Betfred Told To Pay Blackjack Player £1.7M After Court Battle
Leading gambling operator Betfred has been told by a court to pay a Blackjack player their £1.7 million jackpot after initially denying the payout due to an alleged software glitch.
In January 2018, Andy Green from Lincolnshire won a £1.7 million jackpot while playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack on his smartphone. Betfred, however, refused to pay the winnings. The operator claimed that due to a software error, the game had not operated properly and the error made the game more likely to pay higher winnings than intended, an issue covered in the game’s terms and conditions.
After challenging Betfred’s refusal to pay the winnings, the operator offered Green £60,000 as a token of “goodwill” on the grounds that he agreed not to discuss the matter again. Green refused and in April 2019 pursued legal action against Betfred and its parent company Petfre. On Wednesday this week, more than three years later, he won his court case.
According to The Guardian, Green will receive his £1,722,923.54 winnings with interest after High Court judge Mrs Justice Foster ruled that one of the terms and conditions set by Betfred was “inadequate” to exempt the operator from its obligation to pay out the winnings. She also ruled that Betfred’s clauses were not “transparent or fair”.
In a statement to The Guardian, Green celebrated the win and encouraged others who experienced similar issues to challenge operators. He said: “The last three years have felt like hell on earth. I think Betfred have treated me abysmally, but it’s not about Betfred today – I’m just ecstatic to have eventually won my case.
“Along with my family, I have been through some very low times and become very down. My physical health has also suffered badly, and I sometimes wished I’d never won this money, because it was just making my life a misery. But today, I feel like the world has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel so incredibly happy and relieved – for me, my family and my legal team. The champagne can finally come off ice and be savoured.”
He added: “This is not just a win for me, but a win for everybody in a similar position. I did nothing wrong, I played a game, I was congratulated for five days on being a millionaire, and then it was snatched away from me.”
Andy Green’s solicitor Peter Coyle of Coyle White Devine said: “I am absolutely thrilled for Andy and his family… Our justice system has delivered exactly the right result and it will give hope to others who may be thinking that the big, rich guys always win.”
A spokesperson for Betfred said: “Mr Green won the jackpot three times whilst playing a game provided by one of our third-party suppliers. The supplier reported a software problem to us and advised that we should withhold payment. However, we will abide by the court’s decision and not appeal. We would like to apologise to Mr Green for the delay in receiving his money.”
The news comes after Betfred signed a brand new content partnership with developer Pariplay last month. Under the partnership, Pariplay has launched a selection of its casino content under the ‘Games’ tab of the Betfred website and the developer has plans to launch additional content in the coming months.
Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan Pledges Gambling Advertisement Ban On London Underground
Meanwhile, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has this week pledged a ban on all gambling advertisements on the London Underground. As reported by CITY A.M., the pledge was made in Khan’s manifesto ahead of May 6th’s London mayoral elections and it follows Khan’s 2018 ban of junk food advertisements on the tube.
Khan’s manifesto reads: “I’ve already banned body-shaming advertisements and advertisements for foods high in fat, salt and sugar on the TfL network because of their impact on the health of Londoners. Given the devastating way gambling addiction can destroy lives and families, I’ll instruct TfL to bring forward plans to extend the ban to harmful gambling advertisements on the network.”
The 2018 ban on junk food advertisements resulted in a £13 million annual loss in advertising revenue for Transport for London (TfL). Extending the ban to cover gambling could create further revenue losses for the network at a time when TfL is struggling due to dwindling numbers in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also in Khan’s manifesto, the current Mayor of London proposed rent controls, set a target of building 10,000 new council homes over the next four years, pledged to roll out 4G on all tube lines, promised to name all six London Overground lines, pledged to create new green jobs, pledged several initiatives to promote diversity, and made several promises to continue lobbying the Government for wider budgets for the Metropolitan Police and TfL.
Sadiq Khan’s pledge also comes as the gambling industry and its regulation has come under scrutiny from the general public, campaigning groups, and politicians, most of which have called for tighter gambling restrictions in an effort to clamp down on the number of people suffering from gambling-related harm and to reduce gambling exposure to young people.
Meanwhile, the UK Government is currently carrying out its review of the Gambling Act 2005. The Government launched its review in December with a call for evidence that ended in March 2021. As part of the review, major reforms are expected, including a potential ban on gambling sports sponsorships, tighter restrictions on the design and play of video slots, and more.