SBC News £1m ‘third party’ punter dispute heading to court

£1m ‘third party’ punter dispute heading to court

A case which could have major repercussions for the industry and how its terms and conditions are viewed in a legal sense has been given a date in court.

The dispute between UK bookmaker, bet365 and Megan McCann, a racing bettor who is claiming £1,009,960 in unpaid winnings from the Stoke based bookmaker, will go to court on 13 November 2018.

McCann, who was a 19 year old student when the bets were placed, made 12 selections, spreading bets across 960 £13 each way Lucky 15s on meetings at Bath, Kempton and Naas, the total stake of which amounted to £24,960. Her bets resulted in winnings £984,833, however, the operator has declined to pay the punter, underlining its belief that the bets had been placed by a third party, something it described it as a “flagrant breach” of its terms and conditions.

A spokesman for bet365 stated: “A full investigation has been carried out into the circumstances of the bet that was placed. Bet365 is entirely satisfied the circumstances are such that winnings are not payable in relation to it. We expect this position to be upheld at trial. We are not prepared to comment further whilst litigation is ongoing.”

As originally reported by the Telegraph, McCann has continued to deny that she agreed to the “no third party rule” in bet365’s terms and conditions, which McCann’s legal team claimed are “too lengthy, too complex and much too vague for the average customer to understand”.

An initial response to the dispute from bet365’s lawyers said: “You claim that this dispute is simply about your client placing a bet; and being entitled to winnings. This is wrong. it is a case in which your client has been operating the account… using the funds of and for the benefit of third parties, in flagrant breach of our client’s terms.

“Our client has reasonable grounds to suspect your client to be guilty of criminal offences including fraud by false representation; cheating or attempted cheating.”

McCann has hired lawyer Andrew Montague, who is renowned within the gambling industry, after the case of Irish bettor Barney Curley. The similarities between that case and this one, led to Montague describing himself as being in “something of a ‘déjà vu’ scenario”.

Curley’s case dates back to 2010, when relatives of the Irish trainer placed a four fold on horses, three of which were trained by Curley, after a long running dispute between Curley and Betfred, Montague helped Curley earn a £3.9m payout from Betfred.

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