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Gambling taxes in Austria

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Casino Gaming

Austria’s first two casinos opened in 1934, in Semmering and in Baden. At present, there are 12 casinos, all operated under the state monopoly company Casinos Austria AG.

All gambling operators pay 20% VAT tax on their operating expenditure. The Austrian license stipulates a 1.5% tax on the turnover. A tax is also paid based on the customer winnings depending on the odds for the bet.

All gambling operators pay 20% VAT tax on their operating expenditure. The Austrian license stipulates a 1.5% tax on the turnover. A tax is also paid based on the customer winnings depending on the odds for the bet. The tax is calculated by the following table:

Austrian odds based gambling taxes:

  • Odds Tax level
  • 3-6 times the money 1 % tax
  • 6-11 times the money 3 % tax
  • 11-15 times the money 5 % tax
  • 15-21 times the money 10 % tax
  • 21-25 times the money 20 % tax
  • 25 times the money or more 25 % tax.

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

For the upper Austrian license, the following fees apply: License fee (ten year license): €70,000; License fee per shop: €3,000.

Beside the payments of the GGR taxes above, there is: the “entertainment tax”, which Casinos Austria AG must pay at the discretion of the local government. In Vienna the monthly amount must be €1.308 pay per play automat.

Austrian GGR Based Tax and Entertainment Tax 2000-2004 (in Euro):

  • Year GGR tax Entertainment tax
  • 2004 99,169,858 9,764,195
  • 2003 106,244,435 9,178,460
  • 2002 110,972,350 8,491,930
  • 2001 107,822,447 8,406,370
  • 2000 106,073,627 8,442,077

Source: Submission to the Enquiry from Austrian Ministry of Finance

In addition, Casinos Austria AG has a variety of sponsor commitments in Sport, Culture, Tourism and Charity. It amounted to €4.5 million in 2004. Also, Casinos Austria AG has a special department for Responsible Gaming and supports the largest self-help groups for pathological gamblers. This amounted to €1.07 million in 2004.

Casinos Austria launched its Internet casino in association with Österreichische Lotterien during December 2000. Players must be over 16 and have a bank account in Austria.

Money laundering is an important consideration for Austrian casinos. All gamblers have to register in order to play and casino operations are in general very transparent to the law. The casino winnings are linked with the name of the player so it is easy to follow who won what and how much. There are also video cameras in the entrances and at cashiers’ desks, where money is exchanged for playing chips. If a large sum is exchanged, the customers are specially supervised and controlled. The data from all twelve casinos can be viewed in the central company administration building in Vienna. If they notice a specifically high amount or some disproportionate expenditure, or people arriving often with a high amount of cash, they evaluate the situation and check the financial background of the persons involved. This is justified from a player protection point of view, as customers should not endanger their financial position, and from a money laundering position as well.

In Austria, casino customers can change any currency for euros or playing chips. However, the money is changed by banks, which are financial institutions and therefore this activity falls under money laundering protections in those establishments. If there are any suspicious transactions they will immediately inform the central office in Vienna and also inform the authorities.

Interactive gambling via the internet is at a higher risk of money laundering as it is more anonymous. However, the stake limits are restricted to €500 per week. In addition, players are required to give bank and email accounts. If incorrect details are given, the player is excluded from the game. Each player is allowed only one account.

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

Casino-style gaming machines outside of casinos are not permitted in Austria. Only gaming machines with small stakes (50 cents maximum) and winnings (20 euros maximum) are permitted as they are considered to be a soft form of gambling. These are not authorised by the national government, but rather each individual länder decides whether to legalise them.

To date, out of nine länder, only three have allowed this type of gaming, while the other six have prohibited it. The Austrian Lottery has run Video Lottery Terminals since 2004, according to their submissions.

Betting

Sports betting licenses are outside of the games of chance monopoly in Austria, and up to ten sports betting licenses can be issued throughout the country. The largest license holder is the company Admiral Sportswetten, which was founded in 1991. In 2002, they had a total of 68 betting shops in Austria. Other betting companies include Wettpunkt, Magna Entertainment, and Österreichische Sportwetten Gesellschaft.

The betting fee for all games of the Austrian Lotteries is 16% of stakes or gross income from games. In the case of WebClub at its GGR is subject to a tax of 40%, consisting of a betting fee of 16% and a license fee of 24%.

Sports betting in Vienna pays taxes on federal, regional and local levels. The Vienna state levies 90% of the amount of federal tax in addition to the normal federal tax paid by the betting operators. Vienna’s tax collections amount to between €200,000 and €300,000 per year for sports betting.

Bingo

Bingo was begun in 1999 by Österreichische Lotterien, which broadcasts televised Bingo live in Austria on Saturday evenings.

The license fee for bingo in Austria is 27.5%.

Media Gambling Services

During June 2003 Österreichischen Lotterien launched an SMS service for Lotto 6/45.

Austrian UPC Digital TV subscribers can now receive an interactive gaming platform from Israeli Zone4Play Interactive Gaming Technology. The platform consists of four games: slots, video poker, blackjack and baccarat. Players acquire points through a premium telephone system.

Any other media gambling is not permitted in Austria due to the state monopoly.

Sales Promotional Gambling

This type of gambling is infrequent and insignificant in Austria, as the state has a monopoly on any significant stakes games.

Charity Gambling

This type of gambling is infrequent and insignificant in Austria, as the state has a monopoly on any significant stakes games.

© European Union

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