Austrian Association For Betting And Gambling Raises I.S.P. Blocking Concerns

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Aug 25, 2017

Ministry for the Interior’s proposals regarding ISP blocking raises hackles

The trade body Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming has raised concerns around a Ministry for the Interior proposal that ISP companies be given authority to block websites they believe are indulging in criminal activity, noting that although online gambling is not specifically mentioned it could be targeted by such an amendment to existing laws.

The proposal envisages amendments to existing national telecommunications legislation granting powers to internet service providers to introduce “traffic management measures” on targets they believe warrant such action, and the duration of such blocks.

The Association, formed last year, has called for a dismantling of the Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries monopolies in the interests of a fair, open and competitive online gambling market, the modernisation of gambling laws and a harmonisation of gambling revenue tax.

However there appears to be little political appetite for such changes to the status quo, despite pressure from the Association and international courts.

The local monopoly enjoyed by Casinos Austria online subsidiary WinADay could potentially benefit if government allowed ISPs to block the websites of unlicensed rivals; the government has blocked attempts by companies in other EU member countries to licence in Austria.

Thus far such bans have not been imposed, perhaps due to the threat of litigation and legal pressure from the international courts and the European Commission.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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