Northern Ireland woman suing bet365 over refusal to pay out £1 million
A Belfast woman is taking one of the UK's biggest bookmakers to court after it declined to pay her £1 million winning bet on the horses.
Megan McCann, who was 19 when she placed the wager, has lodged a writ in the High Court against Hillside (UK Sports) LP, the operator of online betting company bet365.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Miss McCann claims she is owed £1,009,960 by bet365, having staked almost £25,000 on 12 different horses in four races and winning £985,000.
But bet365 refused to pay out, insisting Miss McCann was in "flagrant breach" of its own terms and conditions because it believes the original stake was supplied by a third party.
Legal letters from bet365 lawyers accused Miss McCann of fraud and cheating, but she is understood to vehemently deny any wrongdoing.
Her successful wager was made up of a total of 960 £13 each way 'Lucky 15' bets placed on 12 horses running in the 6.10 at Bath, the 7.20 at Kempton and the 7.00 and 8.30 at Naas on June 22 last year.
Lucky 15 bets allow a combination of accumulated winnings. But not only has bet365 refused to pay the winnings, but it has withheld the initial stake of £24,960.
The writ accuses bet365 and its parent company in Gibraltar of breach of contract and seeks damages of £1,009,960.
Bet365 said: "A full investigation has been carried out into the circumstances of the bet that was placed. Bet365 is entirely satisfied the circumstances are such that winnings are not payable in relation to it. We expect this position to be upheld at trial.
"We are not prepared to comment further whilst litigation is ongoing."
It is understood that bet365's refusal to pay stems from its claim that Miss McCann breached a 'no third party' rule, which insists that the whole stake must be put up by the customer alone.
Her lawyers insist she never agreed to such a rule and that it was buried within terms and conditions which are "too lengthy, too complex and much too vague for the average customer to understand".