British Millionaire Sues Star Sports Sportsbook for Not Controlling His Betting Urges

Scott O’Brien, a wealthy entrepreneur in the UK, is taking legal action against a high-end sportsbook because he wasn’t able to control himself. He alleges that Star Sports failed to safeguard him from his own compulsive gambling behavior, even though he knew decades ago that he shouldn’t gamble.

Millionaire Scott O'Brien leaves a British courtroom
Millionaire Scott O’Brien leaves a British courtroom. He’s suing a sportsbook for not stopping him from betting on sports. (Image: Champion News)

Between September 2018 and March 2019, according to Racing Post, the recycling magnate states he went on a reckless gambling spree and lost in excess of £100,000 (US$123,440) through Star Sports. However, he acknowledges having spent much more than that.

Throughout his adult life, O’Brien had allegedly been consumed by his addiction to gambling, despite having sought treatment. The addiction ultimately led him to attempt suicide as a result of its overwhelming grip on him, but he wants the sportsbook to pay for his lack of self-control.

Gambling On The Court’s Mercy

During a court hearing, O’Brien admitted that his behavior became more extreme after he sold Pulp Friction, his paper recycling company, for £9 million (US$11.11 million) in 2012. As a result of his continued betting, he spent more than £400,000 (US$493,760) at Star Sports’ Mayfair betting shop in London.

The final tally, according to the lawsuit, included losses of at least £48,859 (US$60,311), but could be much higher. He believes he also spent at least £100,000 through betting terminals, but can’t confirm the exact amount.

Therefore, O’Brien has taken legal action against the company, stating that they did not adhere to their “social responsibility” obligations. His lawyers are also claiming that the company breached their contract. He’s seeking to recover the funds he lost.

O’Brien confesses to having mentioned his compulsive betting habits to one of the employees at the store, and strongly feels that it was the responsibility of the company to prohibit him from betting or at least place some restrictions.

When O’Brien appeared before the judge, he revealed that the entire staff of Star was aware of his addiction to gambling. He explained that he joined Star Sports because other bookmakers had restricted him because of his gambling habits.

O’Brien asserted that he had squandered vast sums of money as a loyal patron of Star Sports, and highlighted that he had encountered no impediments to placing wagers at the establishment. He admitted that he didn’t specifically request that Star Sports personnel prohibit his entry into the betting establishment. Still, he asserted that his compulsive behavior impelled him to avoid being disqualified from entering the facility.

Defense Doubts Dubious Declarations

The bookmakers’ legal representatives are disputing the allegations. A statement made by the defense lawyer, Christopher Gillespie, contradicted the accusation that O’Brien had made Star Sports employees aware of his addiction.

Gillespie called the claim ludicrous, and added that the staff had no basis for assuming that O’Brien was dealing with any serious gambling addiction. He also threw doubt over whether O’Brien was really a gambling addict or just trying to beat the system.

According to Gillespie, O’Brien didn’t visit the Star Sports store frequently, only making 17 trips within the six-month period. Additionally, he had more profits than losses until March 30, 2019, according to the sportsbook’s records.

Gillespie asserted that Star Sports has repeatedly exerted maximum effort to promote responsible gambling requirements. However, he also noted that bookmakers are not generally obligated to safeguard gambling addicts from the aftermath of their addiction. That last statement might cause some controversy, especially in light of the current sentiment toward gambling.

The courtroom drama will continue, probably for at least a few more weeks. The final verdict will depend on whether the judge determines that an adult should be responsible for his own actions or if a business has to play the role of parent.

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