EXCLUSIVE: Bookies refuse to pay out on grandmother’s 600-1 World Cup bet because of “clerical error”

Anne and Ron Jones holding the S & D Bookmakers betting slip for Germany to win world cup. Picture: Steve Williams. Anne and Ron Jones holding the S & D Bookmakers betting slip for Germany to win world cup. Picture: Steve Williams.

Thursday, July 17, 2014
2:48 PM

Bookies hit back at a grandmother and accused her of potential fraud after a “clerical error” led to her being offered 600-1 for a £2 bet on Germany to win the World Cup.

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S & D Bookmakers betting slip for Germany to win world cup. Picture: Steve Williams.S & D Bookmakers betting slip for Germany to win world cup. Picture: Steve Williams.

Bookies hit back at a grandmother and accused her of potential fraud after a “clerical error” led to her being offered 600-1 for a £2 bet on Germany to win the World Cup.

Bookmaker Robert Speechley admitted the betting slip shows 600-1 “but it’s what we term a palpable error. “We’ve looked into it and she seems to have been quoted, wrongly, from the digital odds.

“One of my staff looked at the odds of .6000 and for some reason thought it was 600-1,” he said.

Mr Speechley said he didn’t want to fall out with her and was prepared to make a small settlement only he didn’t get the chance.

“Her husband went berserk at me, called me everything,” said Mr Speechley.

But Anne Jones, 60, says she feels “cheated and angry” after Mr Speechley’s firm – S&D Bookmakers of Littleport- refused to pay out.

She says she was offered odds of 600-1 for the Germans to win the competition when she went in to the shop on January 8.

When her husband, Ron, 67, placed a similar bet a month previously, he was only offered odds of 11-2 so she asked the staff member to double check the odds as they seemed very high.

Mrs Jones, of Friar Place, says the odds were confirmed by the member of staff after checking a computer system: she handed over £2 to win £1,200 and received her confirmation slip.

On Sunday, when Mario Götze hit an extra-time winner to clinch the World Cup for Germany, Mrs Jones started to count her winnings.

But when she went into the bookmakers on Monday, she met by two managers, who, she says, accused her of trying to cheat them and threatened to call the police.

She said she tried to argue her case but was worried that husband Ron, who suffers from high blood pressure, would become stressed and so decided to leave the shop.

She said: “We have never seen two managers in the shop before, I feel like they knew I would be coming in and they were waiting for me.

“I am just so angry, it’s not fair. I knew the odds seemed high so I got them to check again and they told me they were correct, they even wrote them out on the betting slip for me.

“It was just supposed to be a bit of fun, to make the football a bit more interesting. “When the goal went in, I had people calling me up and congratulating me. I promised my grandchildren that I would buy them all something to celebrate.

“I’m just so angry with them; I expect them to honour it. We retired and moved up here and we love it. We’re not here to rip anyone off.”

But Mr Speechley is adamant in refusing to pay the bet and has offered Mrs Jones the chance to go to an arbitration panel that handles such disputes.

“The true odds were probably then about 5-1,” he said. “They have never been 600-1. It’s a bit of a sort of grey area but actually it’s obtaining money by deception.

“Suppose for example we had wrongly put down 10 million to and now owed her £20million – plainly it’s silly.

“It is unfortunate but these things do crop up. Mrs Jones’ husband went berserk at and called me everything,” he said. “I said to him he knew it was the wrong price and had he been more acceptable I would have given him something, probably £50, as a goodwill gesture.

Mr Speechley said he “likes to keep everyone happy” and was still prepared to sit down and talk with Mrs Jones.

“Unfortunately when they came in I couldn’t get a word in- he was going to come over the counter and punch my lights out. “

Mr Speechley, part of a family firm with 10 outlets across East Anglia, said one punter from Huntingdon had been paid out – he put £1,000 on Germany to win when the odds were 9-2.

A spokesman for Coral (whose name features on the betting slip) said: “S & D bookmakers has no connection with Coral so the bet in question is not one of ours I’m afraid.

“Why Corals is written on the slip is one to ask S & D. However I would say Germany were priced around the 6/1 mark, so 600/1 was far too good to be true!”

2 comments

  • the betting slip is a contract between an agent of the bookmaker and the punter. The betting slip clearly says 600-1 so she should be paid.It's not up to the punter to try to second guess the bookmaker and point out mistakes.

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    fenwoman

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

  • If Mrs Jones had put £600 on Argentina and lost you can bet (pun intended) that Mr Speechley would have kept her money, works both ways, if the bet was accepted and the odds given they should honour it.

    Add your comment | Report this comment

    foolsinpower

    Friday, July 18, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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