John Gaunt & Partners authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - SRA No. 173393.
Solicitors of England & Wales
© John Gaunt & Partners 2013. All rights reserved worldwide.
On Line Gambling - Child's Play!!24 May 2012
There has been a recent case involving an individual who opened an on-line account with a spread betting company with interesting consequences. To do so, he specified a password and clicked on “agree” to signify agreement to the terms and conditions.
He subsequently traded on that account on a number of occasions. Unfortunately, it would appear that his girlfriend’s child then obtained access to the account without authority and made a number of trades. This resulted in significant losses, which the company subsequently tried to recover from the holder of the account.
The Court found that there was no “actual authority” or "ostensible authority” for the child to make the trades on behalf of the holder of the account and on that basis and under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, found that the company could not recover from the account holder save any trades shown to have been effected by the holder himself or “any person acting with actual or ostensible authority”.
There is perhaps a salutary lesson as to the protection of accounts with passwords but equally some comfort may be available in very limited specific circumstances as to recoverability of losses. We would stress the circumstances in this case were very particular and unusual!