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Betfred Punter Loses Out on £212,000 Payout After Betting Slip Mistake

Horse RaceSix winners in one bet is the kind of punt most gamblers can only dream of, and yet that’s exactly what David Smith managed to do three weeks ago, or at least thought he had done.

Expecting a return of £212,000 the 60-year-old was left shocked when returning to the Betfred shop where he placed the wager to find out that having written the name of the wrong horse for one of the selections he would only be paid out on five winners out of the six. That would have meant a still considerable win of around £23,000 but a £189,000 reduction on what was expected.

The horses in question all ran on the 9th June 2019.  The disputed selections were Bialco which won at 10/3 in the 2:15 at Perth and Bailarico which finished 3rd in the 3:40 Goodwood.

Race Horse SP Position
2:15 Perth Bialco 10/3 1st
3:20 Perth Ardera Cross 40/1 1st
3:40 Goodwood Bailarico 8/1 3rd
4:10 Goodwood Pennsylvania Dutch 15/2 1st
4:25 Perth Indian Temple 7/1 1st
5:15 Goodwood Sir Busker 4/1 1st
5:30 Perth Shanroe 9/2 1st

Intending to bet on Bialco, Smith actually wrote the name of Bailarico and the time of the Perth race. On further scrutiny by the company’s security team, they spotted the mistake and, as per the stated rules, amended the bet to the horse written on the slip and not the similarly named runner in the stated race.

Understandably upset by the mistake, the customer in question’s next step will be to take the matter up with the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) who work with bookies, customers and the Gambling Commission to resolve such disputes.

Always Check Your Bets, and the Rules

Books and Gavel

So, what is the correct course of action in such circumstances?

Unfortunately for our unlucky punter, Betfred have applied their rules correctly in this instance. Most firms will apply the name of the horse written irrespective of the time or the price.

Had there been no other horses with that name there may have been room for manoeuvre but that wasn’t the case here.

Where the instruction from a customer is unclear, bet settlement can be split between the possible outcomes. This rule however is normally applied where the first and second parts of a horse’s name have been mixed up, such as writing Best Rum and Red Mate instead of Best Mate and Red Rum.

Betting shops are required to provide a rules poster in each shop to clarify such matters and if you are not sure of where this information is, always ask a member of staff to help.

This rule will be used up and down the country and had the correct horse’s name been written but at the wrong time or course then there would have been every chance the bet would have been paid at the expected amount.

As mentioned above, IBAS will provide the definitive ruling on the bet settlement, or any disputed returns between customers and UK licenced betting operators.

To avoid such disputes, always check the names or numbers, times, prices and courses of your selections prior to striking a bet. If you have made an error, remember that your bet will only be able to be changed up to the start of the first selection and not just before the horse in question has run.

As David Smith of Loughborough has found out, it’s always worth checking with someone senior, be it a customer service adviser or retail manager, where you stand if a mistake has been made.