Gaming Monopoly: Games of chance are, according to Austrian law, defined as games that are decided, exclusively or largely, by luck or chance. The federal government (Ministry of Financial Affairs) is the only authority to grant licences for games of chance (1989 Act). Licences are only granted to Austrian companies (currently the Casinos Austria AG). It is forbidden by law to take part in any foreign game of chance. According to EU laws gaming is regulated by the individual member states since it is subject to law of public order and not benefit law. As a result the Austrian gaming monopoly was not affected by accession to the EU in 1995 as were other Monopolies.
Gambling with slot machines with a stake not higher than 5 ATS and winnings less than 200 ATS are not subject to the monopoly. Oesterreichische Lotterien Ges.m.b.H.) holds licenses issued by the Ministry of Finance for operating toto (various sports), lotto "6 aus 45", bonus games, instant win lotteries (e.g. scratch-cards), Dutch Lottery and lottery. Numbers game, as well as raffles, lucky dips and "mock lotteries" are games of chance that are legally practised in Austria and do not require a licence.
Since the 16th century, "hazard games" were gradually replaced by lucky dips, in which mainly silver, china and paintings were drawn from the pool. During the 18th century, however, the lottery has gradually become the most popular game. Public games of chance were rather uncommon in Austria. In 1721 a game, similar to the Dutch Lottery was introduced for the first time. The 1813 "Lottopatent" legalised the state lotteries (lotto, raffles, stakes in foreign lotteries). In 1871, gaming was considerably restricted in Austria, and abolition was repeatedly demanded by the Reichsrat. In 1913, the Klassenlotterie was introduced.
Literature#H. Mayer, Staatsmonopole, 1976; P. Erlacher, Gluecksspielgesetz, 21997.