Northern Territory Racing Commission orders Betfair Australia ordered to refund A$150,000 to problem gambler.

Northern Territory Racing Commission orders Betfair Australia ordered to refund A$150,000 to problem gambler.

Betfair Australia (owned by Crown Resorts), has been ordered to refund A$150,000 and pay a fine of A$13,000 for allowing a problem gambler to reverse a withdrawal request.

An investigation by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC), which is the regulator responsible for Betfair Australia, concluded that Betfair had failed to respond appropriately to “red flag behaviours” by the customer in question.

According to the full report, which is available to view here, the drama started when the customer, referred to as ‘Mr M.’ made a request to withdraw A$150,000 from his Betfair account, which had a balance of A$320,000, to his bank account.

Shortly after making the request, the customer lost the entire remaining balance, and in what was quoted as a “desperate mindset”, contacted Betfair customer service to request the A$150,000 that was processing to be returned to his Betfair account.

After three failed attempts to get Betfair to reverse the withdrawal, on the fourth phone call he managed to persuade a Betfair manager to reverse the withdrawal in a “one-off” because he was a loyal customer. The next day, Mr M lost the entire A$145,000 that had been returned, and his account was suspended.

The NTRC investigation pointed out that Mr M had previously self-excluded for short periods on two separate occasions, and that Betfair was aware that his gambling behaviour had been changing, noting that:

“In 2016, total deposits [Mr M’s] were roughly $22,000, in 2017 they were $47,000 and in just January and February of 2018 a total of $380,000 was deposited.”

The report did acknowledge that the customer had not specifically informed Betfair of his gambling problem until after the incident but concluded that there were sufficient red flags for Betfair to have identified the issue before the incident, saying:

“It is clear from the evidence that had the Betfair manager, Mr Reid, who accepted the reversal request should have observed red flag behaviours, most notably the Complainant having lost over $190,000 just prior to the request to reverse the withdrawal.”

The incident serves as yet another reminder of how careful gambling firms need to be regarding problem gambling in the increasingly strict regulatory environments of many markets.

Source: AYO news



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