Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in Austria?
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Austria has a complex relationship with betting. Although it is legal to bet both online and in-person, the government works strongly to create a market monopoly of local companies, with little room for international investment. Despite these limited choices, Austrian punters are still offered some of the best betting opportunities in the world. Austrian bookmakers are some of the largest and most competitive, constantly improving their services to create the best betting environment for clients.
Interesting Facts about Betting in Austria
- Casino Austria, the main gaming corporation in Austria, is the largest casino operator in the world
- Austria is one of the only countries to legally differentiate between low-scale betting and higher stakes gambling
- Some of the largest and most profitable online betting companies in Europe originated in Austria
- Over 50% of all online gambling done in Austria is done on mobile phones, not a computer
- Illegal international betting sites are more popular than local Austrian bookmakers that are licensed to operate in the country
- The largest poker hall in Europe exists in Vienna, the capital of Austria
Gambling Legislation and Laws
Gambling in Austria, both in physical bookmakers and online, is currently legal. However, it is relatively strictly regulated by the government to reduce levels of problem gambling. The government differentiates between “proper” gambling that utilizes large sums of money, and “Kleines Glüksspiel,” which is betting that is relatively low-stakes, such as card machines or slot games. Kleines Glüksspiel is allowed everywhere, but higher-stakes gambling is limited to certain licensed casinos.
Online gambling is legal, but only for Austrian companies that are targeting Austrian punters. Bookmakers can apply for online gaming licenses that allow them to operate online and through apps. These companies are only allowed to offer their services to Austrian clients; they are not allowed to advertise to customers outside of Austria. International companies are not allowed to offer their services to Austrian customers, and there have been instances that companies such as Bet-At-Home have been legally forced to exit the Austrian betting market.
Competition between Operators
There is a monopoly on casinos, with all the physical casinos in the country being owned by Casino Austria, a company that has existed since 1967. This monopoly prevents other Austrian casinos for gaining traction within the casino market.
When it comes to online betting, there is no monopoly on the market. There are a number of Austrian sites that gamblers can choose from when they are looking for somewhere to sign up to. This number is relatively limited, however, so although there is not a monopoly, competition between operators is fierce. This is beneficial for the punter because it encourages companies to constantly provide the highest quality services with the best odds so that Austrian bettors have only high-quality options to choose between.
Unlicensed, international betting companies are actually more popular for users in Austria, compared to the legal counterparts that exist within the country. As a result of this, there is unlikely ever to be a monopoly, unless the government decides to ban international companies with repercussions for players.
Bonuses from Austrian Bookmakers
Austrian bookmakers offer their players a number of different bonuses and promotions in order to encourage players to keep betting. The majority of sites will offer a welcome bonus to encourage users to sign up. These vary from site to site and might give punters free bets, or it might match the original deposit that is made, giving the punter double the funds to begin betting with.
Sites also offer a range of promotions for their existing customers, to encourage them to retain their accounts. These vary even more than the welcome bonuses and are often changing, allowing customers more opportunities to gain. There might be promotions tied to a specific tournament or game, increased odds on certain days of the week, free spins on certain casino games, the list is endless.
Betting Features and Options in the Austrian Bookmakers
Austrian bookmakers are some of the best in the world, and they are constantly offering their clients the latest in betting technology. Some of the features in reputable bookmakers include:
Available Payment Methods
Austrian bookmakers offer their clients a number of different ways to deposit and withdraw money so that everyone can find a convenient option. The most commonly used and offered methods are bank card (Visa and Mastercard are always accepted, occasionally also American Express). Clients can also use e-wallets such as Skrill, and WebMoney, as well as a host of others. There are also a number of bank transfer options as well, such as Western Union. The majority of these options are free, and instantaneous, for both deposits and withdrawals. The majority of payment options require a minimum of €1 for both deposits and withdrawals as well.
Austria utilizes the euro (EUR), just like a number of other countries on the continent. While the euro will be accepted by Austrian bookmakers, it is also widely accepted by international bookmakers, due to its use in a number of countries. Thus Austrian punters should not face any difficulties if they choose to use an international site either.
Mobile Betting in Austria
All of the reputable licensed bookmakers who offer their services online also offer their customers apps to access their site. These apps are free to download and are available on both Apple and Android products. This allows the users all of the services that are on offer through the desktop version of the site, just more convenient for wherever and whenever they wish to play.
Alternatively, punters may wish to access betting sites on their phone or another device, without having to download an app. Most sites will offer a mobile version of their website, which can be used. This is the exact same as the desktop version of a site, except that it is designed to be used on a smaller screen, making it easier to navigate.
