Betfred enters High Court dispute over £1.7m payout infringement

Betfred has entered a UK High Court dispute over refusing a £1.7 million jackpot pay-out to a customer on the grounds that its casino game had suffered a ‘software malfunction’. 

The lawsuit was filed by Andy Green from Lincolnshire who hit the jackpot in 2018, wagering on the Playtech-licensed ‘Frankie Dettori Magic Seven Blackjack’ game. 

Betfred is reported to have credited Green’s account with the £1.7 million prize, however, the bookmaker denied the customer his withdrawal, citing that there had been a ‘software error’.

Green’s representative claimed that Betfred has shown no proof of error or malfunctions related to its blackjack game.

Disputing the jackpot infringement with Betfred management, Green stated that he was offered ‘£30,000’ as a goodwill gesture on the condition that he did not speak about the incident. This offer was later increased to £60,000 – both of which he rejected. 

Following two years of legal proceedings, Green’s representatives have taken Petfre Gibraltar, the holding company of Betfred’s online gambling division, to the UK High Court to seek a minimum £2 million in compensation.

With regards to Green’s jackpot win, Betfred has maintained that it holds the legal right to deny payments centred on its customer terms and conditions with regards to playing casino games on Betfred.com.

Betfred T&Cs include a clause that all ‘pays and plays’ would be void in the event of a ‘malfunction’, a condition that Green had agreed to when signing up to its online casino.

However, Green’s lawyer Peter Coyle rejected Betfred’s claims, underlining that the bookmaker should have presented Green with clear evidence for rejecting the game’s million-pound jackpot.    

Coyle stated that a proper examination of Betfred’s 49-page casino T&Cs confirm that the operator should have paid-out Green.  

“If ‘all pays and plays’ were void, then Betfred would have refunded other customers, but the company had produced no evidence that had happened,” he said. “It only wanted to withhold Mr Green’s enormous win.” 

In addition, Coyle highlighted that Playtech had not filed a notification to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) reporting a glitch in its game – a requirement that the technology group is supposed to fulfil under its UK licensing conditions.   

Betfred management have stated that they will not comment on legal matters. Meanwhile, industry observers will be eyeing developments closely as regulators and leadership mull potential regulatory changes with regards to consumer interactions, advocacy and further customer safeguards

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