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Totesport end up Saints not sinners in betting dispute-Talking Shop Racing Post - Tuesday 2nd December 2008

THE Totesport dispute over a mix-up between Northampton Saints rugby union team and Northampton Town FC involved odds of 20-1 being given about the Saints winning promotion, and 50-1 against them taking the title, the prices for the soccer team. However, the Saints had just been relegated from the Guinness Premiership, and were such a shoo-in that nobody was actually betting on it.

Chris O'Keeffe, chief executive of arbitration service Ibas, says the true odds, were there any, for the title alone would have been 1-20 - probably the most obvious palpable error of all time!

Yet it was only to small money - two tenner bets, and a £700 liability. After losing an Ibas decision, the punter took the case to a small claims court - as is now his right - and Totesport capitulated to avoid running up costs over something so trivial, but also the risk of case law being established where a judge might have felt the carelessness was all the Tote's fault, and there was no blame with, nor exploitation by, the punter.

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