Compensation Judgment: Money Back for Losses in Online Casino

Thanks to a landmark decision by the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt, the chances of compensation are increasing for anyone who has lost money playing internet casinos or online poker.

Compensation Judgment: Money Back for Losses in Online Casino

Thanks to a landmark decision by the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt, the chances of compensation are increasing for anyone who has lost money playing internet casinos or online poker. But they have to take a few things into account.

For the first time, a court of second instance decided with the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (Az.: 23 U 55/21) that an online casino must reimburse a player for all of his losses. This confirms a judgment of the LG Gießen (Az. 4 O 84/20), which had previously decided in the same way. The casino had appealed against this verdict, but now failed at the competent higher regional court.

The key point is the question of whether online casinos can be operated legally in Germany. So far, this has only been possible to a very limited extent. Until mid-2021 it was only allowed in Schleswig-Holstein, but banned in all other federal states. Since then, a procedure has been in place whereby internet gambling can be offered if the casino observes strict consumer protection measures and has received a corresponding state license. So far, however, no casino in Germany has received such a license. This means: All current offers are in a gray area.

This is also underlined by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court: There was no toleration of online casinos in Germany. The websites were illegal at least until mid-2021. If the customer was aware of this regulation, he may lose his right to compensation. However, according to the court, the casino operator could not generally argue that the customer knew about the ban and was therefore complicit. Rather, the knowledge of the customer must be proven by the casino in individual cases. This did not happen in the present case and is generally proving to be difficult in practice.

This means that players who have lost money online with poker, roulette, blackjack or slot machines now have a good chance of getting their money back. For example, providers such as 777 and 888 Casino, Betway, Bwin, CasinoClub, Hyperino, Interwetten, Karamba, Lapalingo, LeoVegas, Mr Green, NetBet, Platincasino, Pokerstars, Rizk, Sunmaker, Tipico, Vera are affected

But there are a few stumbling blocks on the way to compensation. Our experience shows that nothing works without a lawyer and lawsuit. Casino operators regularly ignore the request for reimbursement of losses - and incidentally, often for the payment of winnings. The only way to go is to go to court.

Legal expenses insurance companies do not pay for such lawsuits because gambling is excluded from their conditions. Those affected have two options: taking the risk themselves or working with a litigation financier. In our experience, most of those affected shy away from suing at their own expense - even if the prospects are good after the most recent OLG decision.

Litigation financiers then assume the costs for lawyers and the court. In return, they receive a share of the damages, a so-called contingency fee. The rest goes to the player at no cost risk. However, most litigation financiers are selective about the cases in which they take the risk. Most of the time, they only become active when losses exceed 10,000 euros. Online players are often left with smaller losses. Unless they still decide to proceed at their own risk.

As a first step, those affected should have a specialist lawyer assess the prospects of their case and whether a litigation funder will take it on. The interest group revocation offers such a test free of charge and without obligation.

About the author: Roland Klaus works as a freelance journalist in Frankfurt and is the founder of the revocation interest group. Klaus became known as a Frankfurt stock exchange reporter for ntv and the US financial broadcaster CNBC.

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