Online casino: money back for gambling losses – this is how it works

Online casino: money back for gambling losses - this is how it works

If you have lost money in the last 10 years while gambling online at the casino, you can claim back the losses incurred. In numerous judgments courts have confirmed that operators of online gambling, such as casino games, virtual slot machines, poker and sports betting must reimburse losses of players. That is, a player gets back all deposits after deducting the amounts already paid out by the casino.

Online gambling money back

Also with the new gambling state treaty of 01.07.In 2021, most online gambling in Germany will still be illegal. Players can therefore reclaim the losses from the last 10 years from the online gambling operator.

The background to this is that the gaming contract, which had to be accepted when the account was created, is predominantly void due to a violation of the State Treaty on Gambling. The casino is not allowed to keep the revenue it has earned from your gambling losses due to lack of a legal basis. This applies not only to online casino games, virtual slot games and online poker, but mostly also to online sports betting.

When can you claim money back from the online casino?

If you have suffered losses in the last ten years with gambling providers that have a company headquarters in Europe, there is a good chance that you will get your money back. Gambling losses that occurred more than 10 years ago, on the other hand, are mostly statute-barred. If the gambling provider does not have a registered office in Europe, your claims can be enforced in court, but rarely enforced.

Actually, we all know it: in the end, the bank always wins. Online casinos nevertheless enjoy great popularity. With a few clicks, the offers are accessible and the entry is made easy, for example, with so-called starting credit. If this is used up, it often starts with a few euros or cents that you put in yourself. The organizers know how to use clever incentive systems to continually increase the desire to play and to encourage customers to place higher and higher bets. In the end, there is almost always the loss, which can reach four- five- or even six-figure sums. It is not uncommon for customers to lose control of their gaming behavior and become addicted to gambling. The business model works internationally and generates billions in revenue. The profits of the organizers are high and to no small extent are put into advertising, which constantly attracts new customers. In this way, an ever-widening stream of money flows from the players' accounts into the pockets of the operators. With the help of the law, however, you can do something about it and get your money back. According to § 812 ff. aggrieved customers have claims under enrichment law against the promoter(s) if there was no permission for the games offered. This can be read in an ever growing number of judgments. We advise all players affected by losses to take action and check whether they can reclaim their losses.

Experience has shown that it is very difficult to take action on one's own initiative. This usually does not lead to success, because the casinos often react late or not at all. Many casinos are not located in Germany, the company structures are sometimes very opaque. Only taking the operator to court often makes a difference and leads to success in almost all cases. But a lawsuit also involves financial risks. in the course of the initial consultation, we will explain this to you and show you ways in which you can completely avoid these risks.

We advise you free of charge and check your claims

If we come to the conclusion that you are entitled to claims and are enforceable according to the current legal situation, these often have to be filed in court. If your claim is upheld as expected, the gambling provider must pay all costs of the court proceedings. During the initial consultation, we will show you how you can conduct a lawsuit without any cost risk at all, z. B. with the help of a legal cost financier.

With these steps you will get your money:

HAHN Rechtsanwalte examines your claims free of charge and supports you in reclaiming your money:

  1. Inquiries: Make an inquiry free of charge and without obligation.
  2. Advice: You will receive a realistic assessment and advice from us.
  3. Power of attorney: Give HAHN Rechtsanwalte a power of attorney, so that we can take care of your request.
  4. Receipts: Collect your receipts and submit them to us.
  5. We take care of the rest for you!

What information does HAHN Rechtsanwalte need for the free initial examination??

For the free initial examination, we initially only need some basic information from you. First of all, we need your contact information (name, phone number and e-mail address) to discuss your concerns with you in detail. In addition, we ask for the names of the gambling providers as well as the amount of money you lost.

You can upload your receipts (for example transaction lists) directly via our form. This facilitates and accelerates the processing of your case. However, if you do not have these immediately to hand, you can also submit them at a later date.

Which online gambling games are affected?

