In the United Kingdom, a young woman from Belfast is reportedly taking the firm behind giant online sportsbetting operator Bet365 to the High Court in an attempt to receive the £1,009,960 ($1,308,215) she claims to be owed as a result of placing a winning horseracing wager last year.
According to reports from The Daily Telegraph and Belfast Telegraph newspapers, Megan McCann, who was only 19 when she placed the wager in question, lodged her writ against Hillside (UK Sports) LP in Northern Ireland after the operator refused to pay out by claiming that she had been in “flagrant breach” of its terms and conditions because her original stake had allegedly been supplied by a third party.
“A full investigation has been carried out into the circumstances of the bet that was placed,” read a statement from Hillside (UK Sports) LP. “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 while litigation is ongoing.”
McCann reportedly staked almost £25,000 ($32,391) on twelve different horses over four races to win £985,000 ($1,276,208) last summer but Bet365 later accused the bettor of fraud and cheating, claims she has since vehemently denied. The successful online wager consisted of 960 £13 ($16.84) each-way Lucky 15 bets, which allow a combination of accumulated winnings, on horses running in events at Bath Racecourse, Kempton Park Racecourse and Naas Racecourse on June 22 and the Belfast resident has accused Gibraltar-based Hillside (UK Sports) LP of breach of contract and is petitioning the court for her full prize as well as damages.
“Our client’s case is very straightforward,” read a letter from McCann’s lawyers to Hillside (UK Sports) LP. “She placed a bet with your client. She won. She is entitled to her winnings.”
However, Hillside (UK Sports) LP reportedly alleges that McCann breached its “no third-party” rule, which has been designed to stop syndicates from wagering and insists that the whole stake for a wager must be put up by one customer alone. The operator claims that such a regulation is contained within its terms and conditions although the plaintiff’s legal team has since declared that this prohibition is “too lengthy, too complex and much too vague for the average customer to understand” and would effectively mean that “the husband who puts a bet on the winner of X-Factor for his wife or on the winner of the Grand National would have those winnings robbed of him”.
The case could reportedly have profound implications for all customers that place an online wager in the United Kingdom with McCann’s legal team moreover alleging in their correspondence with Hillside (UK Sports) LP that the firm’s terms and conditions amount to “nothing more than a heads I win, tails you lose wish list”.