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Netherlands Court Orders Refunds of Historic Gambling Losses

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Following a few legal cases, the courts in the Netherlands have ordered two gaming operators, one of which being Unibet, to refund losses to gamblers. These refer to losses from the operators’ clients before gambling was legalized in the Netherlands in 2021.

The legal argument is essentially that a company should not be able to profit from an illegal practice, and the gaming operators in the Netherlands prior to 2021 were unlicensed and operating illegally.

Therefore, some customers of the two operators launched legal proceedings to recoup gambling losses from the live casinos when they were unlicensed in the country.

In details of the ruling, the Dutch court has said Unibet must repay one customer €93,000, while the other unnamed gaming operator is to refund €124,000.

Simply put, if a company acts contrary to the law, it is not entitled to the money earned.

Benzi LoonsteinLawyer representing former Customers

Unibet Plans to Appeal the Decision

Although Unibet did not appear in the court proceedings to defend itself from its former clients, the company said this was due to a clerical error. The gambling operator has stated that it has every intention of appealing the decision with a challenge in the courts.

The panel of Judges who made the original ruling have indicated they agree with the claimant's overall argument, and I believe Unibet will have quite a task to successfully appeal the decision.

Surge in Court Cases against Unlicensed Gaming Operators

This follows other similar cases brought against gaming operators in Germany and Austria, and nearly all of these have been successful for the claimants. There have been over 7,000 such cases, and it is estimated to have cost the gaming operators many millions of euros so far.

Related: Gambler Sues BetEasy and Sportsbet after AU$600k Loss

Unibet and other gambling companies that were active before gambling was legalized in 2021 in the Netherlands will have to prepare for the possibility of a significant rise in the number of clients bringing claims in the courts for losses incurred gambling with the operators.

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