The gambling regulatory framework of Austria is about to change. Finance minister Gernot Blümel recently announced a complete overhaul of the framework, where player protection controls will be stricter, along with new requirements for transparency introduced. Along with these changes, a new regulating authority will be created.
The licensing and enforcement of gambling regulations in Austria now is under the control of the Austrian Treasury. However, once the new authority is created, it will be in charge. The new regulator will work on player protection, ensuring those who take part in gambling are safe from harm.
Blümel pointed out that players are affected by addiction on a regular basis and the consequences can be financial as well as psychological. Because of the harm associated, the new regulator will be working to create a national self-exclusion system to take care of the land-based and online sector.
Enforcement of unlicensed operators is also on the table. The new regulator will be able to shut down sites if they so choose. Internet service providers can be ordered to block access to sites that are not licensed in the country. Part of this process will involve creating a blacklist of operators.
On top of that, the country will be focusing on loot boxes found in video games. Discussions have been ongoing around the world as to if loot boxes are considered a form of gambling and how it affects young people.
The new regulator will create regulations connected to loot boxes to ensure younger players are protected. It is believed that the loot boxes could lead to traditional forms of gambling at an early age.
Austria has plans to use something like the regulatory model of Germany. This includes controlling the number of monthly deposits along with limiting player stakes. There will also be steps taken to limit the playing time connected to online slot games.