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Betfair pins €25m Leopardstown blunder on ‘obvious technical fault’

The exchange has voided all in-running bets on the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown after €1.9m was matched on the winner at 28/1.

Voler la Vedette, winner of the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown today.
Voler la Vedette, winner of the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown today.
Image: ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Updated 19.20

GAMBLING GIANT BETFAIR has apologised to its customers after voiding over €25m worth of winning bets in one of its horse racing markets.

The betting exchange was left standing over the whopping sum this afternoon when an “obvious technical fault” allowed a customer to lay Voler la Vedette at unusually high odds in the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Over €1.9m was matched in running at odds of 28/1 on Colm Murphy’s mare, who went off as the 13/8 second favourite on the course.

The huge price was reportedly still available even after Voler la Vedette had passed the finishing post for a four-and-three-quarter length victory. Screengrabs taken by betting blogger Scott Ferguson show that over €25m was available to be matched on the exchange at one point — equivalent to almost €700m in liability for the account concerned.

The market was frozen for almost three hours as Betfair investigated before releasing a statement to say that all in-running bets on the race had been cancelled.

“Customers betting in-play on this race will have seen that Voler La Vedette was available to back at 29 when the in-running market was suspended, and that a considerable sum was matched on the clear winner at that price.

An investigation has revealed that this was due to an obvious technical fault which allowed a customer to exceed their exposure limit.

In accordance with our terms and conditions, all in running bets on this race, both win and place, will be made void.

We fully appreciate the dissatisfaction this will cause many customers, and apologise for a very poor customer and betting experience.

A later statement released by Betfair added that “in response to a number of customer questions on this matter, we would like to clarify that the account in question has no commercial relationship with Betfair other than being a customer.”

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Niall Kelly

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