Wednesday 21 March 2018

Punter goes to war as 'misplaced' bet cost him €20k winnings

Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

A Ladbrokes customer missed out on a payout of almost €20,000 because a systems error wouldn't allow him to place the bet he wanted.

The customer, who asked not to be named, secretly recorded a Ladbrokes staff member ringing a superior to say the company's system was recording the customer's bet as a "Placepot" rather than a "Pick 6" made through the Tote. Because of the error, the customer was not able to place his €1,440 bet before the first of the six races to which the bet applied - meaning the bet could no longer be made.

The results went in his favour and, based on data available from the Tote, the customer calculated that he would have won €19,935.

He later contacted a Ladbrokes customer-service agent to complain.

In a recording of the phone call, obtained by the Sunday Independent, the Ladbrokes agent can be heard telling the customer: "I understand it was a staffing error, the fact that your bet was placed incorrectly in the first place. The reason the area manager has given us is due to the fact that the first race had gone off, leaving no time to rectify the bet… they're not prepared to carry the bet out."

The customer's solicitor then wrote to Ladbrokes seeking payment of the sum.

A Ladbrokes spokesman told the Sunday Independent: "We acknowledge receipt of correspondence from the customer's legal team and are in the process of taking legal advice of our own.

"We can confirm that the customer neither paid for nor successfully placed his bet into the pool. Had he done so, both the pools and the dividends would have been markedly different to those which were officially returned."

The customer told the Sunday Independent that the matter has been running for seven weeks and has caused him "a lot of stress".

"We're pursuing this the whole way. I'm going to try and publicise this as much as I can. My lawyer is going to be on their back 24/7.

"If they don't pay what they owe, we're just going to object to their licence.

"It's an absolute disgrace that they're advertising and selling bets that the system cannot place properly.

"It's an absolute shambles, for myself and the public who are trying to place those bets."

Ladbrokes' Irish arm is currently in examinership.

"Our Republic of Ireland estate has not been performing well in recent years and in 2014 it recorded a loss, which is not a sustainable situation going forward", Ladbrokes told the Sunday Independent.

Sunday Independent

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