Court of Justice Rules Austria Can Ignore Malta Online Casino License

Written by Nick M. on 2011-09-26 at 14:56
Austrian gambling laws - GamingZion
The EU Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court has made a ruling affirming the right of Austrian gambling laws to not recognize online gambling licenses from other EU member states, specifically in this instance from Malta.

The case stems from an online casino in Austria which set up its servers within the country while being licensed as an online casino by Malta, an EU member state, but not by Austria.

According to online gambling news in Austria, Austria, which jealously guards its casino monopoly, immediately took down the company and arrested its owners.

Not to be outdone, the owners immediately took Austria to the EU Court of Justice, claiming that since the company was licensed in another EU member state, it was perfectly within its rights to offer its services within other EU member states.

The Austrian online casino, backed by the Maltese government, said the Maltese online gaming rules were adequate to protect consumers without the need for any additional Austrian online casino licenses even if such a thing existed.

The EU Court of Justice ruled for Austria, claiming that due to multiple fragmented and often contradictory laws in EU member states, Austria is perfectly within its rights to protect its monopoly by excluding online gambling providers from setting up servers within their country even if they are licensed by a fellow EU member state.

“A member state may legitimately wish to monitor an economic activity which is carried out on in its territory and that would be impossible if it had to rely on checks made by the authorities of another member state using regulatory systems outside its control.

“When assessing the proportionality of a monopoly, the national courts are not required to take into account the monitoring and control systems regulating companies established in another member state,” the ECJ said in its ruling.

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