European online casino gaming has been a strange place for many years. Many countries have a rather strict regulation pattern, while others have been far laxer. Austria has a strong system of licensing and regulation, and the system has led to some serious legal headaches in the past for others. One such example is the ongoing legal case in Austria, where numerous players are looking to be reimbursed for losses that were accrued on sites that were not regulated by the Casino Austria body.
However, this has led to some other big-name casino operators choosing to pull out of taking part in the countries regulated system. An example of this comes from Bet-at-Home, a popular part of the Austrian casino gaming scene. They are currently embroiled in a case, and while they expect to see a positive end result they believe that it is likely to be long-term until a decision is met.
The operator then noted that they would be pulling out of the Austrian gaming scene, noting in a statement: “Although the bet-at-home.com AG Group also assumes that its actions are lawful under European law and that the lawsuits are also inadmissible under civil law, the continuation of the online casino offering in Austria before final legal clarification over a period of time that is currently no longer foreseeable would lead to a steadily increasing risk potential that appears indefensible overall,
“The decision on any resumption of the online casino offering in Austria will be made in the future depending on the development of the legal framework.”
What happens next?
Bet-at-Home have been made aware that based on certain decisions from the Austrian tax authorities that they could be paying back as much as 40% of customer losses in a lawsuit. The change in expectation is likely to have a huge outcome on the companies’ finances, with the company now expecting a revenue of around €93m to €98m, down from the €100m-plus that was expected in their first half of the year results.
However, this might not be the last company to pull out of the Austrian gaming scene. The conflict has been rife, with the casino gaming market in the country finding it hard to locate a happy balance. This has seen many potential operators pull out of agreements, and it has left the country with a bit of an issue to solve if it wishes to keep a strong and popular online casino gaming scene.
Bet-at-Home, though, believes that the current regulatory system would eventually be proven to be unlawful, finishing in their statement by noting: “The bet-at-home.com AG Group still considers the online casino (de facto) monopoly of the national Austrian gambling regulation to be contrary to European law and accordingly considers itself to be a lawful online casino provider in Austria,” they concluded.
It will be some time until a final decision is made, but for now, it looks like Austrians will not be able to access Bet-at-home if they wish to take part in online casino gaming.