Austria: fines for illegal gambling double in H1

Austrian police continue to clamp down on illegal slot operations.
Austrian police continue to clamp down on illegal slot operations.

The financial police issued penalties totalling €2.8m.

Austria.- The Financial Police issued €2.8m in penalties for violations of Austria’s Gambling Act in the first half of the year. The amount of fines was double the €1.4m in penalties issued in the first six months of 2022.

Penalties for gambling offences made up around a quarter of all fines issued by the financial police in the half year (€11.2m). Many of the penalties were issued after raids on clandestine land-based gambling venues.

Police confiscated 265 illegal gambling machines in the period, an increase of 10.4 per cent year-on-year. In April, police seized 72 illegal gambling machines in raids in Salzburg targeting seven venues.

Finance minister Magnus Brunner said: “The controls of the financial police in the fight against social fraud, organised informal economy, tax evasion and illegal gambling are targeted and ensure fair competitive conditions. This is how we protect honest companies, secure tax revenue and strengthen our businesses.”

In 2021, Austria mooted plans to create a new gambling regulator, however there has so far been no progress. There has been criticism of Casinos Austria’s monopoly in the country.

See also: Austrian Lotteries increases age limit for ticket purchases

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