Australian gaming authorities have ordered Betfair Australasia to pay out $150,000 AUD ($108,000 USD) to a problem gambler whose suspicious gaming habit slipped past the company’s firewall against addictive behavior. It’s yet another sign that Australian authorities, and their counterparts across the Commonwealth, are very serious about regulatory compliance, especially when it comes to operators who knowingly, or unknowingly, service gambling addicts.
The ruling came down late this week from the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) and referenced events that occurred sometime in February of this year. According to the complaint, the unidentified player deposited $150,000 with Betfair but had a change of heart and decided he wanted the deposit refunded. This came after he had already lost $170,000 on the site.
While Betfair did wind up refunding him $145,000, he wind up burning through that same amount of cash on the very same day the refund was issued. According to the NTRC ruling, the player’s behavior pattern should have been enough of a red flag to warrant a ban, but Betfair employees either didn’t notice or didn’t care.
In its defense, Betfair Australasia said that the there really weren’t any signs that the player was a problem gambler and that his behavior really wasn’t that unusual. This comes despite the fact that he dropped $86,000 in under 25 minutes and followed the losing spree with a $35,000 deposit. All of the money from both deposits was gone in under 45 minutes.
The same player had also self-excluded himself a couple of times in the past, but Betfair did not think that any of his behaviors warranted action. NTRC official, not surprisingly, disagreed and ordered the payback.