Through its website, the remote gambling operator gave the opportunity to participate in remote games of chance. Now that it is still not legally permitted to offer remote games of chance targeted to the Dutch market, the player involved claimed that the operator had to repay his € 170.000 gambling loss.

The Dutch court ruled that although the gambling operator acted in violation of the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act (Wet op de Kansspelen), this does not result in voidness or voidability of the gambling agreement concluded between the player and the operator. Also, the court believes that providing an opportunity to participate in online gambling in the way the operator did is no longer experienced as ‘socially undesirable’, ‘illegal’ or ‘culpable’.

However, the operator is subject to a duty of care towards players that also covers the prevention of gambling addiction or problem gambling. Compliance with this duty of care must be assessed on a case by case basis. After weighting of the circumstances at hand, the court concludes that it did not turn out that the operator involved had to intervene in the player’s gambling behavior. Therefore, the claim to refund a € 170.000 loss was rejected.

In response to this decision, Parliamentary questions have now been posed with regard to the impact of this ruling on future remote games of chance legislation. For example, it is questioned whether an application for a license under the upcoming Dutch gaming legislation will be meaningless as a result of the judgment. The answers to the Parliamentary questions will follow soon.