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Online gambling is a phenomenon that has grown more and more popular in recent years, and as an Austrian, you might be curious to find out more about what to expect from the gambling industry in your home country or country of residence. Luckily, Austria’s gambling laws are very accommodating, and it is perfectly legal to gamble both in-country and online. However, before you get started, there is a lot you should know that could help you make the most of when you gamble in Austria.
The Best Casinos in Austria
WHat to Think About When Looking for the Best Austrian Casinos Online
If you are ready to start gambling in Austria, either via the casino browser versions or in one of the many mobile casino apps available, you’ll need to start by finding a trustworthy gambling site that can offer a large selection of games, good payment methods for Austrian players, safety, and more.
The above listed casinos are all good options for casino players residing in Austria, and the best thing you can do is to explore the recommended sites until you find one you are comfortable with. While each of the recommended casinos are trustworthy, it comes down to what you want to get out of your online gambling.
About the Legality of Online Gambling in Austria
There are many good things to be said about Austria, and one is that gambling is legal. You are free to gamble at gambling establishments located in Austria as well as online casinos overseas, and the high acceptance has led to growing popularity throughout the country. If you are considering starting gambling on the internet, then you are far from alone! There are a few things to be aware of as an Austrian online gambler, and one thing is how the gambling laws and restrictions work.
Just because gambling is legal in Austria, it doesn’t mean anyone can offer gambling services or set up a casino, as this would put Austrian gamblers at a significant risk of ending up at a sketchy platform or falling victims to a scam.
The Austrian Gambling Legislation controls all gambling activity in the country, and it is a division of the Ministry of Finance known as the Tax Authority of Austria that regulates the gambling (online and land-based) that takes place in the country. The existing law for casino activities in Austria is known as the Law on Games of Chance.
Gambling Licences in Austria
To further understand how gambling is regulated in Austria, we’re going to have a look at the existing licensing requirements. There have been recent attempts by the Austrian government to tighten the laws in favour of keeping players safe, and this has led to small but relevant changes.
All types of gambling are permitted, such as slots, table games, live casino, sports betting and lotteries, but all categories need to comply with set regulations. The main motivation behind this was (and still is) to promote responsible gambling and prevent gambling addiction.
The Austrian government splits gambling into two separate categories, where different rules apply for each category. There is what is known as “Kleines Glüksspiel,” which essentially refers to games with lower stakes, such as hobby card games, some lotteries and a few select slot type games. These games can be offered and played anywhere and are subject to a lot more slack regulations.
The other kind is for games with high stakes and where players can win large amounts of money, and some consider this category “real gambling.” Only casinos with the right permits can offer this type of gambling legally in Austria.
While this mostly affects the land-based casino industry in Austria, it could be worth noting that different rules apply depending on where you are in the country. Interestingly, a larger city like Vienna is subject to additional restrictions for how many gambling businesses that can operate within the city limits, and its population’s density has led to fewer casinos being allowed in Vienna than in other cities of similar size.
Casino licences in Austria are issued by the Ministry of Finance, and what you need to comply with as a licence-seeking organization is a long list of non-negotiable items. One thing that makes Austrian gambling a little different is that for an establishment to get and maintain an Austrian licence, they are not allowed to offer their services to foreigners or people who aren’t Austrian.
At this time, there are only two corporations that meet all the requirements set for obtaining an Austrian gambling licence. There is Casinos Austria, which is responsible for providing all types of standard casino games to the Austrian gambling community, and they operate both on a land-based level and via their online website.
The second site is the Austrian Lottery, and if you are unfamiliar with the name, it is the corporation behind the popular gambling site win2day, known to offer more than just lottery games.
Gambling at Foreign Sites in Austria
While a gambling site in Austria needs to be licensed, and while these may not offer services to those of other nationalities, there is nothing preventing Austrian players from making use of international online casinos and gambling sites. It is fully legal for an Austrian to join sites that are not in the possession of an Austrian licence.
It can be a little confusing when you first start reading up on the rules and regulations of online gambling in Austria, but when it comes down to it, it is mostly the gambling establishments themselves that are affected, and not you as a gambler. An Austrian licence works as a guarantee for a more regulated casino site, but you are still free to gamble elsewhere if you choose to do so.
If the casino of your choice is not licensed in Austria, make sure it has other trustworthy licences such as an MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) or UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) licence, as this will help keep you safe when gambling with real money on the internet. An unlicensed casino is never recommendable, as there is no guarantee you’ll have a fair chance to win or that you’ll get your money when you win.
The History of Gambling Online in Austria
Gambling in Austria can be dated back all the way to 1696, when a Roman emperor imposed the first gambling restrictions to put a halt to what was then considered unauthorised gambling participated in by the working class. It wasn’t considered appropriate to gamble, and especially not for someone with a higher status.
This went on until somewhere during the 18th century, when the interest for gambling spread from what were then considered the “poor and uneducated” population and to the rich and powerful. With the newfound interest among the wealthy came new laws, and gambling was eventually legalised throughout the country.
The government-run lottery was first introduced in 1913, and Austria opened its first official (and fully legal) casino in 1934. In 1967 came the next significant change, when what is today known as Casinos Austria opened its doors under the name of Österreichische Spielbanken, which has since grown to become an internationally acclaimed gambling corporation with a large online gambling platform and a total of 40 land-based casinos scattered worldwide (in 16 different countries).
In the early 2000s, online gambling became fully legalised and the legislations were starting to be put into place, slowly leading up to what we know today as the official gambling laws of Austria. While it wasn’t a straight-forward path to the liberal laws found in the country today, Austria has always been a country that has slowly moved in what could be considered the right direction for gambling enthusiasts.
