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£1m gambling claim against online bookmaker is dropped

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Prompting speculation in the UK gambling industry that a private settlement has been reached, a long running claim for unpaid winnings from a horse racing bet has recently been discontinued.

The claimant, Belfast student Megan McCann, had for the past two years been claiming £1m in unpaid winnings against leading online bookmaker Bet365. The claim stated that on 22nd June 2016, McCann had placed a stake of just under £25,000 on 12 horses running in races at Kempton Park, Naas and Bath. The bets, forming a combined total of 960 £13 each-way ‘Lucky 15s’ – were accepted by Bet365 and most were successful, in theory returning a payout totalling £984,833.

However, Bet365 – one of the UK’s largest online gambling platforms – subsequently refused to pay the winnings, claiming that the student, who was 19 at the time, was using funds for her stakes that were provided by a third party, a contravention of their terms and conditions. Bet365 also refused to refund the £25,000 stake.

After over two years of legal action, the case was formally discontinued by McCann’s legal team shortly before it was due to return to court in Belfast, a move prompting mixed reactions from punters in the UK. Some will be happy to assume that some of the winnings have been paid, but many will be disappointed that the robustness of a major bookmakers terms and conditions were not exposed and tested in court. So far, Bet365 has refused to comment on the case.

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