A Betfred customer who won a blackjack jackpot in 2018 will finally receive his £1.7m winnings after a UK High Court ruling on Wednesday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Green comes out on top
A UK gambler has defeated Betfred in a High Court battle over an online casino jackpot worth £1.7m ($2.3m). He will finally receive his winnings more than three years after originally triggering the blackjack offer.
Betfred claimed a “defect” had impacted the game
Andrew Green from Lincolnshire, England hit the jackpot on “Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack” online game in January 2018. Betfred claimed a “defect” had impacted the game, denying Green his winnings. This resulted in a three-year court battle as the gambler sought to overturn the decision.
On Wednesday, London’s High Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering Betfred to pay the full amount. The operator confirmed it will not appeal the decision and issued an apology for the payout delay.
Two sides to the argument
The High Court heard arguments from both sides during a hearing of Green’s case in October 2020. The gambler aimed to sue Betfred and its parent company, Gibraltar-based Petfre, for more than £2m ($2.7m). This included the prize money, interest, and legal expenses.
Betfred’s lawyers argued that the company’s terms and conditions covered any technical glitches. The operator said the blackjack game’s “defect” made it more likely to pay out higher winnings than intended.
However, Green said Betfred led him to believe he was a winner after triggering the jackpot, even advising him to open several bank accounts to spread out his funds. Although Betfred informed him of the technical glitch five days later, Green told the court that the company failed to provide any evidence to back up its claims.
In November 2018, Green took Betfred to the High Court for the first time to pressure the company into providing proof. According to Betfred, software developer Playtech was the only company which could share evidence of the technical glitch. Playtech supposedly chose not to provide the data for confidentiality reasons.
According to the plaintiff and his lawyer Peter Coyle, Betfred also proposed a settlement deal as part of a non-disclosure agreement in 2018. The operator offered £60,000 ($82,416) as a “goodwill” gesture, in addition to £2,500 ($3,434) to reimburse Green for any celebratory expenses. The gambler ultimately rejected the offer, calling it an insult.
The final judgment
After October’s hearing, Coyle urged the judge, Mrs Justice Foster, to either rule in the plaintiff’s favor or strike out Betfred’s defense to his claim. Foster did the former on Wednesday, denying Betfred’s request for a full trial.
In her final ruling, the judge described the wording of Betfred’s terms and conditions used in the defense as “inadequate”. She said the operator’s decision to deny Green his winnings lacked both transparency and fairness.
The champagne can finally come off ice and be savoured.”
Commenting on the victory, Green described himself as “incredibly happy and relieved” after a difficult three years of legal battles. “The champagne can finally come off ice and be savoured,” he commented. His solicitor Coyle said he hoped the result would inspire others to challenge large companies.