Austria: Finance Minister calls for a dedicated gambling regulator

Austria may soon get a new gambling regulator.
Austria may soon get a new gambling regulator.

Gernot Blümel says licensing and supervision of the country’s gambling industry should be “outsourced to an independent gaming authority”.

Austria.- Austrian Finance Minister, Gernot Blümel, has called for the formation of a dedicated gambling regulator in the country.

The authority would take over regulating and licensing gambling from the Treasury, a move Blümel says would “untangle” the current oversight process.

“The areas of licensing and supervision should be outsourced to an independent gaming authority,” he explained.

In addition to this, the Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming (OVWG) has also raised concerns over the current gambling monopoly in the country and has called for it to be revised.

The call for the gambling monopoly to end comes after a scandal involving Casinos Austria, the only licensed operator in the country.

Casino Austria has had a monopoly on casinos in the country since 2016 but a scandal has emerged after the organisation’s former CFO, Peter Sidlo, was linked to a corruption scandal. Sidlo denies these allegations.

The OVWG has said the scandal proves the monopoly model does not work and that greater regulatory oversight is required.

“State-of-the-art gambling regulation in line with market conditions must serve to create a transparent and secure gaming environment: player protection for customers, legal security for companies and comprehensive control, and guaranteed tax revenues for the state,” the OVWG said in a statement.

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