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Gambler Sues NSW Govt, TAB & Tabcorp For $4.7m

Wednesday, 2nd July 2008

The NSW Supreme Court was told "a suspended lawyer who placed bets of more than $14 million in 5 years was a chronic gambler who should never have been given access to a credit betting facility," reported The Sydney Morning Herald. Christopher Fitzsimons, 62, "is suing the NSW Government, the TAB & Tabcorp Holdings for more than $4.7 million, claiming he was invalidly approved for the $5,000-a-week facility after providing his daughter's credit card as security". His lawyer Todd Alexis told the court Tabcorp "had not checked whether the credit card (which had a $20,000 limit) was in someone else's name". And he said Tabcorp had "also accepted an agreement signed by Fitzsimons to direct debit from an account he held jointly with his wife & daughter without requiring the signatures of all account holders". The wife & daughter (who are also seeking damages) "did not know about his involvement in the scheme & continued to deposit money into the account to pay the mortgage on a holiday home in Cairns". Fitzsimons bet about $14 million between 2001-2005, including $4.5 million in the 2002 financial year; & between April 2003-June 2006 "he placed more than 7,000 bets under the credit betting scheme, worth almost $4 million". Alexis also noted the TAB "installed computer facilities in his house & holiday home".

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