In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.
You’re probably used to me going off on one about gambling. One more week? I just wanted to highlight the rules by which these companies play.
Ostensibly, this is a story about a guy who won a load of money. Very few gamblers do, so his story is worth sharing.
Way back in January 2018, Andy Green, from Lincolnshire, was playing a Blackjack app on his phone, provided by UK gambling company BetFred. Whatever game he was playing, he won the jackpot three times, which amassed a staggering win total of £1.7m. He took a screengrab of his phone, and I suspect this was key.
The initial reaction of BetFred’s customer service team was to congratulate him. A lucky winner, good for him. And not surprising. It is a drop in the ocean in an industry which is worth approximately £15 billion per year. And, on the strength of this reaction, Mr Green splashed out thousands in celebration of the win. Well, wouldn’t you?
A couple of days later, his big win had obviously reached the ears of BetFred’s directors. One contacted him. He told Mr Green that there had been a glitch in the software. BetFred’s bad? Apparently not. They have a clause in their Ts & Cs which states that in the event of a bug, all bets are off. Winners lose. So BetFred told him that because the game had not been functioning correctly, they were withholding his win.
When Mr Green then started legal proceedings, BetFred offered him a token £60k, on the condition that the matter was never raised again. Mr Green refused, and last week had his day in court. After three years, the judge ruled that BetFred had no reasonable grounds to withhold payment, and finally awarded Mr Green his £1.7m.
Perhaps a lesson there that companies should try testing their software before releasing it to the public?