Italian wins £650,000: betting site won't pay
Filed under: News
Meanwhile Bruni Venturi is insisting that he was just lucky.
Know your rights
The winningsThe judge said the case reminded him of the film, 'The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo'.
41-year-old Venturi, from Naples, Italy, said he had played Eurobet.com's 'Sixty Seconds' game in the past and didn't win terribly much, but on one fateful night in 2009 he kept on winning. After three hours the €20 in his account was worth €707,000.
Know your rights
However, after the initial joy, he was faced with the shocking news that the website had no intention of paying out.
The glitchEurobet, which is based in Surrey, said a software upgrade had introduced a bug which meant Venturi was only paying for one in six of his bets. As his lucky streak continued, he eventually placed 6,670 bets on this particular lottery game.
At the High Court hearing, Eurobet's lawyer said that as a result of the glitch, the win was 'mathematically inevitable'. He also argued that Venturi must have known something was awry. The company is arguing that as a result of the glitch, the bets breached its terms and conditions, so his winnings were 'unjust enrichment'.
The denialMeanwhile, Venturi is arguing that there was no software glitch, and that he won the money fair and square. He told the court: "How could I realise there was an error? There was no message, I was just drawing, I didn't have a clue....I thought I was very lucky."
His lawyer added: "Mr Venturi performed his part of the game by completing various steps and screens presented to him by the defendant on the website, and paid for his bets on the game from the funds in his account. He did everything that was required of him to pay for the bets. If his account was not charged at any time for the repeat bets, which is not admitted, that omission was due to the defendant's failure to completely perform its obligations to him, and to comply with its regulatory requirements."
Of course big wins do happen in online casinos, and there are some lucky punters who scoop millions. However, the odds of one big win are so much better than a huge number of smaller wins. It's an interesting question of whether someone could just think they were having the world's luckiest streak or whether deep down they had to know something else was going on. It will be up to the court to decide and the hearing continues.
The game has since been withdrawn from the site.