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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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CEEGC 2019

CEEGC2019 Speaker Profile (Hungary Briefing): Gábor Helembai (Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest)

Zoltan Tundik

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Leading Hungarian Lawyer to explain the current situation and what is to be expected in the Hungarian gambling industry at CEEGC 2019 Budapest.

As announced earlier, the Hungarian gambling industry briefing will be part of the “Emerging CEE jurisdictions” compliance panel discussion at CEEGC2019 and will be joined by leading experts of the industry.

The briefing about the jurisdiction will be presented by Gábor Helembai, Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest, who will once again share the insights he has on the what is to be expected in the upcoming period in Hungary. The panel discussion is important for operators and service providers who can have a direct impact on the market or harvest from their investments.

The 4th edition of the yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference will take place on the 24th of September at the Ritz-Carlton Budapest, and provides a unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the CEE and Balkans region via the CEEGC platform which is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the region on a yearly base.

Register here or View the Agenda!

 

About Gábor Helembai

Gábor is a Senior Associate in the Corporate and Commercial teams in the Budapest office of Bird & Bird. He advises on both domestic and cross-border transactions and investments in various industries. He has a special sector focus on gaming/betting, advising major online and land-based operators, and slot machine manufacturers on regulatory matters.

Gábor has represented clients in negotiating a concession agreement with the Hungarian State, assisted different clients from non-gaming industries in their gaming related matters (e.g. promotional games), and supported clients in transaction matters in the gaming sector.

Browse the official event website for more details: www.ceegc.eu

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Central Europe

Swintt premieres market leading games suite for Central Europe

George Miller

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Swintt Premieres market leading games suite for Central Europe
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Swintt, the innovative B2B casino games provider today announced that it has signed a long-term agreement to distribute established Central-European land-based game titles across its client base.

Swintt CEO, David Flynn commented on the agreement “At Swintt our focus is to deliver solutions and content for our customers which help them grow in their chosen target markets. This partnership agreement will provide an initial portfolio of 20 recognized, leading games which hold a significant land-based market share in Central-Europe. “

Flynn continued: “The partnership agreement enables an online premiere for this leading content. Given its recognized position in the local land-based market, I’m confident it will be a successful partnership for all involved. “

The new games, including such titles as Master of BooksTM and Heart of EarthTM are available for demonstration online at www.swintt.com.
For further information or to set up a meeting, with the Swintt team email: letsdothis@swintt.com

 

About Swintt:
Swintt is the innovative new star in the I-gaming market with the goal to become a leading digital gaming provider. Headquartered in Malta, with a staff of more than 70 employees and partnerships globally, Swintt delivers quality games built on local knowledge and data. We strive to build lasting relationships and increase player engagement through innovations in game design and retention tools. Our philosophy is to create sustainable gaming products delivered for a new generation of player.
For more information about Swintt visit: www.swintt.com

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Central Europe

Casino Fortuna Installs Konami’s Opus Slot Machine

Niji Narayan

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Casino Fortuna Installs Konami’s Opus Slot Machine
Photo Source: finedesignassociates.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Slovenia’s Casino Fortuna has installed Konami Gaming’s Opus video slot cabinet. Opus cabinet made its European debut with two integrated progressive games, both based on popular Konami classics: Solstice Celebration and Riches with Daikoku.

The machine’s launch was celebrated at the same time Casino Fortuna is commemorating its 10th anniversary. The machines provide an immersive gaming experience with a 65ins, 4K Ultra HD display.

“Casino Fortuna is always seeking fresh opportunities to give its guests a new dimension of entertainment and excitement. We are thrilled that Konami’s Opus cabinet and debut Triple Sparkle series was able to be part of Casino Fortuna’s anniversary, marking an important milestone for the company and for the larger European gaming industry,” Eduardo Aching, vice president, international gaming operations at Konami said.

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