Austrian Minister Plans To Set Up Independent Gambling Regulator

Austria's new minister of finance has announced plans to establish an independent gambling regulator, moving it out of the Treasury where industry officials claim it faces a conflict of interest.

Finance minister Gernot Blümel also said he is opposed to the sale of state shares in Casinos Austria, the casino gambling monopoly that the government part-owns through its Österreichische Beteiligungs (ÖBAG) holding company, and even raised the possibility of increasing its stake.

But perhaps more significantly to the wider industry, the finance ministry is looking to set up an "independent institution which will be free of instructions and responsible for the supervision of casinos, transparent licensing and comprehensive player protection", spokesman Andreas Jilly said.

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