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Austria Considering New Amendments, Foreign Operators in the Crosshairs

George Miller

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Austria Considering New Legislation, Foreign Operators in the Crosshairs
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Austria’s Ministry of Finance is currently in the process of reviewing the country’s Gambling Act aiming to introduce new amendments that could seriously affect the local online gambling market. Namely, the revised Act would seek to completely ban all foreign gambling operators and even request refunds for the losses players accrued playing with these operators over the past three decades.

The new Gambling Act proposes that the country’s ISPs should ban IP addresses of all gambling operators offering their services to players from Austria. Much like in Germany, all of these sites operate in a grey zone and aren’t sanctioned by the state. Therefore, all those who refuse to stop marketing their services in the country should be blocked.

However, not everyone agrees with this solution. The ban would effectively create a monopoly, because only one site, Casinos Austria, partially owned by the state, is actually licensed in Austria. By blocking other reputable operators who can’t apply for a license, many believe an opposite effect would be created, where players would be pushed towards shady, unregulated sites.

Instead of this, large gambling companies licensed in Malta and Gibraltar propose a different approach similar to the one found in the United Kingdom and Denmark. Interested online casinos and gambling sites would be able to apply for local licenses and would need to adhere to local laws, but they wouldn’t be forced out of the market.

Despite the fact the IP ban would be against the spirit of freedom to provide services in the EU, the Ministry of Finance seems firm in its decision. They came up with an idea they hope would deter foreign operators and prevent them from trying to bypass or battle the ban.

Namely, the Ministry proposes that all contracts between Austrian players and unlicensed operators over the last 30 years are proclaimed null and void. This would mean that the operators would be forced to return all the players’ losses from the past three decades.

Although the legality and enforceability of this law are highly questionable, the Ministry hopes the threat alone will be enough to keep the operators at bay.

Certain companies have announced they will be fighting for their rights using all legal means at their disposal. One of these is bet-at-home, a company that employs more than 300 people at their Linz office and voluntarily pays 40% tax to the state despite not having a local gambling license. Bet-at-home and others have no problems with paying their dues but they refuse to sit idle as the country tries to enact a market monopoly, which is something the European Union won’t easily accept, either.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Central Europe

Overview of Changes to the Gambling Law in Poland

Niji Narayan

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Overview of Changes to the Gambling Law in Poland
Photo Source: medicalnewstoday.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Poland’s Ministry of Finance has informed about an amendment to the regulation regarding lottery devices, gaming devices and slot machines, information security.

The Minister of Finance, Investment and Development has signed an ordinance amending the ordinance on lottery devices, gaming devices and slot machines, securing information regarding the organised lottery and obtaining, calculating and paying out winnings.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Gambling Act, only the minister competent for public finances decides whether playing on a given device is a game on slot machines within the meaning of the Gambling Act.

The opinion of the testing entity is only an attachment to the application for issuing the decision. This opinion must contain information that it serves only to issue a decision by the minister competent for public finance.

Thus, the opinion of the testing entity does not state the gambling or non-gambling nature of a given game and cannot be treated as a settlement in this respect.

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Central Europe

STS Signs Sponsorship Deal with Polska Liga Siatkówki

Niji Narayan

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STS Signs Sponsorship Deal with Polska Liga Siatkówki
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Polish betting operator STS has signed a sponsorship deal with Polska Liga Siatkówki and become the official bookmaker of PlusLiga. The agreement will last for at least four seasons, until June 2023. It also significantly strengthens the firm’s presence in volleyball and Polish sport.

“The agreement between STS and PLS is the next stage in the implementation of the strategy of supporting domestic sport and Polish volleyball. We are currently an official partner of, among others, the Asseco Resovia team, seven Ekstraklasa clubs and the Polish national football team. As the largest private sponsor of Polish sport, we also support many organisations and players throughout the country. The agreement with Polska Liga Siatkówki is part of the plan of cooperating with the most recognisable sports brands; PlusLiga is definitely such a brand. Our agreement will translate into a number of benefits for STS, the league, and, above all, the fans,” Mateusz Juroszek, CEO of STS said.

“At STS, we have always focused on people who are passionate about sport. This is because they are the ones who create a unique atmosphere during competitions. For this reason, a large part of our cooperation will be activities aimed at volleyball fans,” Mateusz Juroszek added.

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Central Europe

Novomatic Acquires Casino Riviera

Niji Narayan

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Novomatic Acquires Casino Riviera
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Novomatic, the Austria based gaming group, has taken over Casino Riviera in the Slovenian seaside resort of Portorož. The acquisition was made a few days ago. Novomatic now controls nine out of 26 licensed casinos in the country.

Novomatic acquired Casino Princess in Nova Gorica in June. In the past few years, Novomatic acquired the casinos Kongo near Grosuplje just south-east of Ljubljana and Lev in Ljubljana from Slovenian entrepreneur Joc Pečečnik.

Under the Admiral Slovenija brand, the Austrian group also operates casinos and hotels in Kozina (Admiral Casino Mediteran), Škofije (Casino Carnevale) and Ptuj (Casino Poetovio) and gaming parlours in Maribor (Casino Joker) and Lesce (Casino Tivoli).

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