Games of chance are games in which the player wins or loses by chance. Not allowed in Germany are almost all types of online gambling, where a player can win money with money stakes.

This includes offers from:

  • Online Lotto
  • Online scratch cards
  • Online roulette
  • Online poker
  • Online slot machine games
  • Online sports betting

How long does a lawsuit against an online casino take?

In the case of legal action, it usually takes six to twelve months until a decision is reached. However, this is only a general statement. Proceedings can also be processed faster or slower depending on the workload of the responsible court. There may also be cases in which proceedings extend over two instances. Proceedings can then also take significantly longer than a year.

Where can I file a lawsuit against an online casino?

You can file a lawsuit at the court of your place of residence, because that is where you have usually gambled or played. concluded the (void) gaming contract. This applies to all providers, even if they are based abroad. It only becomes problematic if you z.B. have gambled abroad. We discuss and clarify such constellations with you within the scope of the free initial consultation.

The State Treaty on Gambling from 01.07.2021

Until the new State Treaty on Gaming (GluStV) enters into force on 01.07.In 2021, most online gambling in Germany was operated and advertised illegally. Although certain online games have been legal since July 2021, there is still a wide range of unauthorized gambling on the Internet, which is aimed at German customers in particular.

Laws only apply to the future, not the past. Therefore, losses incurred before 01.07.The license fee, which arose in 2021, can be reclaimed retroactively for a period of up to 10 years.

In general, the GluStV, even in its old version, aims to prevent gambling and betting addiction and to ensure the protection of players and minors. The stricter requirements of the State Treaty on the New Regulation of Gambling in Germany are also intended to limit the range of games of chance in order to bring more order to the booming market.

Before the new state treaty came into force, from 15.10.2020 a transitional regulation. Casinos that were interested in obtaining a license valid in Germany should thus be given an opportunity to prepare for the new regulations. With the entry into force of the State Treaty on Gambling, only gambling providers who strictly observe its rules have a chance to offer their services legally in Germany.

Since the new state treaty contains partly very strict regulations, still many internet casinos do not have a valid German license. With the entry into force of the new State Treaty, gambling is not automatically legal. The provider must first apply for a permit and the examination may take some time. Only those who demonstrably adhere to all the rules may be granted a permit. In the case of many gambling operators, it seems questionable whether they ever want to adhere to the rules that apply in Germany. Many will continue to offer their non-legal services from abroad to German customers in order to avoid the restrictions that apply here. Even after the new State Treaty on Gambling comes into force, there will still be many gambling losses, the repayment of which the customer can demand. Either because the respective organizer does not have a permit for his offer or does not comply with the rules after having been granted a permit. Many clients report to us, for example, that the limits for maximum deposits are often not observed in practice.

State Treaty on Gaming from 01.07.2021 – Overview of the most important changes

  • Free games are prohibited.
  • A player account must be created, which must be verified in advance.
  • The stake may not exceed one euro per game (§ 22a, para. 7).
  • Multiple virtual machine games may not be played simultaneously (§ 22a, para. 10).
  • players were allowed a maximum of 1.000 Euro deposit.
  • A virtual slot machine game must last at least five seconds (§ 22a, para. 6).
  • Virtual machine games with bankers (especially roulette and blackjack) are prohibited (§ 22 a, para. 2).
  • A clearly visible button must be displayed, which, when pressed, triggers an immediate short-term block (§ 6, para. 3).
  • There is a blocking system across all types of games. Banned players are not allowed to participate in the games.
  • Customers must be regularly informed about their winnings and losses.
  • Casinos may only advertise between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. (§ 5, para. 3).

From 2023, there will be a new gambling supervisory authority in Germany. Until then, the Saxony-Anhalt State Administration Office will provisionally take over gambling supervision.

The "White List": Permitted Games of Chance

Since the new regulation of gambling in Germany in 2021, the joint gambling authority of the federal states has maintained an official list ("white list") listing organizers and brokers of games of chance that have a permit or concession under the State Gambling Treaty 2021.

