Paddy Power has decided to issue a refund to all punters that bet on Liverpool to beat Everton in yesterday’s Merseyside derby. The game was delicately poised at 2-2 when Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson swept a strike past Jordan Pickford right at the death. It sparked mass celebrations among the Liverpool faithful, only for VAR to controversially rule out the goal. That allowed Everton to snatch a point, and caused disgust among punters that bet on the Reds. “Following VAR’s latest masterclass in mind-melting, Paddy Power have issued a ‘justice refund’ on all single bets on Liverpool to win the Merseyside Derby – as they should’ve done, but for VAR’s intervention,” said Paddy Power. “Jordan Henderson’s injury time goal was ruled out for…god knows. VAR, innit?” Paddy Power has now refunded all pre-match single bets placed on Liverpool in the form of free bets. “I don’t want to start sounding like yer da, but the game’s gone if that was offside,” added Paddy Power. “It isn’t the first horror-show we’ve witnessed this season, nor will it be the last. All we can do is try and reintroduce some justice for our punters.”
Sister site Betfair warned that it could pull out of the Italian market if it forges ahead with plans to introduce a new blanket 0.5% turnover tax increase across all verticals. The proposed increase from Italy’s ADM customs and monopolies agency would hit retail, digital and virtual sports. However, ADM’s new director general, Marcello Minenna, was urged to exclude horse racing and exchange betting from the blanket ban. Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment said “tax increases have made it impossible to sustain the business” and added that it would be “compelled to remove its Betfair exchange from the market’ should the ADM maintain its temporary tax charges”. It argues that turnover is an unfair metric upon which to calculate its tax liabilities. The new turnover share, in addition to existing corporate taxes already paid, will lead to an overall tax of 111%, according to the firm, which would make Betfair excise liabilities “structurally uneconomic” within Italy. Agricultural undersecretary Giuseppe L’Abbate, representing the horse racing sector, also warned Minenna and the ADM that an it could not accept the “new normal”.
The Spanish online gambling sector reported an 18% year-on-year revenue increase for the second quarter of 2020. Sports betting fell 20% year-on-year after the Covid-19 pandemic wrought havoc upon the sporting calendar. It also represented a 28% decrease on Q1 2020, with revenue falling to €68.2 million. However, casino gaming revenue increased 36% year-on-year and 23% sequentially, leading the overall sector into healthy growth. The industry also responded to the coronavirus crisis by slashing marketing spend by 66% compared to Q1, but that did not stop Spaniards enjoying a lot more online casino gaming while the country went into lockdown.
A punter who claims he is owed £1.7 million had his case against Betfred heard in the High Court this week. Andrew Green hit the jackpot on the Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven slot back in January 2018. He said that Betfred initially congratulated him on becoming a millionaire, but then told him the progressive slot game had suffered a software glitch, meaning it would not pay him. Betfred’s lawyer, Richard Osborne, argued a that a “pays and plays” clause means winnings are void if a machine malfunctions. He said that within an hour and a half Mr Green managed to win 7,000 times his state on three separate occasions. Osborne said the glitch meant that Mr Green would have won £50 million or £500 million if he had carried on playing. “As long as he was playing his number was going up and up and up,” said Osborne “He could eventually win 7,000 times his stake as many times as he chose.” Mr Green is suing Betfred for £2 million, including interest. He described the clause on liability as "manifestly unfair" and should be disregarded. Mrs Justice Foster will give her ruling at a later date.