‘Drunk’ millionaire who gambled £22,000 a night in court battle over his island


A millionaire who splashed out up to £22,000 a night on greyhounds and harness racing is suing his bookmaker with claims he ‘preyed’ on the millionaire while he was drunk.

Winton Veall, 70, claims Australian business Merlehan Bookmaking Pty Ltd, trading as TopSport, “traumatised” him by taking his bets, and is set to take them to court.

The prominent Melbourne figure, who made his fortune through electrical appliances before branching into property, is a director of a family company that owns Timana Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Veall had once ran his own bookmaking business in his early career before trying his hand at singing after brother Duncan Veall found success in rock band Mondo Rock.

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Veall claims he was “preyed” on by the betting company

A stint at owning a bar and a ski business on New Zealand’s South Island and Foret de Lynde forestry in France soon followed.

Between November 2016 and May 2019, Veall claims he had made a series of bets with TopSports that caused him psychological injury, for which he is seeking damages.

Veall has filed a claim with Queensland Supreme Court to the tune of more than $750,000 (£425,000) against TopSports.

The 70-year-old reportedly placed thousands of bets over nearly three years on cricket, rugby, tennis, AFL and boxing matches.

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Veall filed a claim with the Queensland Supreme Court, with a case date set for April 21
Veall filed a claim with the Queensland Supreme Court, with a case date set for April 21

Bets were also placed on greyhound, horse and harness racing, with amounts ranging from $500 (£283) to $4,000 (£2,270) on a single punt.

Merlehan Bookmaking CEO Tristan Merlehan said he would speak to Mr Veall personally on the phone to place bets for the businessman, an affidavit issued to the court revealed.

Veall claims the bookmaker acknowledged he was “intoxicated” and claims he “had placed restrictions on his betting account, while of sound mind, to prevent him from betting on greyhound and harness racing”.

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The case will return to court on April 21, Daily Mail reported.

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