German court upholds ruling over losses incurred through unlicensed gaming

German court upholds ruling over losses incurred through unlicensed gaming

The Court has agreed that a player cannot recoup losses incurred before online gambling was legalised in Germany.

Germany.- The Bonn Regional Court has upheld a decision against a German player who attempted to recoup gambling losses incurred before Germany passed its new legislation to regulate online gambling. 

The Euskirchen District Court had dismissed the case on May 21 but the plaintiff appealed to the higher court.

The player has lost money playing online casino games offered by a Malta-based operator before Germany passed its new federal gambling legislation this year. He argued that since gambling was illegal in Germany at the time, the operator should be forced to refund his losses. 

However, the Bonn Regional Court said that the plaintiff was also at fault, having violated section 285 of Germany’s Criminal Code by knowingly playing online casino games offered by an overseas operator.

The law firm representing the operator, Hambach and Hambach, argued that the player should clearly have known that online gambling was illegal at the time. 

It said: “The unlawfulness of online gambling had a strong presence in the public eye, especially in the years of his participation in 2019 and 2020, not only on the internet but also in the national press. Against this background, it was unrealistic to assume that the plaintiff did not know this.

“He should have been aware that he had to question the legality before participating. According to the court, the plaintiff could have easily done this by inquiring at the competent authorities or by researching on the internet.”

Lower courts in Germany dismissed several similar lawsuits against online gambling operators in September.

See also: Germany’s Thüringia proposes monopoly on online table games

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