Bonuses Available at Casinos in Austria
Some countries have restrictions when it comes to casino bonuses, but luckily for Austrian players, you can claim any bonus offers you’re eligible to claim when you gamble! It is always nice to start off with a casino welcome bonus to boost your casino bankroll, and Austrian casinos often offer free spins to both new and returning players, as well as beneficial cashback programs and VIP offers!
Less frequently found bonuses in Austria are no deposit bonuses, where you get a bonus without having to do anything, but they do exist. Just be aware that these types of “free” bonuses often come with very demanding wagering requirements, which are the requirements you need to fulfil before you can withdraw bonus money.
If bonuses are something you are passionate about, then it is always a good idea to check the ‘Promotions’ page before joining a new casino site, as the available offers may vary. Another recommendation for Austrian players is to sign up for newsletters and promotional materials to stay up-to-date on what’s new.
How to get a bonus as an Austrian player depends entirely on the rules and processes established by the individual casino. Some sites give out bonuses automatically when you make a deposit, and others might require you to type in a bonus code or manually activate the offer. Bonus codes were more common a few years back, but you might still come across the occasional site that remains faithful to the concept.
In a case where only one bonus offer can be active at once, you might have to opt out of one bonus before you can activate another, but this information should be readily available in the terms and conditions of the casino site.
A Breakdown of Payment Methods Available at Casinos in Austria
If you are new to online gambling or using payment methods other than bank transfers and debit and credit cards, then you might need a little extra information before you can make an educated decision. Check out the comparison of some of the above-listed payment methods down below.
|Payment Method||Payment Type||Pros||Cons|
|VISA/Mastercard||Debit/Credit Card||Almost everyone has a card. Widely available.||Inconvenient to always need your card number.|
|Bank Transfer||Wire Transfer||Extremely secure. Available everywhere. Available to anyone with a Bank I.D.||Slow transactions. Casino transactions visible on your bank statement.|
|Trustly||Payment Service||Speeds up regular bank transfers. Adds an extra layer of security. Instant withdrawals.||Not available everywhere.|
|PayPal||E-Wallet||Available only at trustworthy casinos. International payment method. Easy to use.||Only available at a few casinos. Fees on some transactions. Extensive verification.|
|Zimpler||Mobile Payment||Pay with your mobile phone. Low fees. Great for beginners.||Not available everywhere. Only available for deposits.|
Cryptocurrency is another payment method you’ll be able to use at some online casinos in Austria and abroad, but there are still many gambling sites that haven’t taken the step to offer this modern way of making online money transactions. If your preferred payment method is cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum, then you are going to do some extra research and pick a site with crypto available as a payment method.
About Responsible Gambling at Casinos in Austria
Gambling responsibly is one of the most important things to do regardless where you are from, but in Austria, the government has made it its mission to promote this concept as much as possible. The reason behind its restriction for gambling companies wishing to operate in Austria is mainly to keep their people safe when gambling online, and this has led to only two corporations currently having Austria gambling licences.
If you feel you are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with gambling, then there is help to receive. Both at Austria licensed sites and those licensed by other reputable authorities such as MGA and UKGC, gambling limits can be set to control how much you can spend within a set time frame, and you can also choose to ban yourself from gambling online for the time of your choosing.
The easiest way to get help with gambling addiction in Austria is to reach out directly to the casino as a first step, as no responsible gambling site benefits from having their players lose control of their online spendings. If needed, you can also turn to one of the leading sites for responsible gambling in Austria.
Our Final Thoughts About Online Casinos in Austria
Gambling in Austria is safe and fun, and best of all is that it is fully legal! You don’t have to worry about breaking any rules, as Austrian players are legally allowed to gamble both at establishments based in-country and offshore, and all the Austrian government attempts to do is to regulate the player’s gambling habits by offering reliable resources for responsible gambling.
Anyone over the age of 18 can legally gamble in Austria, though some online casinos may have a higher limit. It is not unusual to come across gambling sites allowing only those over the age of 21 to join and play. Do some basic research to find the best gambling site for your personal needs and preferences, and don’t forget to gamble responsibly.
The two gambling corporations currently licensed in Austria are considered very secure thanks to complying with a long list of requirements. If opting to gamble at offshore online casinos, just make sure they are properly licensed by a reputable licensing authority.
Online gambling has been popular in Austria for many years, and a peak in popularity has been seen lately as the concept is becoming more and more openly talked about and mainstream. The existing regulations in the country also help players feel secure, which could have contributed to the popularity increase.
Gambling is fully legal in Austria, both gambling online and at land-based casinos. There are many restrictions for those wishing to provide gambling services in the country, but this only concerns the casinos or gambling sites and not players. Players may gamble both at Austrian sites and casinos based abroad.
The legal gambling age in Austria is 18, but some casinos and gambling sites may require their members to be at least 21.
There are many excellent payment options for players in Austria, and many Austrian players opt for using e-wallets like Skrill, EcoPayz, PayPal and Neteller. It is up to you to do your research to see which payment method works best for you.
No, signing up for an online casino in Austria is free, and you pay only when you choose to make a deposit. Any online gambling site that charges you a fee to create an account should be scrutinised to make sure you are not falling for a scam.
In a way, yes. Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group are currently the only two companies licensed to operate gambling businesses in the country, and all in-country gambling is handled by one of the two. However, Austrian gamblers can also opt to gamble at online casinos based abroad.
It is legal to bet on sports in Austria, and the country is known for its interest in sports like football, ice hockey and skiing. All you need to do to start betting on sports is to locate a trustworthy online casino with a sportsbook.
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