Star Sports Accused of Ignoring Social Responsibility Toward Problem Gambler

The Racing Post reported that O’Brien claims that the sportsbook ignored its social responsibility towards him as they were aware of his gambling addiction but still allowed him to bet, leading to a loss of over GBP48,000 ($59,533) between September 14, 2018, and March 30, 2019. O’Brien stated that the amount he lost did not include the money he staked and lost on the betting terminals in the Star Sports shop, although the defense disputed whether he ever used the terminals.

Problem Gambler Seeks Justice against Star Sports by Disputing Negligence

O’Brien’s counsel will examine whether Star Sports complied with the Social Responsibility Code Provisions (SRCP) to its applicable operating license, and if not, whether the claimant sustained losses as a result. 

On the first day of the trial, O’Brien told the court about his problem gambling history, where he spent ten months in rehab between 2002-2003 and visited Gamblers Anonymous. He also revealed that his addiction had previously led him to attempt to take his own life.

O’Brien said he first confessed his gambling problem to Star Sports when he recognized a cashier as a parent from the same school his children attended. Worried she might tell his ex-partner, he revealed to cashier Gemma Mehmet that he had a bit of a problem and that he did not want his ex-partner to find out, fearing it could restrict him from seeing his children if she knew he was gambling. 

However, the defense disputed O’Brien’s recollection of the conversation with Mehmet and suggested it was all “nonsense.”

Central London Court Hears O’Brien’s Revelations Under Intense Defense Scrutiny

Mehmet, who currently resides in Spain, inadvertently played a significant role on the first day of the proceedings when the judge determined that the reasons for her absence from the court were in violation of civil procedure rules. The judge permitted Mehmet’s previous statement to be relied upon for now, but what weight could ultimately be given to her statement remained in question.

On March 27, O’Brien’s claim became the central topic, and he faced intense scrutiny from the defense, who alleged that the plaintiff enjoyed boasting about his wealth and influential connections. 

Among the revelations were O’Brien’s former relationship with Claire Caudwell, former partner of billionaire Phones 4U founder John Caudwell, and that he had made GBP2.2 million ($2.7 million) when a business in which he was a director sold for GBP9 million ($11.2 million). The court also heard how he lost GBP836,000 ($1 million) in one night at a casino, only to make it all back and more during the following eight months.

The hearing will continue for four days at the Central London County Court.