The latest edition of The Sports Law Review features an article by Stadler Völkel Attorneys at Law on Austrian sports law. Dr. Arthur Stadler and MAg. Urim Bajrami analyse the various interdisciplinary issues that need to be taken into consideration when organising or participating in sports competitions.
Among other things, the authors discuss the tax advantages that Austrian tax law provides for non-profit sports clubs and whether clubs that are dedicated to the promotion of esports can also benefit from those tax advantages. The authors also argue that esports can easily be subsumed under the definitions of sport that can be found in the various national laws as well as its definition by the European Court of Justice.
The qualification of digital competitions as sports would have far-reaching effects in the betting industry. This would mean that betting on esports would be permitted not only in the context of a social bet – a bet that can be placed on any cultural event – but also in the context of classic sports betting. Arthur Stadler also argues that the Austrian regulations for betting providers are not compatible with primary European Union law and must remain inapplicable due to the conflict of norms.
The article also discusses the concept of Austrian sports associations, which is based on a monopolistic principle with national and international associations at the top of the organisational structure. In particular, the article also deals with club arbitration, to which individual sports associations and athletes must submit within the framework of the association’s statutes and regulations.
Furthermore, the authors describe various legal hurdles in connection with the organisation of sporting competitions, as well as the specific copyright situation of sporting events. Since Austrian copyright law does not provide any special copyright protection for sporting events, sports organizers must make use of their domiciliary rights in case of any wrongdoings.
Overall, the article offers companies and athletes a condensed overview in the field of sports law in order to avoid legal obstacles in business ventures.