Punter power shames Betfred into £1,000 payout

Unless you are a follower of gymnastics, the name of Sam Oldham probably doesn’t mean anything to you. It certainly didn’t to me. And you might wonder why I’m writing a piece about gymnastics on a site about horseracing. But it’s actually a reminder about how miserly and self-serving bookmakers can be.

In this case, Betfred. It all began before the Olympics, when Sam’s grandma, Linda Aldred put a fiver on him with Betfred to win a medal at the Games. Britain was a no hoper in his event, and so the odds were good, 200/1 in fact. So she stood to pick up a grand if he defied the odds and came in the first three. Or so she thought.

Sam had the temerity (and skill), and a team-mate, Louis Smith, with whom he won a bronze medal, and his gran duly went along to collect her winnings. She didn’t have a flutter regularly, although her late husband enjoyed a few quid here and there, and she had put the money on because she thought he would have done just that. Now she was looking forward to having the money for a ticket to Rio in four years time to watch Sam at the Olympics there.

But Betfred was having none of it. They said the bet was for Sam to win an individual medal and not a team gong. They said they had separate markets for the two events. They said they were not paying out.

Fortunately, someone advised Mrs Aldred to take her case to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), and she did. Other punters heard of what had happened, and started an online campaign asking people to boycott Betfred if they didn’t pay up.

They didn’t expect to have to pay out, and at odds of 200/1 it’s not that there were thousands of people complaining about the situation. Indeed, Mrs Aldred might well be the only customer who backed Sam.

Now, as a “goodwill gesture” they’ve handed over the money. It’s an incident that leaves a sour taste in the mouth, and makes Betfred look really petty. And it’s taken some of the shine of that glossy pate of Fred Done, too.

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7 replies
  1. Johnny5 says:


    Well done bringing this story to the fore – i had not heard of it before but quite honestly I’m not suprised

    That bald crook is a disgrace to bookmakings great and old profession …. He is a professional welcher and totally unprofessional

    Remember the one about Barney Curley not getting paid ? My mate bets heavily on dogs and the number of times he’s had to take BFred to Ibas to get paid is hilarious

    They are bandits and led by a welcher of the worst kind

    How they ever were allowed to take over the tote is scandalous .

  2. David says:

    Well done to Sam’s gran, Linda, for taking on a bookie. Don’t they just love to re-write the rules after the event. I have my own little dispute going with Bet365. As you will recall, Twice Over each way in the without Frankel market for the International was a freebie. They offered 4/1 on a screen that said 1/4 each way. Sir Henry’s second string duly came in 4th behind the greatest horse since Eclipse. Money back, I thought, only to find I had been paid at 1/5. On challenging this I was told that, without Frankel, standard terms for an 8 runner race applied, which I had expected, except that the screen had said 1/4 but apparently terms trump the screen. No reply has yet been received since I pointed out what was on offer. As it happens, I am only a £5 punter, so 40p is unimportant, but honouring promises should be priceless for bookies, as who wants to bet with a bookie that welches on a deal?

  3. Paul Maughan says:

    I had heard about this but didn’t know he’d eventually paid out! It’s great that you’ve highlighted this Matt as it does show exactly how petty and pathetic bookmakers can be (especially Fred in this instance!). What’s a £1000 to him anyway. A pretty poorly handled piece of PR for Betfred when most other customer focused business would leap on the situation for positively enhancing their reputation.

  4. Robert Smith (@RobertS00994664) says:

    Totally agree with Paul’s comments – poor P.R. initially, damage is done now.

  5. Warren says:

    Thanks for highlighting this Matt.
    If I decide to open another account I at least know which bookie not to choose.

  6. marcus ashbarry says:

    My name is marcus ashbarry, i am 22 years old and my occupation is a postman (i have a degree in sports science). On monday 3rd of september i placed a bet in betfred (langworthy road, salford) and it was a winning bet with a tasty return of £7,500, betfred are refusing to payout. Many of the locals who are regular punters within the shop have urged me to pass this onto the papers and media. Please read the following as you will gain a better understanding. (the following is my case that i have sent to IBAS, which are a company for disputed bets). Thank you for your time.


    I placed a bet on the 3rd of september at 14.16.55. The bet was for the betfred bonus bingo multi draw. This is a bingo that takes place every seven minutes throughout the day in his betting shops. The bet i placed was for the 14.17 draw. The bet was placed on a marked sense slip, at the time previosuly stated. The bet went on for the 14.17 draw. I matched all of my six numbers in the first 8 numbers that came out, therefore i was due a total payout of £7500. I went to the till to double check, and the cashiers were overjoyed, as was i, for winning such a large amount of a 1 pound bet, i couldnt believe my luck. They even showed me their betting screen till to show me that the bet was a winner.

    Because of the amount my bet paid, they had to get a reference from security. Security told them to tell me to come back in the morning of the 4th of september. I then went back into the shop around 1.30pm on the 4th. To my disbelief the bet was still bieng investigated. During the day i contacted customer service a number of times only to be told the bet was STILL under investigation. I could not believe this as the bet was placed on a marked sense slip, nothing could be wrong with it. I then went back into the shop at 6.30pm on the 4th only to be told that the area manager (steven) has said that i am not gettin paid because i put the bet on 5 seconds to late and they claim a fault with their systems. Hang about, i placed the bet 5 seconds before the draw took place (clearly my receipt says this and the result prinout). The rules on the back of the marked sense slip are as follows:

    .. The bet will automatically placed on the next bingo draw to take place

    …bets are accepted on each bingo draw until the no more bets message appears, any bets placed after this time will be placedmon the next draw as the rule above.

  7. marcus says:

    Their excuse is not acceptable and a total lie. I have attatched pictures of other draws on the day and every bingo draw goes off bang on the minute every seven minutes. So the draw could not have gone of five seconds early. I can not beleive their blaming their systems now, as i beleive if their is a fault with their systems they can refuse to payout. Surely this is wrong, they could blame the system for any big payout and not have to pay up.

    I am gutted at their decision not to pay out. Everyone i have spoken to says i have a water tight case and that i definatley should be payed out. Yet again these big bookmakers dont like paying out to us punters. Even their own shop cashiers can vouch for me as they too are gutted they are not paying out. They can also state the draw had not gone off.

    The bet stake was £1.00 and the payout was £7500. They have now made the bet on their systems a loser when it is clearly a winner.

    The slip number is 003 0005 02 78710162

    I really appreciate your help and i hope this story makes sense.

    update: i recently placed my story on my twitter page (@Mlay20) and the response i have had is great, i didnt expect people to care about it but i have had more than a 100 retweets of the bet and responses of their disbelief that betfred wont payout.

    Please dont hesistate to contact me if you need any more information.

    Kind regards


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