A gambler that lost €1,000,000 playing online casino games in Austria is suing the online operator based on the fact that the company operated in conflict to Austrian monopoly laws towards online gambling, hence the player says makes it illegal and wants his losses back.
The case has reached the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) which asked for a revision of the entire national gambling legislation.
The court that heard the initial case has supported the claim by the player but was overruled by Austria’s Supreme Court which decided in favour of the online operator which claimed that the national gambling law established in Austria was a monopoly against European treaties on the free movement of services.
Because of the complexity of the case and rulings so far given the case has now gone to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for further evaluations.
The conclusion and decision of the ECJ will have huge consequences should they favour the idea of gambling monopolies being against European rules.
With countries such as Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania facing legal actions similar to those of Austria, not only this but should the gambler win his fight for compensation it would see thousands of other online gamblers going to court in those countries with similar laws as Austria.
The decision of the ECJ is crucial and a wake-up call for the EU to get a coherent and regulated law across the states to prevent this exploding into massive court cases.