A student thought he’d won £1,000 after finding odds of 2000-1 on Roger Federer to win at the Rome Masters, but betting company William Hill have refused to pay out.
Julius Ndlovu placed a 50p bet on the Swiss ace to win a set 6-3 against Tomas Berdych in the tournament last month when he spotted the uncharacteristically high odds and thought he’d hit the jackpot.
However, William Hill have said the odds were clearly an employee mistake and its terms made clear winnings could be refused if quoted odds were a “palpable error”.
34-year-old Ndlovu, from Bangor, Wales, said:
It’s a joke, 2000-1 were the odds and I won. They can’t just refuse to pay me. It’s not the customer’s obligation to calculate odds and customers should feel confident operators offer odds that are valid and will be honoured. The customer service team offered me two free £50 bets as a gesture of goodwill, but I turned this down. This sets a very worrying precedent for the whole betting industry.
The student nurse is now threatening to sue the company, but William Hill have suggested Julius can take his complaint to the Independent Betting Adjudication Service.
A spokesman from William Hill said:
On any one tennis match, we can offer up to 150 prices which are constantly changing as the game unfolds. Obviously, while we try to ensure that our odds are correct at all times, there can be small human errors.
These are called palpable errors and are described as such in our rules: when the price/terms offered are materially different from what is available elsewhere or are clearly incorrect given the probability of the event occurring.
If we find that is the case, we reserve the right to correct any error made on a bet and re-settle at the correct price. These are terms that are signed up to by a customer when they open their account.
Ndlovu turned down an offer of two £50 bets to make up for the mistake and we’re not sure we can blame him with this much money at stake!