20-year-old settles a legal case against British bookmaker Bet365
The David vs Goliath legal battle between Meghan McCann and British bookmaker Bet365 has ended with a settlement of about 20% after three years to McCann. The 20-year old student, through her legal team led by Andrew Montague, was accusing Bet365 of refusing to pay out a winning bet of £1m.
On 22nd June 2016, McCann placed 960 each way bets at £13 on 12 horses via Bet365’s ‘lucky 15′ accumulator. McCann made selections on horses that were running in races at Bath, Kempton and Naas in Ireland. When making a Lucky 15 bet, you choose four outcomes and place them as four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one quadruple. You then have full coverage across all combinations of results.
The amount staked was £24,960 that should have led to winnings of £984,833. When the original stake is added to that total, the full prize money should have been £1,009,960. However, not only did Bet365 refuse to pay out, but they also confiscated the stake money and accused the youngster of placing the bets on behalf of an unnamed third-party. It is understood that bet365 were suspicious of the large bet and forced e-wallet payment provider, Skrill to release McCann’s financial details using a ‘Norwich Pharmacol’ order, this was granted by the chancery division of the high court in London.
You should not use the website for the benefit of a third party… Bet365 will withhold payments to any customer where any of these are suspected to be for the benefit of a third party.– bet365, T&C’s
The case raises quite a few questions, such as the duty of care that Skrill have under data protection laws. As Skrill did not raise any objections to Bet 365’s request, the court didn’t ask for any reasoning or consider McCann’s right to privacy regarding her financial affairs. Skrill simply complied with Bet365’s request and provided the information. Skill have defended their position, in this case, saying that they, “take our data protection obligations very seriously and are satisfied we’ve met our obligations in this matter.” The company say they received legal advice at the time but the order that was served, “prevented (them) from disclosing the content of the order to anyone else.
Thrid Party Ambiguity
There is the possibility that the third party involved in this case knew the rules about third-party depositing but decided to go forward with their plan anyway. It is quite common for existing account holders to use another person’s account, usually to realise a welcome offer that the bookmaker may be offering. Also, bookmakers have been known to bar or restrict customers if they show a pattern of winning, but both these scenarios are against the firm’s rules.
McCann’s legal team were arguing that the language barring the third-party betting is complex, lengthy, and vague to understand. They also questioned the relevance of where the money came from. As one legal document written to Bet365 representatives said; our case is very straightforward, she placed a bet, she won, she is entitled to her winnings.