Betting’s Biggest Court Cases - Andrew Green v Betfred
Andrew Green hit the headlines back in 2018 when he won a £1.7 million jackpot while playing online blackjack at Betfred casino. With the casino claiming the win was triggered by a ‘software glitch’ and therefore refusing to pay out, the dispute soon ended up in the High Court, with the judge handing down a judgement that will long be remembered in the betting industry.
Let’s dive right in and see what exactly went down in this David v Goliath court case.
Who is Andrew Green?
Andrew Green, who is now 56, is an online casino player from Lincoln, who made a living running a metal-coating business with his brother. The single father, who revealed he had suffered four heart attacks before due to an ongoing condition, admitted that while he was always careful with money living on a tight budget, he often enjoyed playing online casino games.
Who are Betfred?
Betfred is one of the UK’s most popular bookmakers, having been launched in Salford by original founder Fred Done all the way back in 1967.
Offering hundreds of betting shops up and down the country, as well as an award-winning online product, they regularly produce annual revenue numbers that run into the billions of pounds.
What Happened to Andrew Green at Betfred?
Let’s have a close look at the timeline of Andrew Green’s incredible blackjack win on 26th January 2018:
- Green was playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven Blackjack at Betfred’s mobile casino
- After an initial deposit of £100, he hit a bonus win that took his balance to £10,600
- He continued playing the game, hitting additional bonuses to increase his balance to £38,000 and then £76,000 - before hitting £600,000
- His mobile phone screen then starting flashing, telling him he had won the game jackpot of £1,722,500.24
- Betfred initially contacted him to congratulate him on his jackpot win
- He then ran up a £2,500 bill celebrating the life-changing win with his friends in family
- Five days later, he was contacted by a representative of Betfred to state that his win would not be honoured as there had been a ‘software glitch’ in the game
Did Betfred Try and Settle The Case?
To their credit, Betfred did not simply blame the issue on a ‘software glitch’ and leave it at that - they did follow-up with a compensation offer to Mr Green.
In the hopes of avoiding court proceedings, they offered to reimburse the £2,500 he had spent celebrating the win, as well as a £30,000 ‘goodwill gesture’. This was then raised to £60,000 - however, both offers were rejected as he said the online casino never presented him with evidence of a glitch. The matter then proceeded to court.
What Happened in Court?
The matter finally reached the High Court in 2019, however, it was years until the case was resolved, with the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting proceedings on several occasions.
Betfred’s lawyers argued a simple defence - they were not liable to pay because the game had contained a defect that made it more likely to pay out higher sums in winnings than intended. They insisted that they had been advised by their game supplier to withhold the payment due to the issue.
A ruling wasn’t reached by Mrs Justice Foster until 7th April 2021, when she ruled in Mr Green’s favour, having found that the terms and conditions set out by Betfred and their game was “just not apt to cover the circumstances of this case at all”.
The court ruling saw the player awarded his full £1,722,923.54 winnings from that day back in January 2018. Worse was to come for Betfred, though, with the judge also ruling that he should be awarded the interest that would have accrued on the winnings in the time since. The additional interest took his overall payout from Betfred to more than £2.3 million.
Following the ruling, Fred Done and Betfred accepted the decision with a simple message to their former player: “We would like to apologise to Mr Green for the delay in receiving his money”.
Where Are They Now?
Following his win and the ensuing legal proceedings, Andrew Green never shied away from the spotlight, appearing on television shows Good Morning Britain and The One Show in order to draw attention to his case.
The Lincolnshire man had even more to say following his landmark victory, claiming Betfred should have been ashamed of the way they treated him, while insisting: “This is not just a win for me, but a win for everybody in a similar position. I did nothing wrong, I played a game, I was congratulated for five days on being a millionaire, and then it was snatched away from me”.
While Betfred were left with the sort of legal bill that would make Rebekah Vardy blush from this court case, the popular bookmaker has gone from strength to strength ever since. One of the most established betting companies in a crowded UK marketplace, they continue to be a prominent sponsor of an array of high profile British sports, including darts, rugby league and snooker.