PokerStars and Bwin are Returning Money to Players

Poker players decided to sue online poker operators for not having a license in Holland and were successful. On Wednesday, a Dutch court ruled that online poker operators PokerStars and Bwin need to refund over $450,000 to their players.

Operating Without Proper Licences

Both sites operated in the Netherlands without proper licenses, and the court ordered them to repay losses that happened between 2006 and 2021. Players stated that the online operators were operating without licenses in the Netherlands, and the gaming agreements each player agreed to were null and void.

The court agreed with the players and emphasized that money wasn’t lost to other players but was sitting in the PokerStars account. Both sites can use the right to appeal a six-figure ruling, but the court declared it provisionally enforceable and must comply immediately.

Reaction of Players’ Representative

Benzi Loonstein, a lawyer who was representing poker players, said they have been working on the case for 18 months.

This is the first time that the judge has ordered online casinos to refund the bets made to players,” said Loonstein.

“They can be reached 24/7 by people, while they do not see the damage being done. I assist clients who have gambled away their deceased parents’ inheritance in a few days or whose savings account that was intended for their old age has disappeared. Such stories are very poignant. These are situations that the gambling companies are not aware of.

“With the rulings made, the court has shown that the behaviour of the online casinos was unacceptable and that the losses must now be reimbursed.”

How Much Do They Owe to Players?

PokerStars will have to repay $246,141.70 of losses plus interest and legal costs, and Bwin will have to repay $200,175.98 with interest and legal costs.

In 2015, a Dutch court ruled against player refunds, so this ruling makes it a historical moment for poker players!

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