Many of the betting shop disputes we receive result from customers who are disappointed by the way that their written instructions have been interpreted.
Sometimes it is the selection that is disputed, sometimes the market in which the bet was placed and sometimes the value of the stake itself.
In all cases, IBAS will look at the written instructions impartially to determine how the bet should be settled. This may result in a definitive settlement on the most obvious interpretation of the bet, a decision to divide stake monies equally between more than one reasonable interpretation, or a verdict that the instructions are open to too many interpretations and that the stake money should be refunded.
When the dispute involves the stake money itself, IBAS will generally adjudicate that the bet should be processed for the value that is recorded on the receipt and in the shop till, unless there is indisputable evidence, or an agreement between both parties, that a different sum was tendered and accepted.
Increasing numbers of betting shop bets result in customers being provided with printed receipts. In other cases, we advise customers to make every reasonable effort possible to ensure that bets are written clearly and carefully.
Although writing numbers (instead of names) can be quicker and easier for horse and greyhound selections, we strongly advise anyone using numbers to take just a few extra seconds to ensure that time and meeting for the intended race are both correct before approaching the till. If the selections are written clearly but there is any reasonable question about which race was intended, we will require the bookmaker to apply their relevant rules – which pre-existed the dispute – for determining how the bet should be settled; and that may not always be the race you had in mind.
When betting on lottery draws (such as 49s or the Irish Lotto) always be clear which draw your bet is for and whether you wish to bet on an outcome that includes or excludes the ‘bonus’ or ‘booster’ ball. Bookmakers’ rules should set out how they will settle bets if no draw time or type is stipulated and the bookmaker should adhere to those rules even if they believe your unspecified intention was different.
Bets placed by telephone or in person at a bookmaker’s racecourse pitch often require more care and attention on the part of both parties.
From a consumer perspective, our advice is: