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Granting of casino licenses in Austria illegitimate

23 July 2015

It is a sensational decision of the Federal Administrative Court that the granting of casino licenses has to be rolled out again in Austria. All 3 notices have been lifted almost on the exact day, after one year by this court. As previously reported, 3 casino licenses were given to the Novomatic Group. Surcharges were given to Vienna, Lower Austria as well as to the location Prater and Bruck an der Leitha, and a Swiss-German consortium for the Palais Schwarzenberg. The top dog in Austria, Casinos Austria AG was unexpectedly left empty handed. They went in front of the Kadi and yesterday it was announced that the Federal Administrative Court (BVG) had now made a sensational decision.

Heavy backlash for Novomatic

Thus a heavy backlash was caused to the finance department. For the initial winner Novomatic and a Swiss-German consortium this also means financial losses, since significant investments were already made. Novomatic has been particularly affected by the prohibition, since they had to close down their great Admiral gaming hall in Vienna Prater due to the background of the prohibition of slot machines. Since the beginning of the year it can only be gambled on slot machines in casinos that are fully licensed in the federal capital. The Ministry of Finance must now re-roll out the procedures for the granting of the three casino licenses. However, it is not even sure at all whether those are still to be awarded. The reasons for the decisions of the BVG was justified with the fact that the process was carried out inadequately, that the decisions were incorrect and that the council had not been able to consult in accordance with the finance department and also the reason was given that the Ministry also argued contradictory. The licenses have even been granted under the ruling of the Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger of the ÖVP that had already resigned and now the two original licensees have to write off their investments.

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