Austria Shakes Things up With New Gambling Regulations
March 7, 2021
Regulatory bodies across the globe are looking at ways to shake things up and increase safety in the iGaming industry.
Austria is one of the many regions currently working on changing up regulations with player protection in mind.
In a recent announcement by the Austrian finance minister, Gernot Blümel, it was revealed that transparency requirements and a new supervisory authority are in the works.
Legislative Changes in Austria
Currently, the Austrian Treasury handles all licensing and enforcement of gambling regulations.
According to Blümel, these duties will be the responsibility of the newly formed supervisory authority. The finance minister said that the primary focus of the new regulator will be player protection. This means implementing a range of new controls on legal and illegal gambling.
Players are a top priority with an extra focus put on dealing with sensitive issues such as gambling addiction and related issues. It is a sensitive matter that deserves to be handled with care.
Gambling addictions can easily lead to financial, psychological, and other existential issues. As such, the Austrian authorities are bringing in a new regulator dedicated to players and their safety. This will include setting up a self-exclusion system that covers online and land-based gambling.
The new authority is responsible for enforcing the law against unlicensed operators. They have the power to block access to these sites from internet service providers. There will be a blacklist put together of all unlicensed sites.
For players, there is also a range of new regulations underway with a whole series aimed specifically at loot boxes. The top priority being to protect underage players from eventually moving towards traditional casino games.
All Eyes on Germany
It appears that Germany has quite an impressive regulatory model. So much so that Austria is looking to replicate various aspects of it. This includes introducing player controls such as monthly deposits limits, time limits and stake limits. Consults will be done with experts in gambling addiction to get the exact limit ratio right.
For operators, there are some heavy financial changes on the way with taxes rising. This is to ensure operators take part in the prevention and treatment of problem gambling rather than become the cause of it. There will be various changes to follow including strict advertising regulations.
All regulations necessary to ease these changes aim to be ready by the end of April with the hopes of getting it passed into law by Autumn 2021.
Austria’s Focus on Improvement
Blümel has made his desire to change up the regulatory framework quite public. In March 2020, he went on record saying he desires to untangle various functions currently in the grasp of the Treasury.
A key objective is independent and objective licensing and supervision via an independent gaming authority. Blümel is already making headway in bringing more freedom and transparency to the industry.
All eyes are still on the Austrian authorities and the regulatory changes expected in the coming months.