Punter takes Australian sportsbook to court over unpaid bet

by Charlotte Lee Last Updated
Punter takes Australian sportsbook to court over unpaid bet

A punter has taken an Australian sportsbook and casino to court over unpaid gambling winnings.

Calvin Ayre reports Australian woman Renee Bell found out she had won $1.05 million through the Beteasy sportsbook in 2008, but the operator only gave her A$250,000.

The surprise wasn’t because she received a low payout, but because she didn’t know she had an account with the operator.

As the mystery began to unravel, she took Beteasy to court to try to recover the difference of the payout and the ongoing lawsuit finds her asserting that the account must have come from someone at Crown Resorts.

Ms Bell bases her theory on the fact that she received an email about her sports gambling parlay winnings three days after becoming a member of Crown Resorts’ Signature Club.

Beteasy, previously known as Crownbet, the sports gambling brand owned by Crown Resorts.

Ms Bell asserts the only way the bet could have been placed on the platform is if someone from Crown used her identity.

She believes she’s entitled to the full payout, however, even if she never placed the bet.

Court documents reveal Ms Bell “did not agree to Crownbet’s terms and conditions and such terms and conditions were not brought to her attention.” when she signed with the signature club.

This also, according to the lawsuit, signifies that she could not have agreed to the platform’s terms and conditions, which include a caveat that it will only pay out a maximum of A$250,000.

Beteasy asserts that simply signing up for the service is enough to justify agreement with the terms and conditions, a statement that has had difficulty holding water with legal teams in the past in other jurisdictions.

Australia’s Supreme Court will weigh the merits of both sides of the case when it takes up the matter in a hearing scheduled for November.

Preferential visa treatment for Crown high-rollers, inquiry finds

A government inquiry has found Home Affairs gave preferential visa treatment to Crown Resorts’ high-rollers. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported in September that the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity found poor record keeping by officials responsible for examining Crown’s high-roller clients who arrived in charter jets, noting that some travellers may have escaped proper baggage checks.

It also found people were issued visas who had previously been refused entry on character grounds.

While the report made no findings of corruption, ACLEI also reveals that a border force official who worked as a bodyguard for a Crown-linked organised crime boss Tom “Mr Chinatown” Zhou quit his government role in January after being questioned about his conduct.

Mr Zhou, who was recently arrested overseas and extradited to China, was a so called junket agent for Crown, whose job was to lure high-rollers, mainly from China, to the casino’s gambling tables.

According to the ACELI report released on Tuesday, the now former border force officer “did not declare, or receive approval from the ABF for secondary employment with the junket agent.”

“He was employed by the junket agent as a bodyguard, mainly as a show for the junket agent’s associates,” the ACLEI inquiry found.

“He should have been aware that his employment could have created a perceived conflict of interest.”

The former border force officer also revealed to ACELI investigators that he helped broker the potential purchase of a Vanuatu casino by Mr Zhou.

Mr Zhou’s extensive dealings with Crown were exposed in 2018.

The reporting at the time revealed the ABF officer’s dealings with Mr Zhou, and prompted both the ACLEI inquiry and an ongoing public inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a casino licence in New South Wales.

The ACLEI inquiry report makes clear the organisation only has the power to act on findings of corruption, rather than issues of maladministration that may have endangered the nation’s border security.

“Administrative deficiencies and corruption are not synonymous,” ACLEI explains in its report, even though “poor or lax governance can create a corruption vulnerability.”

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