The previous week was marked by interventions in the betting sector and a case against a major casino operator. While the UK Government is going through a rigorous review of gambling laws, several changes were suggested to help the prevention of gambling harm. According to the National Health Service (NHS), with the Covid-19 pandemic taking all over the world, problem gambling has become a bigger issue among UK individuals. This was the reason for the NHS to ask for the gambling industry to be more active in the support and funding of gambling addiction treatment facilities and programs.
Meanwhile, last week a UK player won a case against the casino operator Betfred. The reason for the case was the online casino refusing to pay the online gambler a jackpot prize of £1.7 million due to a “defect” in the online game.
NHS Director Calls for Mandatory Levy for Gambling Firms to Fund Addiction Treatments
Currently, gambling operators can choose how much to contribute to the sector that combats gambling addictions. This is due to the voluntary system that is implemented by the laws in the UK. To improve the help that gamblers at risk are receiving, Claire Murdoch, the director of the NHS, called for a mandatory tax to be introduced to the gambling industry of the country. This way, gambling companies will have a bigger contribution to the funding of addiction treatment in the UK.
Murdoch’s suggestion came as the UK Government continues to review the laws and regulations introduced in the 2005 Gambling Act. Ever since the global pandemic, gambling addiction has become an even bigger issue among UK gamblers. With more people turning to online gambling, the number of those seeking help has also increased.
Murdoch reported that for the past year, about 750 individuals have been referred to special clinics that are focusing on treating serious addiction. This is the reason why the NHS will focus on launching even more gambling clinics in the UK. The director of the NHS also noted that while gambling operators are taking advantage of the current climate, the health service is left to deal with the consequences of the increasing number of people with gambling addiction.
According to Murdoch, gambling companies must take additional steps to support the health service’s efforts to combat the increasing gambling-related harm in the country. This could happen by gambling firms volunteering as vaccinators or recognizing the efforts of staff. Murdoch also insisted on bookmakers agreeing on a compulsory levy that will help funding problem gambling treatment.
UK Player Won a Case Against Major Online Bookmaker Betfred
In January 2018, Andrew Green hit a £1.7 million jackpot on an online casino game called Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack. Much to Green’s surprise, when he proceeded to withdraw his winnings, the online casino declined his withdrawal request.
Last Wednesday, three years later, the 54-year-old Green won a court case against the online casino Betfred. The casino operators denied the player his jackpot under the excuse of a “defect” in the game. Luckily for Green, the judge ruled that the terms and conditions of the online casino were not enough to justify their actions.
After winning the case, Green will receive £1,722,923.54, which is the sum of the jackpot he was not allowed to withdraw three years ago. In addition to the winnings that rightly belong to Green, the casino operator will also need to pay interest. Betfred admitted its mistake, claiming it will not appeal against the court’s decision.
Three years ago, when Green hit the jackpot, he believed that he could easily enjoy his new life as a millionaire. Unfortunately, when he requested a withdrawal, the casino denied his cashout. The Betfred lawyers claimed that there was a “defect” in the game Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack. This game flaw increased the possible winnings to sums that were higher than the ones originally intended.
After the judge ruled in favour of Green, the player encouraged other people who are going through similar issues to seek justice. While he shared that the last three years were tough for him and his family, the ruling of the court gave Green a huge feeling of relief. He shared that the win in court also meant a win for many other individuals who are going through similar experiences.