Upheaval in the Austrian Gambling Market
Casinos Austria are going to face competition. The exact conditions for granting the casino concessions have not been decided yet.
Even though the European Court of Justice has ruled against Austria’s casino-monopoly in September 2010, the current legal situation is still far from being clear. Austria was forced to make substantial amendments to its Gaming Law. However, it has not been decided upon the exact conditions for granting the concessions for 15 casinos and lotteries. They are going to be the object of Europe-wide calls for tenders for the first time.
Representatives of the industry criticized the legislation and expressed their concerns about the ambiguous regulations. They argue that the European Court of Justice is simply being ignored by Austrian lawmakers. Furthermore, they are afraid that the tendering process might be delayed until fall 2011 due to the recent changes in the Ministry of Finance. However, a spokesperson of the Ministry assured that everything was on its way.
The Austrian gambling market is currently facing upheaval. The previous monopolist Casinos Austria is going to be exposed to competition in the future – probably from abroad. At the same time there is an increasing trend towards online gambling which is hardly regulated. Consequently, internet casino operators find themselves in a legal gray area.