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UK bookmaker Coral is refusing to pay out on a 40/1 English Premier League (EPL) parlay bet. That’s because it says the wager was a “mistake” that should not have been offered in the first place.
Retired electrician Phil Worthington, 72, told The Manchester Evening News he placed £25 on Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea to finish in the top three, and Norwich, Burnley, and Watford to be relegated from the EPL last season.
Worthington was elated when the 40/1 bet came in, expecting a £1,000 (US$1,190) payout. But when he went to collect, Coral said the bet had been allowed “by mistake.”
The bet had been recommended by a tipster in the national tabloid newspaper The Sun. Worthington said he showed the newspaper to the manager of the betting shop when he placed the bet.
The manager left Worthington waiting for 20 minutes while he consulted with his superiors before returning to say that, yes, Coral would accept the bet, according to the gambler.
But the official line from Coral now is that the copy printed in The Sun was “incomplete and inaccurate” because of a “mistake made when transmitting the information” to the newspaper. The company had never offered this specific “special wager,” it added.
“The 40/1 special price we were offering at that time was for Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal to finish 1-2-3-4 in that order, and for Burnley, Watford, and Norwich to finish 18-19-20 in that order,” said Coral in a statement.
The Sun copy didn’t specify the fact that it was to finish in the correct order. But even more importantly, left off Arsenal for the top four correct finishing order, rendering it a significantly more likely outcome at that stage, and therefore a significantly shorter price to occur,” Coral continued.
Arsenal ultimately failed to finish fourth, losing out on a coveted Champions League spot to bitter North London rival Tottenham.
Coral said it recalculated the odds of Worthington’s actual bet and offered 2/1, for a £50 payout.
The Sun said: “Coral gave us the odds by email direct and without specifying the order. Furthermore, they took the bet as it stood, and so it is their legal issue and not ours.”
Betting Slip ‘Enforceable Contract’
Worthington told The Manchester Evening News he intends to pursue the matter through a small claims court “as a matter of principle.”
Here’s what the UK Gambling Commission rules have to say on the enforceability of betting slips.
“When you place a bet with a licensed gambling business, you enter into a legally enforceable contract with that business. Gambling businesses must make the terms and conditions of the bet available to you.
“Before deciding whether or not to place a bet, make sure you’re familiar with the terms and conditions and that you understand what they mean, especially in the event of any changed circumstances around the bet.”
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