Participating in foreign gambling while in Austria is forbidden

Legal situation


Very high profits of the Italian lotto catch the attention of Austrian consumers. ECC Austria receives many requests regarding the participation in such foreign lotteries.


§ 168 of the Austrian Criminal Code (StGB) as well as the Austrian law regarding gambling (Glücksspielgesetz, GSpG) limit the organisation of and participation in gambling. Even though those regulations constrain the free movement of services within the EU Internal Market, the European Court of Justice has stated that such limitations of the gambling sector are valid due to national consumer protection and social order as long as they are not discriminating (decision C-275/92 of 24.03.1994).


According to the Austrian Glücksspielgesetz, the fee-based provision of gambling in Austria without a licence is forbidden. Even if the provider has a licence in another EU Member State, he is not allowed to offer gambling in Austria. This also applies to online gambling, like so called "electronic lotteries" (cf. § 12a GSpG).


Important note for consumers: Participating in foreign gambling while being in Austria, regardless of whether it's real or online, is forbidden!


So if you want to play Italian lotto, you need to actually be in Italy. Participating on-site is allowed.


Raffles that only require answering a question or submitting a postcard (without costs) as well as sportsbetting are usually not considered as "gambling" by law.


To sum it up: Hands off foreign gambling!

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