Good grades for Austrian gambling industry in comparison with international peers
- Big qualitative differences within the international gambling sector
- Verifiably high standards against money laundering and corruption
- Austrian gambling operators engaged in gambler protection
- Sustainability programmes exceed statutory requirements
In view of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) held in Las Vegas early October, we would like to revisit our research results with regard to domestic gambling operators.
Overall, it is fair to say that the Austrian operators show a commendable degree of implementing statutory protection measures. On the basis of designated sustainability programmes, domestic providers widely exceed international standards.
Reliable control systems
The issue of compliance (measures against money laundering and corruption, data protection, and information security) in particular is being taken very seriously by the Austrian gambling operators. This is reflected by the fact that designated management systems certified according to internationally acknowledged standards have been established and are subjected to external audits on an ongoing basis. Most recently, the effectiveness of these measures has also been pointed out by a report from the European Commission as well as by the Austrian Ministry of Finance.
Gambler protection successfully implemented
According to a study by the Austrian Ministry of Finance, the Austrian gambling industry has successfully implemented gambler protection. In particular, self-imposed restrictions, gambling lock-outs, and age and access controls have proven effective measures in Austria. For example, the initiative “Spiele mit Verantwortung” (Responsible gambling”) by Österreichische Lotterien and Casinos Austria provides gamblers with support in simplified language when it comes to avoiding or managing their addiction, if needed.
Sustainability programmes in Austria exceed statutory requirements
The Austrian market leaders Novomatic, Österreichische Lotterien, and Casinos Austria have developed comprehensive sustainability programmes that exceed statutory requirements.
Novomatic, for example, has built its entire management on a so-called materiality analysis. This analysis evaluates social, corporate, and environmental factors and their relevance for the business model and the company. Gambler protection and employee training, for example, are two parameters. The results are reported according to accepted standards in the sustainability area (Global Reporting Initiative). This procedure is in line with the highest management standards in sustainability. The cooperation of established providers also comes with positive effects on a European scale. For example, Novomatic has developed technologies for its gambling machines that is directly linked up to the IT centre of the respective governmental authority so as to reduce the risk of money laundering. The Casinos Austria and Österreichische Lotterien group (joined in 2011) and Novomatic (joined in 2014) are both the only representatives of gambling operators at UN Global Compact worldwide to have actively contributed to the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Big qualitative differences within the international gambling sector
From the perspective of sustainability, we still see the gambling industry critically overall. But there are huge differences among the various providers. On the one hand, the statutory requirements play a big role, on the other hand the differences are due to the philosophies of the individual companies and, at best, complement each other. For example, Novomatic points out that the stringent statutory requirements in Austria have increasingly turned into a competitive advantage for the company, given that they make the entry into new markets easier. From a sustainable perspective, this is a desirable development as it ensures that the export of those stringent standards is also in the best economic interest of the Austrian gambling operators.
Within the sector, we recognise the potential of the Austrian gambling industry taking a leadership role on the basis of its crucial contribution to the promotion of responsible gambling. The Austrian gambling industry could thus assume a leadership role.
 Please refer to https://www.bmf.gv.at/steuern/gluecksspiel-spielerschutz/in-oesterreich/Studie_zur_Evaluation_der_GSpG_Novelle_2010_Spielerschutz_3.pdf?63xfwk
 The Global Reporting Initiative is an international, independent organisation that helps companies, governments, and organisations understand and communicate the effects on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, or corruption.
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