Connect with us

News

Interview with Dr. Mag. Klaus Christian Vögl

Published

on

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Dr. Mag. Klaus Christian Vögl, the long-serving Managing Director of the Department of Leisure and Sports Facilities in the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, offers here his lucid opinions on gambling and betting legislation in Austria. He not just talks about the nitty-gritty of legislation, but clearly implies where the new legislation could lead the betting industry to.

He is critical of Austria’s legislators and regulator. He says some of the legislators wantsimply to preserve and protect the acquis of monopoly companies (Austrian Lotteries, Casinos Austria)”. He talks positively about the way gambling legislation is changing in Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe.

There is much more. Read on for an enlightening interview with one of the foremost legal experts in Europe.

Question  

I’d first like to ask you to begin with a few words about yourself. It’s always nice to hear top-class professionals say a few words about themselves for our audience.

I´m Managing Director of the Department of Leisure and Sports Facilities in the Vienna Chamber of Commerce since 1981. Our specialist group looks after around 40 different branches, from tourist guides to dance schools and sports companies to the gambling and betting sector. The companies in the gambling monopoly sector are members of another division of the Chamber. Here in Austria, we have a statutory compulsory membership of all commercial enterprises in the Chamber of Commerce, which is around 600,000.

 

Question

Now on to betting laws in Austria. Protective can be a word used for the gambling legislation in the country. It is also somewhat unique in its distinction between betting and gambling. Your thoughts on this?

The distinction made by the Austrian Federal Constitution is indeed special. Gambling is a federal matter and essentially regulated in a monopoly, sports betting is a matter of the state and governed by various different state laws. In the betting area, there is (still) a free market regulated under very strict conditions, apart from Vienna. In Vienna the competent authority, due to political decisions, almost does not issue licenses although we have a brand new state law.

 

Question

The betting law varies from region to region in Austria. For instance, the betting law of Salzburg is different from that of Vienna. What about a uniform betting legislation throughout the country – like the gambling legislation?

In fact, the current government program plans to transfer the betting system into federal competence. In principle, nothing would be objectionable. For the providers operating throughout Austria, it could even be a great advantage and a simplification. However, we fear that the legislator and the stakeholders behind it could establish a monopoly or oligopoly, in order to eliminate the free market. As was accomplished concerning slot machines before in 2012.

 

Question

There have been reports about new amendments in the betting and gambling legislation, ranging from IP blocking for online betting to the operation of biometric recognition in slot apparatus and setting up of a Competence Center. How are these legal amendments going to affect the betting industry in the country? Is it going to be stricter?

We fear that the train will roll in the stricter direction. The planned changes in the gambling sector that you address are not yet affecting sports betting. Setting up biometric controls is not a problem for our industry in itself, even welcomed. What worries us most of all at the moment is the demonization of the betting terminals and, in Vienna in special, the legislators fight against betting exchange. Imagine: the whole country, the government and the whole of Europe is talking about digitization, and then we should get back to the bookmakers switch if possible. Whereas it anyway still exists.

 

Question

Isn’t the conservative approach to betting and gambling legislation a hindrance to the growth of betting and gambling industry in the country?

Absolutely, but that’s the political will of all political parties in Austria. The Chamber of Commerce is also in favour of strict framework conditions. The gambling and betting market does not have to grow at all, but it should be regulated in a consolidated way. This applies, for example, to the area of online gambling, which is totally ignored by our gambling law, or even online betting, for example, for which the Viennese authorities declare to be not responsible. Only in Salzburg you can apply for such a license concerning betting.

 

Question

The gaming world has been witnessing a massive change with the introduction of new software platforms, crypto currencies and generally smarter operators. How is Austria’s law faring against the changes?

Not at all, these areas are ignored and declared illegal by our regulator. The aim of the legislator is simply to preserve and protect the acquis of monopoly companies (Austrian Lotteries, Casinos Austria).

Question

What are the major challenges facing the formulation of betting and gambling legislation as a whole? There is a thin line separating the need for protecting the society from gambling addiction and the need for allowing the industry to grow economically. How do the legislators negotiate this inherent conflict of interests?

