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German court orders Betano to reimburse player after loss limit failing

| By Daniel O'Boyle
The German District Court (Amtsgericht) of Ludwigslust has ordered Kaizen Gaming-owned operator Betano to repay €4,380 (£3,735/$4,608) worth of player losses, after determining that it allowed a player to gamble beyond the national €1,000 loss limit.
Germany unregulated gambling

The case concerned a player who lost €5,380 on sportsbook site Betano between 20 February and 4 March 2021.

This total was more than the €1,000 monthly loss limit for German operators – with only limited exceptions – under Germany’s State Treaty on Gambling. 

In addition, István Cocron, who served as the player’s lawyer, said the player was also registered with the OASIS self-exclusion system.

As a result, the court in Ludwigslust – located just outside of Hamburg in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – returned €4,380 to the player.

“The provider allowed our client to bet more than the permitted €1,000 per month and thus violated the gaming license granted to them,” Cocron said. “We have therefore reclaimed the stakes that go beyond the limit of €1,000.”

At the time, the limit applied on an operator level, though it was later expanded to refer to players’ spending across all operators within the regulated market, through a treaty that came into effect in July 2021.

The case is one of a number of player reimbursement cases in Germany. While this one dealt with loss limits, many previous cases have concerned losses in online casino before the vertical was legal nationwide. Court rulings on these cases have gone both ways, with courts such as the regional court (Landesgericht) for Köln ordering reimbursement, while regional courts in Braunschweig and Leipzig both ruled on the side of operators.

“Both in online sports betting and online gaming, for which there was a far-reaching ban in Germany until 1 July 2021, there is a good chance of winning back stakes that seem to have been lost,” Cocron said.

In April, international operator Allwyn acquired a 36.75% stake in Betano from Greek operator OPAP, paying €50m up front as part of the deal, plus undisclosed earn out payments, based on the performance of the business in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

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