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Rugby fans vow to take William Hill to court after the bookmaker refused to pay out a £23,400 bet claiming that the winning slip was the result of 'human error'

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 09/10/2019 Danyal Hussain For Mailonline
A William Hill shop © Getty A William Hill shop

Furious rugby fans have vowed to take William Hill to court as they face missing out on more than £20,000 because of 'human error'.

Gary Smeaton, 49, and best friend Kris Shenton were celebrating when Salford Red Devils' Jackson Hastings was named rugby league's Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel, after a wager they placed in January. 

They thought they were in line to scoop £23,400 after a £100 double bet of Hastings winning the Man of Steel and Salford finishing in Super League's top five came in.  

But bookmaker William Hill is refusing to pay out, insisting they are separate bets and should never have been allowed - though they admit it was a human error on their part. 

Mr Smeaton is promising to pursue his claim 'all the way' as his expected £23,400 windfall may now turn into just £1,700. 

a group of people posing for a photo: Gary Smeaton, 49 (right), and best friend Kris Shenton (left) thought they were in line to scoop £23,400 after a £100 rugby league double bet © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gary Smeaton, 49 (right), and best friend Kris Shenton (left) thought they were in line to scoop £23,400 after a £100 rugby league double bet

Mr Smeaton runs his own building firm and put the wager on at a William Hill in the Swinton area of Salford.  

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He said: 'William Hill's employee actually wrote the slip out for us. Now they're turning around saying they're not paying out, they will pay out for two single bets.

'On Monday, I texted Chris saying, ''Have you got our money?'' but it turns out Hill's don't keep betting slips in branches for more than six weeks.

'When the Jackson part of it came through, we said, ''Absolutely fantastic, let's collect our winnings''.

'Now they're saying the bet isn't a double because of something called related contingency. I'd never even heard of that in my life.

'I didn't know how to fill in the slip, so the employee said he'd do it for us and Kris has had it on his fridge.

'I went in the bookies' yesterday and the same employee was in. He turned around and said, ''I must've been half asleep that morning!''

'We'd already said that if we win we're going on a Caribbean cruise with our wives.

a screenshot of a cell phone: But bookmaker William Hill is refusing to pay out, insisting they are separate bets and should never have been allowed, leaving Mr Smeaton furious © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited But bookmaker William Hill is refusing to pay out, insisting they are separate bets and should never have been allowed, leaving Mr Smeaton furious a close up of text on a white background: He is promising to pursue his claim all the way as his expected £23,400 windfall may turn into just £1,700 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited He is promising to pursue his claim all the way as his expected £23,400 windfall may turn into just £1,700

'I'll take them to the ombudsman, I'll take it to the highest level possible. I'm not afraid of taking it to court.'

William Hill admitted the bet, which clearly states '£100 double' on the slip, was only made because of 'human error.'

But they insist they will not be paying out in full.

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A spokesman said: 'As stated in our rules, a related contingency occurs when one or more parts of the bet placed affect the outcome of the bet.

'In this case, the prices of Jackson Hastings winning Man of Steel and Salford finishing in the top five are related. Were one outcome to happen, the other would be directly affected and as such the double price would be significantly smaller.

'This bet has been struck as a result of human error and as such has been corrected.

'At no point was the double on offer before the start of the season. Unfortunately, we realise this is disappointing for the customer and we can only apologise.

'In cases such as this, IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service) offer an impartial adjudication on disputes between customers and licensed gambling operators.'

However, Mr Smeaton countered that by adding: 'They have contradicted themselves by saying it's not a double then it is a double but with smaller odds.

'Also the point of one bet going on to the other is rubbish as the Man of Steel goes into secret voting run by a poll of adjudicators in the last eight weeks.

'So how can that influence the other part of the bet?' 

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