Milestone win for Swiss-German Consortium represented by Specht Böhm

Last week the Austrian Ministry of Finance announced which companies would be awarded three new casino concessions for Vienna and Lower Austria. Amongst the victors is a Swiss-German investment consortium that Specht Böhm has been advising in their efforts to break into the Vienna market.

For almost five decades, concessions had solely been allocated in non-public tender procedures. A judgment of the European Court of Justice in 2010 (Rs. C-64/08 “Engelmann”) changed all this and forced Austria to amend its national gambling laws in order to provide fair and transparent regulations regarding gambling concession awards.

Official application proceedings for the new southern Vienna casino location began in November 2012 and ended in June 2013. A dedicated team of Specht Böhm attorneys and associates, including Andreas Weikhart, Lukas Moser and Michael Radner supported the consortium of leading gambling operators in their project’s effort to secure a gambling concession for “Grand Casino Wien” in the highly sought-after venue, the famous Viennese Palais Schwarzenberg.

The decision marks a milestone in Austrian gambling history since it is the first time a full casino license has not been awarded to the market leader Casinos Austria AG. Also it is the first Austrian gambling license ever granted to an international consortium.

The project itself comprises an investment volume of all up to 100 Million Euro and will be realized in the course of the year 2015.

Specht Böhm is pleased to have been part of this monumental effort.