german court, pokerstars, igaming, responsible gaming, illegal gambling, fines

PokerStars to pay players €58k in pre-treaty losses orders German court

The highest level of German court, the Koln Higher Regional Court, has ordered online poker provider PokerStars to reimburse over €58k in player’s losses. This is due to the fact that the online casino was taking money from losses while the casino was not yet legal.

The case against PokerStars said that even if the player is considered to be breaking the law by using the site while it was illegal, this did not mean that their complaint was not valid. It was argued that PokerStars hadn’t made the status of the website clear in its language and marketing that casino games were illegal in most of Germany. Therefore, the plaintiff was not fully informed and played freely.

It comes after a lower-court decision to side with PokerStars from the Bonn Regional Court. This decision was overturned by the Koln Higher Regional Court and will be upheld.

“Contrary to the opinion of the regional court, this information provided by the plaintiff is not unrealistic from the outset, but rather understandable,” said the court. “From the plaintiff’s point of view, there were no compelling indications that spoke for the illegality of the defendant’s range of games.”

“There was no evidence that online gambling was illegal in Germany – with the exception of a limited offer in Schleswig-Holstein. Rather, the German-language website and the German-language customer service gave the impression of legality.”

The total to be paid by PokerStars comes to €58,517.

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