Coral bet ruling cost me almost £3,000

A TAXI driver has been left frustrated after claiming he's been left thousands of pounds short from a winning bet.

Tuesday, 20th September 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:18 pm
John Alexander from Fareham outside the Coral betting shop in Locks Heath where he placed his winning bet Picture Ian Hargreaves (161234-1)

John Alexander, 25, says that Coral owes him almost £3,000 after he placed a double at the start of the rugby league Super League season for Hull FC to be crowned season and Challenge Cup winners.

His bets were two £10 singles – one each on the league and the cup – and a £5 double on them completing the league and cup double at a combined price of 742/1 in Coral’s shop, in Locks Heath.

Mr Alexander says this should have returned a total of £4,460 and he was going to split the winnings with his dad.

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However, Mr Alexander was left baffled after cashing in his winning ticket when he got a letter from Coral a few weeks later saying that his return was only £1,575.

Coral says it was a ‘related bet’ – and that he should not have been given those odds. It says that had he placed the bet online it would have flagged up that the odds would have been changed to 200-1 instead of 742-1 because betting on league and cup doubles is a specialised market.

John said: ‘I couldn’t believe it – I was expecting so much more.

‘Getting the bet up made Hull’s success even sweeter for me. Now, I won’t put on another similar bet because of the trouble it has caused.

‘I’d already thought about how I would spend my money and was looking to go away with my girlfriend.

‘My dad has booked a holiday to Cape Verde before we got paid out because he was so sure. The woman who took my bet in the shop rang up head office to see what the prices were and didn’t say there was a problem.’

John has now contacted the Gambling Commission and Independent Betting Adjudication Service to look into the case.

He said: ‘I’m willing to take it as far as possible. Bookmakers are quite happy to take your money off you but they haven’t paid me out.’

Coral’s PR director Simon Clare said: ‘We do have sympathy for punters like John and he still did win a lot of money.

‘This related bet issue is one that does happen from time to time for all retail bookmakers where customers write the bet on a slip, and all bookmakers have rules to cover such instances.

‘Bookmakers resolve the situation as fairly as possible by offering a fair combined price, rather than splitting the bet into two singles which would be unfair albeit within our rules to do so.

‘If you go online, they usually get flagged up but until the systems in our shops are updated, things like this can happen.’