Gambling & betting claims and dispute specialists – contact our team now to identify your legal position.

BE REALISTIC:

If you didn’t ask the bookmaker to self-exclude, it is unfortunately unlikely that you have a good claim on the basis that they allowed you to gamble even very large sums of money, since the law does not require the bookmaker to check that you can afford to gamble such sums.

BE AWARE THAT MOST CLAIMS FAIL:

PETER QUINN V IG INDEX (2018)

The “best interests” rule in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS) 2.1.1R did not require a financial spread betting operator to prevent a client from betting if that activity had been assessed as appropriate for him under COBS 10.2.1R. “Appropriateness” was concerned exclusively with whether the client had sufficient knowledge and experience to understand the risks of spread betting; it was not concerned with the degree to which he might be a competent or successful better.

ARYEH EHRENTREU V IG INDEX LTD (2018)

In the context of contract law, the existence of a duty of care to protect a party from deliberately inflicting economic harm on themselves would require very clear express words, spelling out such a duty, before a court would conclude that it arose.

RITZ HOTEL CASINO LTD V SAFA ABDULLA AL GEABURY (2015)

A casino’s provision of credit to a gambler, who had previously entered into a self-exclusion agreement which had been revoked at his request and with his assurance that he did not have a gambling problem, was lawful and the gambler was required to honour a cheque which he had signed in exchange for gambling chips.

RITZ HOTEL V NOORA AL DAHER (2014)

The provision by a casino of a cheque-cashing facility for members did not constitute the provision of “credit” for the purposes of the Gambling Act 2005 and the casino was entitled to recover sums covered by unpaid cheques presented by a member. It would also not be fair, just or reasonable to impose a duty of care on the casino on the basis that it had known or should have known that the member was a gambling addict.

HILLSIDE (NEW MEDIA) LTD V (1) BJARTE BAASLAND (2) BET365 INTERNATIONAL NV (3) HILLSIDE (GIBRALTAR) LTD (2010)

Any claim which a Norwegian gambler might have against the operator of a gambling website for losses he had suffered was probably governed by English law and there was no realistic possibility that he had a claim governed by the law of Norway. Under English law there was no real prospect of establishing a claim either in tort or contract and the operator was entitled to summary judgment on its claim for a negative declaration.

ANDREW FELDMAN V SIMON NISSIM (2010)

There were no substantial grounds on which a statutory demand, arising out of the debtor’s agreement to indemnify the creditor for losses arising from online spread bets placed by him on behalf of the debtor, could be set aside. Whilst it was at least arguable that a duty of care was owed by the creditor to the debtor in the way the bets were placed, there was no evidence of any breach of such a duty or consequential losses.

GRAHAM CALVERT V WILLIAM HILL CREDIT LTD (Court of Appeal) (2008)

The scope of the duty of care owed by a bookmaker who had failed to implement a telephone betting exclusion agreement entered into with a customer known or suspected of being a compulsive gambler did not extend to a general duty to prevent the customer from gambling. The quantification of the gambler’s losses flowing from the bookmaker’s breach of a limited duty could not ignore that he would probably have continued to gamble elsewhere and sustained the losses, regardless of the breach.

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Gambling claims: betting

Gambling and betting claims specialist solicitors acting for clients in online and on-site premises gaming disputes.

Solicitors here advise on betting disputes and claims for compensation for breach of duty of care by bookmakers and other gambling companies and represent clients in court claims relating to disputes.

Gambling JPEG

Top tips for claims against bookmakers 

1. Always check the bookmaker’s terms and conditions to see if they were entitled to act in the way that they have (e.g. disallow bets, refuse withdrawals etc.).

2. If the bookmaker is authorised to act in this way under its terms and conditions, it is unfortunately unlikely that you have a good claim.

3. You may have a good claim against a bookmaker if you asked the bookmaker to self-exclude, but it continued to allow you to place bets.

4. Your claim will be strongest if you asked the bookmaker to exclude you from the entire gambling industry, since it will then be more difficult for the bookmaker to argue that, even if it had excluded you, you would still have lost the same sums with another bookmaker.

5. If you did not ask the bookmaker to self-exclude, it is unfortunately unlikely that you have a good claim on the basis that they allowed you to gamble even very large sums of money, since the law does not require the bookmaker to check that you can afford to gamble such sums.

Court of Appeal decision in 2008 Calvert case

The scope of the duty of care owed by a bookmaker who had failed to implement a telephone betting exclusion agreement entered into with a customer known or suspected of being a compulsive gambler did not extend to a general duty to prevent the customer from gambling.

The quantification of the gambler’s losses flowing from the bookmaker’s breach of a limited duty could not ignore that he would probably have continued to gamble elsewhere and sustained the losses, regardless of the breach.

Breach of contract claims

Wagers used to be a debt of honour which were unenforceable in the Courts.

Since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force, wagers are now enforceable.

This means that if you win a bet, action can be taken against bookmakers who refuse to pay out.

Claim for damages for breach of duty of care

Bookmakers regulated in the UK are expected to provide facilities to protect problem gamblers such as those who are unable to exercise self-control. Those facilities include, for example, self-exclusion.

If a bookmaker accepts wagers from a customer who has self-excluded he may have breach his duty and may have to pay damages to the customer as a result.

Action can therefore be taken against bookmakers for breach of their duty of care. This means that losses may be recovered.

NEWS: “Betting firms Ladbrokes, William Hill, and PT Entertainment have agreed to change online games promotions after pressure from the regulator. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said punters must be able to cash out when they want, and not have to play more to release winnings. It said that “gambling firms must now stop unfair online promotions that trap players’ money”. The changes will apply to all promotions.” [BBC February 2018]

Knowing the relative strength of your claim provides a firm foundation for conducting negotiations going forward. Contact us now to identify your legal position.