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Gambling is becoming increasingly popular in Austria today, even though the Austrian government has been trying counteracting gambling for some years now. Nevertheless, casinos, casinos and slot machines are as popular as sportsbooks and online casinos.

Gambling in Austria, as in many other countries, has a rich history and is certainly not a new phenomenon. Already in the Middle Ages, people from the nobility to the common peasant played for money and objects. From dice games to the first beginnings of a card game. Even famous people supported and indulged in gambling, for example, Mozart was said to have regularly been involved in betting. Archduchess Maria Theresa also invested large sums of money in a series of gambling games in the 18th century. Let's take a closer look at the history of gambling in Austria:

Gambling - entertainment for the people

Gambling in Austria was already popular in the 17th century. The members of lower social strata,  farmers or craftsmen, liked to spend their free time enjoying ball and dice games. On public holidays or fairs, public places were filled with people who either participated in gambling — stakes or no — or watched them.

However, with increasing popularity, gambling came into the rulers' field of vision. To counter unregulated gambling, Leopold I, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, imposed a law in 1696, according to which all illegal gambling could be prosecuted. This law became the first Austrian gambling law. It was the beginning of a constant back-and-forth that would last for centuries - to the present day.

The state has a look.

But, of course, the powerful had also realized the people were entertained with gambling. And so the first licenses for organizing games of chance were issued - directly from the Viennese court. The licenses at that time usually referred to card and dice games, ball games were out of fashion. So there was a first privatization of gambling in Austria.

Nevertheless, gambling at that time was still regarded as a pastime of the rabble and common people and was accordingly frowned upon and despised by the nobility. That shook the poor luck knights but little. Especially in the capital city of Vienna, virtually in the immediate vicinity of the Habsburgs, gambling was never done without an end in sight.

A game in honor...

At the beginning of the 18th century, the nobility began paying more tribute to gambling. The richer classes also joined this trend. True to the motto: "A card game in honor, nobody can deny." Some card games were considered quite civilized and elegant - the crucial qualities for everything that was worthy of the nobility and higher layers worth.

With the advance of gambling in the nobility, the further course of history was written. Now that all members of society found joy in gambling, it made its way through the country: even beyond Vienna or Salzburg, they began to get to know and discover the old card and dice games more and more. In addition, regional variations were invented. Various types of card and dice games and combinations of these were created, the first board games soon followed.

The Viennese court, while he was content to only grant licenses about a century ago, indulged himself in gambling. Heaven-high tournaments became more and more regulars until they became an integral part of cultural life. This development was fueled by the active participation in those events by Archduchess Maria Theresa herself. The Regent's budget was of course quite large and so she did not hesitate to play high stakes.

The state earns

With the increasing commercialization and popularity of gambling in Vienna, it was no longer possible to deny the idea of earning in ways other than gambling. Entry fees and initially manageable profit taxes were imposed. In addition, previously illegal gambling variants were legalized and organized under state supervision. Here, too, plenty of profits flowed into the treasury.

Participation in such tournaments was considered a privilege and was therefore highly sought after in wealthy circles. The positive effect: Even cultural sites such as the Hofburgtheater in Vienna were saved by gambling revenue from the final bankruptcy. Likewise, the infrastructure and security of citizens were promoted with gambling winnings. Finally, the first state lottery was introduced, which was used for the partial financing of the state budget.

A turbulent 20th century

In the 20th century, there were many innovations for gamblers of the Alpine republic. Thus, in 1913, the first class lottery was introduced, which has survived to this day and in which perhaps you too have already tried your luck.

1934 was the year of the first casinos and casinos opened at Semmering and in Baden near Vienna. But luck — to stay in the picture — did not last long: as early as 1938, it was called ne va plus and the operation of all casinos, except for those in Baden, was prohibited. However, with the Second World War, the company was also, understandably, set here. After the end of the war, the ornate building initially served as the headquarters of the Russian occupiers. Only in the mid-1950s, the game operation was resumed. After further renovations, the Casino Baden was in the 1990s, finally, the largest casino in the whole of Europe and a mecca for friends of well-kept gambling. Meanwhile, Casinos Austria AG operates 12 casinos in Austria, including of course the house in Baden.

Online gambling has also established itself in Austria since the turn of the millennium. With roulette online, gamblers in the Alpine republic have access to a portal where they can play lotto and Toto games but can also win poker or other virtual casino games with much luck and a little bit of skill.