Betfred pay out a £40,948 five-horse accumulator, to a pensioner from Port Talbot, despite a ruling from the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), telling them that they didn’t have too.
Just a few short weeks ago, this writer was providing a voice for disgruntled Betfred employees as the owner Fred Done had decided to link employees wages with the success, or failure, of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), and decided to lengthen the hours of his retail shop openings over the festive period.
Well it seems that the Ebenezer Scrooge of the UK Bookmakers is on the path to redemption after creating a Christmas experience that a 75-year old pensioner from South Wales will never forget.
Back in July, Richard Lewis of the steelworker’s town of Port Talbot, in South Wales, walked into his local Betfred bookmakers and placed his usual five-horse accumulator bet at the cost of £21. The betting slip contained the names of Mister Wiseman, Argaki, Va’Vite, Foreign Rhythm and Pobs Trophy; but not the word ‘accumulator’.
When the five horses romped home Lewis was told by the staff working behind the counter that he would stand to collect £40,948, but would have to return the following day when the shop was replenished with the necessary funds.
Lewis awoke from one of the best nights sleep of his life, returned to the bookies and was given his winnings – all £147 of it. It seems that the Betfred Security Department had ruled against the local shop staff and deemed his ticket as only showing five £2 each way single bets.
The pensioner took his fight to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), where he provided them with evidence of 90 identical bets he had made in the past, each showing a £2 each-way five-horse bet with a 50p each-way accumulator. His argument was simply that he had intended to make the same bet on the day in question – IBAS refused to bow down to the claim and instead supported the bookmakers right to deem the bet as five separate winners minus the accumulator portion of the bet.
Then just as Lewis thought he could only afford nuts and tangerines for Christmas, Betfred’s Regional Manager paid him a personal home visit to tell him that despite the IBAS ruling, they had agreed to honor his bet. In response to the length of time the issue had taken to be resolved, Betfred invited Lewis to the Cheltenham Gold Cup as an all-expenses paid guest.
Interestingly, had Lewis not specified that each bet was an each-way single, and not just a straight forward £21 accumulator, his return would have exceeded £2m; which I believe would have ended up with a £147 pay day, and a very dour Christmas from the man from Port Talbot.