If you want to recover losses resulting from illegal gambling, this is usually only possible through legal proceedings. According to German law, operating and participating in illegal gambling is punishable by law and can result in a fine or imprisonment of up to six months. There are already many other courts that have ruled in the same way: in more than 90% of cases, the plaintiff player recovers his loss of the online casino. The first higher regional courts – the second highest court after the regional courts – have also commented on the subject. They also classify the offer of online casinos such as Wunderino without a license as illegal and see a refund request from players. Then, customers get money back from the online casino. This refund claim can be claimed for losses over the last ten years – also against Wunderino online casino. Nevertheless, interested new customers from other federal states are not rejected by online casinos, but simply transferred. According to NDR`s research, providers exploit partially illegal clones of their websites, which users in other federal states can easily sign up for. These sites are operated from abroad, for example in Malta, and are based on less stringent EU rules.
However, Wunderino`s customers need not fear prosecution for participating in illegal gambling. Very few players knew that playing Wunderino was illegal. Therefore, they do not have to fear legal consequences. Nevertheless, it is advisable to hire a lawyer to prosecute Wunderino. Experience shows that online casinos do not respond to players` requests without legal assistance. Only a lawyer`s brief or a threat of legal action allows casinos to act. Some are willing to compare in order to avoid a negative judgment. Others want to let a court decide and are ordered to pay compensation in most cases – as Wunderino did in May 2022.
Nevertheless, business has been in full swing for these companies for a long time: more than 11% of the revenue generated across Europe through online gambling offers was recently generated in Germany, according to the European Gaming & Betting Association (EGBA). In 2019, according to the industry association, this amounted to €2.7 billion – and the trend is upwards. Industry experts speculate that the market volume could actually be even larger, as many partially illegal gambling offers are unlikely to be recorded in such statistics. This makes Germany the second largest online market for the industry in Europe after Great Britain (30% market share). In addition, the industry opposes the tax rule imposed on it by the new state treaty, which differs from the requirements of many other countries. Because if the tax authorities in online gambling abroad usually access the gross gaming revenues of the companies that operate the games, in this country, in the future, legal online casinos every bet a player will be taxed – even if he uses his profits again. This means that if a player uses 100 euros, for example, 5.3% – or 5.30 euros – go directly to the public treasury. However, it is questionable whether it will succeed – as the authors of the state treaty hope – in repelling the large number of already existing illegal gambling offers, most of which come from abroad, through legalisation. Companies such as the Löwen Group, which wants to become active on the Internet with its subsidiary Novo Interactive, or the Gauselmann Group with its online subsidiary edict egaming will have to comply with rules in the future, which they believe will be at a disadvantage compared to unregulated competition. It is illegal and therefore illegal to play if you are playing with a provider without a German license.
As long as no German license has been issued, you cannot legally play for real money at an online casino in Germany. No VPN to hide your location, nor payment via exotic payment methods such as Bitcoin. As long as you are in Germany (with the exception of Schleswig-Holstein) and participate in online gambling without a German license, you are even liable to prosecution.