The Austrian High Court just ruled that the 15-year online gaming monopoly offered by the state to Casinos Austria is constitutional. This means that Casinos Austria will remain the only company legally able to offer online casino services in the country.
In October 2011 Austria awarded a land-based lottery and online casino gaming license to Casinos Austria. The licenses in question will be valid for a period of 15 years that began on October 1st 2012. Austria, however does not intend to award more licenses to additional companies.
This decision was challenged by three online casino companies that in the past also applied for the sole license issued by the state. These companies are Bet-At-Home, Lotelo and Bandal. They claim that the whole licensing procedure itself was a sham from the beginning.
The three companies argue that the tender conditions for the license were specially constructed to eliminate all companies from the race except Casinos Austria. One example to this is the fact that the tender conditions required a minimum capital requirement of €109 million and surprisingly Casinos Austria’s capital was exactly €110 million.
Implementing tender conditions that purposefully eliminate certain companies while offering an unfair advantage to one specific company is against the laws of Austria and the European Union.