Tipico welcomes European legal clarification on reclamation lawsuits

Tipico—the leading sports betting provider in Germany—expressly welcomes the fact that the Erfurt Regional Court (LG Erfurt) in case 8 O 1125/123 wishes to refer questions on the admissibility of reclamation suits for (online) sports betting for the period prior to the granting of a license, i.e., before October 9, 2020, to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for clarification. This confirms Tipico’s previous legal opinion: customers of sports betting providers in Germany have always made use of a lawful sports betting offer on the basis of the European freedom to provide services and there is no basis for the refund of gambling expenses.

According to the decision of the Erfurt Regional Court, all ECJ legal issues requiring clarification on (online) sports betting should be submitted to the ECJ. The Regional Court emphasizes that the ECJ has the final say here and also comments on the recent reference decision of the Federal Court of Justice in case I ZR 88/23: It is incomprehensible to the Erfurt Regional Court that the Federal Court of Justice suspends pending proceedings on online casinos with regard to a proposal from Malta (without justification), but does not, in turn, refer the matter to the ECJ on the subject of sports betting.

Therefore, because the Federal Court of Justice openly contradicted the European Court of Justice in its most recent judgment, the Erfurt Regional Court now intends to make this submission. The legal situation in the so-called player complaints cases can thus be finally clarified. Tipico assumes that similar proceedings will now also be put on hold until such a clarification has been provided by the ECJ.

Matthias Folkmann, company spokesman for the Tipico Group, adds: “We expressly welcome the Erfurt Regional Court’s approach. The arguments of the decision to refer coincide with our legal opinion, which has so far also been shared by many German courts. Not least in the proceedings that are pending before the Federal Court of Justice and in which we have been vindicated in all instances to date. We expect the ECJ to provide an obligatory clarification and harmonization of jurisdiction in Germany and Europe.” 


Clear signal against the instrumentalization of players

The decision also sends a clear signal to law firms and litigation financiers who pursue these types of lawsuits as a lucrative business model. Matthias Folkmann says, “For years, players have been instrumentalized in reclamation lawsuits, and the inexperience and ignorance of consumers are shamelessly exploited to underpin the business model of law firms and litigation financiers and to maximize their own profits. A decision from the ECJ has the potential to finally remove the basis for this business model.”

As a reliable, regulation-compliant and law-abiding provider, Tipico will continue to defend itself against this business model by all legal means, encouraged by the approach of the Erfurt Regional Court and thus the pending clarification of the legal issues under EU law.


About Tipico:

Tipico is the leading sports betting provider in Germany and offers fans exciting entertainment with sports betting for over 30 sports via www.tipico.de, the Tipico app and in around 1,000 stationary betting shops. Tipico invests heavily in the continuous development of technologies that improve the betting experience and make sports betting safer, while placing the highest value on player protection.

The group of companies based in Malta and subsidiaries in, among others, Karlsruhe was founded in Malta in 2004 and now employs over 1,800 people worldwide. Over 6,000 people work for the Tipico franchise network in Germany and Austria. Tipico has all permits and licenses required to organize its offers and works closely with the regulatory authorities.