An Overview of Austrian Online Gambling
While it's no secret that online gambling law can change often and be tricky to understand at times, Austria is a good example of a place that likely complicates things more than they need to be complicated. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for giving licenses for online gambling and for supervising those companies that are given licenses, and the main law that governs online gambling in the country is the Law on Games of Chance which is frequently referred to as the "GSpG" for short.
Online Gambling Licensing in Austria
To become licensed for offering online gambling services in Austria, you have to meet a few requirements. First, you have to actually be physically located inside of the country. Second, you're only allowed to offer games to people in Austria. These regulations have somewhat limited the number of international companies who are interested in setting up shop here, but for companies that are already located in Austria, it can be a pretty good opportunity.
With that having been said, there are still plenty of top brands that offer their services in Austria. It's important to note, however, that the government has started to come down a bit hard on Austrian players who play with sites that aren't licensed by the Ministry of Finance, so it's worth making sure that any site you play with has the right licensing in place.
Player Protect in the Austrian Jurisdiction
In the past, Austria has been criticized for putting more effort into trying to increase tax revenues than really protecting the players. In 2010, however, a number of important changes to the Austrian Gambling Act were made that have cleaned up their regulations quite a bit and made them a great asset to the players.
While there are plenty of funds going into programs for problem gambling and preventing underage gambling, players also have options to appeal to the Ministry of Finance if there are any type of issues with their accounts that require escalation. This includes an appeal of anything that could be considered typical "rogue site" behavior like delayed withdrawals, closing of accounts without reason, etc.
Overall, Austria has made a lot of effort to get past the reputation they once had years ago for not being the most dependable jurisdiction. Now they are definitely on the side of the players and of making sure the industry is legitimate for the companies they license.
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