Austrian Gaming Act under Constitutional and EU Law Scrutiny

A SPECHT BÖHM initiative triggers a constitutional and EU law review of the Austrian Gaming Act.

In August 2012, the Independent Administrative Senate of the Province of Upper Austria submitted an application to the Constitutional Court of Austria and to the European Court of Justice to review certain provisions of the Austrian Gaming Act. Spurred by decisions of the Federal State of Upper Austria regarding the issuance of gaming machine licenses, the Senate’s application for a judicial review largely adopts the legal arguments put forward by SPECHT BÖHM in an appeal brought on behalf of a client against a decision denying the granting of a gaming machine license.

The Administrative Senate, in particular, considers that certain provisions of the Gaming Act violate European Community law concerning freedom to conduct business by creating a legal monopoly. Furthermore, the Senate criticizes the absence of an adequate procedural framework for the granting of gaming licenses.

In case SPECHT BÖHM’s opinion prevails, the decision by the Constitutional Court or the European Court of Justice will have an impact not only on the Act on the federal level but also on regional gaming legislation in place in other Austrian provinces.