In Austria, online casinos are governed by the 1989 Gambling Act known as Glücksspielgesetz which has been frequently amended, including in 2020. They have another level of regulation through the E-Commerce Gesetz. Online casinos are licensed at the national level, yet there is only one government-approved online casino in the country, leaving the way open to offshore sites offering online casino games similar to those found globally.
Austrian gambling authorities and the country’s Ministry of Finance have regularly discussed blacklisting and blocking access to foreign internet casinos no law has yet been passed to ensure this happens. This means that Austrians are entitled to play at offshore casinos and gamble on casino games without breaking the law.
Offshore casinos licensed by the Maltese and UK gaming authorities accept players from Austria, opening up hundreds of online operators to Austrian players with nearly all the popular table games offered in German with a German-speaking human dealer at live games.
In Austria, offshore casinos are often termed Austrian casinos because their services are focused at Austrians that they hardly feel foreign domains. Not only are the sites in German they also accept euro currency, along with cryptocurrencies and the ability to bankroll accounts via Austrian banking sources. Sites also offer region-specific bonuses and promotions. Casino games are also increasingly on offer on legal sports betting sites in Austria, which is a growing market, introducing casino games to a far wider audience in the country.
The most popular online casino game for Austrian players is slots, particularly those that are similar to the slots found in the country’s land-based casinos. The slots here are more straightforward than rivals and are provided by companies including Booongo and Novomatic, though thousands of games from other developers are also available to players and growing in popularity as games become easily accessible on phones.
Baccarat is less popular online because there are not as many variants of the game that can be found in other countries.
Blackjack is popular globally and Austria is no different. There are variants of the game from single-deck releases to complex live dealer titles that have drawn in Austrian players as well as the more unusual Blackjack Surrender and Switch.
Poker was always popular with Austrians but became outlawed when redefined as a game of chance, rather than a game of skill as in the rest of Europe. The offshore casinos have seen numbers skyrocket since this time, with software providers providing many variants to attract players, with some sites offering poker tournaments.
With no formally licensed online casinos, Austria does not regulate its internet betting industry and which means that players pay no taxes on winnings, with the casinos solely responsible for paying all gambling-related taxes in the country.