|In the UK, Graham Calvert has lost his case to force bookmaker William Hill to repay over four million dollars he lost due to ‘pathological gambling’ habits.|
A test case in the UK, the greyhound trainer argued in the High Court that William Hill had failed in its ‘duty of care’ by allowing him to open an account and bet even after he had asked it to stop doing so under its ‘self-exclusion’ policy.
However, the High Court ruled that the bookmaker owed Graham Calvert no duty of care despite the self-exclusion policy because his pathological gambling would still have probably led to financial ruin, only over a longer period of time.
'William Hill’s failure to take reasonable care to exclude him from telephone gambling did not, therefore, cause Mr Calvert any measurable financial or other loss,' wrote Mr Justice Briggs in a summary of his ruling.
'We stated from the outset that there was no case to answer to Mr Calvert and that no duty of care was owed to him in this instance,' read a statement from William Hill.
'During the trial, Mr Calvert withdrew the allegations that he had been manipulated or enticed to bet.'
'Some of the comments made by Mr Justice Briggs may lead to calls that the Government or the Gambling Commission should do more to protect problem gamblers,” Stuart McMaster, a partner at solicitors Mishcon de Reya, told The Times newspaper.
“The judge also indicated that the current system, in which each bookmaker operates its own stand-alone social responsibility policy, may not go far enough to deal with problem gambling effectively.'
Calvert has been ordered to pay over £666,000 towards William Hill’s court costs and told that he has until April 16 to appeal the decision.