Monday March 16,2015 : SKYBET ODDS ERROR HITS THE HEADLINES
Online bookie decides not to take the pain of its mistake.
UK online bookmaker Skybet has become the subject of negative publicity, presumably after aggrieved players approached the Daily Mail newspaper with complaints that the betting company was not honouring its advertised odds.
Over the weekend the newspaper published communications and online graphics substantiating its claim that Skybet briefly advertised odds of 25/1 for a Paris Saint- Germain win in its Champions League football match against Chelsea last Wednesday.
Skybet's mobile phone app was offering odds of 25-1 for a PSG win in extra time, but the company only settled the bets at 9-2.
Giving an example of the impact this had, the Mail claimed that winnings on a £10 wager would have been cut from £260 to £55, including the return of the original stake.
The newspaper reports that the bookie admitted the odds were offered in error, but that its decision to cut back the originally offered odds is permitted in these circumstances by its terms and conditions, to which all punters must agree before their bets are accepted.
"The longer odds were offered while Chelsea was leading 2-1 in extra time. But the French side equalised, despite being reduced to ten men, and won the two-legged clash on away goals," the Mail notes, alleging that winning punters were only told via email after the match that the odds offered had been an administration error, and they would be paid out at a lower rate.
With an election looming in the UK, it was perhaps inevitable that the newspaper decided to solicit an opinion from a Labour MP, Graham Jones, who was predictably outraged and accused Skybet of being "a rip-off company willing to take their customers to the cleaners and deceive them. This is typical of the gambling industry."
Skybet m.d. Richard Flint confirmed that the original odds advertised were "clearly wrong" but pointed out that occasionally mistakes happen, and that the incorrect offer had only been displayed for around three minutes, with a relatively small number of punters taking advantage.
He said that Skybet's real odds were in line with other bookmaking firms at 9-2, which was the rate at which his company settled the bets.
It is not presently known whether any complaints were made to the UK Gambling Commission or the Advertising Standards Authority.