Connect with us
SIS

Central Europe

Austrian Finance Minister Calls for New Gambling Regulator

Niji Narayan

Published

on

Austrian Finance Minister Calls for New Gambling Regulator
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Austrian finance minister Gernot Blümel has called for the creation of an independent gambling regulator in the country.

Blümel said he wanted to “untangle” multiple functions currently held within the Treasury. “Therefore, the areas of licensing and supervision should be outsourced to an independent gaming authority,” he said.

The minister was discussing the current state of affairs at Casinos Austria, the country’s gambling monopoly, which has been plagued by scandal in recent times.

Accusations made in relation to the betting operator’s appointment as the chief financial officer of Peter Sidlo, a Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) district councillor in Vienna, suggest that the move was designed to ensure that Novomatic could secure political favours from the party.

As per the whistleblowers, Novomatic, which held a 17.19% stake in Casinos Austria, was planning to secure a casino licence in Vienna. This would have essentially scrapped Casinos Austria’s monopoly. All associated parties have firmly denied the allegations.

In the wake of the scandal, Novomatic agreed to sell its share to Czech gaming conglomerate Sazka Group, which already holds a stake of almost 38% in Casinos Austria. Both companies stated that sharing joint control between the parties had not produced the anticipated results.

The deal would give Sazka a sizable majority, ahead of the Austrian state public investment body Österreichische Beteiligungs (ÖBAG), which retains a share of around 33%. While Sazka has promised to ensure ÖBAG will be represented on Casinos Austria’s executive and supervisory boards, the transaction has led to concerns that this may lead to loss of jobs and tax revenue.

While speaking with political discussion show Press Hour, Blümel mentioned he was aiming to negotiate an “Austria package” for the business, via ÖBAG, and secure commitments from Sazka to maintain its presence and staff numbers in the country.

“Casinos Austria is a traditional company in Austria that provides over 3,000 jobs. It is important to me that things settle down and that jobs, its location and tax revenue remain secure,” he said.

He added, “ÖBAG will, therefore, examine how best to ensure such an Austria package.”

Central Europe

German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming

Niji Narayan

Published

on

German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Several German states are in discussions over a potential transition period that could allow operators to continue offering online casino products until the vertical is legalised from July 2021.

The exact nature of the discussions and whether this would allow operators to provide online casino without any sort of restriction, is as yet unclear, with reports telling that they do not want to pre-empt the talks.

“The federal states are currently coordinating the extent to which enforcement measures against illegal gambling can be effectively implemented in the transition phase,” a spokesperson for the state government of Nordrhein-Westfalen said.

While other states are yet to respond to requests for comment, local media reports that the chancelleries in Bavaria, Hamburg and Berlin are also involved in the discussions.

The discussions are playing out ahead of the implementation of the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) from 1 July 2021. This revised regulatory model, which is currently subject to a standstill period as it is considered by the European Commission, expands the online market beyond sports betting for the first time.

From July next year, online casino and poker will be regulated, albeit under strict conditions, such as a €1 per spin cap on slot stakes, and table games licences restricted to the number of land-based casinos in each state.

Continue Reading

Central Europe

Illegal Gambling on the Rise in Austria

Niji Narayan

Published

on

Illegal Gambling on the Rise in Austria
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

The Austrian Financial Police have carried out a total of 278 inspections on suspected black market gambling venues since January, resulting in the confiscation of over 660 gaming machines. Over half of the seized machines were found in Vienna, the capital city of Austria.

In a statement issued on July 28, Austria’s financial police set out the progress it has made this year towards a reduction in illegal gambling in the country. It made clear that the majority of illegal gambling activity is taking place in larger urban centres such as Vienna and Linz.

In rural areas, illegal gambling has been largely reduced – for example, in the states of Burgenland, Styria and Vorarlberg combined, only two devices have been found since January.

“I congratulate the colleagues from the financial police on these remarkable successes. Illegal gambling is now concentrated in the metropolitan areas and – thanks to the excellent work of the financial police – is no longer active across the country,” Austria’s finance minister Gernot Blümel said.

“The fight against organised illegal gambling will of course continue to protect players. The ‘gambling mafia’ benefits from peoples addiction and destroys their finances, so we must show absolutely no tolerance here,” he added.

Finance minister Blümel called this year for the creation of an independent gambling regulator for Austria, taking responsibility for the activity away from the treasury.

Continue Reading

Central Europe

Playtech Expands its Partnership with Fortuna CZ

Niji Narayan

Published

on

Playtech Expands its Partnership with Fortuna CZ
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Gambling technology company Playtech has extended its reach in the Czech Republic after expanding its partnership with operator Fortuna CZ. The partnership expansion will see the operator launching end-user versions of Playtech’s Native Casino app.

Playtech’s native app is fully customisable, including the option to add extra sections and promotions to the home screen, and offers support for 24 languages and a wide range of regulatory environments, with more being added. The launch of the Fortuna-branded version of the app, available for both Android and iOS, expands the omni-channel solution developed by Playtech for Fortuna’s Czech business earlier this year.

The app significantly increases the number of Casino games available to Fortuna CZ players, including popular slots such as Buffalo Blitz, White King and Ways of the Phoenix, plus a range of roulette and blackjack games.

“We’ve worked in close collaboration with the Fortuna CZ team to deliver bespoke versions of our Native Casino app to a robust timescale, and are delighted to be supporting the expansion of the brand’s Casino games portfolio. Removing the hosting obstacles that can come with wrapper-based games creates a flexibility that will allow Fortuna to continue to build on its game selection and enhance player experience. We look forward to continuing our collaboration on the upcoming approved projects,” Anton Golikov, Program Manager at Playtech, said.

“We’ve been delighted with both the fast progress on the Native casino app project and the end result, which, as well as tackling potential technical restraints, opens up a true native experience for our players. We look forward to continuing to build on an excellent working relationship with Playtech,” David Vozábal, Group Head of Product Development at Fortuna, said.

“Since introducing our omni-channel solution to Fortuna in its core Czech market earlier this year, our partnership has gone from strength to strength. We’re very pleased to have the Native casino app in place so quickly to seamlessly deliver such a wide range of Casino games and look forward to building on our relationship with Fortuna as a key strategic partner in the region,” James Frendo, Director of Casino at Playtech, said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
NSoft

Global Gaming Industry Newsletter – Weekly Digest (sent every Wednesday)

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from European Gaming Media and Events:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. Read more about European Gaming Media and Event's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Subscribe to our News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our news and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Trending

Notice for AdBlock users

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.