Australian Millionaire Sports Bettor Sues Sportsbook For Allowing Him to Bet

Posted on: April 19, 2022, 09:21h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2022, 09:36h.

An Australian millionaire entrepreneur wants a sportsbook to reimburse him for his bets. He is suing TopSports, accusing it of repeatedly taking advantage of him while inebriated.

Winton Veall
Winton Veall, an Australian entrepreneur and millionaire, in one of his endeavors as a singer. He is suing a sportsbook for another endeavor, betting while drunk. (Image: The Mirror)

Winton Veall has no trouble placing big-money sports bets with the TopSports sportsbook in Australia. He has more than enough money to burn, thanks to his family’s empire and his own entrepreneurial endeavors. On more than a few occasions, he called up his bookmaker to place bets of as much as AU$40,000 (US29,460) without thinking twice.

The sportsbook should have never taken those bets, according to the septuagenarian. The Courier-Mail reports that he is now suing the sportsbook. He argues that many of his bets from 2016 to 2019 were made while he was drunk, and TopSports knew it.

Imbibing Leads to Lawsuit

It’s easy to imagine Veall not being a very prolific sports bettor – it’s unlikely he would sue if he had chosen winners. Still, the man who once ran a bookmaker business in Australia himself, believes that TopSports wronged him for years.

The lawsuit alleges that the now “traumatized” Veall routinely called the top man at TopSports, CEO Tristan Merlehan, to place his bets. For years, Merlehan would receive the calls and act as Veall requested. On many occasions, he acknowledged Veall’s inebriated state, but didn’t let this stand in the way.

It would be difficult for Merlehan to say no in almost any situation, but Veall’s case is different. His family owns multimillion-dollar properties across Australia, as well as an island. Veall is the director of the island, Timana Island on the Great Barrier Reef, and is also part of the family’s operations that include a ski resort in New Zealand and a forestry in France.

With all of the weight behind him, and as a man who was then in his 60s, Veall is likely someone with a commanding presence. Merlehan wouldn’t want to risk losing one of his best clients by turning him down.

However, that’s not enough now to prevent the lawsuit from moving forward. The Queensland Supreme Court is running with the case. Because it only agrees to hear suits worth $750,000 (US$552,825) or more, Veall is obviously looking for a considerable sum.

Know When to Say When

Veall allegedly placed thousands of bets over the three-year period that resulted in “psychological damage” because of his inebriated state. He chose cricket, boxing, rugby, tennis, and greyhound and horse racing, among others, as his favorite targets. Some wagers were as low as $500 (US$368). But there were others that regularly fell into the five-figure range.

Veall also claims in his lawsuit that he had restrictions in place that should have blocked any attempt at “betting on greyhound and harness racing.” Merlehan asserts he did nothing wrong, and that the company operated in accordance with its license agreement.

TopSports has already received an order to hand over phone recordings and all records of Veall’s bets. That information, as well as any additional documentation, will be presented to the court in a hearing this Thursday.