In a remarkable turn of events, a Ghanaian man named Theophilus Morgan emerged victorious in a high-stakes bet, only to face an arduous battle to claim his winnings from booking company SafariBet Sports Betting.
Mr. Morgan’s epic win, amounting to Ghȼ57 million, was the result of an extensive betting endeavour that spanned from November 7 to November 11, 2018, encompassing 24 games replicated 220 times. The successful bet involved prominent football leagues such as the English Premier League, Champions League, Italian Serie A, and Europa League.
However, SafariBet Sports Betting refused to honour the substantial payout, prompting Mr Morgan to seek redress through legal channels. He filed a complaint with the Gaming Commission and later sought legal redress at the courts, which eventually led to a favourable default judgement in his favour. Regrettably, by the time the judgement was obtained, SafariBet had already ceased operations in the country, leaving Mr Morgan in limbo.
The subsequent suspension of African Gaming and Entertainment, trading as SafariBet Sports Betting, by the Gaming Commission in April 2019 came as a belated response to the company’s actions. The suspension served as a precautionary measure to protect future customers from similar experiences.
During a recent during a recent Regulatory Compliance Workshop held in Accra, sponsored by Betway in Accra, the Board Chairman of the Gaming Commission of Ghana, Gary Nimako Marfo, shed light on the situation. Although the incident occurred prior to his tenure, Chairman Marfo affirmed that measures have been implemented to prevent such occurrences from happening again.
Notably, the commission has increased the bankroll requirement and minimum capital requirement for betting companies. These measures aim to deter betting companies from absconding with customers’ rightful winnings.
Mr. Marfo also emphasized the importance of punters utilizing the complaints unit at the Commission to report any betting companies that fail to pay out winnings.
He assured the public that the reporting lines and complaints unit are now at their most efficient, providing a robust system to address grievances. Instances of non-payment of winnings are taken seriously, and the commission is dedicated to resolving such matters swiftly and fairly.
“I don’t think the SafariBet issue will happen again because our reporting lines and the complaints unit at the Commission are now at their best,” Chairman Marfo stated confidently. “If you win your bet, you will be paid. If there are any delays or issues in receiving your winnings, we encourage you to proactively report it to the commission. We will handle it in an expeditious manner.”
This renewed commitment from the Gaming Commission of Ghana, along with the regulatory reforms implemented, aims to ensure transparency, fairness, and customer protection within the sports betting industry.