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Spielerhilfe Shows Austrian Lotteries Age Verification Failings

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Spielerhilfe, the Austrian player protection organization, has announced it believes the Casinos Austria’s Österreichische Lotterien (Austrian Lotteries) has carried out multiple breaches of its licensing terms.

The gambling regulation authority claims Austrian Lotteries, owned by the Allwyn group, is in breach of its operating terms because it sold tickets for the state-backed lottery to players who are under 18.

Reforms to the Austrian gambling legislation have been welcomed by stakeholders in the iGaming industry, and one of the changes has been the increase in the age of players who can purchase lottery tickets from 16 to 18. This change came into effect from July 23rd this year.

Spielerhilfe Uses Mystery Shoppers

Spielerhilfe used mystery shoppers aged between 12 to 14 in the different states throughout the Austrian region who attempted to purchase tickets for lottery games, including lottery tickets and instant win games.

The underage gamblers attempted to purchase 175 lottery products in the Austrian states of Salzburg, Upper Austria, and Lower Austria. Spielerhilfe notes they were successful in over 50% of their attempted purchases.

It is thought that Austrian Lotteries knew of the changes in the law but had not informed all of the retail shops that sell lottery tickets and services.

Spielerhilfe Urges Age Verification

Spielerhilfe has stated that because Austrian Lotteries do not have a robust age verification process in place is the main reason that over 70 violations were allowed to happen.

Had the lottery operator introduced a strict set of guidelines for its retail outlets, then these shops would not have been at risk of breaching the new age limit legislation.

As a basic requirement, the Austrian lotteries must ensure proper player protection. The violations in Salzburg, but also in the other federal states, confirm that this is not guaranteed. The protection of young game participants is an absolute basic requirement that fails here. That is why the responsible authorities should now check whether the Austrian lotteries actually have the necessary reliability to be able to continue to keep the license.

Christoph HolubarChairman and Spokesperson for Spielerhilfe

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