Blackjack consistently remains popular among gamblers. It’s easy to learn, and you can even learn how to beat the system. Unfortunately, it can also get you trouble. This recently happened to a German man. A district court in the German city of Munich found a man guilty of participating in unlicensed public games of chance by playing blackjack over the internet. The court levied a fine against the man and confiscated his winnings.
Interestingly, the man’s trouble with the courts had nothing to do with his blackjack abilities. He wasn’t cheating. The issue was Germans can only gamble on websites licensed with the German government. The website the German man was using was located in the United Kingdom and was not licensed in Germany. The German court fined the man EUR 2,100 and took away the money stashed in his attic that came from his winnings on the unlicensed website.
The man was caught gambling on the unlicensed website in 2011. After his sentence was handed down in September 2014, the man filed an appeal. The appeal has caught public attention. The case poses if people can really be held accountable to screens full of fine print few people read. The court says the man is guilty because the fine print in the terms of service on the gambling site mentions gambling could be illegal. The court decided the man was responsible for discovering if the website was legal or not in his own home country of Germany. The appeal is arguing the fine print is too nuanced and hidden for the average consumer to understand.
The case raises important questions about terms of services on websites. It certainly may make people think twice before clicking terms of service without reading them completely.