Two years ago the Aussie online betting firm Sports Alive went bust, setting in train a series of related personal and business disasters for both unpaid players and operators.
This week the debacle made the local media columns again when betting agency Bet247 launched litigation against top Aussie bookmaking firm Tom Waterhouse.
The newspaper WA Today reports that Bet247 was essentially a white label on the Sports Alive system, and when that company went into liquidation Bet247 agreed to recommend to its 8,267 betting clients that they transfer their accounts to Waterhouse, which undertook to take care of player balances owed and pay Bet247 profits under certain terms.
This week Bet247 filed action in the Supreme Court of Victoria, alleging that Waterhouse reneged on the deal, withholding profits totaling A$247,979 from August 2011 to December 2012.
Bet247 wants immediate payment of those profits, along with interest and further unpaid amounts from January 2013, claiming that Waterhouse did not comply with a requirement in the agreement that it distribute profits within 10 business days following the end of each month.
The complaint also includes allegations that Waterhouse wrongly assessed player balances and made questionable deductions relating to general sales taxation.
Asked for comment, Waterhouse marketing and communications manager, Warren Hebard, said: “We are yet to be served but in any event we deny the claim.”
The litigation potentially places more stress on Waterhouse’s owner and one-time poster-boy of Australian betting, Tom Waterhouse jnr., who recently came under attack for commenting on odds during televised sports fixtures, and offering serious money in sports sponsorship deals.
His activities became something of a political football in Australia as politicians rushed to capitalise on the opportunity to rail against gambling promotion.