Gernot Blümel, the Finance Minister of Austria, has announced a wide-ranging overhaul of the country’s gambling regulatory framework, that will see player protection controls ramped up, new transparency requirements introduced, and a new supervisory authority formed.
The Austrian Treasury is currently responsible for licensing and enforcement of gambling regulations, but the new authority will take charge of these duties.
Blümel said that the key focus of this new regulator will be player protection, necessitating a series of new controls on legal and illegal gambling.
“Player protection is of particular importance, as gambling is a very sensitive area for players, their families and for society, which also carries considerable risks,” he explained.
“Players are often affected by addiction and as a consequence confronted with financial, psychological and existential issues.”
As a result, the regulator will be tasked with establishing a national self-exclusion system covering online and land-based gambling.
It will also be expected to step up enforcement activity against unlicensed operators and will have the power to order internet service providers to block access to these sites.