Yesterday, Austria launched their own state-run online poker room, www.win2day.at. Player registration began yesterday morning, and the Austrian site is planning several â‚¬5,000 freerolls to kick things off. With the launch of their site, Austria became only the second country in the world to run a state-run online poker room. The other country is Sweden. Austria accepted help from Sweden’s state-run online poker site, Svenska Spel, in the development and implementation of win2day.at.
The Austrian site is run by Casinos Austria and Ã–sterreichische Lotterien and also offers more typical gambling fare, casino games and lotteries. Casinos Austria is actually a majority owner in Ã–sterreichische Lotterien, whose name is German for Austrian lottery, and definitely have firm control over the site. Casinos Austria also owns land-based poker rooms, which are prominently displayed in advertisements on win2day.at.
The European Union has been cracking down on countries that have tried to maintain domestic monopolies in the online gambling industry and recently began taking action against Sweden for turning their state-run poker site into a monopoly. Austria is most likely carefully watching how this case turns out, and if Sweden survives the legal challenges and can keep their monopoly, Austria will most likely attempt to turn their state-run site into a monopoly as well. It is very unlikely that Sweden will be allowed to keep their monopoly, but it is possible.
Austria’s poker site started off well, with more than 2000 people signing up in the first 24 hours. This trend is likely to continue making www.win2day.at into a very profitable poker site, boosting the profits already received from their casino and lottery games.