Austria’s Supreme Court suggests that the country’s gambling regulations should be revised.
During the past few months, government monopolies over online casinos in Europe have been the centre of attention in the gambling industry. Now it looks like it is Austria’s turn to revise its current regulations, after the Supreme Court made a ruling on an unusual case where a player lost EUR 1 million playing online roulette at an unlicensed casino.
The unnamed gambler decided to sue the virtual casino and his lawyers argued that, since the online operator wasn’t licensed under the current Austrian gambling laws, it was conducting its operations illegally. On the other hand, the defense claimed that the country’s gambling monopoly is against European regulations, which require state governments to grant free movement of services.
The first two instances of the court agreed with the player, but the Supreme Court overruled the previous verdicts.
Laws in need of revising
The complicated case was sent to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for further evaluations and it looks like the plaintiff managed to dig up the long forgotten debate of Austria’s gambling monopoly. If the ECJ agrees with the Supreme Court’s ruling, which claims that current laws are not in compliance with EU regulations, then Austria will need a new set of regulations for the online gambling industry.
Several other states have been warned about their vague gambling laws and last November, the European Commission officially requested that Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania clear up their current policies.