Austrian poker fans will face more restrictions in the future, when the country’s Finance Ministry plans for tax reform come into effect and confine poker action to licensed land casinos, electronic lotteries like win2day and WINWIN machine operators.
Wirtshauspoker (pub poker) will still be allowed – but on condition that the games are only held every quarter and are limited to a maximum of 100 players, who pay no more than Euro 10 per person as buy-ins.
But poker halls like Concord Card will be excluded.
Welcoming the announcement of the changes, Casinos Austria said it had hoped that the reforms would take effect earlier – in 2017 – than was presently planned, and trusted that the authorities would pursue and prosecute those who broke the law.
Austria still appears to be at odds with the European Commission and the European Court of Justice regarding its non-compliance with European Union laws on gambling. Last year the ECJ found that the country was applying gambling laws in an inconsistent manner and was focused more on collecting taxes than protecting consumers.