The gambling business in Austria is legalized and regulated at two levels: state and provincial. Land based and online casinos are a federal monopoly controlled by the Law on Games of Chance or the Austrian Gambling Act (GSpG). According to the law, there are only 15 casino licenses, and all of them are owned by Casinos Austria AG.
The total revenue of gambling establishments in 2015 amounted to over 310 million EUR. The casino is visited annually by approximately 7.5 million players. At the service of users – 545 gaming tables and 6,365 slot machines, as well as 5,193 lottery points.
Austrian gambling legislation
The legislative package that regulates the gambling business in Austria consists of the following acts:
- The Law on Games of Chance or the Austrian Gambling Act (GSpG) regulates the monopoly on land-based and online platforms;
- Austrian Civil Code – responsible for all types of gambling;
- E-Commerce Act – controls online gambling and betting;
- Law on Unfair Competition – Responsible for media gambling and promotional services.
All types of gambling are allowed. Betting is governed by provincial law. The bookmaker and sports betting operator must obtain a license from the local authorities. Charitable games are not regulated by separate law, but are mentioned in the Law on Games of Chance. The lotteries are run by a single organization – the Österreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft m.b.H.
The Unfair Competition Act, based on the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, is a list of prohibited activities, including in the gambling business. This act prohibits direct advertising directed at minors. In addition, it is forbidden to promote games like a pyramid, where customers receive a reward for new brought players.
Slot machine legislation in Austria
Austrian law distinguishes between slot machines in casinos and machines in provincial saloons. The latter do not belong to the monopoly of Casinos Austria AG. Provincial lounges are halls with 10-50 slots. On other sites, up to three slot machines are allowed. The difference between casino slots and provincial machines lies in the size of the bets and wins.
Small salons are limited to 10 EUR. The maximum winning is EUR 10,000. If the slot machine is installed separately – in a restaurant or at a gas station, then you can wager up to 1 EUR and receive, respectively, up to 1,000 EUR. Such salons are allowed not throughout the country, but only in several provinces: Burgenland, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Carinthia, Styria.
Gambling regulators in Austria
The Treasury Department is responsible for compliance with the Austrian Gambling Act (GSpG). The Minister also issues lottery and casino licenses. All licenses are valid for 15 years, after which they must be renewed. Since this is a monopoly, other operators, including foreign ones, cannot enter the market.
Gambling licenses in Austria
There are only 15 casino licenses issued at the state level by the Ministry of Finance. License holders are required to be based in Austria.
The authorities of nine provinces have the right to issue licenses for the operation of halls with slot machines. Each of the regions can give a maximum of three resolutions. The total number of slot machines is limited by state law.
Social casinos do not require a license. Such games are permitted if they are organized for entertainment purposes only and at minimum stakes.
Licensed varieties of gambling
Austrian casinos offer games that are famous in establishments around the world. Which games are the most popular in the country can be judged by the number of tables (or cars):
- slot machines – 2,010 machines (this includes only casino slots);
- electronic roulette – 193 tables;
- American roulette – 68;
- blackjack – 63;
- poker – 50;
- hold’em – 16;
- tropical poker – 13;
- other games: punto banco, baccarat, other blackjack and poker variants, French roulette.
It should be noted that an even more popular game is the lottery. In 2015, Austrian lotteries sold tickets worth 3,084 billion EUR. Most played in win2day, Keno, Lotto ’’ 6 and ’’45, EuroMillions are all brands of Österreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft m.b.H.
Online gambling in Austria
Online gambling in Austria is also a monopoly and is run by Casinos Austria AG. The company has been operating in this market for over 15 years.
Austrian law defines online games primarily as electronic lotteries. Online lotteries and poker are delivered on the win2day platform. Sports betting is a tipp3 brand.
Popular slot machines in Austria
The Greentube concern is based in Austria, so it is precisely its slot machines that are represented in large numbers. The picture in an online casino looks a little different. The most popular online slot machines presented on the largest Austrian platform win2day.at are:
- Cave Explorer;
- Robin of Sherwood;
- Moby Dick;
- River of Riches.
Cave Explorer is a slot machine from Rabcat company. The five-reel slot is dedicated to crystals. Cascading reels are implemented here – the winning symbols disappear and new ones fall from above. On the playing field, special cells are highlighted, in which the symbols turn into “wild” ones. There is a chance to get 15 free spins.
Robin of Sherwood is a five reel slot machine from Rabcat with 243 ways to win. The bonus feature turns the entire reel wild. There is a chance to get free spins. There is also a chance to hit the jackpot. The risk game doubles the prize.
Almgaudi is a Rabcat slot machine dedicated to a mountain farm. Contains 5 reels, two wild symbols and offers 25 lines. There is a chance to get free spins and two jackpots.
Moby Dick is a five reel slot machine from Rabcat. Bonus feature – fixes symbols on the screen, giving you more chances to win. Free spins and jackpots are also issued. The risk game allows you to double the prize.
River of Riches is a slot machine similar to the Book of Ra by Greentube. Rabcat slot is dedicated to Ancient Egypt. Contains 5 reels, 25 pay lines and two wild symbols. There is a chance to get free spins and a jackpot.
Gambling software developers
Austria is famous for its large number of developers of slot machines, games and casino equipment. Here is a list:
Amatic Industries is a developer of slot machines (cabinets), electronic roulettes, video lottery terminals. Also supplies jackpot systems and casino management systems. Founded in 1993 and based in the Austrian city of Rutzenmoos.
APEX Gaming Technology is a manufacturer of slot machines for online and mobile platforms, as well as table games, jackpot systems, and casino equipment. The company also developed the EVO platform. Located in the city of Gutau. Founded in 2003.
Greentube is a concern engaged in the production of slot machines, games, offices, multiplayers, lotteries, sports betting solutions, platform management systems, media technologies for casinos. Most of the activity is focused on land-based establishments. The group was founded in 1980 and its headquarters are located in Gumpoldskirchen. This holding includes Greentube, Mazooma and other slot developers.
Rabcat is a developer of gaming applications for the mobile and online industry. The portfolio contains video slots, video poker, casino table games and 3D games. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Vienna. All games are only available on the Quickfire (Microgaming) platform.
Prospects for the development of gambling business in Austria
September 2016 was marked by the successful restructuring of Casinos Austria. The organization’s financial report for the same year reports that the organization’s profits amounted to EUR 18.9 million. Austrian casinos are expanding their influence abroad. For example, in the same year, Casinos Austria received a license in Hungary and opened Sopron casino.
Greentube continues its aggressive policy of acquiring casinos and development companies. The holding is diversifying its business and focusing on new markets such as South Africa and Latin America.
The European Union considers it wrong that Austria maintains a gambling monopoly. However, the laws are approved in such a way that they nominally allow other companies to enter the market. In fact, foreign operators and new manufacturers are experiencing almost insurmountable bureaucratic difficulties.
The gambling business in Austria is developing steadily and is only accelerating. New studios appear, and more companies join large concerns, increasing their presence on the Austrian market.