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mrcombustible
14 Jun 21 18:12
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Punter sues Paddy Power over disputed £286,000 winning bet at Wolverhampton
Paddy Power: bookmaker considers itself "bound in honour" to pay £28,600 to a punter
Paddy Power: bookmaker considers itself "bound in honour" to pay £28,600 to a punter
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
1 of 1
By Chris Cook
UPDATED 5:57PM, JUN 14 2021
 
Paddy Power are being sued by a punter after crediting his account with £286,000 for a winning bet, only to claw it back two days later on the grounds that he had originally wanted to place a much smaller bet.

The dispute is expected to result in a High Court hearing at the end of this month, at which one of the issues to be put before the judge will be the fairness and legality of the 'error' rule commonly used by bookmakers, which has so often been the cause of complaint among punters denied a payout to which they believed they were entitled.

James Longley backed Redemptive when she won at Wolverhampton in September 2019, phoning up Paddy Power to ask for £1,300 each-way at the 16-1 that was then on offer. The operator who took the call said she would seek authorisation from a trader, as the maximum stake for his account was £203.

At this point, the operator mistakenly relayed the bet to a trader as a request for £13,000 each-way. The bet was approved and the operator relayed that information to Longley, who says he was happy to be allowed a much larger bet than the one he had sought.

Longley's phone call was recorded and a transcript has been included in court documents from the defence, seen by the Racing Post. It shows the operator telling him: "I got that cleared with a trader for you" and adding: "So that's going to be twenty-six thousand coming from [account name], is that correct?"

Longley replied: "Yeah, that's it, yeah". The parties do not agree as to whether he had realised at this point that a much larger bet had been authorised, Paddy Power insisting he must have misheard, misunderstood or thought the operator had made a slip of the tongue.

'An unfair contract term'

Before the race started, Longley says he checked his account and noted that a stake of £26,000 had indeed been deducted from his available balance. The bookmakers argue that it was only at this point Longley realised he had been allowed a bet much larger than he had asked for, and that therefore there had been no true agreement between the parties as to the bet and it should be void in law.

The claim document written on Longley's behalf states that "no demand for repayment of the sum of £286,000 was made by the defendants", the implication being it was taken back from his account with no prior indication that the bet was in dispute. Paddy Power's defence document admits Longley's assertion but calls it irrelevant because the firm's error clause "permits the defendants to reclaim balance from the account".

That error clause is attacked by Longley's lawyers as "an unfair contract term", causing "a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations". They state that Paddy Power "had the opportunity, on the one hand, to lay off the full amount of the bet accepted [£13,000 each-way] and thereby reduce its exposure to the bet while the claimant, thinking his bet had been accepted in full, has no similar right".

The lawyers assert that, while Paddy Power claim the right after the race to insist the stake was £2,600 rather than £26,000 and resettle the bet accordingly, Longley would have been unable to make the same unilateral reduction in stake if Redemptive had finished unplaced.

Paddy Power's lawyers deny the clause is unfair and say the Gambling Commission's code of practice specifically envisages there will be situations in which a bookmaker may void a bet. They insist the firm "have corrected and do correct errors which favour them, whenever the same occur, and will adduce evidence to that effect".

The firm views Longley's bet as a winner at £1,300 each-way and credited his account with £28,600 at the same time as clawing back the £286,000. Some of the arguments advanced on its behalf would mean, if correct, that it had no liability to pay anything, as the bet would be void but the defence document says the firm considers itself "bound in honour" to pay.

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Replies: 166
By:
clayfield1
When: 14 Jun 21 18:24
Not be long before this post is removed.
By:
ali1959
When: 14 Jun 21 18:29
Hope he wins the full amount from this pure filth.  Their gambling licence should be taken away.  Of course they would not have refunded the difference between the sums of £2600 and £26000 had the selection lost.  The scum want it it every which way.  Pay up.
By:
casemoney
When: 14 Jun 21 18:34
LaughU cant make it up
By:
onlooker
When: 14 Jun 21 18:51
Based on PaddyP's  - 'later realisation' 'DEFENCE' .... The blindingly obvious question Must Be ....


Would PaddyP have REFUNDED the £23,400 - "OVERstaked"   (in only THEIR Mind's Eye) - to his Account ... Had the horse LOST?

They must have KNOWN what  they were doing by letting the Trader letting him have, and confirming, a - "So that's going to be twenty-six thousand coming from [account name], is that correct?" - Bet.
- to sanction such a bet.


Strewth - Just How much were they holding in his Account in the first place?

