The $2m Jackpot Winner Denied By ‘Software Error’ Heads To Court

A man who won $2m from a British bookmaker, only to be denied his winnings because of a “software error”, is taking his case to Britain’s High Court.

Andy Green won £1.7m ($2m) from bookmaker Betfred while playing a blackjack game on his smartphone. His account was credited with £1,722,923.54, but when he attempted to withdraw the winnings, the request was declined, according to a report from the BBC.

Mr Green was then called by a director of the bookmaking firm, who claimed there had been a “software error” and that the company was rejecting the claim.

Betfred reportedly offered Mr Green £30,000 ($38,000) as a token of “goodwill”, as long as he agreed to a non-disclosure agreement, later upping that offer to £60,000 ($72,000). Mr Green refused both offers and is now suing Betfred for £2 million ($2.6 million), which includes the interest he would have received on his winnings since the jackpot was won in January 2018.

The terms and conditions

Betfred’s case reportedly hangs on the company’s terms and conditions, which it claims Mr Green agreed to before playing the game. These apparently stated that all “pays and plays” were void in the event of a “malfunction”.

It’s not clear whether the company’s terms have changed since 2018, but its current terms and conditions stipulate that: “Any monies which are credited to your Deposit Balance and Bonus Balance, or paid to you as a result of an Error shall be deemed, pending resolution, to be held by you on trust for us and shall be immediately repaid to us when a demand for payment is made by us to you. Where such circumstances exist, if you have monies in your Deposit Balance and Bonus Balance we may reclaim these monies from those funds.”

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Mr Green’s legal team are challenging whether an error genuinely occurred. His lawyers told the BBC that the company has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence of a software problem.

Mr Green told the BBC that “the last two and a half years have felt like hell on earth”.

“You wouldn’t treat an animal like I’ve been treated by Betfred,” he said.

“Hopefully the judge will accept the arguments put forward by my legal team and this nightmare will be over,” he said. “My champagne remains on ice!”

Betfred has been approached for comment.

Punters paying for errors

There is a long history of gambling firms refusing to make payouts or pursuing customers who’ve collected winnings as a result of technical errors.

In 2011, a man was refused a $47 million payout from a casino in Austria, after the operators blamed a software error. The case was eventually settled for $1 million – something of an upgrade on the free meal the customer was initially offered by way of compensation.

A year earlier, a new online casino in British Columbia was forced to shut down after gamblers were allowed to place bets with other customers’ money. The company eventually redistributed the money to the correct customers.

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