Betfair failed to ‘reasonably recognise’ the red flags after one of its own customers – identified as Mr M, convinced the company to refund $150,000 which he quickly gambled away from his account.
As reported by ABC News, the betting exchange should have identified “red flag behaviours” that showed the customer had a gambling problem before it agreed to reverse his request to transfer $150,000 out of his Betfair account and into his personal bank account.
Betfair claimed that it could not have reasonably known about Mr M’s problem because there weren’t any “discernible indicators” found in his gambling activity, despite acknowledging that he had previously self-excluded from gambling for six months in 2014.
The Northern Territory Racing Commission heard that Mr M had already lost significant sums of money on 20 February 2018, when he made his initial request to transfer the money. Yet within 23 minutes of this request, he had gambled away the remaining $86,388 that was still in his account.
Four hours later, after topping up his wagering account with $35,000, he was again close to zero after just 47 minutes. In a “desperate mindset”, Mr M then asked Betfair to reverse his earlier withdrawal request so he could top up his wagering account with $150,000.
After initially being told that Betfair “generally can’t cancel” withdrawal requests, Mr M made three more calls to the company and a manager eventually agreed to reverse the withdrawal as a “one-off” – which enabled him to gamble away the £150,000.
It has also emerged that Mr M had tried to reverse a $40,000 withdrawal in January of this year, only to be told he couldn’t do that because of “responsible gambling” reasons.