In a research report commissioned by ÖBAG, Hermann Kuschej, Hanspeter Hanreich and Alexander Schnabl write about the financial and economic effects of gambling addiction and illegal gambling in Austria. The study shows the severe health consequences for gamblers as well as the high social costs caused. An increasing offer of online gambling and low-threshold access through smartphones reinforce the effects. In addition to the social costs of gambling problems, which are estimated between 7 and 13 million euros for 2019 in cases that have become known, the treasury misses out on at least 68 million euros in taxes due to illegal offers.
The study therefore calls for the legal equalisation of (online) betting and (online) gambling, the consistent implementation of regulations against illegal (online) gambling and the improvement of the data basis of gambling problems in terms of prevention and the evaluation of player protection measures.