Legislators see, as far as private sector providers are concerned, exclusively the field of protection of players and minors. Economic considerations or argumentation with secure jobs go nowhere, and there is not even a willingness to talk in Vienna. In the federal states, the policy is sometimes more prudent. When, for example, in Vienna in 2014, the “small slot machine game” was turned off by the legislature, this brought many gastronomic businesses and of course also long-established vending machines companies in distress. We argued with a high number of jobs and a tax loss alone from the amusement tax of around 80 million Euros for the city of Vienna, per year. Then a politician in a leading medium said, “these jobs are worth nothing”. In such a view, unfortunately, every factual conversation is unnecessary. On the other hand, the protected monopoly sector is expected to grow, with regular sales and profit figures being published on a regular basis, pointing out the high social importance of gambling. That this is not EU-coherent, is evident.

 

Question

What are the chances of realizing a unified betting law for Europe, at least for online gambling and betting? A legal equivalent of Euro, that is.

The ball is clearly in the hands of the commission, which has been squandering on the “hot mush” for years. Even the Services Directive excluded the gambling sector. The chances are not good in the short term. In the medium term, the need to intervene regulatively cannot be ignored. We can only hope that this does not happen too restrictive, although with full respect for consumer protection, which is one of the declared main aims oft he EU.

 

Question

On to a more general question now. E-sports are gaining more recognition and exponential popularity. It may soon be drafted into the Olympics too. Do you see any legal hurdles for the further growth of E-sports?

As long as E-Sports remains skill-based, I do not see any problems, these are normal events. Should it be possible to make the area Olympic, that would be a milestone, because the sport is regulated more favourably than the game. It could also be legally betted on the outcome of e-sports events, which is currently not possible. It is important to observe whether e-sports is not abused for illegal gambling, there is a certain danger I see, and this would put the entire new business sector in the wrong light.

Question

Now the final question – a bit off-topic. You have had a chance to travel a lot owing to your official position. Could you please share some interesting experience during your travels?

It is interesting for me to learn, for example in the Prague meetings, that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are wider than Austria in terms of realistic regulation of gambling. Unthinkable, for example, that official representatives of the Austrian Ministry of Finance would sit down with operators and ask: what can we do better? Our regulator always knows everything better on its own, even a public corporation like the Chamber of Commerce is only partially heard. Fascinating for me is in my travels, in what a short time Europe has grown together. You can really feel European today, and I do it with all my heart. I still experienced customs borders, the Berlin Wall, the Iron Curtain – an hour’s drive from Vienna. How far away is that today! And that’s good.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

News

Betsoft Gaming Partners with Casino Superlines

Published

on

Betsoft Gaming Partners with Casino SuperlinesReading Time: 2 minutes

Following a new partnership agreement, Betsoft Gaming will provide a selection of slot games to growing brand Casino Superlines.

The agreement covers an extensive range of RNG titles that have been approved for key regulated markets – including many from the perennially popular Slots3TM series.

Launched in April 2017, Superlines is a brand of Equinox Dynamic; its sister casinos Nordicasino, Africasino, and Spintropolis are also Betsoft customers.  Built around a generous bonus structure and access to 24/7 multilingual support, Superlines has, in the space of just twelve months, emerged as a popular destination for players throughout Europe and in the Nordic countries.

With the promise of VIP support, the biggest names in slots, and a strong promotional calendar, Superlines has attracted an extremely loyal and varied audience in a very short time,” explained Miguel Micallef, Account Manager at Betsoft.  “To keep all kinds of players engaged, and to offer something new to everyone, every visit, Superlines now needs to acquire and promote a portfolio of high-quality games from industry-leading brands.  Betsoft are pleased to be able to offer the right mix of quality and variety to meet the needs of their discerning player base.

The partnership arrangement also provides a path for new Betsoft games to be quickly and easily integrated to the Superlines platform.  Key titles will be prominently advertised as part of the brand’s player acquisition strategy, as Chief Marketing Office Arik Weiss explained:

Casino Superlines is a successful new brand: it has achieved wide exposure and attracted a lot of loyal players since its launch.  Those players see the Betsoft logo as a seal of quality, so by promoting Betsoft games in premium positions, we will be able to attract more of them to the best new titles, as well ensuring that we deliver a top-class gaming experience at every turn.

About Betsoft Gaming:
Betsoft Gaming develops innovative casino games for desktop and mobile.  Its portfolio of more than 190 RNG titles reaches players through partnerships with many of the iGaming industry’s leading operators.  Under the SLOTS3TM banner, Betsoft is elevating players’ expectations; these cinematic, true-3D slots blend rapid, gratifying gameplay with an audio-visual excellence more typical of movies and videogames.

