Bet-at-home decides to temporarily stop offering an online casino in Austria
Bet-at-home AG has announced that it will temporarily cease its online casino offering in Austria and recognize other provisions due to players’ lawsuits for reimbursement of gambling losses.
The Management Board decided during a meeting with the Supervisory Board to suspend the online casino offer in the country. This is due to the fact that, even if the company considers itself lawful, the continuation of the activity before the final legal clarification over a period which is no longer foreseeable would lead to a potential of constantly increasing risk which appears globally. indefensible. .
The Germany-based company had previously announced that it was facing legal claims from customers for reimbursement of gambling losses in the online casino.
In a statement issued by the company, the bet-at-home.com AG group said it still considers the online casino monopoly of Austria’s national gambling regulations to be “contrary to EU law”, and considers itself a “legal online.” casino provider in Austria â.
With regard to the need arising from the current case law of the European Court of Justice for a recurrent examination also by the Austrian courts, the bet-at-home.com AG group considers that it does not take place to the extent required and has so far assumed a development of case law, particularly at the level of higher courts on appeal, until the end of the first half of 2022.
However, due to a recent decision by the Austrian Supreme Court, it is now unclear whether the bet-at-home.com AG group will be able to enforce its legal opinion in Austrian courts for the foreseeable future.
The decision on any resumption of the online casino offer in Austria will be taken in the future depending on the evolution of the legal framework, and the company âwill continue to use all available legal means to take action against the lawsuits brought. in Austria “.
The Management Board also decided to record other provisions for customer disputes in reimbursement of player losses that were pending in Austria to date.
As a result, the Company provisionally expects gross betting and gaming revenues of between â¬ 93 million and â¬ 98 million for the bet-at-home AG group during fiscal year 2021 and EBITDA. negative between -14 million euros and -10 million euros, which includes expenses of 24.6 million euros related to disputes with Austrian customers.
Depending on the decision of the Austrian tax authorities, the Company assumes that gambling levies amounting to 40% of the amounts concerned will have to be reimbursed to the bet-at-home AG group on the losses of the players to be reimbursed. However, due to legal uncertainties, these amounts are not used to reduce the aforementioned expenses and are not capitalized.