The Austrian system of legislation distinguishes between federal (Bundesgesetze) and state (Landesgesetze) laws. Gambling issues are therefore regulated both on a federal and state level.
In Austria, land-based and interactive Gambling Services are a monopoly regulated by the federal Law on Games of Chance, Glücksspielgesetz-GSpG. The one and only license for Lottery Games, which is limited to 15 years, has been allocated to the Österreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft mbH until 2012. Such a licensee must be domiciled in Austria. All of the licenses for Casino Games (which are limited to twelve) are allocated to one Austrian company, Casinos Austria AG. The licensee must be domiciled in Austria and the validity of a license is limited to a period of 15 years. Moreover, the operation and advertisement of gambling without a licence, as well as the participation in, and offering and advertisment of foreign gambling services in Austria, are prohibited under the Penal Code.
Betting is not covered by the federal gaming monopoly, as it is an issue of state legislation: a sports betting operator must obtain a license from the authorities in the state of operation.
With the exception of Vienna, Styria and Carinthia, the operation of Gambling Machines offering cash prizes or merchandise is prohibited.
Media Gambling services and promotional gambling services are regulated by the GSpG and by the Law on Unfair Competition. Charity gambling is not covered by any detailed legislation, but is referred to in the GSpG whereby several specified types of games can be organised for a charitable purpose under certain conditions.
Federal Law of November 28, 1989 on the Organisation of Games of Chance, (Law on Games of Chance, Glücksspielgesetz-GSpG), BGBl. Nr. 620/1989 as amended BGBl. I Nr. 143/2005. [The English translation below was provided by Casinos Austria AG]
§ 1. (1) Games of chance in the sense of the Federal Law are games in which winning and losing are dependent exclusively or predominantly on chance.
§ 2. (1) Prize games are games of chance in which the operator (organiser) of the games proposes a pecuniary prize in return for a pecuniary stake.
(2) A lottery drawn by means of a gaming apparatus exists when the decision concerning winning and losing is carried out by the mechanical or electronic equipment of the apparatus itself, i.e. is not brought about or made available centrally.
(3) An automatic gaming machine is a gaming machine in which the win/lose decision or the payment of the prize are performed automatically by the machine itself.
(4) Prize games shall also be deemed existent if the possibility of a return (ss 1) is not provided by the company (organiser), but is arranged, organised or offered by them or a third party.
§ 6. Lotto is a prize game in which an organiser accepts and runs bets on the chances of winning of several numbers from a defined series of numbers. The winning numbers are determined by public draw. The prize money is divided into several win categories and equally apportioned among the winners within each of these categories.
§ 7. Toto is a prize game in which an organiser accepts and runs bets on the results of various sporting events (pool bet). The prize money is divided into several win categories and equally apportioned among the winners within each of these categories. The results of events which are cancelled, do not take place at the specified time or are changed in their competitive nature are to be substituted by a public draw (substitute draw).
Additional game («Zusatzspiel»)
§ 8. The additional game (Zusatzspiel) is a prize game which can only be carried out in conjunction with other games of chance organised by a Licensee. A winning number is determined by public draw; the winners are those whose tickets bear all or part of this number. The prize money is divided into several win categories and equally apportioned among the winners within each of these categories.
Instant Lotteries («Sofortlotterien»)
§ 9. (1) Instant lotteries are prize games in which the participants can determine immediately whether they have won by examining their lottery tickets to see whether a prize has been printed on the ticket.
(2) Other instant lotteries are prize games in which the participants can be informed of winnings within 24 hours of placing bets on the winning chances of symbols or number combinations.
Class Lottery («Klassenlotterie»)
§ 10. The class lottery is a prize game in which the lottery tickets offer chances of winning in several successive sections. Winners are determined by public draw.
Digit Lotto («Zahlenlotto»)
§ 11. Digit lotto is a prize game in which an organiser accepts and runs bets on the chances of winning of one or more numbers or symbols from a defined group of numbers or symbols. The winning numbers or symbols are determined by public draw. The individual prize is a fixed multiple of the stake.
Number Lotteries («Nummernlotterien»)
§12. Number Lotteries are prize games in which the lottery tickets are given serial numbers.
Winners are determined by public draw.
Electronic lotteries, Bingo and Keno («Elektonische Lotterien, Bingo und Keno»)
§12a. Electronic lotteries are lotteries in which the gaming contract is made via electronic media, the decision concerning winning and losing is taken and made available centrally and those taking part in the lottery can obtain information about the result of the decision immediately after they have taken part.
§ 12b. Bingo and Keno are lotteries in which the organiser accepts and places bets concerning the chances of combinations of numbers winning, whereby the winnings of the lottery players depend on the correspondence of the respective combination of numbers with the communicated winning numbers.
Multiple prize games («Mehrstufige Ausspielungen»)
§ 13. (1) Multiple prize games are games of chance in which the participants may win an additional chance to win as well as a prize.
(2) Prize games as defined in §§ 6 to 12 can be organised as multiple games.
Transfer of rights to conduct other prize games
§ 36. (1) The state can transfer its right to conduct other number lotteries (§32), tombola games (§33), lucky harbours (§34) and joke games (§35) by granting authorisation to other persons.
(2) Authorisation as per sec. 1 is only permitted: 1) for the conduct of tombola games, lucky harbours and jokes games with prizes of up to and including 15.000 Euro by legal persons domiciled in Austria if the event is not for commercial purposes; 2) for the conduct of tombola games, lucky harbours and joke games with prizes up to and including 15,000 Euro, as well as other number lotteries, by legal persons domiciled in Austria and who are deserving of support owing to their activities being beneficial for the public well-being, if the event is designed to achieve individual goals of a charitable, ecclesiastical or philanthropic nature in Austria.
Credit © European Union