The white list is available for you here:

The competent authority publishes a joint official list on the Internet listing the organizers and brokers of games of chance who have a permit or concession under this State Treaty. Not listed

  1. Operators of gaming arcades and operators of slot machines with the possibility of winning according to the Gaming Ordinance as amended from time to time,
  2. the acceptance points of the organizers in accordance with § 10 Paragraph 2,
  3. commercial gambling brokers operating in only one country,
  4. local sales outlets of the lottery collectors of the Joint Class Lottery of the German States,
  5. Providers of small lotteries according to § 18,
  6. Operators of local betting shops,
  7. Totalisators and bookmakers within the meaning of the Racing Betting and Lotteries Act.

The list is updated on an ad hoc basis, but at least once a month. The competent authority will provide information on the current status of the list upon request. The supreme gambling supervisory authorities of the federal states shall notify the competent authority without delay of any changes to the list that affect their area of jurisdiction.

Only since June 2022, for the first time, three operators of virtual slot games can also be found on this list: the Mernov operating company based in Germany, Ruleo Alpenland AG from Austria and Tipwin Ltd. as the only Maltese provider. In the summer of 2022, therefore, almost all operators of virtual slot machines still do not have a gambling license valid in Germany. In the area of online poker and online casino games, there is not a single licensed operator as of June 2022. However, this still does not stop these casinos from offering prohibited gambling on the Internet to German customers as well.

Are online sports betting illegal?

It was not until the fall of 2020 that licenses to organize sports betting on the Internet were granted for the first time, and then only to certain providers. Prior to this, online sports betting, like other games of chance on the Internet, was generally not permitted. Some providers now have a valid German license for sports betting, but generally not for gambling of any other kind.

Judgments: Online casino recover losses

In particular, a successful ruling by the Giessen Regional Court of 25.02.2021 (Az. 4 O 84/20) aroused a great deal of media interest. A player from Hesse had filed a lawsuit against the operator Bwin, as this company with its headquarters and license in Malta should not have been allowed to offer its services on the German market. The online gambling provider Bwin was sentenced to pay the player almost 12.000 and then appealed to the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main. However, this was revoked by order of the 08.04.2022 rejected (Az. 23 U 55/21).

In the following table, we list some judgments of various courts that have been made in favor of aggrieved gamblers. Here we show examples of casino and betting providers against which players have already been able to obtain positive verdicts in court and how much money the casinos had to refund in each case.


Court ruling from file number Gambling provider Amount of refund

Regional Court of Giessen 25.02.2021 4 O 84/20 (Entain/Bwin) ca. 12.000 €
Nuremberg-Furth Regional Court 19.07.2021 19 O 6690/20 ElectraWorks Limited
Online gambling and sports betting
ca. 38.700 €
Regensburg Regional Court 31.05.2021 71 O 3074/20 Druckgluck
(Titanium Brace Marketing Ltd.)
ca. 58.000 €


What are the regulations in Schleswig-Holstein??

Before the new State Treaty on Gaming came into force, Schleswig-Holstein was the only federal state to issue licenses for Internet gambling to individual providers. These permits were limited to Schleswig-Holstein. As a result, only residents of Schleswig-Holstein were allowed to participate in certain games of chance. For them it was possible to legally reach a live casino or a betting operator via German websites.

If you lived and gambled (and lost) in Schleswig-Holstein, you can still get your money back if the provider did not have a license valid for Schleswig-Holstein. This was often the case, as only a good dozen providers of virtual slot games and online poker were able to present them (including Bwin, Wunderino or DruckGluck).

Online gambling providers used the special case of Schleswig-Holstein to promote their services. Because actually with the gambling ban also the advertisement for gambling was forbidden. With the addition of "This offer is valid only for persons with residence or habitual residence in Schleswig-Holstein" casinos have advertised their offer despite everything nationwide. These advertising measures were also used to attract customers from all other states in which online gambling was prohibited.

