Online casino: money back in case of gambling loss – 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 rulings, courts have confirmed that operators of online gambling, such as casino games, virtual slot games, poker and sports betting must reimburse losses incurred by players. That is, a player receives all deposits after deduction of the amounts already paid out by the casino back.

Online gambling money back

Also with the new gambling interstate treaty from 01.07.2021, most online gambling in germany will still be illegal. Players can therefore reclaim the losses from the last 10 years from the operator of online gambling.

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 generated from your gambling losses, because it lacks 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 who have a registered office 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 time-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. The offers can be reached with a few clicks and the entry is made easy, for example with a so-called starting credit. If this is used up, it often starts with a few euros or cents that you bet yourself. The organizers know how to use clever incentive systems to continually increase the desire to gamble and to encourage customers to place higher and higher stakes. 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 over their gambling behavior and become addicted to gambling. The business model works internationally and generates billions in revenue. The profits of the organizers are high and are put to no small extent into advertising, which constantly attracts new customers. Thus, an ever-widening stream of money flows from the accounts of the players into the pockets of the organizers. With the help of the law, however, you can counter this and get your money back. According to § 812 ff. Aggrieved customers have claims under enrichment law against the operator(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 claim back their losses.

Experience has shown that it is very difficult to act on one's own initiative. As a rule, this does not lead to success, as the casinos often react late or not at all. Many casinos are not located in germany, the company structures are sometimes very opaque. Only the complaint, with which the organizer is brought before court, often causes something and leads in almost all cases to success. But legal action also entails financial risks. During the initial consultation, we will explain this to you and show you ways to 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 that they are enforceable under current law, they often have to be taken to court. If your lawsuit is granted as expected, the gambling provider must pay all costs of the court proceedings. As part of the initial consultation, we will show you how you can also 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 back:

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 matter.
  4. Evidence: collect your evidence and submit it to us.
  5. We do the rest for you!

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

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

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

Which online games of chance are concerned?

Games of chance are games in which the player wins or loses by chance. Not permitted in germany are almost all types of online gambling in which a player can win money with a stake of money.

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 lawsuits, it usually takes six to twelve months until a verdict 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 where proceedings extend over two instances. Proceedings can then also take considerably longer than one year.

Where can I file a lawsuit against an online casino?

You can file a lawsuit at the court of your residence, because that is where you 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. Played abroad. We will discuss and clarify such constellations with you as part of the free initial consultation.

The state treaty on gambling from 01.07.2021

Until the new state treaty on gambling (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 apply only to the future, but not to the past. Therefore, losses incurred before 01.07.2021 can be reclaimed retroactively for 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 supply of gambling in order to bring more order to the booming market.

Before the new state treaty came into force, there was from the 15.10.2020 a transitional regulation. Casinos that were interested in a license valid in germany should thus be given a chance to prepare for the new regulations. With the state gambling treaty coming into force, only gambling providers that strictly adhere to its rules have a chance to legally offer their services in germany.

Since the new state treaty contains partly very strict regulations, still many internet casinos have no valid german license. With the entry into force of the new state treaty, games of chance are not automatically legal. The provider must first apply for a permit and the examination may take some time. Only those who demonstrably comply with all rules may be granted a permit. In the case of many gambling operators, it seems questionable whether they will ever want to comply with the rules applicable 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 that the customer can demand repayment of. Either because the respective operator does not have a permit for its 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 of 01.07.2021 – the most important changes at a glance

  • Free games are prohibited.
  • A player account must be created and verified in advance.
  • Per game, the stake may not exceed one euro (§ 22a, para. 7).
  • Several virtual machine games may not be played at the same time (§ 22a, abs. 10).
  • Players are 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 bank holders (especially roulette and blackjack) are prohibited (§ 22 a, para. 2).
  • There must be a clearly visible button which, when pressed, triggers an immediate short-term block (§ 6, para. 3).
  • There will be a cross-game suspension system. 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 state administration office of saxony-anhalt will provisionally take over the 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 operators 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 shall publish on the internet a joint official list showing the organizers and brokers of games of chance who have a permit or concession under this interstate treaty. Not listed

  1. Operators of gaming arcades and operators of slot machines with the possibility of winning according to the gaming ordinance in its current version,
  2. The operators' points of sale in accordance with section 10 (2),
  3. Commercial gaming brokers operating in only one country,
  4. Local sales outlets of the lottery collectors of the joint class lottery of the federal states,
  5. Providers of small lotteries pursuant 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 immediately notify the competent authority of any changes to be made to the list that affect their area of responsibility.

