Austria, i.e., be registered as a local operator. Thus, the country’s leadership prevents capital outflow and saturates the treasury with income received from gambling establishments. Equally important, a casino that wants to operate in Austria must offer its services exclusively to local customers and exclude international markets.

Of course, many of the existing gambling establishments consider such standards outdated and in need of changes. Although offshore companies cannot operate legally in a given country, they are still present on the market and share the profit. One of the best steps to protect local operators is compulsory licensing and control by government agencies. Moreover, by excluding offshore operators, local casinos will receive tremendous benefits and remain the only gambling platforms in the country.

Believe it or not, the Austrian federal government does not currently prohibit the creation of gaming monopolies. This practice is perfectly acceptable and remains in line with Austrian federal and constitutional laws. If you delve into this issue in more detail, then the Austrian gambling law is the basic principle on which all gambling activities in the country are based.

Since the law has remained unchanged for a long time, many international gaming operators abuse their imperfection and earn significant profits. However, it should be understood that the fundamental difference between the federal government and local provinces. That is why the Austrian Financial Police failed to respond quickly to the emergence of illegal operators. The country’s legislation is very often recognized as very strict. However, this is mainly due to the desire to keep players safe.


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