Gambling addict unsuccessful with a challenge to online casino

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Mar 15, 2021
A gambling addict's request to the BML Group, a subsidiary of the gambling company Betsson AB, has not proven successful. The plaintiff wanted to get his high stakes back. The competent court did not agree with the 54-year-old player.

Gambling addiction

The competent special court, the Patent and Market Court, which is part of the Stockholm District Court, ultimately passed its judgment to the advantage of the gaming provider. But what exactly was this legal battle about?

The plaintiff was active as a player at one of the online casinos belonging to the BML Group from 2009 to 2014. In this online casino he has wagered enormous amounts of money that supposedly came from his own company. Incidentally, his company went bankrupt due to the enormous expenses that can be traced back to his gambling addiction. So it happened that he turned over the unbelievable sum of 15 million euros, of which 700,000 euros were lost in the game.

Should the gambling addiction have been recognized earlier?​

According to the plaintiff, it should have been the responsibility of the online casino to identify its gambling addiction and take appropriate action. Instead, according to the plaintiff, he continued to receive casino advertising, including personalized advertising and attractive bonus offers, via SMS and email. This was always the case when he had restricted his gambling activities for a certain period of time. The court takes the side of the online casino and says that it could not be proven that the company knew about the man's gambling addiction. Accordingly, the advertising measures cannot be described as aggressive.

In 2014, he finally requested self-exclusion from the online casino. However, this request was only met after two weeks. During this time, the plaintiff went into therapy and his gambling addiction was officially confirmed by a psychologist in a certificate.

The plaintiff has to pay​

The plaintiff alleged that the online casinos operated by the BML Group at the time were operating without a valid Swedish gaming license. While this is correct, this claim that the online casinos were operating illegally has no bearing on the litigation. It was decided that the gambling company would not have to repay the losses that the plaintiff had at the online casino. Likewise, no compensation payments have to be made for “mental and physical” damage to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff's demands were also accompanied by a certain inappropriateness: he not only claimed his losses of 700,000 euros, but also wanted his total turnover of 15 million euros back. There were also claims for damages.

As I said, the court ruled not in favor of the plaintiff. He is now going out of the legal dispute empty-handed and still has to pay the online casino expense allowance. The costs amount to around 2.08 million Swedish kronor, which is the equivalent of around 205,245 euros.

It remains to be seen whether the plaintiff will now give up or whether he will go to the next judicial instance.