Customer sues London bookmaker over losses
The customer says that Star Sports knew he had a gambling problem.
UK.- A former customer is taking independent bookmaker Star Sports to court, accusing it of allowing him to bet hundreds of thousands of pounds while it knew that he had a gambling problem. Scott O’Brien‘s case is being heard at the Central London County Court by Judge Heather Baucher.
O’brien, from West London, says that he spent 10 months in a rehabilitation centre between 2002 and 2003 and had attempted suicide. He says that Star Sports knew of his problem but allowed him to make bets totalling £419,252 on September 14, 2018 and March 30, 2019 at its betting shop in Mayfair. The bets resulted in a total loss of £48,859.
Star Sports denies claims that the customer had told a cashier about his past problems. It also denies that the customer used self-service betting terminals (SSBTs). Another major issue in the case will be the question of O’Brien’s personal wealth and how much he could afford to bet.
The customer lives in the affluent Knightsbridge district and is said to have made £2.2m when he sold a business that he directed. The question of affordability is currently a major issue amid the government’s review of gambling legislation, which has still not been concluded.
Star Sports was founded in 1999 by professional bettor and racing expert Ben Keith. It has recently announced the opening of an eighth betting shop in London, on Curzon Street, also in Mayfair.