Calvert v William Hill Credit Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 1427

Key point

  • A duty of care can arise from an assumption of responsibility via a relationship that is akin to contract


  • D bookmaker failed to implement a self-exclusion agreement requested by C
  • C faced massive losses of $2mil after gambling with the bookmaker
  • C sued D for negligence for failing to prevent his losses

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • D was negligent, but there was no causation as C would have lost his money gambling elsewhere

Lloyd LJ

Duty of care: yes

  • The bookmaker’s assurances to C that account will be closed, which was tantamount to a contract except for the absence of consideration, amounted to a voluntary assumption of responsibility
  • The voluntary assumption of responsibility in turn gave rise to a duty to implement the exclusion

Breach of duty: yes

  • By failing to implement the self-exclusion there was a breach of duty of care to help C control his betting

Causation: no

  • However, there was no causation as C would have made bets with other betting agencies anyways and suffered the same losses
Negligence cases
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