A report in the Evening Standard is claiming GVC Holdings is at the centre of a Canadian whirlwind of lawsuits with its ongoing legal battle with Swiss ex-ice hockey pro Doug Honegger having taken a new turn.
Honegger claims that GVC owe him money for the work he states that he did as a joint venture partner on its behalf in terms of running the Canadian arm of the company, Sportingbet, during 2014 and 2015. GVC has itself claimed that no agreement was made but Honegger is claiming compensation which is in itself a multi-million pound lawsuit.
GVC said his allegations were “spurious and unfounded”.
In a statement this is what Honegger had to say on the matter: “My partner and I reached a joint venture agreement with GVC in 2014. The fact that GVC subsequently reneged on that agreement does not change that obvious truth. Unfortunately, GVC’s bad faith conduct has forced us to seek legal remedies and we are extremely confident that we will succeed.”
Honegger is partnered with Barry Alter, and he has claimed that the pair had full access to customers’ details and betting histories. Honegger’s firm is called 37E with which he states GVC had agreed a 50/50 partnership targeting the Canadian market.
At the time during the summer of 2015 a statement from GVC said this: “This is a claim without merit. No formal agreement was reached with the company. GVC is continuously exploring new relationships… and not all opportunities reach maturity.”
It’s GVC’s position though which has led to the latest development. Findlay McCarthy, a major class action law firm in Canada, has stated that if Honegger was not a joint venture partner of GVC Holdings, as the company claims, then this means that the firm was in breach of its gambling licence as well as national customer protection laws in that it allowed the entrepreneur “unfetted access” to the information of thousands of customers.
If Findlay McCarthy establishes that it is the case that the company was not officially associated with Honegger yet allowed him such access, then it is arguing that each and every bet taken during the time he ran the Canadian Sportingbet empire was unlawful.
A Findlay McCarthy statement to potential claimants read as follows: “The firm is considering a class action seeking reimbursement on behalf of betters of all bets placed by Canadian residents through the site ofor any affiliated sites.”
The London AIM listed GVC Holdings acquired Bwin.Party last year and Honegger has iterated his view that due to the overlap with Bwin’s Canadian operations this caused GVC to renege on their deal.
The case will be heard in London in July.