£1m ‘third party’ punter case delayed

The £1m dispute between Irish student punter Megan McCann and the world’s largest bookmaker, bet365, has been further delayed as both parties reassess their arguments for the case.

The hearing, which could have significant implications for the way terms and conditions are viewed in a legal sense and also potentially the ability for operators to screen who is betting with them, went to Belfast High Court on Tuesday, where it was agreed that the case would recommence on 14 December, so that McCann’s legal team can confirm an amended statement.

The amendment relates to the claim that bet365 had committed ‘unconscionable practices’, an allegation that was struck out. Moving forward an updated statement will be put forward by McCann’s legal team.

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 of £984,833.

The Racing Post reported that McCann’s solicitor Andrew Montague, who is renowned within the gambling industry after the case of Irish bettor Barney Curley, detailed: “The main thrust of the statement of claim will remain in place. What was agreed was a procedural amendment to bring focus to what is disputed.”

The similarities between the case of Curley 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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