Posted: April 19, 2022, 9:21 a.m.
Last update: April 19, 2022, 9:36 a.m.
A millionaire Australian entrepreneur wants a bookmaker to refund his bets. He is suing TopSports, accusing it of repeatedly taking advantage of him while drunk.
Winton Veall has no trouble placing large sports bets with TopSports bookmaker in Australia. He has more than enough money to burn, thanks to his family’s empire and his own entrepreneurial endeavors. On several occasions, he called his bookmaker to place bets of up to 40,000 Australian dollars (29,460 US dollars) without thinking twice.
The bookmaker should never have taken these bets, according to the septuagenarian. the Mail-Mail reports that he is now suing the bookie. He maintains that many of his bets from 2016 to 2019 were made while he was drunk, and TopSports knew it.
Imbibition leads to trial
It’s easy to imagine that Veall isn’t a very prolific sports bettor – he’s unlikely to take legal action had he picked winners. Still, the man who ran a bookmaker business himself in Australia believes TopSports has wronged him for years.
The lawsuit alleges that the now “traumatized” Veall regularly called TopSports top man, CEO Tristan Merlehan, to place his bets. For years, Merlehan took calls and acted as Veall told him to. On numerous occasions, he acknowledged Veall’s drunkenness, but didn’t let that stand in the way.
It would be hard for Merlehan to say no in almost any situation, but Veall’s case is different. His family owns multi-million dollar properties across Australia, as well as an island. Veall is the island manager, Timana Island on the Great Barrier Reef, and is also part of family operations that include a ski resort in New Zealand and logging in France.
With all the weight behind him, and as a man in his sixties then, Veall is probably someone with a commanding presence. Merlehan wouldn’t want to risk losing one of his best clients by refusing him.
However, that is not enough now to stop the trial from moving forward. The Queensland Supreme Court is running with the case. Because he only agrees to hear lawsuits worth $750,000 (US$552,825) or more, Veall is obviously looking for a sizable sum.
know when to say when
Veall is said to have placed thousands of bets over the three-year period which resulted in ‘psychological damage’ due to his drunkenness. He chose cricket, boxing, rugby, tennis, greyhound and horse racing, among others, as his favorite targets. Some bets were as low as $500 (US$368). But there were others that consistently fell into the five-figure range.
Veall also claims in his lawsuit that he had restrictions in place that should have blocked any attempt to “bet on greyhound and harness racing”. Merlehan claims he did nothing wrong and the company operated according to its license agreement.
TopSports has already been ordered to hand over phone records and all betting records from Veall. This information, along with any additional documentation, will be presented to the court at a hearing on Thursday.