Thursday January 21,2016 : ENGLISH ONLINE PUNTER PREVAILS IN CASE AGAINST IRISH SPREADBETTING FIRM
Despite Irish laws against the recovery of gambling debts, punter wins the day.
The Irish media are reporting a court case this week in which an online gambler from Nottingham in England successfully litigated against an Irish online spread betting firm despite an Irish law disallowing the recovery of gambling debts.
Gambler Simon Morehen filed against Dublin firm Sports Spread Betting (Ireland) when the company closed his account and failed to pay his account balance following a dispute over a 25 percent sign up bonus in mid-2014.
The company did, however, tell Morehen that a cheque would be issued, but that payment did not materialise.
The company initially failed to deliver a defence to Morehen's subsequent claim in district court for GBP 10,660 he was owed, and the court awarded the claimed amount.
Sports Spread Betting then appealed the district court ruling and the case ended up in the Circuit Court, where President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke presided over arguments from the two sides.
The legal representative for Sports Spread Betting said following inter-party talks that the company was prepared to pay Morehen GBP10,000 together with District Court costs but wanted submissions on the legal costs of the appeal adjourned to a later date.
When Judge Groarke was asked to determine the appeal he said it was not for his court to decide any issue of law banning recovery of gambling debts in Ireland.
In considering the betting company’s appeal to set aside the judgement an entirely different set of criteria applied, he observed.
Judge Groarke said Sports Spread Betting was well aware that Morehen intended to proceed with his District Court action in 2014 but had “made a purposeful decision not to engage in those proceedings.”
He said the court to some degree was conscious of the fact that the betting company had acknowledged a payment should and would be made to Morehen, but he affirmed the lower court’s judgement for GBP10,660 in order to “clear the tables” so that the company could consider if it wished to proceed with any legal issue raised by Section 36 (2) of the Gaming and Lotteries Act (the legalization prohibiting the recovery of gambling debts).
Judge Groarke awarded Morehen his District Court costs but made no order relating to costs of the Sports Spread Betting appeal to the Circuit Court.
Brian O’Neill, a betting consultant to Sportsspread.com, told the court he had advised the company that gambling debts and gambling monies connected to gambling were not recoverable at law under Section 36 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. The recovery of monies ban had been upheld in the Irish High Court in another case.