The illegal casino must refund the losses to players in Germany

The illegal casino must refund the losses to players in Germany

An illegal online casino must refund losses to a player from that country by a German court. The casino must do so because of the lack of a license. As a result, it should never have offered the services and should not have been accessible in Germany.

The Cologne court ruled; that an online casino without a license in Germany will have to refund a player the complete loss amount of €25,375. The player lost the amount when the online casino was not licensed in Germany. Thus, theoretically, it should never have been visited by the player. However, due to the Free Movement of Goods or Services in the European Community, many EU sites are still accessible.

In the years between October 2017 and April 2020, the woman played various games of chance at an unnamed online casino. In any event, the online casino was located in Gibraltar and was licensed there. While that is a very strong license, it is not the right one to operate in Germany as well. Such a ban applies to many Indian casinos.

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Illegal, but still available in Germany

As a result, the website did not have a license in Germany to offer the games of chance to players there. Online casino games were at that time only allowed in Schleswig-Holstein. The online casino made the gaming offer also available to people in Germany and furthermore used the German language on their website (although the German language is also an official language in Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Austria). Whether these arguments were also taken into account in the court's decision is not known.

Refund of approximately €25,000

All in all, the player lost around €25,000 and afterward wanted it back based on various court provisions. Indeed, according to the court, the conduct of the online provider constituted a violation of Article 4 (4) of the German state treaty on gambling in force at the time. And so the online casino was called upon to refund the woman her loss.

Lawyer: loss at illegal online casino can be recovered

Because of this case, it is not inconceivable that the judge's ruling will cause a flood of new lawsuits from players who also want to request a refund of their losses. The law firm that took on the case already came up with a special website some time ago where people can sign up who have lost money at an illegal online casino in Germany. The case can still be appealed to the Oberlandesgericht (Supreme Court) by the operator. The judge who had now considered the case was the Landesgerichte; the second-highest court in the country. Whether the operator will actually appeal and/or refund the woman is unknown at this time. The name of the online casino is not mentioned in the news release.

Previous players were ruled against by the judge

The lawsuit is not new and there have been previous cases dealing with similar issues. In the past, players would always be proven wrong. For example, in 2021 in Euskirchen it was already ruled that a player participated voluntarily. The argument at the time was also that players might as well win as losing. Courts also made similar decisions in two other cases; the Braunschweig court in Lower Saxony and the Leipzig court in Saxony also ruled in favor of the operator. They held that players were also in violation and were playing on an illegal website.

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About online gambling in Germany

On July 1, 2021, Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsverag (GlüNeuRStV) entered into force. This opens the German market to the entry of online gaming providers, reported Online slot machines and poker are now subject to 5.3 turnover tax, as well as other provisions. For Betfair, this was already a reason to withdraw from the German market, while PokerStars adjusted its gambling offer.