Bookies will do anything to avoid paying out, especially online
with Alex Lo
The Jockey Club may be the world's most boring bookmaker but at least they pay up. The same cannot be said of some UK-based bookies, which may be more entertaining but much more ruthless in trying to avoid payment. Here is a recent experience related by a reader.
'A friend managed to have the fortune of sticking on a small wager at 200/1 for a certain Swiss tennis player's 6-0 drubbing of a so-called also-ran in the fourth set of a French Open clash. It was obvious to any onlooker, so my friend told me anyway, that the make-weight, who was 2-1 up in sets, had chucked the towel in by the fourth set and thus duly folded 6-0 to set up a deciding set which [Roger] Federer duly won.
'The wager came up and there was much rejoicing; 30 minutes later the cash siphoned into his account, which he quickly deposited into his bank account. After a night on the town to celebrate, the friend checked his e-mail: 'Accept my apologies that the incorrect price was displayed on your bet on the correct score for set four in the X/X match. The bet was accepted at the price of 200/1, but it should have been only 6/1. We have, though, decided to pay you at odds of 40/1. I regret that this resulted in you being overpaid by ?500 (HK$6,400). Please e-mail us at XX and advise us how you'd like to proceed.'
'Bookies don't like to lose money and the danger of an online account is they could refuse to stump up your winnings, even though your bet was legitimate and above board. It also takes away that feeling of a handful of cash which you gleefully pick up under the teller's window, who are always miserable whether you win or not. Needless to say, my friend has kept his hard-earned cash.'