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Economics of Gambling in Austria

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The total legal gambling market in Austria is only represented by two state monopoly companies. Their recent gross gaming revenue is shown below:

Austrian Gambling Industry GGR for 2004:

  • Company: 2004 GGR
  • Österreichische Lotterien GmbH: € 618,325,910
  • Casinos Austria AG: € 204,999,016
  • Total Gambling Industry: € 823,324,926

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

Casinos Austria holds a monopoly on offering casinos services in Austria, and it operates with 12 licenses. The National Lottery has just one license, and Bingo and some sports betting is included in this license. Gaming machines outside of casinos are prohibited in Austria, though in recent years the lottery has introduced Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). There is a limit on the number of casino properties that Casinos Austria can open; however, there is no limit on sport betting licenses. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for licensing Österreichische Lotterien and Casinos Austria and all other forms of gambling except slot machines, where each individual länder decides on what to have and how to regulate them.

In Austria, there is a specific hospital “De La Tour” that specialises in treating gambling addicts for a number of years.

GAMING SECTOR ANALYSIS

Lotteries

Österreichische Lotterien (Austrian Lotteries), was founded in 1986. The following table summarizes gross sales, payment of prizes, and Gross Gaming Revenues (GGRs, or revenues after payment of prizes) in millions of Euros for the Österreichische Lotterien for 2000 to 2004.

Austrian Lottery Market Summary (€ million)

  • Year: 2005 (estimates), 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000
  • Gross Sales (Turnover): 1720.5, 1557, 1349.5, 1290, 1241, 1.172
  • Prize payout: -1099, -939, -754, -684, -611, -532
  • GGRs: 621, 618, 595, 605, 631, 639

Source: Adapted from the Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

The following table presents more detailed information for the years 2000 to 2005 (estimates) broken down by category of games and product offerings, in the format of Gross Sales (Turnover), Prize Payouts, and GGRs, measured in Euros. The top rows represents 2005 (estimated) gross sales, followed by prize payouts, followed by GGRs. Note that the products of Electronic Lottery and VLTs make the comparisons of Gross Sales over the years somewhat distorted because of the low ratio of GGRs to Gross Sales (turnover or handle.). A more reasonable figure for comparisons is therefore Gross Gaming Revenues (the third row of each block of information in the following table.)

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T-Austria-2

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

All gambling operators pay 20% VAT tax on their operating expenditure. The National Lottery pays 13.5% fee on sales plus 19.8% concession fee. The amount of government revenues generated with these taxes is shown below:

Government Gambling Tax Revenue 2000-2004 (in € million):

  • Year > Tax Revenue
  • 2000 > 396.01
  • 2001 > 389.76
  • 2002 > 375.80
  • 2003 > 369.01
  • 2004 > 381.52

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

The gambling industry’s expenditure for good causes include contributions to sport and culture. The Austrian Sport Federation, for example, depends largely upon revenues from Austrian lotteries. In 2004 it received almost €38 million in donations from Austrian lotteries. Due to the change in the Austrian Gambling Act, the amount the Austrian Sport Federation receives has been increased to €46.8 million in 2005. Social contribution for the recent years is summarised below.

Social Contribution 2000-2005 (in € million):

  • Year > Social Contribution
  • 2000 > 152.52
  • 2001 > 151.34
  • 2002 > 147.06
  • 2003 > 146.02
  • 2004 > 150.61
  • 2005 (est.) > 164.35

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

Additionally, the Austrian lottery has two designated charities:

Austrian Lottery’s Designated Charities:

  • Name: Country Of The Treasures > Rubbel Champion
  • Date of introduction: March 2001 > April 2002
  • Sum of the lots: 4 millions > 5 millions.
  • Sold lot: 74% > 40%
  • Expected: EUR 10.7 million > EUR 6.0 millions.
  • Deliveries: EUR 2.9 millions >EUR 1.6 millions.

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

The total amount of full-time employees in the gambling industry and the number of lottery outlets have been quite stable for the past five years and they are not expected to change significantly in the near future.

The Number of Austrian Lottery’s Full Time Employees 2000-2004:

  • Year > Number of FTEs
  • 2000 > 352
  • 2001 > 375
  • 2002 > 388
  • 2003 > 406
  • 2004 > 415

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Österreichischen Lotterien

The number of Austrian Lottery outlets 2001-2005:

  • Year: 2001 > 2002 > 2003 > 2004 > 2005(November)
  • On-line acceptance places: 4,034 > 3,883 > 3,867 > 3,872 > 3,904
  • Rubbellos sales offices: 8,032 > 7,494 > 7,309 > 7,241 > 6,961
  • Brieflos sales offices: 8,378 > 7,845 > 7,644 > 7,577 > 7,090
  • Total: 20,444 > 19,222 > 18,82 > 18,690 > 17,955

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Österreichischen Lotterien

There are no significant changes planned in the number of outlets for the Austrian National Lottery in 2006-2010. The Austrian lottery On-line-acceptance places divide their operations between sales of tobacco goods, newspapers and sales of lottery products. Legislation authorizing on-line gaming services in Austria was passed in 1998.

Until 2005, only isolated cases of problem gambling had been identified in the area of instant and classical lottery products. According to the Austrian Lotteries, in the range of online games, as well as other responsible gaming measures, a constant monitoring of all gaming participants with high stakes is performed. The Responsible Gaming concept for internet games that is implemented implies that the weekly deposit amount is restricted to €500 and only one account per participant is permitted. In addition, implementing of this concept resulted in closer monitoring of 6-7% of the online gaming participants in the years 2000- 2005. According to the Austrian Lottery, restrictive procedures had to be taken on only 0.12 % of the internet casino win2day users in these years. Currently, the Responsible Gaming concept for the online sports betting game tipp 3 is under preparation by the Austrian Lottery.

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