Only since june 2022, for the first time, three operators of virtual slot machines 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 games 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 also to german customers.

Are online sports betting illegal?

It was not until the fall of 2020 that permits to organize sports betting on the internet were issued for the first time, and then only to certain providers. Before that, online sports betting and other games of chance on the internet were generally not permitted. Some providers now have a valid german license for sports betting, but usually not for gambling of any other kind.

Judgements: online casino losses recover

In particular, a successful ruling by the giessen regional court of 25.02.2021 (az. 4 O 84/20) aroused great media interest. A gambler from hesse had filed a lawsuit against the operator bwin, as the latter, with its registered office 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. This was, however, by decision of 08.04.2022 rejected (az. 23 U 55/21).

In the following table we list some judgments of different courts, which took place in favor of damaged players. Here we show by way of example against which casino and betting providers players have already been able to achieve positive verdicts in court and how much money the casinos had to refund in each case.


Court judgment of the file number gambling provider amount of refund

giessen regional court 25.02.2021 4 O 84/20 casinoclub.Com (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 €
regional court of regensburg 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 gambling came into force, schleswig-holstein was the only federal state to grant licenses to individual providers for gambling on the internet. These permits were restricted 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 provider via german websites.

If you lived and played (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 show this (including bwin, wunderino or druckgluck).

Providers of online gambling used the special case of schleswig-holstein to advertise their offer. Because actually with the gambling prohibition also the advertisement for gambling was forbidden. With the addition of "this offer is only valid for persons with residence or habitual abode in schleswig-holstein", casinos have advertised their offer nationwide in spite of everything. Thus over these advertising measures also customers from all other lands of the federal republic, in which on-line gambling was forbidden, were lured.

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 usually a reference to the provider with names such as redrhino or mr.Green. Often they carry the company suffix "ltd." In the name. "Ltd." Is an abbreviation for the legal form of the "limited", which is similar to the german gmbh. Since many providers are based either on british territory or on malta, which is dominated by the english legal system, this type of company is very common. Many of these companies belong or belonged to sometimes very convoluted company constructions. Thus belonged z.B. The well-known provider bwin long belonged to electraworks limited, to which u.A. Also the brands partycasino, partypoker and sportingbet belonged to.

Reclaim money from payment providers (paypal, skrill)

Banks and payment 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, the courts are still struggling to order payment service providers to reimburse losses. However, we expect further rulings from higher instances 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

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

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

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

If you have won a prize in an illegal game of chance and the provider does not pay, you have no right to claim payment of the winnings. The nullity of the gaming contract works both ways. The casino or the betting provider may not keep a winnings obtained illegally, the player can demand repayment. On the other hand, if the customer has made a profit from an illegal game, there is no legal basis for him to claim payment of the winnings. We advise you to get an overview of all your deposits and withdrawals with the respective provider. If there is a loss on the bottom line of your balance, you can demand that it be taken out. The individual winnings are then only a settlement 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. In principle, every 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. Even if it is difficult to prove, the most important thing is 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 can no longer log into your account because you z.B. Have been blocked or have blocked themselves, this is regularly not a problem. Gambling providers on the internet are obliged under the EU general data protection regulation (GDPR) to provide you with information about the amounts you have deposited 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 on 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 to obtain a permit valid in germany are much stricter than abroad. In addition, significantly higher taxes must 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. With a licensing from abroad, it would therefore not be legal for the german market to operate under § 284 stgb. So online casinos with foreign licenses should not have been allowed to offer their games of chance in this country at all in recent years.