Australian sportsbetting enthusiast Robert MacMillan, 55, has filed suit with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against Sportsbet, claiming they have prevented him from pocketing further winnings, after allegedly reducing his wagering options following a five-week hot streak.
MacMillan explained that he first began wagering with Sportsbet back in 2005, and used the site for “many years with, for the most part, me losing money”. He is now seeking $35,000 in damages from the sports wagering site, as he claims this is the estimated amount he could have won if allowed to continue his hot streak, which began at the end of 2012.
After five weeks of good results for MacMillan, which put him $22,500 firmly into the black, Sportsbet allegedly reduced his wagering options to prevent him from betting doubles and other racing multiples. After winning $14,000 in just one day in late December, MacMillan felt his hot streak could have continued if he were allowed to carry on betting as he had been, and pointed out that Sportsbet seemed happy to allow him to place wagers until he started winning.
Arguing the case for Sportsbet during a hearing in April, lawyer Adrian Ryan put forward the case that the operator’s website clearly states that it has the right to limit customers’ betting habits, and even refuse wagers if it deems fit. He went on further to say that the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal should not even be hearing the claim, as the license held by Sportsbet which allows them to operate is issued by the Northern Territory.
The president of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed Ryan’s argument of jurisdiction, and ordered the sports betting site to issue a formal reply to the allegations made against them by MacMillan by the end of May.
The tribunal told MacMillan that his past performances on the site cannot be indicative of future results, and therefore his estimate of $35,000 in damages is not likely to hold up as the case continues.
Should MacMillan’s claims hold up, then his compensation is likely to be reduced, but the ramifications against Sportsbet and other wagering sites operating in Australia could be that all sorts of other dissatisfied customers will now come out of the wood work.