Thursday 14 February 2008

Graham Calvert is a loser

The BBC and other news outlets are carrying the pathetic whining of a man who through his own actions spent lots of money doing something incredibly stupid, gambling. We will come to his specific reasoning as to why he thinks he is justified later, but first the compulsory complaint about the inexorable slide down into the fiery pits of a hell where no-one is personally responsible for their actions and they have to point the finger at the other people that *could* have stopped them, probably with the other hand outstretched for a handout.

Mr Calvert is contending his bookmaker is liable because he asked them to put him on their "self exclusion" list for six months, this means his account would have been in a state where he couldn't use it. As far as I can tell from the media coverage this is what happened. He then opened another account and gambled with it. Now there could be an issue here if he used the same credit card that should have been marked as excluded with his original account. But if he opened the new account with a new card then there is nothing the bookies could have done to stop him.

Take this hypothetical situation: Graham Calvert is not the only person with that name at his address, his father or son is also Graham Calvert, if they try and open an account they should be allowed to, no matter what their relation has done. In fact it is stronger than that, if William Hill refused them because of the suspended account they have just revealed that the other Graham Calvert has a suspended account and thus a gambling problem. They have just committed a very serious data protection offence.

"I think it was irresponsible of William Hill exploit me the way they did. It has ruined my life."

The bleeding heart crowd agree with his statement that he has been exploited by a nasty company when he subverted their systems and opened another account. Why can't he just show some backbone and get on with putting his life back together?


Unknown said...

Finally a voice of reason in a sea of unfounded sympathy for mr calvert

Bonzo said...

What a weak argument you have here.

There maybe an argument that a person using the exact name and address opened an account and could possibly be a different person. However to negate any confusion, every UK bookmaker requires the person's name. address and date of birth. So it could be a twin with an identical name?

Furthermore a customer that places a 370,000 bet does not miss the radar, that bet would have been personally checked and authorised by a senior member of staff. The same customer had losses over over 1 million before he asked to be self excluded, I think at this level the two accounts were tied together and William Hill decided to ignore the fact that there was a self exclusion in place in view of their potential profits.

If these bookmakers cannot self regulate themselves to protect people against harmful addiction then maybe the government should look at regulating on our behalf.

Tony said...

There are gambling sites that don't ask you explicitly for a D.O.B. because they do age checks through agencies like experian.

I think the last people we need in on this are the government! Why should they legislate on this matter? Mr Calvert has the freedom to lose his money how he wants, I just don't think he should have any recourse to the courts. Addiction is no excuse.

DasLoot said...

Well said bonzo, points well made.

As for addiction being no excuse...
well I beg to differ with tony, he obviously has no understanding of addiction and what it can do to a person.

It is obvious Hills were more interested in the shareholders profits rather than their duty of care to the customer.

The sooner bookmakers take gambling addiction seriously the better.

Luckyjims article on the gutshot is interesting or another slant is my own blog post on the same thing.