Austria: Criticism of gambling reform

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Maximilian Deininger 19. May 2021

The Austrian sports associations criticize the planned reform of gambling in a protest letter. It is explicitly about the far -reaching advertising ban for sports betting providers and gaming companies. According to new legislation, the local sports clubs will no longer be allowed to enter into economic partnerships with actors from the gaming sector. The protest letter was addressed directly to Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, who is now in a predicament.

If the planned gambling reform actually comes into force, large sports clubs such as FK Austria Vienna will have to accept enormous financial losses. ((©hrryst/Pixabay)

Losses in sponsorship

The marketing of sports betting providers has focused even more on the players in professional sports in recent years. Clubs from a wide variety of sports are now sponsored by the various industry players. In Austria, this form of cooperation is represented both in the professional and in the semi -professional leagues of the country. One of The provider is currently the most formative company Bet-AT-Home, which is represented in the local Ice Hockey League, the basketball league and the highest division in handball and volleyball. The logo of the internationally known sports betting provider can be seen on the jerseys of the respective clubs.

These benefit financially through the sponsorship income, which could fizzle out by the planned gambling reform of the turquoise-green government. The new legislation will be prohibited from continuing their advertising and marketing activities in organized sport. For the clubs and teams would be accordingly break away an economic pillar. For this reason, the Austrian sports associations have ed Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, who is responsible in this cause.

Politics is covered. According to the Austrian news portal “Profile”, politics confronted the policy with the protest letter of the sports associations. A spokeswoman for the Vice Chancellor only confirmed that such a letter had been received in the Chancellery. However, a reaction has not yet been made. The news portal suspects that no politician has to be associated with a gaming company since the Ibiza affair.

Care for advertising ban and IP blocking

The advertising ban for Sports betting is particularly displeased in the Bundesliga in the Bundesliga and ensures a powerful headwind. Around eleven of the twelve league clubs Have at least one sponsor from the gaming industry. The well -known sports betting provider also holds Typical The name rights on the league. A cancellation of this cooperation does not fall directly under the planned restrictions, but there are also drastic measures here within the framework of what is possible.

According to the “profile” Bundesliga board member Christian Ebenbauer that a modern legal framework for gambling is required, but the supportive component for sport is not neglected be left. For example, the planned reform would hit the SCR Cashpoint Altach particularly hard. The Bundesliga club has marketed the name rights for both the club name and the stadium to the corresponding sports betting providers.

The Austrian ice hockey league is also similar. Managing Director Christian Feichtinger indicated that the gambling reform has a medium seven -digit amount at stake. In contrast to the Bundesliga, however, it is not the ban on advertising, but that IP blocking for non-state-licensed online casinos the problem. The national ice hockey league wears a sponsor bet-at-home before your name. Since the gaming company has both licensed and non-licensed platforms, IP blocking would push some online casinos out of the market. Feichtinger now fears that the sports betting providers would have fewer sponsorship money available.

IP-Blocking. With IP blocking, the Austrian government wants to prevent non-legitimized online casinos and gambling-like platforms on the national market. IP blocking is used on the respective Internet servers to block connections from the IP addresses of the non-concessionless online casinos.

Dilemma for Werner Kogler

Werner Kogler presents the current situation with a difficult task. The Vice Chancellor is literally in a moral dilemma because he, as chairman of the Greens, strives for a more restrictive regulation of the gambling industry. The advertising ban for sports betting plays a central role. This is the only way to ensure that it is possible to ensure a more extensive player protection. On the other hand, Kogler must Role as Minister of Sports offspring and act in the interest of the sports associations.

Economy or morality? In the next few days and weeks, Werner Kogler will have to put on a plan for how he wants to do with the tricky situation. The question arises as to whether he opts for his moral principles or the economy of national sport. The latter has already been affected by the continued Corona pandemic. The financial loss due to the lack of sponsorship funds could now give the individual sports associations another blow.