A punter who is suing BetEasy for close to $1.2 million in unpaid winnings says her betting account was opened for her by a Crown employee when she joined the casino's Signature Club.
Renee Bell is pursuing the difference of $1.44 million in the Supreme Court after landing a monster parlay bet of which BetEasy, formerly CrownBet, paid out just $250,000.
A $1.4 million betting payout hinged on West Coast beating Richmond during round nine in 2018.Credit:Getty Images
BetEasy says it is in its terms and conditions upon signing up with the bookmaker that it pays out a maximum of $250,000 a day, regardless of the potential winnings of a bet.
But in a plot twist that landed a significant blow to BetEasy's defence, Bell says she didn't agree to the terms as she didn't create the account. She wasn't aware she had a CrownBet account until she received an email three days after joining Crown Casino's Signature Club.
"When she joined the Crown Signature Club she did not agree to CrownBet's terms and conditions and such terms and conditions were not brought to her attention; and when she first logged in to her CrownBet account she did not agree to CrownBet's terms and conditions and such terms and conditions were not brought to her attention," court documents read.
Bell placed $500 worth of multi-bets including a $100 five-leg all-up that returned $1,260,748.80, successfully tipping horses Jaminzah ($16), Marcel From Madrid ($9), Praguematist ($4.80) and Miss Iano ($9.50) to win their respective races around Australia on Saturday, May 19, 2018, as well as West Coast to beat Richmond ($1.92) on Sunday, May 20.
Bell's other four $100 bets all used the same horses – all of which were either part-owned or bred by relatives – and football match, but with different combinations of three horses to place and one to win, which returned another $182,447.10.
However, BetEasy paid out just $250,000 for Bell's first successful bet plus her $100 stake and cancelled the other four bets, refunding her $400.
In BetEasy's defence, it says by using its website, opening an account or by placing bets, punters agree to the terms and conditions published on its website.
"The maximum payout for a multi-bet for racing and sports or a combination of both is $250,000. It is your responsibility to ensure that it stakes according to the limits," BetEasy said.
However, Dr David Brennan, who teaches into the Monash post-graduate law program, believes the maximum payout clause should be a lot more prominent on the bookmarker's website.
"It's not a good look for these bookmakers to be so non-transparent about these caps," Dr Brennan said.
"If there's going to be a $250,000 cap on every single bet, every multi-bet, every payout limit in a 24-hour period, that should be pretty prominent. That's not really transparent on their website."
Dr Brennan used the case – of which details were first published on The Age website on April 3 – as an assignment for his contract law students at Monash earlier this year. He added that most students sided with the punter, however a minority made a good case for the bookmaker.
"Most students came out on the side thinking it was an unfair term under the ACL [Australian Consumer Law] but there was a significant minority of students that came out with the other view in a well-supported way," he said.
"Had Bell known up-front she was capped at $250,000, would she have put the multi-bet on in the first place? Why would you put that full bet on if you know you're going to be capped?
"I do feel that cap, personally, and potentially as a matter of consumer law in relation to contract terms, that term is not transparent enough."
A directions hearing is listed in the Supreme Court on November 13.
BetEasy's website is now directing punters to Sportsbet after their parent companies officially merged in May.
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