The European Court of Justice has pronounced with judgment of 10th December 2020 on two important issues: the notion of consumer and the jurisdiction clause in a contract between a consumer and a professional.

The Court starts by examining a dispute (Case C 774/19) between a Slovenian citizen who won a considerable sum of money in the year 2010-2011 by playing poker on a website and the company operating that website, who refused to pay the player’s winnings.

The matter has been resolved pursuant to Regulation No. 44/2001 which, although repealed by Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012, continues to regulate, with rare exceptions, the events prior to 10thJanuary 2015.

Firstly, the Court ruled that the subject does not lose the quality of consumer, while dedicating many daily hours to the service offered by the website and despite having won a considerable sum of money, not being qualifying as a "professional" despite being an experienced player, rejecting the objections of the company providing the service.

Secondly, given the status of consumer, the European Courts have ruled that the jurisdiction of the Slovenian Court, brought by the player as the competent court with regard to his domicile (of the consumer) derogating from the clause of the agreement to use the online poker service which provided for the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Malta.

Before starting your next poker game, get a good lawyer.

 

Milano, 17th December 2020

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