Saturday, 11 April 2015

Betting Online - what they DON'T tell you

It's the annual Grand National and a chance for the family to engage in a very gently competitive and fun event: choose a horse and put a pound on it to win and a pound each-way. So we put down quite a lot of £1 bets.

And you might win a small amount; a few quid.

This year we did.

So we logged in to Paddy Power to collect our £5. But hold on, no; it's £4. Apparently there is a Rule 4, which enables the bookmaker to reduce the winnings by a percentage because a horse pulled out.

But hold on - the horse that pulled out, Carlito Brigante, pulled out YESTERDAY. And we live in a modern gambling world with in-play gambling where they can alter the odds during a game. Where if Ronaldo scores the next penalty the odds are constantly updated. So surely they could have altered the odds accordingly 2 hours before the race, 5 minutes before, 30 seconds before?

No, it's in the small print.

So OK, it's £4 then. Can we have it?

No, apparently not. There are minimum withdrawal limits. £10 please.

So you either have to put down a bigger stake, or perhaps you would like to bet with us again sir?

When I asked, I was told

"The limits and terms are all on site for customers to check before depositing if they wish."

and

"We have a search function within the help centre"

All very correct, but not very benevolent. So I'd better read the T&C's then. I copied them into Microsoft Word. They were 27 pages and 13,236 words.

Do companies really expect us to read all of that before engaging in an activity? I'm sure there are more words there than my household insurance.

With all that tech at their finger tips and all their advertising might, Paddy Power don't make it clear that the small £1 bet is meaningless.

The morale of the story? Small bets suck. Paddy Power don't help. Stay away from a mugs game.

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