A compulsive gambler who lost more than £2 million lost again today in his High Court claim for compensation and damages from bookmaker William Hill.
Mr Justice Briggs ruled that the bookies owed Graham Calvert no duty of care even though he asked them to stop taking his money under William Hill's own self-exclusion policy.
The judge said that although William Hill did agree to exclude Mr Calvert from telephone gambling and failed to take reasonable steps to do so, pathological gambling would still probably have led to his financial ruin, but over a longer period of time.
Mr Justice Briggs, in a summary of his ruling, said: "William Hill's failure to take reasonable care to exclude him from telephone gambling... did not therefore cause Mr Calvert any measurable financial or other loss."
Mr Calvert sued William Hill after he said he lost not only money but also his wife, health and livelihood.
Anneliese Day, who represented the 28-year-old greyhound trainer at the High Court in London, told the judge at a hearing last month that William Hill should be held liable because it failed to operate its own policy.
She said Mr Calvert, from Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear, was hoping to establish in law for the first time that bookies do owe a duty of care in his circumstances.
She said the scale of her client's gambling was "staggering" - during periods of mania when he placed huge multiple bets in the space of a few hours.
He lost around £347,000 in one bet alone when he backed the US to win the 2006 Ryder Cup.
Miss Day said her client, who ended up borrowing money to fund his habit, was an accomplished greyhound trainer who ran the family business from a farm in County Durham.
He was once "comfortably well-off" and had been involved in gambling for most of his life.
"The claimant's descent from betting being a hobby to betting being a disorder appears to have commenced when he began betting by telephone."
Mr Calvert began "staking larger and larger sums of money with increasing frequency and decreasing regard for the consequences".