bet-at-home AG has temporarily discontinued its online casino from Austria as the DACH markets operator faces legal challenges from Austrian customers demanding reimbursement for their online casino taxes.
The decision has been taken as bet-at-home continues to challenge Austria’s national gambling regime that dictates that online casino and poker be controlled by the government’s appointed concession of Casinos Austria.
Notifying investors, bet-at-home stated that its market position had become uncertain as a recent Austrian Supreme Court ruling had allowed Austria’s tax authorities to judge whether 40% of online casino taxes should be refunded to players.
Operating in Austria since 1999, bet-at-home underlined that it ‘considers itself to be a lawful online casino provider’, as Austria’s existing online gambling laws contravene the competition frameworks of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
bet-at-home continues to challenge 2011 amendments imposed on Austria’s Gaming Act, which allowed the government to establish a monopoly on online games of chance in which the concession was handed directly to Österreichische Lotterien (Austrian Lotteries), the former owner of Casinos Austria.
The Frankurt Boerse betting group maintains that it has observed positive ECJ case-law developments against Austria’s monopoly amendments.
Discontinuing its Austrian online casino services, bet-at-home has lowered its projected corporate revenues to a range of €93-to-€98 million, as it anticipates a 2021 EBITDA loss of €10-to-€14 million – accounting for expenses of €24.6 million in connection with the Austrian customer lawsuits.