Problem gambling can have dire consequences for the finances and sometimes even the lives of people addicted to the activity. Losses to gambling put a financial burden on families as well, given that some compulsive gamblers do not share details about their losses with their loved ones until they pile up huge debts. And while in general, operators need to adhere to responsible gambling practices and engage with customers showing signs of problem gambling, some punters are still able to lose thousands before they are stopped.
One gambler in the UK lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in less than a year before he was stopped. Yet, despite the punter betting 162 times on Christmas Eve, the gambling company that provided its services, Bet365, rejected claims that the man was a compulsive gambler, a report released by The Telegraph reveals.
The man, Vayuputra Anirudh Thotapalli, claimed that he lost some £300,000 to gambling. This happened several years ago, between February 3, 2015, and March 10, 2016. On one occasion, Christmas Eve, Thotapalli allegedly placed 162 wagers. The man also claimed that he lost even more on different occasions including placing more than 30 bets a day for 33 days.
Among Thotapalli’s claims is that Bet365 has taken two months before they asked him for documents related to his source of income. The man said that he opened his account and started gambling, which resulted in a loss of £46,907 before he was prompted to show proof of income at some point in April 2015.
“Betting on the account was demonstrative of his being a compulsive gambler,“
claimed the defense lawyers of Vayuputra Anirudh Thotapalli
The Bookmaker Engaged with the Client on Multiple Occasions
Ultimately, the man accuses the operator of failing to protect him and his High Court case may attract the attention of other gamblers who lost lump sums of money. Trial of the case is expected to start soon while involved parties will be exchanging witness statements by September 15, 2023.
The gambling operator rejected the statements by the gambler and confirmed that it has “repeatedly engaged” with Thotapalli to ensure that he wasn’t a problem gambler. Bet365 said that it has sent a self-assessment query to Thotapalli several weeks after he opened his gambling account. The questions he answered included “Do you gamble until your last penny is gone, even the fare home or the cost of a cup of tea?”
Additionally, the betting company said that it approached Thotapalli via phone to ensure that the answers he submitted were correct. The company also claimed: “At no time did the claimant inform bet365 that he was a compulsive gambler. Instead he positively confirmed to bet365 that he was in control of his gambling, and passed the RGSA on at least four occasions.”
Details of the case come amid planned regulatory changes for the gambling market in the country. Amid the changes considered is a lowered threshold for financial checks and limits for online wagers per spin for slots.