Coral deny £15,000 payout on World Cup bet

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There are plenty of stories out there of Entain stiffing punters on legitimate bets, but this isn't one of them.

Bookmakers have very clear and long-established rules on related bets / related contingency - and explain in their rules if they accept such a bet in error they will use a defined procedure, such as splitting the stake across single bets, or assigning the stake to the single bet with the highest odds.

The bets are, as a "£10 treble":
  • Argentina to win at 11/2
  • Argentina vs France final at 22/1
  • Messi Player of the Tournament at 9/1
I think this quote (from
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) sums up his intentions, and is quite a big red flag that something isn't adding up...
"I've since had different companies contact me saying if that was their company, they'd pay out. When I placed the bet the guy behind the counter said it was absolutely fine. They're now saying it's a related bet."

No, no they wouldn't... rules on related bets have been a thing for decades, and this is quite a clear and obvious one. The person behind the counter shouldn't have accepted the bet (whether a forced or unforced error, or simply didn't care), but the explanation from Coral is pretty reasonable - if we rewrite the bet as:
  • Argentina v France final = 22/1 or 23.0
  • After which Argentina win said final = 1/1 or 2.0
  • After which Messi is named POTT = very short odds, let's be generous and say 1/2 or 1.5
then the true odds become 23.0 * 2.0 * ~1.5, or ~69.0 - very close to the 66/1 settlement Coral offered - and way above what their rules state (which is split stake across single bets - roughly £130).

He tried it on, he got caught, he should take the rather generous offer and jog on...
 
Good post, and I agree - he's chancing his arm with the intention of going crying to the papers if they don't pay out.

'They're now saying it's a related bet.' That's because it clearly is - and a three-way related bet at that. The guy must have found a shop with a trainee working to get that on.
 
I don't agree. If the guy behind the counter accepted the bet and confirmed it was fine it has been in their system for the full tournament and they should just pay it out. And perhaps train their staff to know the T&Cs. It doesn't matter if this is a trainee or someone who worked for them for 10 years.

If I make a wrong bet I can't go and recall it after the event but somehow it's acceptable a bookie does this when initially accepting the stake from the customer?
 
I don't agree. If the guy behind the counter accepted the bet and confirmed it was fine it has been in their system for the full tournament and they should just pay it out. And perhaps train their staff to know the T&Cs. It doesn't matter if this is a trainee or someone who worked for them for 10 years.
For all we know, the traders could have flagged it minutes after it was placed and the guy had already left the shop - we only have his testimony for how it happened (and as mentioned above, he's said other things that raise red flags).

Similarly, if he paid cash there's potentially no opportunity (whether intentional or not) for the shop to rectify it until he comes to collect his "1495/1" winnings. So they have paid him out - considerably more than he's legally entitled to under the terms and conditions - just not at the odds he invented.

Given Argentina + Messi POTT was being offered around 20/1, that would mean France are 70/1 to be the losing finalist in a tournament they were 7/1 to win... nobody is buying that argument, and a competent adjudicator will quickly toss such a case in the bin.

If I make a wrong bet I can't go and recall it after the event but somehow it's acceptable a bookie does this when initially accepting the stake from the customer?
Depending on the error, yes you could - e.g. if you wrote a lower price on the slip then they should honour it at the correct price, or if you write a mathematically impossible bet (e.g. an accumulator where both teams win the same match) then they should void the bet.

Admittedly not all bookmakers would though, which is a problem - which is why it's important for the media to amplify the genuine miscarriages rather than cases like this where the guy is clearly trying it on.
 
For all we know, the traders could have flagged it minutes after it was placed and the guy had already left the shop - we only have his testimony for how it happened (and as mentioned above, he's said other things that raise red flags).

Similarly, if he paid cash there's potentially no opportunity (whether intentional or not) for the shop to rectify it until he comes to collect his "1495/1" winnings. So they have paid him out - considerably more than he's legally entitled to under the terms and conditions - just not at the odds he invented.

