A punter thought he’d won nearly £15,000 after staking just £10 on a series of World Cup bets – only for one of Britain’s biggest bookies to refuse to pay out.
Liam Manifold, 30, from Tutbury, Staffordshire, had already planned how to spend the cash when Coral said it would not hand over the winnings.
The football fan expected odds of 1,495/1 after predicting that Argentina would be crowned overall winners of the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi would be named player of the tournament and France would also make the final.
The delighted maintenance engineer rushed back to the betting shop in Horninglow on December 11, the day after the final, but left empty-handed. Coral said the bets could not be combined into a treble because the three events were closely related to each other. It claimed Mr Manifold wrote the odds on the slip himself.
Liam Manifold, 30, pictured with his partner Lauren, placed a series of bets on the World Cup final and thought he had won nearly £15,000 but bookmakers Coral are refusing to pay out
Mr Manifold was given odds of 1,495/1 after predicting that Argentina would be crowned overall winners of the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi would be named player of the tournament and France would also make the final
Is it legal for bookies to refuse to pay out on winning bets? And why did Coral refuse in this case?
Under the 2005 Gambling Act, a bookmaker must pay out a winning bet and punters can take them to court if they fail to do so.
However, they can legally refuse to pay out in a number of situations, including when a bet breached their terms and conditions, was accepted in error or was based on incorrect pricing.
In Mr Manifold’s case, he bet that Argentina would be crowned overall winners of the World Cup in Qatar, Lionel Messi would be named player of the tournament and France would also make the final.
By combining the odds of each individual bet he came up with a final figure of 1,495/1 – meaning he would win just shy of £15,000 if all three events happened.
However, Coral said his three bets could not be combined into one because they were what are known as ‘related contingencies’ i.e. the outcome of one bet affects the outcome of another.
The firm explained: ‘If Argentina and France have made the final, then the odds of Argentina winning it are clearly much shorter than they were at the outset.
‘If Argentina have then won the World Cup, the chances of Messi being player of the tournament will be long odds-on.’
This meant Mr Manifold’s three individual bets could not be combined into one to generate better odds – providing Coral with an excuse not to pay out.
A spokesman for Coral said the events were ‘closely related to each other so the prices offered on them individually could not be included in a multiple bet’.
The bookmaker said it had made a ‘very fair and generous offer for the settlement of the bet’ – said by Mr Manifold to have been just £660.
He was planning to buy his disabled dad a new mobility scooter with the money, as well as put some away for the future.
Mr Manifold said the firm should pay up as his treble bet was accepted without any issue.
He said: ‘I went to cash in the bet and they said it shouldn’t have been placed and offered me £660 for it.
‘I’ve gone through their complaints system, there’s no leeway. I’ve gone to an independent complaints committee and I’m waiting to hear back from them.
‘I’ve since had different companies contact me saying if that was their company, they’d pay out.
‘When I placed the bet the guy behind the counter said it was absolutely fine. They’re now saying it’s a related bet.
‘It’s now two weeks after the final and I don’t seem to be getting anywhere. If there’s an error it’s their fault for accepting the bet. It’s very frustrating.
‘Just under £15,000 for a big betting company is pennies for them, but for me it’s a life-changing amount of money.
‘My dad’s disabled so I was going to buy him a new disability scooter and keep the rest in savings.’
A spokesman for Coral said: ‘If Argentina and France have made the final, then the odds of Argentina winning it are clearly much shorter than they were at the outset.
‘If Argentina have then won the World Cup, the chances of Messi being player of the tournament will be long odds-on.
‘So we have settled the bet in the fairest way possible, paying out on the event with the biggest price, an Argentina v France final, at 22/1, and then on the basis that that had happened, we applied the price of Argentina winning the final which was 10/11 before the game.
Liam Manifold, 30, from Tutbury, Staffordshire (pictured), had already planned how to spend the cash when Coral said it would not hand over the winnings
‘And then on the basis that Argentina had won the cup, we applied an over-generous price on Messi to be player of the tournament at 1/2, as the odds on that happening should Argentina have won the World Cup would have been much shorter.
‘The prices on the slip had been written on by the customer not the member of staff.
‘We have settled the bet in line with our terms and conditions, and we have made a very fair and generous offer for the settlement of the bet that exceeds what would have been the odds of such an eventuality had a customer asked for rush specific treble on December 11.’
How one punter bagged a ‘£2MILLION’ payout after taking Betfred to court over unpaid bet… but others weren’t so lucky
In 2021 a blackjack gambler won a landmark High Court battle against Betfred after the online betting firm refused to pay out his £1.7million jackpot.
Father-of-three Andrew Green spent three years fighting to get his hands on the seven-figure prize he won by accumulating chips while playing Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven game on his phone in January 2018.
Though he was congratulated by a member of staff from Betfred on his winnings, the betting shop said just five days later it would not pay out the sum, claiming he only won because of an alleged software glitch.
Andrew Green successfully reclaimed around £2million from Betfred after a three-year legal battle
Betfred claimed a malfunction had prevented the game from resetting properly, meaning Mr Green, a single parent from Washingborough, Lincolnshire, would have seen his money grow exponentially had he continued playing.
Instead, the bookmaker allegedly offered Mr Green a £60,000 ‘goodwill gesture’ on condition that he remained quiet – a deal the father-of-three turned down before launching a three-year legal fight to reclaim his winnings.
In 2021, rugby league fans Gary Smeaton and Kris Shenton complained of missing out on more than £20,000 after a ‘human error’ in a bet they placed with William Hill
High Court judge Mrs Justice Foster ruled in April 2021 that Betfred had no grounds for withholding payment from Mr Green. The judgment meant he was awarded the payout plus interest, estimated to be around £2million.
Betfred apologised to Mr Green for the delay in paying out, and said it would not appeal against the judgment.
In 2021, rugby league fans Gary Smeaton and Kris Shenton complained of missing out on more than £20,000 after a ‘human error’ in a bet they placed with William Hill.
The pair were celebrating when Salford Red Devils’ Jackson Hastings was named rugby league’s Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel after a wager they placed in January.
They thought they were in line to scoop £23,400 after a £100 double bet of Hastings winning the Man of Steel and Salford finishing in Super League’s top five came in.
But bookmaker William Hill refused to pay out, insisting they are separate bets and should never have been allowed – though they admitted it was a human error on their part.
Mr Smeaton took the bookies to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), which offers an impartial adjudication on disputes between customers. He and his friend were awarded £4,000 each due to the ‘inconvenience’ they had endured.