Online casinos are legal in Austria, provided that the company is physically located within Austria, and only offer their services to Austrian punters. The law does not explicitly state what kind of casino games are legal to bet on, simply that they are called “games of chance”. As a result, Austrians can play poker, live poker, as well as various casino and slot games. Austrian companies are only able to accept punters that live in Austria.
Conversely, there is nothing stopping punters from accessing sites that exist overseas. Austrians are still able to sign up to international sites that are not registered within Austria, and they have access to the wider online market that exists.
Leading sports for betting in Austria
Just like the rest of Europe, football is one of the most popular sports to bet on, as well as one of the most popular to play. Although all Austrian sites will offer to bet on local teams and tournaments, it is actually more popular to bet on the German Bundesliga, the local professional German league. And many sites will also offer a range of overseas championships, regardless of Austrian participation.
- Ice Hockey
Ice hockey is a very popular sport in Austria, due to their cold-weather providing ample opportunity to play and practice. Although the national team is not yet one of the best in the world, they are constantly improving at a national level, and punters love to watch their growth.
Basketball is another sport that Austrians excel at, reflected in their love of betting for the local teams. All Austrian bookmakers will offer not only bets on local tournaments but also the NBA, the most popular basketball league in the world.
- Alpine Skiing
Another sport that is popular in Austria due to the success of their national team. The Austrian ski team is incredibly skilled, and due to the weather in the country, alpine skiing is a favoured pastime for the country. This, combined with the success of the national team, creates an increased interest in betting on the sport.
The Profile of an Austrian Bettor
Compared to other countries, not much is known about the average Austrian bettor, as there have been very few studies that document this demographic. Austrian bettors are still more likely to engage in land-based betting. However, the online betting industry is experiencing exponential growth year after year.
The majority of gambling research that does exist in Austria is focused on those with gambling addiction problems, although Austria has a very low incidence rate of gambling addiction (approximately 1%).
Is online betting legal in Austria?
Yes, it is legal for Austrians to bet online. However, they are legally limited to companies that are from Austria and have the correct licensing. This does not stop punters from accessing international sites and gambling on there as well.
Are there any taxes for Austrian players on their winnings?
There are no taxes for punters who wish to gamble online. The government does tax establishments 30%, but that is for the company, not the individual.
Can I open an account and play in the EU?
No, it is illegal for Austrian bookmakers to offer their services to international customers. However, there are many reputable Austrian sites such as Bwin, that have migrated into the international scene. So there are still opportunities for players to experience Austrian betting services, even if they no longer operate out of Austria. Alternatively, customers can use a VPN to bypass geographic barriers that prevent them from playing.
Can Austrians use international betting sites?
Yes, although it is technically illegal, there are no cases of punters being prosecuted, only companies. Bettors must just understand that if they choose to do this, that they are no longer protected by Austrian law in the event of any unfortunate situations, should they arise.
Are foreign sports betting websites safe?
If customers choose to, they can access international sites. However, punters must understand that when they do this, they are limited in terms of the legal protection they have from the government. There are a number of different international sports betting sites, of varying levels of reputability and security. Austrians may also choose to utilize foreign sites due to their larger range of sporting events available to bet on. If Austrian punters choose to do this, they should look out for safe sites. Generally, a good indication of safety is where the sites are licensed for – if an international site is licensed in a place such as the United Kingdom, which is known for their strict regulations, then they know that the risk of using such as site is minimal.
What is the best online casino in Austria?
While there are a number of excellent options available to Austrian bettors, one of the best online casinos is 22Bet Casino. There are a number of different links online that Austrians can use to access the site, and corresponding app/mobile version. This site is part of the larger 22Bet company, a reputable organization that has existed for over a decade, and continues to grow its user base in accordance with its increasing casino offerings.
Are there any betting restrictions for players from Austria?
There are generally no betting restrictions for Austrian players. There are a few sites that refuse to serve Austrian punters due to the laws and risk of being prosecuted, but apart from that, Austrians are relatively free to choose what site they wish, to play on.
Austria has some of the strictest laws surrounding online gambling, while still allowing online gambling to continue. While a number of bookmakers have appealed to the EU, stating that Austrian laws are unfair and should not inhibit international companies, Austria has managed to retain their laws, and continue to license companies that are exclusively Austrian. Only time will tell if they relax their stance towards international competition, or whether they continue to limit their market for local players.
Regardless, Austrian online bookmakers are some of the best in the world, offering great opportunities and odds for punters. These sites are reputable and safe, offering the latest in security technology to ensure that punters are not left disappointed.
Despite this, punters can still access almost all overseas sites anyway. The majority of online gambling done in Austria is done on illegal international sites, so the only loser here is the Austrian government, which loses millions of euros in tax.