Gambling and Sports Betting Generate Billions in Profits

June 8, 2023 | Gambling

The gambling and sports betting market has grown significantly in 2022. The proportion of illegal providers is 17%.

Vienna (June 7, 2023) – As every year, the market researchers from industry radar collected the sales and earnings of gambling and sports betting providers – including those generated illegally in Austria. Accordingly, gaming and betting stakes grew last year by 36.1% compared to 2021 to around 21.9 billion euros. The resulting gross gaming and betting revenue (BSE or BSW) increased by 21.7% to EUR 2.1 billion. The gambling share made up the largest part with 19.6 billion euros and 1.69 billion BSE. After a severe slump during the corona pandemic, the figures for 2019 were significantly exceeded.

In addition to the Casinos Austria and the lotteries, the concessionaires of the state lotteries (gambling machines) are also part of the legal gambling market. Such licenses are owned by, among others, Novomatic, PA Entertainment, Amatic, Excellent, PG Enterprise and Fair Games. If you now offset the total legal income in this area against the overall market, according to industry radar expert Andreas Kreutzer, around 17 percent of gross income in Austria is likely to be generated illegally. Not all, but many of the illegal providers also pay taxes in Austria – albeit on a voluntary basis. “It would certainly make sense to issue more licenses, then you could definitely push the illegal share of the market down significantly again,” says Kreutzer. In addition to higher tax revenues, this would also strengthen player protection. In fact, the Ministry of Finance (BMF) has no valid figures on how many taxes the state is currently missing, as confirmed by the BMF when asked. “The scientific collection of reliable data is currently being explored,” it says.

High margins can also be achieved with illegal slot machines. Therefore, in this area in particular, attempts are being made again and again to use new circumvention and concealment methods. “This includes gaming offers on tablets that are handed out in the restaurant, mobile gaming terminals in suitcases or gaming salons in apartments,” according to the BMF. However, the entire range of illegal gambling has declined sharply. According to the BMF, the number of confiscated “procedure objects” fell from 1636 in 2020 to just 385 in 2022. The first half of 2023 also showed stagnation at a lower level with 202 objects confiscated throughout Austria.

Figures exclude poker. According to Kreutzer, “unsustainable conditions have prevailed here since the strict restriction of the legal offer in 2019. In 2022, more than 80 percent of the gaming revenue of EUR 46.2 million was generated outside the licensed sector. At the time, one argued with player protection, but the opposite was achieved,” says Kreutzer.

By: Hugo Muellner.

View original (in German).

SOURCE: Tiroler Tageszeitung (TT).

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