Even more lawyers are trying to enforce the business approach of “playing without risk”. They encourage unsuccessful casino players to request a reimbursement of the losses they suffered when playing in an online casino. Whilst some courts are siding with players who are suing, others are refusing the claim for refund – and this is the case of a decision of the seventh chamber of the District Court Wuppertal a few weeks ago.

In mid-June of this year we had reported that even more online casinos are fighting back the claims of the players. As one can see from the recent judgement by the District Court of Wuppertal, the business approach of “playing without risk” is collapsing more and more. What reason did the District Court Wuppertal give for refusing a disbursement of the losses suffered in the casino and what does this mean for other proceedings?

District Court Wuppertal: refund of casino losses in bad faith

As the seventh Chamber of the District Court of Wuppertal determined in a recent judgement, the demand for a refund of losses suffered at the casino is in the first instance done in bad faith. Besides this, the request for refund breaches the so-called Unjust Enrichment Law - § 817 Sentence 2 of the German Civil Code. Here it is stated:

“A claim for return is excluded if the person who rendered performance was likewise guilty of such a breach, unless the performance consisted in entering into an obligation; restitution may not be demanded of any performance rendered in fulfilment of such an obligation.”

Further to this, the judges have made it clear, that no claim for payment can be made if the legality of the participation of the player were adopted according to § 762 Paragraph 1 Sentence 2 of the German Civil Code. The legal text about this states:

“What has been paid due to such gaming or betting may not be demanded back, on the basis that no obligation existed.”

The District Court has also determined that the claimant does not need any protection. At the end of the day the online casino did not feign that it holds a German Licence for Games of Chance. Besides this, the player is obliged to respond to the accusations of having fulfilled both the subjective, as well as the objective legal elements of the law § 285 of the StGB (State Gambling Act) and is thus liable to prosecution.

The trial is against a gambling provider from a third country, and it refers to legal aid proceedings. Just a few days ago we had reported about another case from Austria. Here the Supreme Court (OGH) had condemned the provider PokerStars to refund a player his losses amounting to around 1.6 million Euro.

Is it a good idea to reimburse casino losses?

Without doubt there are many arguments in favour of at least trying to get one’s casino losses back. However, there are also arguments which are against this idea. In a somewhat older article, we had already tried to answer this question, of whether it is a good idea to ask for a reimbursement of one’s casino losses.

The German Courts have till now taken both sides. On one hand they give the player who is suing the right and condemn the provider to reimburse the losses suffered. On the other hand, they refuse a claim for reimbursement – as in the actual case from the District Course of Wuppertal. However, players should also keep in mind that even a legally binding court judgement- is no guarantee that a player will be reimbursed his losses. This can be seen in a case, whereby back in March of this year the District Court of Osnabrück had ordered a Malta-based casino to reimburse the client. We had reported about the fact that the provider has not reimbursed the player his losses, even though there is a legally binding court judgement.

Conclusion

The District Court of Wuppertal has for the time being closed the door on the business approach of ”playing without risks”. The court has refused a claim for reimbursement and the player will not receive the losses suffered in the casino. On one hand the judges pointed out that the player is liable to prosecution. On the other hand, the reimbursement for losses from casino stakes would fail because it breaches the Unjust Enrichment Law - § 817 German Criminal Code and it is in bad faith.

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