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Lotto seller was blamed for suicide

A tobacconist contests removal of his right to sell lottery tickets after a customer spent thousands then killed himself

A TOBACCONIST has had his licence to sell lottery tickets and scratch cards taken away after a customer spent tens of thousands on tickets then killed himself.

La Française des Jeux (FDJ), which holds the rights to lottery tickets in France, held the tobacconist, from Trie-Château, Oise, partly responsible after a 23-year-old man was found to have spent up to €16,000 a week in April and May last year.

FDJ says the tobacconist did nothing to dissuade the man from his compulsive behaviour and encouraged him to spend more and more. The man threw himself off a bridge.

The tobacconist is contesting the decision, said RTL. He told the radio station: “In no case did I incite him to do anything,” adding: “Two or three times I took him aside in my bar and said he shouldn’t gamble so much, but he replied ‘yes, but I’m winning’.”

His lawyer said the FDJ had penalised his client without proof, perhaps because it “feared scandal and being blamed for the young man’s death”. It set no fixed limits as to how much customers should be allowed to spend, he said.

The tobacconist is suing FDJ for unfair breaking of their contract. The case is scheduled for November 22 in Nanterre commercial court.

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