PaddyP quite obviously had got him down as a Mug Punter - there to be cleaned out.
By:
pablo-fanque
When: 14 Jun 21 18:53
if the horse had lost , i am sure the backer would have been on the phone stating how he only asked for £1,300 E/W and that PP made a mistake
By:
.Marksman.
When: 14 Jun 21 19:10
After a few winners with Paddy Power and making about £200 pounds, I was restricted to £2.50 ew.  When I rang up to question this, the advisor said that the limit could not be changed, but I could get a lot more on if I opened a telephone account.  At the time, this didn't register and I said goodbye and put the phone down.  But apparently, I could have got bets on of upto £1300 ew at 16/1, or even £13,000 ew when the trader blunders.  I just didn't take the advisor at his word :(
Regarding this case, court is the wrong place to decide this matter.
It should go to arbitration.
I remember, a long time ago, that the late Big Mac interviewed a ring inspector on course.  The inspector said that when there was a genuine mistake that he told the 2 parties to split the difference.  And he said that they were both happy to do this.  (heaving betting ring and no computer print outs in those days) It is obvious that the trader made a mistake and likely the punter confused "thirteen hundred" with "thirteen thousand" when it was read back to him.  Though the punter must have had at least £26,000 sitting in his account at the time, so there is a possibility that he was happy with the bet.
So I say "split the difference", which means that Paddy Power should pay £157,300.  I imagine both parties would be happy with that!
By:
carrot1960
When: 14 Jun 21 20:00
The chances of Paddy Power paying back the £23-700 if the horse had been unplaced were nil , they not only took the bet but it was confirmed by the punter in the recoded call. pay up.
By:
cardifffc
When: 14 Jun 21 20:04
robbers pay the man the money
By:
mrcombustible
When: 14 Jun 21 20:35
If the above facts are true I think PP should pay up.

Something does not feel right about this story. Would a trader approve a £13,000 ew bet on a 16/1 shot in a class 6 at Wolves? The sp was 12/1.

Anyone know James Longley? Not too many people would have more than £26,000 in their PP account, we don't know the balance apart from it must have been >£26,000 .

The horse at the time was trained by John Butler who used be Curley's assistant. I wonder was there a connection between Longley and Curley?

RP comment on the race "REDEMPTIVE got the run of the race from her decent draw and responded to maximum pressure once taking up the lead. This was her breakthough at the 14th attempt and a recent break seems to have done her good.
By:
hulk23
When: 14 Jun 21 21:11
checked his account and noted that a stake of £26,000 had indeed been deducted from his available balance

pay up paddy Cool
By:
IDKW
When: 14 Jun 21 21:24
Another case of a Bookmaker dragging things out for a long as possible.
Settled out of Court ( NAP )
By:
shiner
When: 14 Jun 21 21:48
nothing rings true right here
By:
posy
When: 14 Jun 21 21:48
James longley is involved with Charles Tatnall in both horse ownership and a company called Plutus Powergen plc. Am not going to say anything on here but you might find it interesting to google it’s last set of results. Big losses and write offs !
What I don’t understand is how redemptive started at 12/1 .The horse starte with butler then went to Ellsworth then back to butler before being moved on !
By:
screaming from beneaththewaves
When: 14 Jun 21 21:59
There's a James Longley who had interests in a couple of nags in training with Vicky Haigh 15 years ago, including one called Honey Monster who landed a claimer at Wolverhampton.
By:
Rico-Dangleflaps
When: 14 Jun 21 22:16
if his acc was restricted to £203 how all of a sudden would he be permitted £13,000ew?
By:
screaming from beneaththewaves
When: 14 Jun 21 22:28
Maybe 'restricted' meant the limit without reference to a trader.
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 14 Jun 21 22:39
I agree with ali1959.

But it's a difficult case

I remember in early Internet days having
a steak taken twice by bookie
and me phoning them, only to be
told the bet had to stand.

You'd hope that the bookie here, has
evidence to back up their claim
of refunding steaks to oversteaked
bets, when they lose!
By:
FOYLESWAR
When: 14 Jun 21 22:46
think they have to pay him out , he could have got back on the blower to paddys if he wernt happy with the stake ,have done it a few times mistakenly put in a stake much bigger than i intended ,realised my mistake and thought fook it let it run on "sods law " basis if ya cancel the bet it will win .
By:
hulk23
When: 14 Jun 21 23:01
"I got that cleared with a trader for you"

how much was traded on here between 20.0 & 25.0 when his 16/1 was green-lighted ?
By:
dave1357
When: 15 Jun 21 06:52
^not a hope there was £130 available on here much less £13k.
By:
Brian
When: 15 Jun 21 07:56
Their systems must have shown their liability and they could have contacted the punter before the race (as they did once to me many years ago though that was wrong price).

