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Friday, August 7, 2020

Gambling Commission ‘content’ with way BetBright voided ante-post bets

• Punter plans to sue over potential payout of £30k
• Backer had outstanding football bets with firm

A punter whose ante-post bets with a potential payout of nearly £30k were voided by the defunct bookmaker BetBright last week said on Wednesday that he is preparing to launch a legal action against Dedsert (Ireland) Ltd, BetBright’s former operator, seeking compensation for any possible loss.

BetBright ceased trading after selling its technology assets to a rival firm, 888.com, for £15m last Monday, in what the leading racehorse owner Rich Ricci, BetBright’s former executive chairman, has described as an “unusual” deal. The firm then announced that all outstanding ante-post bets were void.

The Gambling Commission launched an investigation into the voiding of bets last week but said on Wednesday that it had been told by BetBright that it had faced “a very real possibility of insolvent liquidation”. As a result, the commission said it was “content” with the way the situation had been handled.

The punter who is preparing to sue Dedsert has outstanding bets on the football season with a cash-out value alone that runs into several thousands of pounds.

“What a cop-out,” he said, in reference to the commission’s statement. “If they had wanted to, BetBright could have covered any liabilities from the £15m sale price. The commission, if they want to regain any credibility, need to drop this ridiculous stance.”

“It would have been possible to prevent any risk of liquidation while also ensuring that their punters were treated fairly. Rich Ricci and his directors have clearly made a bad investment in BetBright and should rightly take a haircut on their investment. If it meant they got a bit less for than £15m for their platform, then so be it. As Rich Ricci is so keen on saying, “that’s life”.

“If they wanted to wind down in an orderly fashion, they should have offered all ante-post bets at their cash-out value. This would have allowed punters to re-invest elsewhere in the market if they wanted to remain in a similar position.”

While 888.com decided last week to honour BetBright’s outstanding ante-post best on horse racing, including at this week’s Festival meeting, it declined to do the same for football bets.

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