Court orders online casinos to pay back gamblers after illegal online betting
Unibet and an undisclosed online casino have been ordered by a court to reimburse significant amounts of money to players who lost money while online gambling was still illegal in the Netherlands. This was reported by Nieuwsuur on Friday.
Until October 2021, online gambling was illegal in the Netherlands, and players who gambled and lost substantial sums prior to legalization have taken legal action, claiming their losses were illegal.
The court issued a ruling in absentia ordering at least two online gambling companies to refund money to gamblers. Casinozorgmand.nl reported on this matter this morning. According to the judgment, Unibet is required to repay 93,000 euros. In another ruling, a company that has not been named must return 124,000 euros.
Neither website responded to the court summons or presented a defense.
Unibet, in a written response, indicated it intends to challenge the court's decision. This means the case will undergo a substantive hearing later on. However, until such proceedings take place, the current ruling is effective, allowing gamblers to reclaim their money.
Lawyer Benzi Loonstein, who represents the two former gamblers in these cases, expressed his clients' satisfaction with the court's decision today. "They understand that the battle is not yet finally over. But this development is only positive."
It should be noted that since these are default judgments, they do not establish a precedent for other legal actions where a defense is presented. This implies that while others who gambled and lost money online before October 2021 can cite these judgments in their own lawsuits, these cases hold less weight than those where a defense has been mounted, as Loonstein clarified.