The only sure winners are the legal teams but I hope PP loses the case.
By:
geoff m
When: 15 Jun 21 07:58
I notice with all my losing bets they have a zero to many on the end. Any chance of a refund??
By:
GAZO
When: 15 Jun 21 08:22
i think pp are going to win this one unless they have proof of something like this happening before and pp wouldnt refund the difference
By:
ali1959
When: 15 Jun 21 08:31
That'll be £26000 coming from your account, sir?  Yes, that's OK.  What defence does this scum company think it has?
By:
Movewiththetimes
When: 15 Jun 21 08:37
The phone call recording is the evidence, all depends what was said and /or agreed.
By:
cardifffc
When: 15 Jun 21 08:52
surely PP would have had to replace the money into his account before the race not wait for the result
By:
Ramruma
When: 15 Jun 21 09:22
It will be interesting to see if PP publishes the communications between the phone person and their trader who OK'd the deal -- for what amount?
By:
slickster
When: 15 Jun 21 09:26
Trader!!!! You're having a laugh. Taking 13k ew bets at 16s ha haaaa. People not understanding he difference between 1300 hundred and 13 thousand. Another insider job.
By:
dave1357
When: 15 Jun 21 10:03
@ramruna, from the article:

At this point, the operator mistakenly relayed the bet to a trader as a request for £13,000 each-way. The bet was approved and the operator relayed that information to Longley

If that is correct, there doesn't seem much doubt they were happy to accept the £26k bet.
By:
Stark
When: 15 Jun 21 10:06
Basic error from the operator, same as a bank crediting your account with too much money. The punter's an idiot even considering taking this to court. It's patently obvious that this instance is covered by the subsection (a) below in Power's T&C's.

16.9. If you are incorrectly awarded any winnings as a result of (a) any human error; (b) any bug, defect or error in the Software; or (c) the failure of the relevant Games product or the Software to operate in accordance with the rules of the relevant game, then Paddy Power will not be liable to pay you any such winnings and you agree to refund any such winnings that may have been paid to you as a result of such error or mistake.
By:
scaredmoney
When: 15 Jun 21 10:11
The same T&C's Baldy was forced to pay out under t'other week? ^^
By:
DIFERENT GRAVY 12
When: 15 Jun 21 10:19
Bet read out to punter
Punter acknowledges the bet

END OF STORY
By:
dave1357
When: 15 Jun 21 10:44
@stark why don't you quote some clauses from Easyjet, as they would have as much relevance as PP internet terms do to a telephone betting service.
By:
tony6499
When: 15 Jun 21 10:57
I wonder if PP have rules concerning bets by phone because if they're relying on software defects etc in their rules isn't going to stand up. Bet was read back, bet was agreed and bet won. I can't see PP winning this especially after Fred lost his case
By:
SlippyBlue
When: 15 Jun 21 11:04
You'd think an organisation such as PP would just swallow this and avoid all the negative publicity. In the greater scheme of things it's hardly a significent amount of money to them I wouldn't have thought. Hopefully the bloke will get his dosh in full.
By:
.Marksman.
When: 15 Jun 21 11:10
--you-have-to-laugh--,
I remember about 10 years ago having a £50 football bet with another exchange.  The market was taken down before the event in error (due to the same 2 teams having just played a cup tie).  When the market was reinstated, my bet was not visible, and I took this to mean that I had imagined placing the original bet and I put another £5O on the same outcome.  It was only when the game was over, and I had lost, that I realised what had happened because my p/l for that day showed 2 losing bets of £50 each.
I rang up Purpledaq and they accepted the error and gave me a £50 refund.  So some betting companies do act fairly over errors.  Unlike these dodgy ones who keep going on about "Fair play" etc in their adverts.
By:
donb
When: 15 Jun 21 11:10
Basic error from the operator, same as a bank crediting your account with too much money. The punter's an idiot even considering taking this to court. It's patently obvious that this instance is covered by the subsection (a) below in Power's T&C's.

16.9. If you are incorrectly awarded any winnings as a result of (a) any human error; (b) any bug, defect or error in the Software; or (c) the failure of the relevant Games product or the Software to operate in accordance with the rules of the relevant game, then Paddy Power will not be liable to pay you any such winnings and you agree to refund any such winnings that may have been paid to you as a result of such error or mistake.

It does not matter, legally any term which is deemed unreasonable cannot be enforced, they may claim they are covered but I doubt a judge would agree.
By:
GAZO
When: 15 Jun 21 11:12
would you really not question the bet if you heard it read back to you incorrectly ?
By:
dave1357
When: 15 Jun 21 11:18
rofl @ the idiots quoting internet casino terms
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