24.012018
Austria Reaps Big from Online Gambling Websites it Won’t License

Austria Reaps Big from Online Gambling Websites it Won’t License

Austria’s government gets over €155m by taxing international online casino operators although it refuses to offer them local licenses to operate in the country. The access to online betting sites from other nations isn’t blocked by the state, which offers Australian citizens a chance to enjoy international websites, too.

The state’s government only issues licenses to the local-based casinos to operate their sites, but it has enacted a restriction in law that accepts only Austrian gamblers to join these webs. This is seen as the government’s policy of trying to control online casinos in the country.

Julia Eckhart Interview

On January 18th 2018, Austrian media house Profil released an interview with attorney J. Eckhart, who stated that the government had earned over €155m in duties and taxes since 2011 from seventeen online betting operators, most of whom are licensed by the Malta and Gibraltar Gaming Authorities, but who don’t have the Austrian government license to operate in the country and the government will not block them.

Win2Day Approved

Austria has officially approved online gaming with poker and casino products by only one operator, the Win2Day online company of casinos Austria’s Osterreichische Lotterien Subsidiary. Win2Day is a Germany language site that was launched in 2003 that provide services to the Austrian betting and casino market.

However, in 2011, the state began to impose a 40 percent tax on all online gaming revenue generated from Australian players.   

Mr. Green Protests

Mr. Green, a website licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, has protested against this taxation without any representation through European and Austrian Union courts, although this effort was abandoned in December 2017 when the European Commission dropped all the discrimination procedures against European Union member nation’s protectionist betting markets.  

With all said, the Austrian government seems uninterested in changing its present law, although it lately flirted with the idea of compelling local internet provider to block the webs of unauthorized international gaming sites.

Attorney Eckhart, who has formerly represented wagers challenging the legitimacy of local gambling firm Novomatic Group’s operations, stated that there would be no interruption to Austrian’s online betting status quo and the accessibility of internationally licensed websites were allowed by the Austrian government.

In 2016, the attorney informed Gluecksspielinfo that Austrian’s gaming rules were not mainly aimed to protect the wagers and deter crime but to protect politically-minded firms and boost the public revenue. They are meant to make the firms richer reaping off from unlicensed businesses and thus taking to the responsibility for any crime that might occur when gambling online.   

In conclusion

As things stand, Austria’s government will continue to get fat off taxing unlicensed online casino operators without issuing them a license to operate. We can only wait for the future and see how things unfold as online gambling continue to generate more and more revenue for the state. 

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