Arthur Stadler and Alice An explain in their article in the Journal for Digital Economy Law ("ZdiW") the recent decision of the Austrian Supreme Court ("OGH"), docket no. 1 Ob 176/22x, on the recoverability of losses from online sports betting. The article can be read at the following link: ZdiW_2023_04_Stadler_An.pdf

The OGH has clarified for the federal province of Styria that the Styrian Betting Act 2018 ("StWttG") exclusively regulates the offering, conclusion and brokering of bets through physical conduct set within the territory of the province. Online betting, i.e. sports betting offered by a betting operator from a location outside Styria via the internet, is not covered by this and therefore does not fall under the StWttG. For Styria, the OGH ruled that online betting does not constitute a prohibited activity and that in this respect there is a legal loophole intended by the Austrian legislator. In other words, there is no violation of the StWttG and also no room for the legal instrument of analogy.

The meanwhile established case law in Austria from the field of online casino cases is not to be applied by analogy to the field of online betting (no "pull-over effect"). This applies to Styria and also to other federal provinces in Austria that explicitly do not regulate online betting. For future betting cases, the following thus applies: A claim for the recovery of betting losses from online betting does not exist if the applicable provincial law – such as the StWttG – explicitly does not regulate the field of online betting. In such a case, the online betting offer of an operator from another EU state is legitimate and legally compliant.

A summary of the decision can also be read under the following link: