In November, 2013, Ryan Clark made headlines when he placed what he believed was a winning seven-fold accumulator on horse races at Wolverhampton, Plumpton and Kempton Park. For a modest £1 stake, Clark believed he was due £11,261, a fact confirmed by a receipt he requested from Coral in Kilmarnock immediately after his final selection won.
However, Coral subsequently refused to pay out the full amount, claiming that, in the absence of any instructions on the betting slip, a black line drawn after the first four selections entitled them to settled the bet as a four-fold accumulator and a treble at £0.50 apiece. Collectively, those bets would have been worth just £116.
A spokesperson for the bookmaker said, ‘We can only settle bets on the basis of what is written on the betting slip, not on what a customer claims he intended after all the selections have run, and won. If the customer is unhappy with the way we have settled the bet, he can take the dispute to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) and we will abide by their verdict on the matter.’
However, Clark was adamant that the bet was always in the Coral system as a seven-fold, as confirmed by the requested receipt and the fact that the betting shop manager informed him that Coral head office was aware of the liability. Dissatisfied with the outcome, especially having spent several hundred pounds on ‘cover’ bets in the final race and subsequent celebrations, Clark turned not to IBAS, but to the Daily Record, which ran his story.
Not altogether surprisingly, having received justifiably bad press, Coral had a change of heart and paid out the full £11,261 the following day. Clark said, ‘I’m delighted that they saw sense in the end and I’m really grateful that the Record took on my case.’