An early entrant to mobile gaming, Betsoft launched the ToGoTM collection in 2012.  More recently, Betsoft revealed the ShiftTM environment, which supports truly cross-platform development at the same time as increasing performance, drastically reducing file size and streamlining integration.

Casino Manager, Betsoft’s comprehensive back-office platform, rolls reporting, management, marketing, promotion, and administration into a single compelling package.
Betsoft is headquartered and licensed to operate in Malta, and holds an additional license in Curacao.  Contact sales@betsoft.com or visit www.betsoft.com for general information and enquiries.

 

Source: Betsoft


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

Continue Reading

News

New Video Slot Red Rake Gaming: JUDGES RULE THE SHOW!

Published

on

New Video Slot Red Rake Gaming: JUDGES RULE THE SHOWReading Time: 2 minutes

The Valencian gaming company Red Rake Gaming surprises everyone with the launch of a new video slot machine with 3D graphics

 

“Judges rule the Show!” is coming to Red Rake Gaming. 3,2,1…Let the show begin!
Very special judges take control in this fun and lively video slot with 5×3 reels based on the programs with the highest audiences of all time where music and talent take centre stage. ‘Let’s go!!!

A microphone, a statuette, “Seven” symbols that shine like diamonds and 4 spectacular judges with their 4 buzzers form an explosive cocktail of prizes in every spin. And as if that wasn´t enough, through its “Judges rule the Show!” mechanics, each of the judges surprises the player with an incredible animation in 3D that leads to the function “ Sticky Wilds Judge Respin ”, thus offering more and more prizes. OhYeahhh!

Once again we can see in this new video slot that the work of the team of developers, illustrators and animators at the company Red Rake Gaming has really paid close attention to each and every detail in order to reflect realism and perfection in each symbol and animation. The result is truly marvellous. This is quality work at the highest level that has been the hallmark of this young and outstanding Valencian company since the outset.

 

About Red Rake Gaming:
Red Rake Gaming is a premium casino games developer which supplies its games to social and real money operators. Red Rake current portfolio contains +60 slots and +10 videobingos of top graphical and sound quality with unique and well balanced mathematics. Its content is certified for the Spanish and Italian regulated markets and the company plans to expand to several other jurisdictions during 2018. Red Rake’s games and RNG have been audited by several prestigious independent testing houses and are featured by a number of licensed operators.
For further information on the company, please visit: www.redrakegaming.com


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

Continue Reading

News

LeoVegas concludes partnership with Frank Andersson

Published

on

LeoVegas concludes partnership with Frank AnderssonReading Time: 1 minute

22, May, 2018 – LeoVegas has decided to conclude its partnership with brand ambassador Frank Andersson.

The partnership is being concluded in connection with the recent launch by LeoVegas of a new communication concept that is based on several brand ambassadors.

“We thank Frank for the years he has helped profile LeoVegas in Sweden. He has been a contributing factor behind LeoVegas’ strong growth in the Swedish market. LeoVegas has entered a new phase with several brands and greater breadth with more product categories. After a long and successful cooperation with Frank, it is now time to take the next step,” comments Gustaf Hagman, CEO of LeoVegas.

“I have concepts and ideas for developing my own games and want to focus more on this, so that will be the next step for me,” says Frank Andersson. “I had some great years with LeoVegas and want to thank LeoVegas for believing in me. We had a great time working together!”

 

About the LeoVegas mobile gaming group:

LeoVegas’ passion is “Leading the way into the mobile future”. LeoVegas is Sweden’s premier GameTech company and is at the forefront of using state-of-the-art technology for mobile gaming. In 2017 the company passed the threshold for being classified as a unicorn, i.e., a start-up valued at more than USD 1 billion. A large part of this success can be credited to an extreme product and technology focus coupled with effective and data-driven marketing. Technology development is conducted in Sweden, while operations are based in Malta. LeoVegas offers casino, live casino and sports betting, and operates two global and scalable brands – LeoVegas and Royal Panda – as well as a local, multibrand operator collectively referred to as Rocket X. The company’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For more about LeoVegas, visit www.leovegasgroup.com.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: