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Woman walks away from $70k online gambling debt

Visa and MasterCard write-off debt, thanks to Californian state law

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A Californian woman has had her $70,000 online gambling debt rubbed out by two leading credit card companies. This bizarre act of charity came about after the woman, Cynthia Haines, was sued by MasterCard, Visa and her bank Providian National, for running up debts which she failed to repay. Haines, in an act of audacious optimism, then counter-sued saying it wasn't her fault at all that she had sat at home running up huge bills while gambling over the Internet. Oh no, instead it was the fault of the credit card companies for letting her do it in the first place, according to news service CNET. The culture of blaming everyone else and never taking responsibilities for your own actions seems to have reached epidemic proportions in the US. Rather than being told to quit whinging and repay her debts, Haines walked away from the $70,000 hole she had dug because, it transpires, gambling over the Net is illegal in her home state of California. MasterCard and Visa are unable to collect online gambling debts according to Californian state law. For those of you who fell off your chairs a few seconds ago, here are the main points again. A woman in California counter-sued MasterCard and Visa after she ran up $70,000 in online gambling debts, saying it was the credit card companies' fault for letting her do it. She doesn't have to re-pay the debt. Here in London, staff of The Register are considering taking legal action of their own. A number of high street retailers could come under fire for stocking so many nice things and therefore enticing us to spend our money in their establishments. And as for the pub down the road, oh boy is it in big trouble… ®

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