Online Roulette Without Limit not Violating Good Morals?

Can operators of online casinos really enforce payment of lost bets from such game? What do you think? The BGH gave an answer on April 3, 2008 (re III ZR 190/07) with its judgment.roulette


A physical casino also offered the possibility to play roulette online. It now wants to collect lost bets from its online games from Daniel. Every player has not only to register but also set a limit for a day, week, or month. At this time, the preset option in the registration form was "I don't want a limit." Whenever a user did not correctly set a limitation or choose the option if the limit were to be per day, week, or month, he could play without limitation. For reasons of players protection, the law requires from casinos that players set themselves a limit for their bets.

While Daniel registered, he did not set a valid limit for his bets. Daniel fully registered himself and credited his personal depot the € 4,000. After losing these funds in 186 games, he let his credit card be refunded. He argued that since he was able to play without any financial limit, the playing contract was null and void because it violated a statutory prohibition (§134 BGB i.c.w. §284 I StGB - not permitted event in a public game of chance).

The Federal Court of Justice held it is not a violation of a statutory prohibition when the player does not give himself a limit. This is only a condition for the permission to open an online casino. It is a regulation for the owner of the casino but not for the player. The violation of this condition, on the other hand, does not make the playing contract null and void pursuant to §138 BGB because it was violating good morals ("Sittenwidrigkeit"). The player may not be exempted from setting a limit because it is by statute forbidden to play limitless. This provision aims at player's protection. Every player ought decide how much is able and willing to loose in a game. However, disregarding that it makes sense to set a limit to the betting, cannot function as a protection against the hazards of a game of chance.


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