Given Argentina + Messi POTT was being offered around 20/1, that would mean France are 70/1 to be the losing finalist in a tournament they were 7/1 to win... nobody is buying that argument, and a competent adjudicator will quickly toss such a case in the bin.


Depending on the error, yes you could - e.g. if you wrote a lower price on the slip then they should honour it at the correct price, or if you write a mathematically impossible bet (e.g. an accumulator where both teams win the same match) then they should void the bet.

Admittedly not all bookmakers would though, which is a problem - which is why it's important for the media to amplify the genuine miscarriages rather than cases like this where the guy is clearly trying it on.

Like @Lemon pointed out they should pay him out and then make sure this can't happen again. This isn't working in their favor to be honest.

On a side-note, I've once accidentally added a 0 at the end of a bet I made and immediately got in touch with support to ask them to void the bet as it was clear from my betting history I never made such big bets and it was due to a sticky key/fat fingers. They said: no can do, all bets are final. Karma bit them in the ass tho and I won the bet. This was when I first started betting and cashing out your bet wasn't offered yet by most bookies so quite a few years ago. ?‍♂️
 
For all we know, the traders could have flagged it minutes after it was placed and the guy had already left the shop - we only have his testimony for how it happened (and as mentioned above, he's said other things that raise red flags).
Having worked for Ladbrokes in Gibraltar for five years when we had the telephone betting call centre ( admittedly I didn't work on the trading side ). I know that the system would have flagged said bet when being placed if an issue, or would have been sent to the trading team to review before being allowed to be placed. Same thing with the retail estate. No doubt Coral back then was the same and definitely would be now, now they are part of the same group in Entain.
 
Having worked for Ladbrokes in Gibraltar for five years when we had the telephone betting call centre ( admittedly I didn't work on the trading side ). I know that the system would have flagged said bet when being placed if an issue, or would have been sent to the trading team to review before being allowed to be placed. Same thing with the retail estate. No doubt Coral back then was the same and definitely would be now, now they are part of the same group in Entain.
I'd say the difference here is that it was accepted on a paper slip and likely wasn't entered into the EPOS system until after the chap had left the shop? Of course this would have been rejected if online or by telephone, the system simply wouldn't allow it. Maybe paper slips should be scrapped?

I have to say I (respectfully) don't agree with your sentiment of honouring the bet as it was accepted. Businesses have to protect themselves from staff error. Should the staff member have accepted it, no. Should the staff member get a stern talking to, yes. But no way should the company be liable IMHO. Where does this liability cap end? If someone accidentally took a bet at a million to one instead of 10/1 should that be honoured too?

One last thought, isn't it horrible that whenever these bets happen, the "victim" had plans to spend the cash on a needy cause. This chap had planned to spend the money on a mobility scooter for his father. What a nice thing to do. I've never once seen one where it says "I was planning to spend this on booze, ladies of the night and cigars".

Mark
 
Mark. I couldnt agree more. Mistakes happen all the time in business and this was an obvious mistake. Simple human error.

Generally speaking at law you can't take financial advantage of a mistake. If a bank teller gives you a $10,000 instead of $1,000 are you entitled to keep it? The answer is no.
 
I'd say the difference here is that it was accepted on a paper slip and likely wasn't entered into the EPOS system until after the chap had left the shop? Of course this would have been rejected if online or by telephone, the system simply wouldn't allow it. Maybe paper slips should be scrapped?

I have to say I (respectfully) don't agree with your sentiment of honouring the bet as it was accepted. Businesses have to protect themselves from staff error. Should the staff member have accepted it, no. Should the staff member get a stern talking to, yes. But no way should the company be liable IMHO. Where does this liability cap end? If someone accidentally took a bet at a million to one instead of 10/1 should that be honoured too?

One last thought, isn't it horrible that whenever these bets happen, the "victim" had plans to spend the cash on a needy cause. This chap had planned to spend the money on a mobility scooter for his father. What a nice thing to do. I've never once seen one where it says "I was planning to spend this on booze, ladies of the night and cigars".

