Whether the Ibiza affair tipped the balance or whether there are other reasons cannot be clarified: Austria wants to reform the existing gaming law . First and foremost, a separate gaming authority is to be set up, which from now on will issue licenses for casinos and amusement arcades. With this idea, the government is to be kept out from now on and allegations that arose in the context of the Ibiza affair will be avoided in the future.
As logical as this sounds and as useful as it is to increase player protection, so much criticism comes from the OVWG. Even under the new law, Casinos Austria is to retain its monopoly position and be the only company allowed to offer online casinos in Austria. Both national and international corporations have no right to offer their games of chance. For this reason, the OVWG calls for a modern system in which other companies also play a role.
After all, Casinos Austria is a state- owned company in which the state makes money . This may also be the reason why only this provider is allowed to operate in Austria. However, this works to the detriment of other gaming providers who offer an equally high level of security.
Apart from the monopoly, the OVWG also criticizes that player protection is not the most important criterion for the new law. After all, the federal states can decide for themselves how many licenses are granted for slot machines. According to the OVWG, however, the slot machines represent the highest potential for addiction and are also extremely popular with minors. Upper Austria recently published the new idea of setting up slot machines in freely accessible commercial spaces. That would mean that the machines would also be in a bakery or shopping center in the future.
On the other hand, according to experts, lottery games are less dangerous. Lotto is, however, also distributed in a monopoly position in Austria. This approach leads the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling to considerable doubts as to whether player protection is in fact taken seriously. A revision of the Gambling Act is welcomed. It is criticized, however, that the association is not involved. The association’s experience could certainly be helpful in creating a law that provides a sufficiently high level of player protection.