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Gaming Company ‘Bezbets’ Convicted for Refusing to Pay Punter’s Winnings

Gaming Company ‘Bezbets’ Convicted for Refusing to Pay Punter’s Winnings

In a recent development in Harare, gaming company Bezbets faced conviction in court after refusing to honor a punter’s substantial win of US$5,400. The verdict was handed down by Harare magistrate Simon Kandiyero following a full trial, with sentencing scheduled for Friday.

Represented by Robson Chinamasa, Bezbets stood accused of failing to pay out the punter’s winnings, alleging misuse of funds beyond acceptable limits. However, the punter countered, asserting that no terms and conditions had restricted his wagering amount, and previous losses with similar sums had not been contested.

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Magistrate Kandiyero ruled in favor of the punter, highlighting Bezbets’ inconsistency in honoring bets. Despite the company’s claims of misrepresentation by the punter, the court found them guilty of fraud, emphasizing their selective action in honoring winnings.

The disputed bet, placed with US$394, resulted in a substantial win of US$5,400 for the punter. Bezbets’ refusal to pay prompted further legal actions, including a countercharge of fraud against the punter, which was dismissed by the National Prosecuting Authority due to insufficient evidence. Additionally, Bezbets disabled the punter’s online account and faced scrutiny from the Gaming Board.

The court proceedings revealed that on October 26 of the previous year, the punter placed a bet on Bezbets’ online roulette platform, staking US$394. Upon winning, with a potential payout of US$5,400, the punter attempted to withdraw his winnings, only to be offered US$1,800 by Chinamasa, prompting the punter to report the incident to the authorities.

Bezbets’ conviction underscores the legal obligations of gaming companies to honor winnings and maintain transparency in their operations. The case serves as a warning to other gaming establishments regarding fair practices and adherence to regulations to avoid legal repercussions.

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