Online Casino Licence from Austria
The regulator of online casinos in Austria is Bundesministerium für Finanzen (Federal Ministry of Finance, BMF). It issues legal acts for gambling businesses, issues licences, and establishes the procedure for tax payments. The lottery is part of a state monopoly and each of the nine autonomous regions regulates sports betting. The regulator is governed by the Gambling Act (GSpG).
The Federal Ministry of Finance issues licences online for:
- automatic machines
- sports betting and events
The regulator is guided by the Federal Gambling Law Glücksspielgesetz and the Electronic Commerce Law E-Commerce Gesetz.
Gambling, which is offered by cross-licensed casinos through telecommunications, violates the national gambling monopoly and is prohibited. Violation of the Law is punishable by the Code of Civil Offenses or with administrative fines.
Bets on traditional sports are the responsibility of the regional authorities of Austria.
Österreichische Lotterien GmbH (Austrian lotteries) operate under a licence to provide lotto, toto, betting, scratch card lotteries and electronic entertainment.
Casinos Austria AG (Austrian casino) operates twelve casinos in Austria and offers various table games and slot machines.
The BMF regulates and monitors the gambling industry, counteracts gambling addiction, protects consumers and prevents crime.
Regulatory policy objectives:
- Prevention of organised crime such as money laundering and terrorist financing
- Prevention of indirect crimes of gambling addicts (data theft, fraud)
- Protection of youth and consumer rights
- Ensuring the stability of the financial market (countering pyramid schemes)
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for overseeing licensed companies. Certain types of betting, low odds gambling and agility entertainment partially regulated by Austria's Federal
States and their Regional Laws.
From the 1st of December 2010, by the provisions of section 1 (4) GSpG, the Austrian Ministry of Finance has established a Gambling Prevention and Counseling Unit. It focuses on preventing gambling addiction by guiding users and provides technical support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and licensees.
- Maintaining a list of clinics for the treatment and counselling of patients with gambling addiction.
- Support for gambling addiction research.
- Informing users about the risks associated with gambling.
- Coordination of the work of the departments for the protection of personal data.
- Development of general quality standards for online casinos.
- Technical evaluation of licensees' software.
- Cooperates with other Federal Ministries related to the field of gambling.
The following measures are applied to protect players in Austria:
- A system has been introduced that prohibits access to games for persons under 18 years of age.
- The support service is training.
- An alert system created with phased measures to protect the player (information about self-exclusion and machines).
- The mathematically calculated prize payout for each machineis indicated.
- A ban has been established on the dissemination of aggressive, cruel, and criminal information.
- A description of the machines is provided in German.
Failure to comply with the rules means criminal and administrative liability.
The payout percentage for slot machines must not be less than 85% and the maximum established by law is 95%. The payout varies depending on the game or streak.
An online casino licence that has been issued by BMF is only valid within Austria and cross-licensing is not possible.
Online Casino operators need to pay taxes once a year as follows:
- Online Gambling (Electronic Lotteries) - 40% on gross gaming revenue (GGR) derived from stakes minus winnings
- Bets - 2% tax on stakes
- Lottery Games - 2 to 27.5% tax on stakes
- Slot machines outside casinos and VLTs - 10% on Net Gaming Revenue plus municipal fees
Betting and games of chance are exempt from paying 20% VAT, except for bets placed on slot machines that are outside casinos and VLTs that are operated under a lotteries licence.
How to get an Online Casino Licence in Austria
The applicant must be submitted to the Austrian Ministry of Finance:
- Documents on the registration of a limited liability company.
- List of council members (owners of a controlling stake).
- Full access to the software installed on the site.
- Bank statement showing the authorised capital for each slot machine (must be from 8,000 euros).
- Confirmation of the legality of funds.
- Security deposit in the amount of at least 20 percent of the authorised capital.
- Documents confirming one or more Directors have the skills and experience to conduct the gambling business properly.
- Description of the ownership structure.
- Technical report on the state of the software.
- Confirmation of players' security and reliability of payments.
Once issued, a licence in Austria is valid for 15 years.
The licensee is obliged to:
- Connect to Federal Computing Centre GmbH.
- Offer machines that are specified in the permit.
- Ensure the proper functioning of the software.
- Protect the players' data.
- Find the location of the central server.
- Provide information when requested by federal government agencies.
If the holder of the permit fails to comply with their duties, the Treasury's Federal Minister can suspend, revoke, or impose sanctions on their licence.
The cost of registering an application for a licence is 10,000 euro. If your application is successful and you receive a licence there is an additional 100,000 euro fee.
The confidentiality of personal data is not preserved if the player:
- is charged by a civil court with a criminal offense
- participates in the court of inheritance and guardianship
- submits a declaration to tax and financial authorities
- agrees to the disclosure of personal information
Personal data can be disclosed in cases that fall under Article 31c (subsections 2 and 3) and Articles 19 and 31 of the Austrian Administrative Code.
Are there penalties for playing on illegal online casino sites?
Knowingly playing on illegal sites is punishable by a fine of up to 7,500 euros and unknowingly it is 1,500 euros.
The division continuously monitors the operation of online casinos licenced in Austria. At the request of the Federal Minister of Finance, its employees conduct a technical inspection of slot machines, the software installed on them and any central network infrastructure.
A technical report on compliance with the provisions of gambling legislation is prepared based on this audit. After inspecting the software, the source codes will be transferred to the Federal Minister of Finance.