Gambler to sue William Hill for £2m - Saturday 16th of February 2008

A compulsive gambler who lost £2 million is making legal history by heading to court to sue a bookmaker for allowing him to keep betting.

Graham Calvert, 28, who began betting in August 2005 and set up an account with William Hill in May 2006, wants the betting agents to pay back his losses.

Mr Calvert alleges the betting chain failed in its duty of care and is taking William Hill to the High Court on Monday. The bookmaker vigorously contests the allegationsMr Calvert, a respected greyhound trainer from Tyne and Wear who at one stage was earning up to £30,000 a month, initially bet £1,000 to £5,000 a time but this quickly grew to single bets of up to £30,000.

In May 2006, he claims he told William Hill that he wanted his account closed and his "self-exclusion" appeal was taped by the bookmaker. He repeated this request a month later but was allowed to carry on betting until December.

He claims he asked to be barred after betting £3.5 million, of which he lost £2,028,858.

Some days he would place 20 bets at £30,000 a punt. He bet a whopping £7.5 million in 16 months, sometimes bringing bin liners stuffed with £100,000 cash to place his bets.

In 2006, he placed £347,000 on America to win the Ryder Cup but lost. At the time, it was the biggest golf bet in history.

"The fact is that I did try to go through the right procedures and I was let down."

Mr Calvert alleges the betting chain failed in its duty of care and is taking William Hill to the High Court on Monday. The bookmaker vigorously contests the allegations.

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