Mark

Each and every slots session, this is the plan, reality is always VERY different :p :oops:
 
Many moons ago I went into a bookies [ladbrokes] I placed a single £1 bet on portsmouth to beat arsenal away [now you know why I don't do sportsbets :laugh:] it was something like 7 to 1, the lass took my slip and then asked a bloke stood right alongside 'can we take this?'

Took me by surprise, I felt a bit of a plonker tbh! surely they can't do this everytime I thought. But just shows if they're unsure they know to ask.

I think there's merit in paying out and then using that as the legendary example to train the shop staff on the need to spot related bets and then refer them to a senior member of staff, that said 66 to 1 is still very generous if the guy was deliberately trying it on in the mad fever rush of world cup bets. Not everyone in the public would know the odds for related bets must change. Things like the WC could bring in a lot of new punters just turned 18, so there is that remote possibility.

Edit: Actually couldn't the till be set up so that bets like this would get flagged, it was years ago but sure I was given a printout and my £1 went in the till. Also for a large potential payout of £15,000 perhaps that should be an automatic 'this needs checking'?
 
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I think there's merit in paying out and then using that as the legendary example to train the shop staff on the need to spot related bets and then refer them to a senior member of staff, that said 66 to 1 is still very generous if the guy was deliberately trying it on in the mad fever rush of world cup bets. Not everyone in the public would know the odds for related bets must change. Things like the WC would bring in a lot of new punters just turned 18, so there is that remote possibility.
I don't actually think this guy was trying it on, it was likely a mistake as you say. The problem with paying out this bet, even as a PR stunt, would mean every Tom, Dick and Harry who has ever had it happen (there will be more than you think, not everyone runs to the newspapers) will want a piece of that pie. It will also encourage every Dom, Hick and Tarry to try to pull the wool over a betting clerk's eyes in future knowing they will be "forced" to honour it.

I think the difference now than "moons ago" is that many betting shops no longer have the luxury of that senior figure to report to or ask questions of. Most are "single-manned" and likely run as cheaply as possible. I don't think there is a lot of profit left from the traditional way of betting and this kind of publicity doesn't do the industry any good at all. In fact it frustrates me that almost every social media site I've seen is using it to bash the bookies and there are tons of people being blindsided by headlines such as "bookie robbed £15k from 30yr old who was buying his disabled dad a scooter". If I was being picky (sorry News Hound) I'd even say the opening line in the OP's post is incorrect. The bet didn't "come in".

As others have said in this thread, mistakes are just that. Rectify and move on. This chap was offered a nice settlement offer instead of a "sorry that bet was taken in error". He chose not to accept it and that's his prerogative. Personally, because I'm a grumpy old sod, I would have had a "no PR" clause attached to the offer so it was rescinded if he went down the route he chose. I really hope they did that anyway.

Biased rant over :)

Mark
 
I have to say I (respectfully) don't agree with your sentiment of honouring the bet as it was accepted. Businesses have to protect themselves from staff error. Should the staff member have accepted it, no. Should the staff member get a stern talking to, yes. But no way should the company be liable IMHO.

This reminds me of mistake fares that occasionally pop up when booking seats on an airline.
I guess the company involved has to weigh up the PR pros and cons of paying up or not. British Airways won't honour mistake fares so don't ever try to convince them if it happens to you but other airlines sometimes will. Cathay Pacific once honoured some £15,000 first class tickets that were incorrectly sold at £1,300 and went public with the details. Someone at the airline decided the cost was worth the publicity whereas BA are as tight as a fishes arse and don't care that people know it!
 
Given the general anti-gambling atmosphere at the moment, I think if I was the decision maker I’d have to opt to pay out then tighten things up to prevent future mistakes of the same ilk.

If you’re a casino/bookmaker then it really isn’t the time to be stoking the fire of anti gambling sentiment…not when the story is already in the media and it’s for a paltry (in the scheme of things) 15k.

It's one of those that could have been settled behind the scenes; again, if I'm high up in the company the last thing I would want is to look the bad guy in the media, as I'd know it'd be used as ammunition by the anti-gambling brigade. It's really not worth risking the future viability of your business and potentially the industry in general over an errant bet and a 15k pay out.

