OVWG Calls for an End to the Monopoly of Casinos in Austria After Scandal

Home » OVWG Calls for an End to the Monopoly of Casinos in Austria After Scandal

The Austrian Betting and Betting Association (OVWG) called for an end to the monopoly of casinos in the country, after the corruption scandal that broke out in which politicians and the Austrian monopoly operator are involved.

The most important commercial gambling group in Austria, referred to the investigation carried out by the authorities on the relationship between the CFO of Casinos Austria, Peter Sidlo and the company Novomatic. The case is that Sidlo is a district councilor in Vienna for the Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) and also a Novomatic shareholder.

Although both Sidlo and Novomatic deny that there has been any irregularity in the performance of the position, it is claimed that Sidlo’s appointment is related to licensing.

As part of its investigation initiated in August, the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) practiced new raids last week.

“Developments in recent days have shown one thing: Austria urgently needs to rethink its monopoly on gambling,” said OVWG in a statement, speaking on behalf of the providers of online gambling and sports betting.

It said in the statement that the monopoly is referred to

“the multiple function of the Federal Minister of Finance as a supervisory authority, licensing agency and co-owner,” on the one hand and on the other, “it is an unjustifiable fact that there is only one national license for online gambling, which also raises important concerns about its compliance with EU legislation.”

At the time of being appointed as CFO of Casinos Austria in May, Sidlo encountered some resistance due to his little experience for that position. When he began the investigation into the relationship between his appointment and the granting of the license, Sidlo was suspended in September.

The Austrian Casinos operations monopoly in the country comes since 2016, just after the license to three operators was revoked.
OVWG cited in its declaration to Denmark as a model of a successful regulatory regime, in which it offers customers the service of player protection, in addition to legal security and comprehensive control for companies, while the state has guaranteed tax revenues.

According to OVWG, Denmark is an example to follow in which

“they show that these objectives can be achieved by introducing a licensing system in which licenses are not limited in quantity, but are subject to compliance with high standards of player protection.”

It added that

“All relevant suppliers in the Danish market have requested such licenses and therefore can be completely controlled by the Danish authorities.”

Source:
https://www.igamingbusiness.com/news/casinos-austria-scandal-leads-calls-end-monopoly
https://sbcnews.co.uk/europe/2019/11/22/scandal-underlines-ovwg-calls-for-end-of-gambling-monopoly/

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