Austrian government calls for refund of past 30 years losses

2 Mar 2018

Austrian Gambling Act draft amendmentThe Austrian government is coming up with new and resourceful ways to put an end to international gambling sites offering their services to local punters. A new draft amendment to the Gambling Act has been made by the Ministry of Finance with the intention of further strengthening the digital monopoly of Win2Day, the nation’s official online gambling provider.

Hartwig Löger, the Finance Minister of Austria, wants to put into immediate effect the ISP blocking of all international bookmakers that insist on selling casino products to Austrian customers. Mr Löger intends to achieve this by extending the influence of the Telekom Control Commission (TKK) that will promote the aforementioned regulation.

In addition, the Austrian Finance Minister took that a step further by trying to enable online gambling enthusiasts in Austria to ask for a complete refund  of all their losses during the past 30 years, as casino products they spent their money on were illegal.

He admits to using that technique to force bookmakers outside of Austria to refrain from selling their products to Austrian punters in the face of severe legal consequences.

In response to the Minister’s approach, Claus Retschitzegger, president of the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) with well-known member companies such as Bet-at-home, Mr Green, Cashpoint, Interwetten, Unibet and LeoVegas, emphasized the group’s intention to take all actions necessary to counter the irrational decision.

Many international companies have offices in Austria as well, such as Bet-Linz, employing Austrian citizens and paying taxes to the state, which makes the adoption of Mr Löger’s approach quite questionable.

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