Austrian Lawmakers Plan Initiative Against In-play Sports Betting

Moves at both provincial and federal level are afoot

In-play sports betting may soon be outlawed in Austria as federal and provincial legislators mull changes to the law.

The provincial initiative is led by the state of Tirol, where a coalition comprised of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and Green Party is considering changes to the Tirol Bookmaker and Totalisator Law of 2002.

A spokesperson for the provincial legislature, Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf, said this week the need for change was motivated by concerns about the prevention of problem gambling and the protection of consumers.

"Such [in-play] bets require rapid decision making that increases the risk of losing control over bets and increases risks," she claimed.

The revisions include bans on sports betting between midnight and 8am, and stricter controls over the identification of punters.

Politicians are also seemingly bent on increasing revenues for the government, and are considering an almost 100 percent hike in licensing fees to Euro 150,000.

The proposals have yet to come before the national parliament but have wide political support and are expected to pass without too much difficulty.

Tirol's initiative is barely ahead of federal government proposals to introduce a nation-wide stiffening of sports betting laws to guard against corruption in sports, according to local media reports.

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