British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'

Terms and conditions 'not transparent or fair', High Court judge says

The High Court of England and Wales has ruled that bookmaker Betfred must pay a Lincolnshire blackjack player £1.7m ($2.3m) in winnings that the betting site withheld because of a supposed software glitch.

In a statement emailed to The Register, a Betfred spokesperson 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 apologize to Mr Green for the delay in receiving his money."

Betfred's spokesperson declined to elaborate on whether this purported payment multiplication error has since been addressed in the app.

The case started in January 2018 when Andrew Green, 54, a resident of the small British village of Washingborough, won the jackpot playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven, a blackjack app. But Betfred refused to honor the payout, claiming that there had been a software error. Instead, the company proposed to pay Green £60,000, provided he signed a non-disclosure agreement and promised not to make a fuss.

Green refused and in April 2019, he filed a claim against Betfred's parent company, Gibraltar-based Petfred, for £2m – to cover interest on his withheld winnings – with the High Court in London. On Wednesday, the court agreed.

"Along with my family, I have been through some very low times and become very down," Green told the BBC.

"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."

The High Court found that Betfred must meet its contractual obligations and that the company's terms and conditions, said to be 49 pages long, were insufficient to dissolve that commitment.

High Court judge Mrs Justice Foster dismissed the company's legalese, saying it was "inadequate," and "not transparent or fair and Betfred were not entitled to rely upon them."

Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven is made by Playtech, a gambling technology company based on the Isle of Man that was not involved in the litigation. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022