Frankfurt Court Orders a Casino to Refund All Deposits Made by a Player

Frankfurt’s Higher Regional Court has ordered an unnamed online casino to repay €26,000 ($27,500) to a player which used the site’s services between 2018 and 2020. At the time, online gambling in Germany was only regulated in Schleswig-Holstein and the operator did not hold a German license.

The Matter Was Originally in the Hands of the Gießen Regional Court

The online gambling website offered its services in the German language and at the time, it was based in Gibraltar. The Gießen Regional Court originally heard the case back in September and it ruled in favor of the player. Frankfurt’s Higher Regional Court doubled down on the decision.

István Cocron, the attorney of the player, stated that the operator violated the ban on online gambling and accepted deposits from the player “without any legal reason.” Considering the fact that State Treaty on Gambling’s Section 4 (4) was not followed, the attorney and the player requested for the money to be paid back in full.

While commenting on the player’s activities, the court noted that the player was likely unaware that a ban on online gambling was in place at the time. Hence, it agreed with the Gießen Regional Court. Just before online casinos went live in Germany, a controversial law on turnover tax from online slots and poker was passed.

In February 2022, the online gambling expansion in Germany continued as the largest state gave the green light to this industry.

Frankfurt’s High Court Faced a Similar Case in April

Issues regarding refunds of illegal gambling activities are not something new that courts in Frankfurt deal with. Back in April, the High Court in April also ruled in a player’s favor in a similar case. The player sued a Malta-based online casino and requested a €12,000 ($12,700) refund, which he used in 2017.

The gambler won a first stage appeal in the District Court of Giessen (Hesse). The court ruled that the casino was offering illegal gambling services as these activities weren’t regulated back then.

Judges in the High Court of Frankfurt reviewed the case and sided with the customer. Judges noted that the German-offering casino did not have the required licensing and hence, it shouldn’t have accepted the player’s deposits in the first place.

This case was brought to light by Spiegel, a German news magazine, and the report of this media outlet revealed that the online casino was part of Entain Plc. Group. During that time, Entain had massive success during the Grand National as it reported a total of $12.75 million in total bets.

The Entain-owned online casino defended itself by saying that the customer was provided with a tick box that noted that online gambling in Germany was not regulated at the time and informed the player of the legal situation that features a German player playing on a Malta-based site.

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