‘Lucky’ punter who scooped £650,000 betting online sues British-based gaming site which refused to pay out because of bug in its software
- Bruno Venturi, 41, won £650,000 off £18 stake in just three hours
- Surrey-based site insists a software bug meant chance had nothing to do with the Italian’s winnings
- High Court judge said case reminded him of the 1935 film, ‘The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’
Lost fight: Bruno Venturi was told today he cannot claim his £650,000 online gambling winnings because he had not paid for all his bets
A gambler dubbed ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Lose’ after winning £650,000 in just three hours of online gaming is facing a High Court bid to strip him of his jackpot.
Bruno Venturi, 41, was left ‘euphoric’ after turning the €20 in his account into a whopping €707,000 – then worth roughly £650,000 – whilst playing Eurobet.com’s ‘Sixty Seconds’ game in 2009.
But Surrey-based Eurobet UK Ltd, which operated the website, insists a software bug meant chance had nothing to do with it.
As he was mistakenly charged for only one in six of his bets, his winnings are null and void, the company claims.
Eurobet refused to pay up, sparking a legal battle – which Judge Simon Brown QC said reminded him of the 1935 film, ‘The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’.
The film, inspired by a British music hall song based on the story of Charles Deville Wells, is a romantic comedy which tells the story of a former Russian aristocrat who wins 10million francs playing baccarat at a casino.
The casino sends a beautiful woman to lure him back to the gambing tables and he is eventually left penniless.
Pet shop worker, Mr Venturi – who had won only meager sums in his previous two years using the website – says he logged on from his home in Naples, Italy, on January 28, 2009, completely unaware of what was about to unfold.
The company claims an error caused by a software upgrade meant Mr Venturi was charged for only one in six of the 6,670 wagers he placed, dramatically increasing his chances of winning the lottery-style game, which has since been removed from the internet.
Patrick Lawrence QC, for Eurobet, said the bug meant it was ‘mathematically inevitable’ that Mr Venturi would keep hitting the jackpot.
The court heard the Italian started playing at 8.18pm, placing his usual 20 cent bet, but began increasing the stakes as his apparent luck continued.
He had won 5,000 Euros by 9pm, and racked up winnings of 200,000 Euros by 10.10pm, as he frantically placed as many multiple wagers as the website would allow.
Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Venturi told the court: ‘I had always lost previously…but when I started to win I had a very good feeling.I’m a player and my instincts told me to keep betting.’
Mr Venturi played the 60 Seconds game for three-and-a-half hours and 온라인카지노 was amazed that he kept winning – but the court heard his ‘wins’ were inevitable
Comparison: High Court judge Simon Brown QC said case reminded him of the 1935 film The Man who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo, starring Ronald Colman
THE MAN WHO DID BREAK THE BANK
The ‘original’ man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo was Charles Deville Wells (1841-1922).
His exploits were celebrated in the popular British music hall song of the same name, written in 1892 by Fred Gilbert.
In French, if a gambler wins more chips than are available at a table, they are said to have ‘faire sauter la banque’, which literally means to ‘blow up the bank’ but is usually translated as ‘breaking the bank’.
On the event all the chips were won a black shroud was placed over the table until replacement chips were brought in.
In July 1891 Wells went to Monte Carlo with £4,000 that he had defrauded from investors with his bogus invention of a ‘musical jump rope’.
In an eleven-hour session Wells won a million francs as he ‘broke the bank’ twelve times.
At one stage he won 23 times out of 30 successive spins of the roulette wheel.Wells returned to Monte Carlo in November of that year and won again.
During this session he made another million francs in three days, including successful bets on the roulette coming up on the number five for five consecutive turns.
Wells used a risky ‘martingale system’, where the gambler doubles his bet after every loss, so a win recovers all previous losses plus win a profit equal to the original stake, 온라인카지노 and he admitted his success was just a lucky streak.
The song helped Wells to become a celebrity.But he died penniless after losing all his money on failed inventions, having also defrauded his investors.
Mr Lawrence challenged him, saying he must have realised that something was wrong, 바카라사이트추천 but Mr Venturi insisted: ‘How could I realise there was an error?
‘There was no message, I was just drawing, I didn’t have a clue….I thought I was very lucky.’
The Italian, who disputes that any error took place, stopped playing shortly before midnight, having amassed a colossal 707,665 euros in 217 heady minutes.
When asked why he called it a day, 바카라사이트 Mr Venturi replied: ‘I realised the amount that I was winning and I realised that I had to stop.I had been lucky enough…I am only human. I was taken by the emotions and there was a lot of euphoria.’
He added: ‘I’ve never had so much money…It’s a very big win; it’s not something that happens every day.’
Mr Venturi, who offered to come to England to pick up his winnings in cash, said an operator told him ‘this is incredible, but it does happen’ as he transferred some of his winnings to a different online account.
The company, based in Woking, is refusing to pay Mr Venturi, saying the bets breached the website’s terms and conditions, and his winnings amounted to ‘unjust enrichment’.
Refuting those claims, Mr Venturi’s barrister, John McLinden QC, said: ‘Mr Venturi denies any software error as alleged by the defendant.
‘The defendant has failed to establish that Mr Venturi broke any rules of the game whilst playing and obtaining the winnings.’
He added: ‘Mr Venturi performed his part of the game by completing various steps and screens presented to him by the defendant on the website, and paid for his bets on the game from the funds in his account.
‘He did everything that was required of him to pay for the bets.
‘If his account was not charged at any time for the repeat bets, which is not admitted, that omission was due to the defendant’s failure to completely perform its obligations to him, and to comply with its regulatory requirements.’
The hearing, taking place at the Royal Courts of Justice, continues.
Surrey-based Eurobet UK Ltd, which operated the Italian website, have been told today they don’t have to pay out because the software bug helped Mr Venturi win