That's my pragmatic view on it :)
 
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This reminds me of mistake fares that occasionally pop up when booking seats on an airline.
I guess the company involved has to weigh up the PR pros and cons of paying up or not. British Airways won't honour mistake fares so don't ever try to convince them if it happens to you but other airlines sometimes will. Cathay Pacific once honoured some £15,000 first class tickets that were incorrectly sold at £1,300 and went public with the details. Someone at the airline decided the cost was worth the publicity whereas BA are as tight as a fishes arse and don't care that people know it!
I would ask what the actual “cost” was to CP. this was a one-off computer error and not (correct me if I’m wrong) something which could happen daily in the current human to human interaction in a bookmakers. I’d also say there’s a good chance that the first class tickets wouldn’t have been sold so actually the cost is negligible. Just a thought!

You guys all know I’m in the industry so I don’t have to state it, but I spent a long time on customer service for a betting business back in the day and I’ll tell you from the horses mouth the “palpable error” rule is needed to keep the industry alive! If someone puts a TV on the Argos website for 1p, they will sell the 26 TVs they have in stock before they sell out and possibly (unlikely) decide to take the loss. If a bookie puts a footy team in at 10/1 instead of 1/1 (Evs) there are bots and professionals who will jump all over it! It could easily be millions from a human / live odds feed / computer error. We’re dealing with cash, it’s different.

Mark
 
I'd say the difference here is that it was accepted on a paper slip and likely wasn't entered into the EPOS system until after the chap had left the shop? Of course this would have been rejected if online or by telephone, the system simply wouldn't allow it. Maybe paper slips should be scrapped?

I have to say I (respectfully) don't agree with your sentiment of honouring the bet as it was accepted. Businesses have to protect themselves from staff error. Should the staff member have accepted it, no. Should the staff member get a stern talking to, yes. But no way should the company be liable IMHO. Where does this liability cap end? If someone accidentally took a bet at a million to one instead of 10/1 should that be honoured too?

One last thought, isn't it horrible that whenever these bets happen, the "victim" had plans to spend the cash on a needy cause. This chap had planned to spend the money on a mobility scooter for his father. What a nice thing to do. I've never once seen one where it says "I was planning to spend this on booze, ladies of the night and cigars".

Mark
Surely though, large businesses have a form of professional liability/indemnity insurance for employee errors, so are covered in that respect? Companies are/can be liable though for employee mistakes (if that's the case here) - that liability can arise from poorly trained staff to having crap systems

Eg. If a company has a data breach it won't hold much weight if you go, as a company: well, that wasn't us that was wee john the trainee making a mistake - they'll look at systems/processes/training and go: well that's on you as a corporate entity etc.

IMO it's a bit of Game Theory in the old casino-player relationship - players chance their arm to gain, casinos chance theirs with their tactics, though i agree the tone of the article maybe needs some qualification.

Personally i'm of the opinion that you accept the bet, you pay the bet

BTW Booze, ladies of the night and cigars?

Who was he: Bill Clinton?
 
Surely though, large businesses have a form of professional liability/indemnity insurance for employee errors, so are covered in that respect? Companies are/can be liable though for employee mistakes (if that's the case here) - that liability can arise from poorly trained staff to having crap systems
In this case as both sides are party to the terms and conditions, they have both made a mistake - the punter has proposed an invalid bet (or rather, a potentially valid bet at incorrect odds), and the shop has accepted it, possibly without trader approval (given the size of the liability).

The concern here would be that it could quickly snowball to unlimited liability - as soon as that door opened then every advantage player or fraudster would be looking for an angle by fair means or foul (e.g. trainee staff, a busy shop, a corrupt worker and so on) to get invalid bets through and make bank. Imagine the industry outrage if someone successfully pushed through a bet like "Tomorrow is a day of the week, 1000/1" and had to pay out on it...

At that point, the shop slows to a crawl as every bet has to be scrutinised and approved - which is fine for higher-liability bets, but Joe Punter isn't going to appreciate waiting two minutes for his £2 e/w on the horses... by which point the race has already started and his bet is rejected.