Against whom can I claim my losses?

You can claim your losses against the respective organizer or broker of the gambling game. This can often be found by scrolling all the way down on the relevant websites. There is mostly a reference to the provider with names like RedRhino or Mr.Green. Often they carry the company suffix "Ltd." in the name of. " Ltd." is an abbreviation for the legal form of the "Limited", which is similar to the German GmbH. Since many providers are based either in British territory or in Malta, which is dominated by the English legal system, this type of company is very common. Many of these companies belong or belonged to partly very convoluted company constructions. Thus, z.B. the well-known provider bwin for a long time to ElectraWorks Limited, to which u.a. the brands PartyCasino, Partypoker and SportingBet also belonged to.

Claim money back from payment providers (Paypal, Skrill)

Banks and payment service providers such as PayPal or Skrill are also obliged to pay back money if they were involved in the payments. Because according to § 4 para. 1 GluStV 2021 is "the involvement in payments in connection with unauthorized gambling […] prohibited.". However, case law is still struggling to also order payment service providers to refund losses. However, we expect further rulings from higher courts in the foreseeable future, which may open up the possibility for players to sue not only the gambling operator, but also the payment service provider.

money back? What you can do yourself

To get your losses back, there are some things you can do yourself. If you have paid with your credit card, you can object to the charge. Point out the illegal gambling and ask for a chargeback of the amount paid. If the payment was made via the SEPA direct debit procedure, you can object to the debit within eight weeks. You can also get the money back via an online payment service. Instruct your bank to retrieve the transferred money from the bank of the recipient.

The provider of an illegal gambling has no right to demand money from you!

The regular limitation period for claims under enrichment law is ten years. Losses incurred more than 10 years ago can therefore no longer be claimed.

If you have won a prize in an unauthorized game of chance and the provider does not pay, you have no right to claim payment of the winnings. The invalidity of the gaming contract works both ways. The casino or betting provider may not keep a winnings obtained illegally, the player can demand repayment. On the other hand, if the customer has won a prize with an unauthorized game, there is no legal basis for the customer to claim payment of the prize. We advise you to get an overview of all your deposits and withdrawals with the respective provider. If the bottom line is a loss in the balance, you can demand this out. The individual profit is then only an offsetting item.

There have not yet been any judgments in favor of casinos on the basis of which online gamblers have been punished for unauthorized gambling. Basically, any user of online casino games is liable to prosecution who was aware of the ban. However, since this is regularly not the case and if necessary. is also difficult to prove, the decisive factor is above all whether you can credibly convey that you were not aware of the ban.

If you no longer have a detailed overview of your lost bets and cannot log into your account because you z.B. have been blocked or have blocked themselves, this is regularly no problem. Gambling providers on the Internet are obliged under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to provide you with information about your deposited amounts without delay. The operator must provide you with an overview of all deposits and withdrawals within a period of one month at the latest. We will be happy to provide you with suitable templates in German and English for querying your data upon request.

Yes. If you have lost money in several casinos, it is possible to reclaim the gambled money from each individual online gambling. Whether live casino, table games, online poker or sports betting: We check your claims free of charge and find out in which cases gambling providers have to refund your money.

Many online casinos that offer their games in Germany do not have a German or European license. Most of them also have their headquarters abroad, especially in Malta, Gibraltar, Curacao or the Virgin Islands. The main reason for this is that the regulations for obtaining a permit valid in Germany are significantly stricter than abroad. In addition, significantly higher taxes have to be paid in Germany, and the level of consumer protection is also very high in Germany.
However, a foreign license is not sufficient to be allowed to offer online gambling in Germany. As soon as the online casino offers its services in Germany, German law applies. Licensing from abroad would therefore make it illegal to operate on the German market according to § 284 StGB (German penal code). Online casinos with foreign licenses would therefore not have been allowed to offer their games of chance in this country at all in recent years.

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