Bet365 Gets Court Date for £1 Million Racing Win Dispute

Bet365 is set for a legal showdown with Irish racing fan Megan McCann on November 13 as the two parties look to settle a £1 million payout dispute.

Denise Coates Bet365.

Bet365 owner Denise Coates has tasked her company’s legal team with discrediting a punter’s £1 million claim. (Image: fourtwothreeonestoke)

Although the court date set on September 5 isn’t a full hearing, it could prove to be a significant turning point in a case which dates back to 2016.

When legal representatives for Bet365 and customer Megan McCann meet inside the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast, the former will look to strike out certain points from the latter’s statement of claim.

If Bet365’s team can remove enough of the claim on November 13, the case could collapse before it starts. However, if McCann’s arguments show enough merit, the two parties will likely take the matter to a full court hearing.

A Two-Year Battle for £1 Million

The genesis of the dispute dates back to four races in 2016. A student in Northern Ireland at the time, McCann wagered just shy of £25,000 on 12 horses via Bet365’s website. Placing a £13 each-way Lucky 15, the 19-year-old was in line for a £984,833 payout if her runners came in.

Despite the improbable odds, the bet was a winner and McCann assumed she’d be able to withdraw her winnings as usual. Reviewing the transaction, Bet365’s security team blocked the payout and later informed the punter she’d violated the site’s terms and conditions.

According to Bet365, the £24,960 McCann used to place bet wasn’t her money. Instead, the betting operator claims she made the wager on behalf of a third-party, a practice that contravenes the rules.

In light of the allegation, Bet365 refused to pay McCann her winnings or return her stake. Choosing to fight the matter, the young UK customer enlisted the help of betting and gambling legal expert Andrew Montague.

A Matter of Perspective

The solicitor has been instrumental in a number of similar cases in the past and has since taken up the mantle of trying to retrieve the money McCann believes she is owed. When the case first broke, The Telegraph obtained exclusive access to correspondence between the two legal teams.

Among the list of allegations, lawyers for Bet365 suggested McCann was acting illegally as the face of the account and not the person doing the bidding.

“Our client has reasonable grounds to suspect your client to be guilty of criminal offences including fraud by false representation; cheating or attempted cheating,” reads an extract published by The Telegraph in 2017.

Much of McCann’s case hinges on the ambiguity of the third-party clause cited by Bet365. For her legal team, the rule is spurious and gives the company licence to “rob” someone of their winnings unfairly.

“The husband who puts a bet on the winner of X-factor for his wife, or on the winner of the Grand National, would have those winnings robbed of him,” reads another extract from The Telegraph.

The outcome of the case could have far-reaching implications for the rest of the betting industry.

A win for Bet365 could give operators the upper-hand when it comes to refusing major payouts. However, if McCann can prove ambiguous terms and conditions are being used in a predatory way, it could give more customers the power to challenge unfair rulings.

Share Now: