Austrian body calls for new online gambling licensing system

The association is calling for a new licensing system for online sports betting and gambling.
The association is calling for a new licensing system for online sports betting and gambling.

The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling says a new system is needed to help sports clubs recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Austria.- The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) is calling for the creation of a new online gambling licensing system to help fund Austrian sport in the wake of Covid-19.

It says a modernised national licensing system for sports betting and online gambling to replace the “long-outdated” monopoly on online gaming held by the Austrian lotteries, Österreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft, could generate up to €50m in revenue for sports clubs.

Claus Retschitzegger, president of the OVWG, said: “Austrian sport is one of those areas of society and the economy that have been hardest hit by the Corona crisis.

“The current infection figures in Austria and the resulting tightening of restrictions give cause for concern that the economic situation for Austrian sport will continue to deteriorate in the coming months.

“Austrian sport and the gaming and betting providers have always been important business partners, which is why we want to support them in this difficult situation.

“A permanent way to make more money for sport is to introduce a contemporary online gambling licensing system.

“With additional taxes and license fees, €30m to €50m can be earned and dedicated to Austrian sport.

“This would help them – in addition to the existing sports funding and sponsorship services – without further burdening the state budget which is already strained by COVID-19.

“The idea of ​​the OVWG is to replace the long outdated monopoly in the online area with a licensing system.

“In the future, licences should no longer be limited in terms of quantity but should be linked to compliance with high player and youth protection standards. Only those companies that meet these high standards and submit to state control should receive a licence.”

The association said that Austria currently benefited from online gaming providers licensed in other EU member states. It said they contributed €123m in gaming tax in 2019, and were responsible for 1,000 direct jobs.

Retschitzegger added: “A modern licensing system, as almost all EU countries already have, would bring further added value to Austria and ensure the attractiveness of the business location.”

Earlier this year, Austria’s financial police reported concerns over an increase in illegal gambling activity in the country.

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