Getting money back from PokerStars because it was illegal?


Ueber Meister
Mar 29, 2015
Yes, all players played at an illegal casino or none did.
No, that does not mean that if losses would be refunded, winnings would also need to be confiscated.
It's simply a different thing.

For example:
- If you go to a bar that does not have the proper license, and you have a drink there, the bar could be labeled as illegal by the government and get a fine, but the visitors don't get fines.
- If you buy a product at the supermarket which turns out to have some illegal ingredient in it, the producer or seller could get a fine, but not the buyer.

In both cases, the visitors/buyers were scammed, in both cases it was not the responsibility of the visitors/buyers to check the permit or ingredients themselves in advance, in both cases the visitors/buyers are treated different legally than the sellers.

So yes, the players played at an illegal casino (the 'seller') . but that does not mean at all the players ('the buyers') should be treated the same way as the casino regarding fines, refunds, etc.

I do agree with you though that the fines imposed by the KSA are something different than getting a money refund, and the fines have no consequences for the players.

But you were not scammed. You played at the casino and lost.

Now, if you had won and refused the winnings because you were Dutch and shouldn't have played there, I would be 100% with you.

To go back to your bar example, if the bar was licensed you would have gotten drunk, the same as if the bar was not licensed. The same applies here. Whether the casino was licensed or not, you would have lost your money.

You freely deposited your money and lost it. I suggest you put that behind you and move on.


Senior Member
Apr 26, 2021
Essex, UK
@bessola I’ve only been a member here for just under two years but I can tell you that you won’t find many, if anyone, who supports your argument. I’m one of them sorry.

If you think you have a good case then get yourself a lawyer and pursue it that way. Just be careful not to waste your money on a lost cause.


Experienced Member
May 10, 2014
I'm really suprised that this Casinomeister forum has title "advocating Fair Play since 1998' but when we talk about illegal activities of casinos
(which is clearly not Fair Play) experienced board members here don't advocate Fair Play but seem to choose the side of casino who offer illegal activities.
This is uncalled for, and bordering on a personal attack against both @Casinomeister (as the forum owner) and myself (as a main contributor). I have no side in this battle (being a UK-based player) and found it an interesting topic given the clash between EU and national laws.

It's not clear at all yet "the KSA had (previously) no legal jurisdiction over the casino" . Moreover, looking at all available information, it seems much more likely the KSA is handling correct and The Netherlands definjitely has jurisdiction over gambling offered inside the Netherlands.
I said it as a conditional statement - you're phrasing it as an absolute. If (historically) the KSA had absolute authority as you believe, then they would have won case after case at EU-level courts... and yet the evidence is the opposite, either expressing the ambiguity (such as the 2008 case @Schind posted) or as time progressed, further establishing the rights of the Gibraltar and Malta remote casinos. The rules changed once open licensing came in - as we discussed earlier in the thread.

Some news: Today the KSA announced new fines (of over 26 million euros total) to casinos (based in Malta) for the illegal offering of online gambling in the Netherlands (without a license). See here:
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Of course I follow the line of the KSA and the Dutch government, because I'm based in the Netherlands as a player. Also all gathered information about it, confirms to me only more and more that indeed the Dutch law is leading here, and overrules the other jurisdictions.

Its clear that Dutch law overrules the law of Malta, regarding the offering of gambling inside The Netherlands.
You are right there is a friction between Dutch law and EU law (since NL is also part of EU), but there were actually also law suits in EU court in favour of the member states, as someone earlier in this thread already pointed out.

Last but not least, it doesn't matter if the casinos paid the KSA fines willingly 'for other reasons' , because purely by paying the fine they still confirmed they accept the Dutch law and fines, and basically admit their illegal activitities.

Conclusion: It would be very reasonable if the casinos give the money back to the players, that they generated illegaly.
(Highlights mine) I have to refer to @slot_zombie 's summary here, you're pretty much ignoring everything that has been discussed in the thread and going back to the same starting point. The singular court case you are cherry picking - from 2008 - expressed the ambiguity of the NL-EU laws, and was subsequently tested and clarified (mostly in favour of the MGA casinos) in the subsequent years.

Dutch law doesn't override Maltese law (or vice versa), the contract was signed under Maltese law (standard casino terms for MGA) so it would be for the KSA to test that in the European courts - as they've tried, and often failed, repeatedly over the past 15 years.

As to your last highlighted point, companies and individuals pay fines without admission of guilt all the time - from fixed penalty notices for driving offenses, to judgements from the Securities Commission in the US. In this case there is a very strong incentive to do it that way - because criminal convictions would inherently exclude said people or companies from applying for a gaming license and require a much higher burden of proof on the accuser (which they may not be able to meet).

For example:
- If you go to a bar that does not have the proper license, and you have a drink there, the bar could be labeled as illegal by the government and get a fine, but the visitors don't get fines.
This is a misleading simplification. Let's move the bar to a state border, where the bar is on one side in state A - fully licensed - and the beer garden is on the other in state B:
  1. You travel from state B, go to the bar in state A and order a drink (the MGA scenario) - it's legal for the bar to serve you in state A, it's legal for you to buy the drink in state A - the transaction is regulated by state A and state B has no oversight.
  2. You visit the beer garden in state B, text the bar to send you a drink (the KSA interpretation of the MGA scenario) - this is where cross-state laws would apply, it might be legal for you to request the drink but it might not be legal for them to serve it.
I was waiting for this thread to pop given the latest news from the KSA - and sure enough the OP is trying to up the tempo on the accusations of scams and criminality to try and apply pressure. Not that it'll work - their lawyers are clearly comfortable relying on the previous EU-level rulings in their favour, and their representatives haven't been seen around these parts in many years - people aren't going to forget the Happy Hour scandal in a hurry!
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