Austrian trade body names Forstner as new secretary general

Austrian gambling interest group the Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) has appointed Thomas Forstner as its new secretary general.

Forstner assumes the role with significant experience in association work, such as his time working both the Association of Austrian Security Companies (VSÖ) and the Alpine Association of Creditors (AKV).

He will become the first point of contact for politicians, authorities and media in all gaming-related matters.

Forstner said: “The aim of the OVWG is to create fair framework of conditions in the online area that comply with the applicable EU regulations.

“As an interest group, we will vehemently advocate that the legal framework for games of chance and betting in particular be reformed in such a way that ultimately everyone can benefit from it: The users through the highest player protection standards, the providers with clear legal requirements and the state with predictable and secure tax revenues.”

Forstner began his duties in the new role last month.

Austrian online gambling has been heavily affected by court rulings concerning offshore online operators attracting Austrian customers. Bet-at-Home announced its decision to remove its casino products from Austria back in October 2021. This forced the operator into a restructuring plan which would see 65 employees laid off from the company.

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Author: Raymond Fleming