Betfair Refunds Problem Gambler AU$150,000

Elouise Spencer - 14 November 2018

A problem gambler in Australia has won his case against Crown Resorts Betfair. The company has been ordered to refund AU$150,000 to a player, because it did not recognize his at risk behaviour and take appropriate action.

The player lodged the complaint in February, and the ruling was passed on Tuesday the 6th of November.

Red Flags Ignored

The Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) stated that Betfair did not adhere to codes of practice as laid down by the Commission. It was also found that the company should have responded to the high-risk behaviour demonstrated by the player.

The player testified that he was desperate at the time of betting. He requested a $150,000 reversal, which he withdrew shortly before withdrawing a further $170,000. It was found that the amount the player bet in a very short timespan was sufficient evidence that he was not in a reasonable state of mind.

The player made 4 requests to have the $150,000 withdrawal reversed, but was refused 3 times. The company eventually processed what it termed a once off refund, which was bet again within a day.

Betfair argued that no red flag behaviour was noted, and that a request for reversal does not equate to a problem gambler. It pointed out the player had utilized the company’s self-exclusion tools prior to the incident, which points to responsible behaviour.

In total 6 calls were placed to Betfair by the player, and not once did the company inquire about the complainant’s state of mind, or offer help accordingly to regulations, especially given the regular requests to reverse withdrawals and the client's surge in spending. In total the customer deposited $22,000 in 2016, $47,000 in 2017, but a massive $38,0000 within 2 months in 2018. All wagers placed after the first reversal request where deemed invalid by the commission.

The NTRC also issued the brand with a fine of AU$13,175, as this the third license breach in a year and a half.

About Betfair

Betfair Australia is owned by Crown Resorts, which is listed on the ASX. The company also owns the two Crown Casinos, one in Melbourne and the other in Perth.

The brand is the country’s only betting exchange and offers a marketplace where punters can bet against each other and on the outcome of events. It charges commission on net wins, and features a peer to peer betting platform which allows up to the minute live betting and uncapped winning potential.