Bet365 Faces Legal Action Over Failure to Pay £54,000 Winnings

One of the world's leading online gambling groups, Bet365 have found themselves amidst yet another controversy - this time, they are facing legal action over a failure to transfer a £54,000 balance to one of their customers bank accounts, even though they have received repeated requests over the last couple of months. The unnamed female gambler claims she had no choice but to seek legal remedy in the matter.

According to the Guardian, the punter opened an account with Bet365 on April 16 of this year, depositing £30,000 the following day. She then placed a series of bets on horse racing and, in a streak of bad luck, lost most of the money leaving her with a £7,000 balance. Bet365 sent an e-mail on the same day, notifying her that the maximum size of the bet she was allowed to place has been raised.

She then proceeded to bet with the remainder of the money, but this time managed to win a total of £47,000, raising up her balance up to £54,000. She was again informed via e-mail that her maximum stake on racing bets is going to be capped to £1 due to a trading decision. This essentially meant that her bets were being refused by Bet365, so she decided to withdraw the amount and request the transfer of the total balance to her bank account. Standard procedures demand that her identity to be verified to counter money laundering, which was done by Bet365 successfully and she was notified about the full verification on April 27th. However, 2 months later, the punter is still waiting for the balance to be transfered.

A long series of e-mails, phone calls and other forms of contact ensued between the punter and Bet365. The company requested bank statements to confirm the source of her funds, which the punter did and apparently, no irregularities were found whatsoever. Still, she did not receive her winnings, and feeling there is nothing else she could do, decided to seek legal action.

Paul Fairhead, a campaigner on gambling issues, said that the reports of this kind of problems are on the increase, where many gamblers are facing similar dificulities and treatment from online operators: ''I see at least one new case like this every week. Nobody should have difficulties like this. They are holding on to the money in the hope that the problem goes away. This would not happen in any other industry, that a customer can choose to trade with somebody and at the point when you do that, there's a risk you'll never see it again whether you win or lose.''

He added that the UK Gambling Commission should make an effort to regulate and standardize verification procedures across the industry, so that this kind of problems can be avoided in the future.

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