The Austrian capital
of Vienna has moved closer to enforcing a ban on live betting, with new
legislation submitted to the City Council for approval.
The new law, the Act
on the Conclusion and Brokerage of Bets (also known as the Vienna Betting Act),
sets out a number of key controls for gambling in Vienna, replacing previous
legislation that passed in 1919.
It brings in strict
penalties to combat unlicensed betting shops and stricter operating
requirements for licensed companies.
The law has already
been approved by the European Commission, after it was passed to the body for
approval in November last year.
Under the new
legislation operators will be required to implement stricter requirements such
as credit checks, criminal record checks and implement an early warning system
to identify addictive betting patterns.
machines in venues such as petrol stations or catering establishments will only
be able to allow players to bet up to €50, and will not be allowed to use
credit cards to make deposits. Betting terminals will also be taxed at a base
rate of €350 per machine.
Only those over the
age of 18 will be allowed to bet, while customers will also be able to exclude
themselves from playing voluntarily.
Operators must also
train employees in dealing with gambling addiction, with companies threatened
with having their licences revoked should they fail to comply with these
In-play betting will
also be banned, with the only bets allowed to be placed during the course of a
match on the final and half-time result, with bets described as “fraud-prone”
such as next yellow card or next corner no longer permitted.
City councillor Ulli
Sima described the new law as a “milestone” for the city.
“We want to put a stop
to breaches of the [gambling] laws and protect the people of Vienna,” she
explained. “The new law replaces the outdated legislation from 1919, brings in
strict procedures against illegal betting and strict penalties for violations.”
Sima explained that
since small stakes gambling was banned in January 2015 there had been a shift
to sports betting. As a result new betting shops “sprouted like mushrooms out
of the ground,” she said.
Vienna has already
taken steps to tackle the issue, with fines of up to €22,000 and venue closures
in summer last year. Regular checks and investigations were carried out, with
85 venues checked, and 6 closed, with 254 betting terminals confiscated. The
Vienna Betting Act is the next step, Sima said.
“I am convinced that
such laws will have beneficial effects,” she said. “The recent developments are
encouraging; entire streets are changing because instead of betting outlets
shops and restaurants are popping up.
“The residents of our
neighbourhoods are benefitting from this development and will continue to do