I do think Mark has a point regarding paper bets - this bet could have been accepted at the correct odds, and would have been picked up and corrected by a digital path before submission. However there's an element of be careful what you wish for as a player, as a fully digital path could lead to other headaches like mandatory registration (and possibly KYC), faster odds adjustments and so on...
 
I would ask what the actual “cost” was to CP. this was a one-off computer error and not (correct me if I’m wrong) something which could happen daily in the current human to human interaction in a bookmakers. I’d also say there’s a good chance that the first class tickets wouldn’t have been sold so actually the cost is negligible. Just a thought!

On refreshing my memory of the incident it wasn't a one off. It happened twice in two weeks. There were also Business Class seats sold at the incorrect price. They also had a data breach a couple of months previously and were running at a loss at the time!
Regarding their actual cost - Hong Kong to Portugal via Heathrow for $1512 and Vietnam to Canada for $675 in 2019 - I know there's a big mark up in First Class but I expect even their economy fares were higher than that.
But that's by the by - they're not the only ones to do it. Singapore Airlines have and Hong Kong Airlines have. I was just using Cathay as an example.
Basically companies have to work out how much they're willing to pay to keep customers happy.

In my personal world - I once managed to get both Rangers and Celtic at 2500/1 to win the Scottish title one year. Obviously an error by the bookies as every team was 2500/1 and when they cancelled my bet I just accepted it. There's no point fighting that one but, previously, I had won £600 from Blue Square in the days when betting in running was just beginning. They didn't have a ten second delay in placing bets on live matches in those days so, when a penalty was awarded in about the 88th minute I stuck £100 on whichever team it was to win the match at 6/1.
Blue Square cancelled the bet using the old excuse "see our t&c's". My reply was it's not my fault I was faster than whoever they employ to suspend the markets and would they have refunded me if the penalty was missed? I didn't win my argument and left Blue Square over that. If they'd honoured the bet I would have stayed with them.
 
In my personal world - I once managed to get both Rangers and Celtic at 2500/1 to win the Scottish title one year. Obviously an error by the bookies as every team was 2500/1 and when they cancelled my bet I just accepted it. There's no point fighting that one but, previously, I had won £600 from Blue Square in the days when betting in running was just beginning. They didn't have a ten second delay in placing bets on live matches in those days so, when a penalty was awarded in about the 88th minute I stuck £100 on whichever team it was to win the match at 6/1.
Blue Square cancelled the bet using the old excuse "see our t&c's". My reply was it's not my fault I was faster than whoever they employ to suspend the markets and would they have refunded me if the penalty was missed? I didn't win my argument and left Blue Square over that. If they'd honoured the bet I would have stayed with them.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you wouldn’t have heard a dickie bird if the penalty was missed.
I have a real issue of “human error” covering all in this example. There are many instances whereby the company is liable for this sort of thing.
Many times I’ve heard, and also seen, prices on items in shops marked up wrong and a majority of the time they are honoured. I believe there may be something in place regarding this.
I work for an insurance firm in IT and they are always sending out training elements related to potential mistakes and errors which would leave the company open to liability because if you mis-sell a policy for whatever reason, the excuse that it was a mistake will hold no water.
It just seems that bookies continually use this sort of get out of jail free card to not pay out.
For what it’s worth, in this case they have paid out the bet at the correct odds so that is something I guess but if you offer a service you are duty bound to honour what you agree. I seem to recall some smaller bookies being forced to pay a “hole in one” bet @ 100/1 because they did not know that the true odds were around 5/2. If you choose to accept the bet you should be forced to honour it. If that means tightening up acceptance process then so be it.
I thought there would be something in place to flag any large multiplier/large money bets?
 
You are kind of correct. If a staff member mis-sells an insurance policy or gives incorrect advice the company can be liable for all losses and damage that naturally result.

It's quite different from being liable for a mistake where there is no actual loss. In other words they are simply put back in the position they would have been in but for the mistake. You cannot legally benefit from a mistake.
 

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