The Courts of First Instance 4 and 11 of Oviedo in Asturias, Spain, ruled in favor of two users of the bookmakers Betfair and Bet365 respectively, who were harmed by the suspension of their accounts when they were going through a winning streak. As of the ruling, the companies will lose the right to limit accounts, bet amounts, or prevent continued gambling.
The firms can still appeal the decision before the Provincial Court of Asturias. The resolution is one of the first of its kind in all of Spain and the first in the capital of Asturias.
The ruling against Betfair was issued by the deputy judge Marcos Carrero Morera under sentence 149/2021, and Bet365's by the court judge Susana Fernández de la Parra in file 108/2021. In both cases, the right of the companies to mark the general conditions boxes as mandatory for subscription was annulled, through which users are limited in case of fraud and detection of problematic gambling, among other reasons.
Both cases were brought forward by the partner of Egolegal Lawyers, Nicolás Simó Álvarez, in partnership with Legálitas. The lawyer alleged before El Confidencial, one of Spain's digital newspapers, that "the betting houses turn what are games of chance into a round business for them, in which either the house always wins or, the few times it loses, they throw the customer out and everything is solved."
The Justice system determined that, according to the General Law of Consumers and Users, the plaintiff against Betfair was in a position of weakness for the mere fact of being a consumer and they determined that he had been limited to gambling in the areas in which he obtained the most benefits, when "all bets are made at the sole discretion and risk of the customer". This was following an email he received, after a year, warning him that his operations were being limited.
"Although, in theory, these clauses are included to avoid fraud situations, in reality, they are used to prevent users who earn some money from gambling, from playing again. That is: Either they are not allowed to participate or they restrict the amount of money that they can be gambled," said Simó Álvarez.
Both clients of the sports betting platforms had their accounts reactivated, which had been previously closed, as well as their status as "no limit bettor" restored.