PokerStars Ordered to Pay German Player's Losses

This story was published more than 1 year ago.

Poker operator PokerStars was told by the Köln Higher Regional Court in Germany this week that they'll have to reimburse a player for losses that were incurred before the service was legal in the country.

The player lost €58,517 while playing both poker and blackjack at PokerStars through its .eu domain from a period ranging from March 2014 and June 2020. The site was operating with a Malta license, but the site was not sanctioned for play in all of Germany.

The court ruled that while the player themselves could have been deemed to have been breaking the law, their complaint against PokerStars was still valid. The court ruled that PokerStars was only sanctioned to offer games in the state of Schleswig-Holstein at the time and didn't inform the player of its illegal status in the rest of the country. The company was also found to have been offering German language support, which it said gave the player the indication that the gambling was legal.

In its ruling, the court stated: "Contrary to the opinion of the regional court, this information provided by the plaintiff is not unrealistic from the outset, but rather understandable. 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."

This isn't the first case this year in which a German court has ordered a gaming operator to reimburse losses on their site. An unnamed German player was reimbursed €26,000 after a court in Frankfurt ruled that an unnamed operator allowed play when it was not sanctioned. Betano was also ordered to reimburse a player for allowing him to bet in excess of the country's €1,000 loss limit.

No comment from PokerStars was available as of press time.

About the author

Therese Williams // UK Correspondent
Therese Williams
Therese is a fervent fan of slot machines and pub fruities, often trying her luck at some of the top online casinos. She covers news for Casino Listings with a focus on the UK and Europe. Therese studied arts and creative writing at university and has written for newspapers in the UK.
2 replies • Last post


Forum AngelForum Angel
barbadosslim93's picture
Location: Michigan
Joined: 28 Jan 2011
Posts: 15256
Thanks given: 852
Thanks received: 2159
8 November 2022 - 7:13pm

I have to say that I like Germany's even-handed approach to these gambling violations. The case is pretty cut and dry. In the Betano case earlier this year though, he didn't get a full refund if I remember correctly. It's refreshing to see something being handled in a common sense way.

Forum AngelForum Angel
Location: The North
Joined: 6 Apr 2016
Posts: 3897
Thanks given: 344
Thanks received: 1140
11 November 2022 - 11:37am

I agree with Slim. If the player shouldn't have been able to play but they took his money without issues, they should refund him. And it truly is refreshing to see a full refund, not just a fraction of it.