Austria’s Financial Police Hand Out €500k of Illegal Gambling Fines
Earlier this week, Austria’s financial police, the Bundesministerium Finanzen, released figures relating to their operations related to undeclared work, illegal businesses, and tax evasion. As a result of these operations, a total of 2,185 criminal cases were opened and €6.5 million in fines issued.
Included in this were €492,000 of fines issued to the gambling sector in the first quarter of this year. In total, 46 companies underwent investigation in Q1 leading to 27 criminal complaints against individuals involved in illegal gambling. The majority of the complaints, 20, were in Vienna and the majority of the fines, €300,000, were also issued in Vienna.
Austria’s finance minister, Magnus Brunner, spoke recently explaining how illegal activities and tax evasion are harmful to the economy and legal businesses. He said that illegal businesses benefit from “unfair competitive conditions” that affect “honest entrepreneurs”. Brunner added, “Therefore, as part of our anti-fraud strategy, the financial police make a significant contribution to protecting our business location.”
Breaking down the fines for illegal activities by region shows that the largest number of fines, totaling €2.3 million, were issued in Salzburg. Vienna was next with €1.4 million followed by Lower Austria with €1 million.
The largest number of criminal complaints were related to Vienna, at 567, followed by Lower Austria with 424 and Upper Austria with 352.
During the first quarter, more than 13,200 employees across 7,200 companies were subject to investigation by the financial police. Most of these companies were in the construction sector, followed by the hospitality industry and then finally the transport sector.
No Specific Operators and Activities
It is important to note that the information provided does not specifically mention the nature of the illegal gambling activities or the specific casinos involved. Therefore, the impact on individual casino operators may vary depending on their compliance with gambling regulations and adherence to the law.
Overall, the actions taken by the financial police and the government's stance on illegal gambling indicate a stricter regulatory environment for Austrian casino operators. Operators should ensure they are in full compliance with the law to avoid potential fines and legal consequences.