Once again, a debacle by ‘professionals’ judging at a racecourse has cost on-course bookmakers thousands of pounds. 12/1 One For Rosie called the winner after a photo in the 1.50 at Sandown. Then, long enough for on-course bookmakers to pay out all ‘winning’ punters, it becomes apparent that the result was incorrect and original 9/1 runner-up Third Wind is called the winner.
Chaos in the betting ring ensues as Third Wind punters, come to either draw their winnings, need a top up from the place part they have already been paid or claiming over their discarded win only tickets.
Not included in the melee are punters making an orderly queue to give back the ‘winnings’ they had drawn. They were paid as a concession by bookies who aren’t obliged to pay before the weighed in signal. Of course, from years of on-course experience I can make an educated guess that the majority won’t be back, instead they’ll be avoiding the ring altogether not wanting to risk being asked to return their now stolen money.
Already certain of the reaction, I couldn’t resist a twitter post about punters wrongly paid returning the money they’d drawn. Crying with laughter faces and cynical you’ll be lucky replies a plenty. Everyone is of the opinion that stealing from bookmakers is OK. ‘Traders Decision’ said one, I assume trying to justify that it’s somehow justified because of bet restrictions made by on-line bookies to some accounts.
I can pretty much guarantee that no punter at Sandown today was knocked back by any bookmaker on course. One person suggested that the bookies should pay on the double result, even championed by ITV Racing. The on-course bookmakers already had.
The incompetence displayed by racecourse officials at a nationally broadcast meeting is one thing, but the incredible hypocrisy displayed by punters is something out of that league. Safe in the knowledge that at least one side of the fence, the bookmakers, will always abide by the rules and pay out however big the injustice.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring