Punter frozen out in Betfair investigation

Punter's account frozen for full year

For the past year, Dan Wood, a long time customer of Betfair, has had his account frozen. The bookmaker and the British Horseracing Authority are carrying out an investigation after Wood won £6,241.69 on three lay bets last year.

Wood, understandably, says he is “angry and baffled” by the length of time he has been under suspicion, especially as he says he has “never spoken to a trainer or jockey in my life.” The three horses he laid to lose were Acosta, pulled up at odds of 14/1 in a handicap hurdle at Huntingdon in May 2011; Jezza, fourth of 13 in a maiden hurdle at Newton Abbott in June last year when 7/1; and Timocracy, ninth of 13 at 12/1 in a Market Rasen handicap hurdle a month later.

Wood has been a Betfair customer for nine years, and has clearly done well in his betting. He would have needed around £28,000 in his account to lay the first of those bets, less for the other two. Presumably it’s the amount he was prepared to lose on each occasion that has triggered the investigation. It is a lot when you compare with win bets struck in last week’s big races. The Sporting Life recorded just two bets of £1,000 or more in the Darley July Cup, and they were on 7/2 favourite Society Rock. Even though the odds on favourite in Friday’s Falmouth Stakes, Golden Lilac, attracted a dozen wagers at £1,000 or more, the largest of these was £5,500. If people are only risking less than a quarter on well-fancied horses of what Mr Woods was prepared to lose on an outsider then it’s not surprising his bets were subject to scrutiny.

Woods is at a loss to know why any enquiry is taking so long, and that seems to have annoyed him more than the investigation itself. He said, “I’ve spent 90 minutes with a BHA investigator and handed over my telephone records. The investigator told me inquiries didn’t begin until March 2012, which I find unbelievable, considering Betfair suspended my account in July 2011. Now I’m at the centre of an investigation by racing’s two biggest organisations. No wonder I’m angry and baffled.”

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