Austrian poker regulation

This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation

Poker regulation is very relaxed in Austria. Poker is VERY popular in Austria, in fact, all forms of gambling are VERY VERY popular in Austria. A medium sized European powerhouse that allows the operation of over 50 land based casinos as well as a plethora of other popular gambling options like gas station slot machines, shopping mall slot machines, and anything slot machine!

Austrian poker rules

The law in Austria is pretty simple and splits between two concepts, big money gaming & small money gaming.

  • Bigg money gambling – which is a bet for any sum over 50 cents is allowed only in licensed gambling establishments, i.e Casinos and is subject to the gambling regulation of the country
  • Small money gambling – can be carried out freely throughout the country without tax or restrictions.

As you can imagine the idea of Small money gambling attracts local gambling clubs to open shop by using the loopholes in this law and you can expect to find a game open anywhere you go in the great country of Austria. Unfortunately, this very reasonable legislation, a bill that dates back to 2010, creates a problematic situation for licensed Austrian operators as the law states that they can only accept Austrian players while Austrian players are allowed to play abroad.

To be fair, before this law came into place, gambling was completely open in Austria and this led to many bad situations, so in 2010  the country saw a massive move by the Austrian government towards regulated gaming and the persecution which operators faced after this was very real and caused 1 vendor to push his trial all the way to the supreme court. The Austrian government is currently very strict in terms of allowing only licensed operators to host real money gaming operations in the country and despite several efforts by the European Union to free up the market the Austrian position remains firm. Since local laws create a disadvantage to local operators its unclear why the Austrian government doesn’t amend its laws, one theory is the loss of tax revenue that European laws suggest.

Austrian poker recommendations

We recommend that you stick to landbased gambling in Austria if you are on vacation and are looking to make a quick buck. If you’re a player from Austria we suggest you use the small local sites as a healthy supplement to your normal worldwide play. Local sites have local fish and its always easier to hunt in the local pond where the players behave as you expect.


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