A gambler denied a £1.7 million ($2.3 million) payout because of a technical glitch has won a three-year legal battle for a jackpot that didn’t really exist. A London High Court judge on Wednesday ruled that Betfred Casino’s terms and conditions failed to protect the company from liability, as it had argued.
Andrew Green, 54, of Lincolnshire, was playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack at Betfred in 2018 when he believed he hit the seven-figure jackpot.
The Playtech-built game is a blackjack variation that uses a progressive-slot side-game element to award big prizes linked across the entire Playtech network.
Green was officially congratulated by Betfred staff. He immediately extended his overdraft and spent £2,500 celebrating. But four days later, Betfred got in touch to explain the game had suffered a software malfunction and “no legitimate jackpot win occurred.”
Company officials said a glitch had stopped the game from resetting properly. Had Green continued to play, his money would have kept growing exponentially, they claimed.
Green, a single parent who has previously suffered four heart attacks, said he felt like his “insides had been ripped out” by the news.
He was offered a £60,000 ($82,000) settlement from Betfred with a non-disclosure agreement. But he turned it down and sued instead for £1.7 million, plus interest.
Usually, casino game glitches favor the operator, as a malfunction “voids all pays and plays.” Recent attempts by players to sue for phantom jackpots have not gone well for the plaintiffs.
As such, Betfred argued that it was covered under its terms and conditions. But, while extensive, these failed to stand up to scrutiny.
Mrs. Justice Foster ruled that the language of some of the clauses was “inadequate,” and “not transparent or fair and Betfred was not entitled to rely upon them.”
“The last three years have felt like hell on earth. I think Betfred have treated me abysmally. But it’s not about Betfred today – I’m just ecstatic to have eventually won my case. Along with my family, I have been through some very low times and become very down,” said Green.
“My physical health has also suffered badly, and I sometimes wished I’d never won this money because it was just making my life a misery. But today, I feel like the world has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel so incredibly happy and relieved – for me, my family, and my legal team.”
Betfred Backs Down
Betfred’s lawyers said they would appeal. But the company appeared to back down in a statement to the BBC on Wednesday.
“Mr. Green won the jackpot three times whilst playing a game provided by one of our third-party suppliers,” said a Betfred spokesperson. “The supplier reported a software problem to us and advised that we should withhold payment.
“However, we will abide by the court’s decision and not appeal. We would like to apologize to Mr. Green for the delay in receiving his money.”
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