When a gambling win is not a win: Casino wins row over winnings

IT is an indication of how very seriously we take our wishful thinking that two of the enterprises that enjoy the opportunities offered by the internet more than nearly any other businesses are pornography and gambling.

One of those enterprises — gambling — was the subject of a court action yesterday and the ruling will be an eye-opener for those who think that a winning bet is money in the bank and that it must always be honoured.

Judge Francis Comerford made the ruling in an action brought by Sayed Mirwais who claimed that Automatic Amusements Ltd, which trades as D1 Casino had refused to pay him €11,713 he had won after placing several bets on an automated roulette machine.

Judge Comerford said pointed to the Gaming and Lottery Act 1956 which states that “no action shall lie for the recovery of any money or thing which is alleged to be won,” and warned that, “If you happen to be too lucky while placing a bet or gambling, the person can simply say ‘no you’re not entitled to the money’. That is simply the law in Ireland.”

In a country with the third highest rate of per capita gambling losses in the world — about €470 per adult per year — that ruling seems to stack the odds against punters in a most unfavourable way. Gambling can be harmless but it can also ruin lives and this ruling shows how hard it is to turn wishful thinking into reality no matter what you dream about.


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