Betfred claims the software glitched
A customer dispute with Betfred dating back to early 2018 will now go before a High Court judge in the UK for a summary judgement. The court appearance is expected to occur in October.
The case involves a player named Andy Green, who was playing “Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack” on the Betfred mobile app. Green’s lawyer, Peter Coyle, told Gambling Insider that Green played the game for six hours one day before winning a £1.7 million ($2.2 million) jackpot on odds of 7,777/1.
Coyle said that for four days, representatives from Betfred congratulated them and then suddenly changed their tune, saying the site would not pay him his winnings.
The reason: the game malfunctioned.
Green insulted by Betfred’s offer
Betfred offered Green £2,500 ($3,235) to reimburse costs incurred in his celebrations and another £60,000 ($77,634), but the latter sum required Green to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
“….£60,000 is an insult,” said Coyle. “If it was a more reasonable figure that properly reflected the risk to Andy of litigating but also the fact he’s in good faith won that money, then we’d do a deal.”
“They’re doing themselves no favors by not paying out to a punter who won in good faith and giving no rationale for doing it,” he added. “It is surprising, but we’ll get there in the end. We’ll play hardball and won’t give up until we get justice for Andy, who’s been really badly let down.”
In November 2018, Green took Betfred to court to get the company to disclose what the actual malfunction was. Betfred, though, said it was Playtech, the game developer, that had the evidence, but Playtech won’t show what it is because of supposed confidentiality.
Coyle said Betfred tried to get £12,000 ($15,527) in court costs from Green, but the judge shot that request down.
Taking case to judge to avoid trial
Fast forward two years and now they will finally appear in court again for the summary judgment. A summary judgment is essentially a ruling by a judge without the need of a jury. The two parties exchange evidence so it is all out there. If there are no facts in dispute and it is obvious which way a jury would have to rule, the judge can just make the summary judgment and avoid going to trial.
“You wouldn’t treat an animal like I’ve been treated by Betfred, but hopefully the judge will accept the arguments put forward by my legal team and this nightmare will be over next month,” Coyle told Gambling Insider.
“The last two and a half years have felt like hell on earth.”
If Green loses the summary judgment, the case can still go to trial.
As mentioned, in the summary judgment process, the two parties must agree that there are no facts in dispute. Thus, as Coyle put it, “….we have to accept Betfred’s case as it’s been presented to the Court; namely that the blackjack game malfunctioned in some way.”
The problem there is that Betfred’s terms and conditions, like every other online gaming site, say that wins can be voided in the case of a malfunction. Coyle’s strategy, though, is that the glitch occurred within Playtech’s software, not Betfred’s, so Betfred must still pay out.