Dutch Court Orders Online Casino Operators to Compensate Gamblers

Dutch Court Orders Online Casino Operators to Compensate Gamblers

Categories: News |
Published by: BTCGOSU |
Last updated: 07/11/2023Casino Legal

In a groundbreaking legal verdict, a Dutch court has decreed that Unibet and another undisclosed online casino operator must provide substantial compensation to gamblers who incurred financial losses before the legalization of online gambling in the country.

Transformation of Dutch Gambling Laws

This ruling is the result of a significant shift in Dutch gambling legislation in October 2021, when online gambling was officially sanctioned. This transformation prompted individuals who had experienced substantial financial losses before the legalization to seek legal redress, contending that their losses were unjust. Unibet, one of the affected operators, has openly expressed its intent to contest the ruling, potentially leading to a reconsideration of the case in the future.

Allegations of Unlawful Operations

According to the court’s decision, Unibet is compelled to reimburse €93,000 ($99,902) to one gambler, while the other undisclosed online casino must compensate an amount of €124,000 ($133,203). These judgments are default judgments, which means the casinos did not respond. Nevertheless, a representative from Unibet has clarified that the lack of response was due to human error and reaffirmed the company’s unwavering commitment to protecting its legal rights.

Gamblers’ Satisfaction and Ongoing Legal Disputes

Benzi Loonstein, an attorney representing several former gamblers, including those involved in these cases, has conveyed his clients’ contentment with the court’s decision, despite their anticipation of an ongoing legal battle. The judges in both cases have concurred with Loonstein’s arguments, suggesting that Unibet may confront a significant challenge in contesting this ruling.

“In simple terms, if a company acts contrary to the law, it is not entitled to the money earned.” – Attorney Benzi Loonstein

A Broader Legal Landscape

The Netherlands is not the sole jurisdiction addressing claims linked to such losses. In recent years, similar lawsuits in Germany and Austria have achieved an astounding success rate of nearly 100%. These cases have led to the recovery of tens of millions of euros from gambling companies, grounded on the assertion that companies operating unlawfully should not be entitled to profits from such activities.

Escalating Legal Pressure on Unibet

If Unibet appeals the decision and fails, it could prompt many other gamblers to come forward with similar complaints. Given the precedent set by similar cases in prominent European jurisdictions, it is unlikely that Unibet will be successful with its appeal. These developments closely follow the company’s ongoing struggles in other European markets where regulatory pressures are mounting.

In September, Kindred, the company behind Unibet, withdrew from Norway after a protracted legal battle that proved costly. The court’s verdict established that the operator had been operating in violation of Norwegian law, coinciding with the country’s intensified efforts to regulate its gambling market. This setback dealt a significant blow to Kindred’s European aspirations, and the recent setbacks in the Netherlands have further eroded its presence in another high-profile jurisdiction.

Concerns in Malta

The recent upsurge in refund claims has raised substantial concerns in Malta, a jurisdiction housing numerous casinos, including Unibet. The region revised its gambling laws in June through Bill 55, permitting gambling companies to reject foreign judgments when gamblers seek refunds, shielding against such demands. The European Commission is presently scrutinizing this legal amendment, as it may potentially contravene EU regulations.

In conclusion, the Dutch court’s decision carries extensive implications for the online gambling industry, with Unibet and other operators navigating legal challenges and the prospect of financial liabilities. This underscores the critical importance of adhering to evolving gambling regulations across various European jurisdictions.



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Author: Tyler Cooper