Plan to block unlicensed internet gambling; tightening of protection for young people and players in Austria
"In the fight against illegal internet gambling, the 2018 Amendment to the Austrian Gambling Act marks a further important step in ensuring the protection of young people and players," declared Austrian Finance Minister Löger, commenting on the draft law sent for review today. Through the future implementation of a blocking procedure for illegal IP addresses (so-called "IP blocking"), illegal internet gambling will be significantly reduced. In addition, a provision will be incorporated into the Austrian Gambling Act to the effect that contracts previously concluded between players and illegal providers are null and void. This will enable players to claim their stakes back retrospectively.
"Since unlicensed providers of online games of chance are offering such games in Austria without having the required national permits, significant objectives of public interest are being endangered," adds Löger. According to market studies, the number of illegal gambling sites is estimated to number around 2,000. Most of these illegal gambling sites do not comply with the strict Austrian standards aimed at protecting young people and players, nor do they fulfil the duties of diligence in relation to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
"So far, we have already taken numerous measures to protect young people and players, which began with connecting legal gambling machines to the data processing centre at the Austrian Federal Computing Centre. In addition, through their own controls, the financial police are providing very significant support in the fight against illegal gambling machines. Through the 2018 Amendment to the Austrian Gambling Act, the Austrian Finance Ministry is resolutely continuing its efforts to provide the greatest possible protection for young people and players in Austria," concludes Löger.