A Coral punter who had waited six weeks for a payout of almost £2,000 on a 16-1 winner has received his money just 24 hours after the Guardian took up his claim, in a case with strong echoes of the “cancelled bets” issue which affected a number of punters with Ladbrokes – which is in the same ownership as Coral – last year.

The punter understood that he had placed two bets, both for £50 each-way, on Keith Dalgleish’s filly Ventura Destiny at 14-1 before a race at Newcastle on 25 October. A unique “receipt ID” appeared alongside each stake in his betting history, along with a record of the time when it had been placed via the Racing Post’s mobile app.

Ventura Destiny won at 16-1, and since the punter’s account receives the “Best Odds Guaranteed” concession, the bets should have returned £1,920 in winnings. However, the money was not credited to his account. The punter then received an email from Coral three hours after the race which stated both bets had been refused by Coral’s traders due to their size.

When the punter complained to Coral, he says that he was told he would receive a response in 14 days. That deadline was subsequently extended three times by Coral, which had still not resolved the punter’s complaint when contacted for comment by the Guardian on Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon, however, the punter received an email informing him that the bet would be paid in full.

Simon Clare, PR director for Ladbrokes Coral, said on Thursday: “We are investigating the matter and it does look as if a technical error in the Racing Post App bet acceptance process has led to the customer being sent a bet receipt as if the bet has been accepted, when in fact it has not been accepted in the system.

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“We will this afternoon be contacting the customer directly to resolve the issue and make payment of the returns for the bet that he believed had been placed. The investigation into what caused this scenario is continuing, and if we find other customers that have been affected, we will make similar resolution.”

Ibas, the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, has still to rule on a number of cases brought by Ladbrokes customers following a series of complaints involving “cancelled” bets in 2018. All the cases involved bets which were assigned a unique receipt number, while the balance of the punter’s account was apparently debited by the correct amount. The bets, which had been referred to the trading department for approval, were then listed as having been “cancelled” rather than simply refused or declined.

Ladbrokes conceded in December 2018 that a “technical glitch” had affected a number of its customers and made payments “as a gesture of goodwill” to some of those whose cancelled bets would have been winners. The Guardian also disclosed last year that the firm had reached out-of-court settlements with at least four clients who has encountered the same issue.



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