Bets That Lost on Technicalities
Gambling is a leisure pursuit for many people and whether this comes through participating in sports bets, casino gameplay or poker, a winning outcome will always be the most welcome result. Losing bets, on the other hand, are not so welcome, although most of us consider them to be a part of gambling in the first place. Losses are always going to come at some point, and as part of a responsible gambling strategy, most bettors are well aware of that fact.
But what about a scenario where you manage to create a fantastic winning combination on a casino game or you have chosen the winning horses in an accumulator, but technicalities make the wager null and void. You think you’ve managed to acquire a fantastic payout, but the technical issues mean that actually your wager and the potential winnings have all been lost. Believe it not, this is a circumstance that has happened to various people over the years, resulting in large amounts of money being lost by angry players.
Here we will take a closer look at some of these instances, and to reveal what led to the winnings being lost. Whether that came from an incorrectly filled out betting slip, a disqualification due to certain other issues, technical problems with the game(s) etc.
Man Denied Payout by Betfred…and Then Sues the Company
The eventual outcome of this story saw the man receive a ruling in his favour by the High Court. But prior to this, Andy Green of Lincolnshire had hit a jackpot while playing a game of blackjack via his phone. His platform of choice? The highly popular Betfred brand.
Back in January of 2018, Mr Green was using the casino site of Betfred and managed to bag himself a payout of £1.7 million from the game. Yet when it came to claiming his reward, he was told by the platform that there was actually a software error in the blackjack game. And when it comes to the company’s terms and conditions, Betfred opted to withhold the huge payout. That’s not quite the news that Mr Green was expecting after hitting it big on the Frankie Dettori Magic Seven Blackjack table game.
In the first instance, his prize of £1,722,923.54 was actually credited to his casino account. Yet when he proceeded to try and withdraw the funds, the request was declined. Wanting to prove what had happened, he took a screenshot of the win. This was not enough for Betfred though, who contacted him and informed him that his claim to the winnings were being rejected due to the aforementioned software error. Instead, Betfred offered him a token goodwill reward of £30,000, and even after Mr Green refused that, the casino brand increased its offer to £60,000.
It didn’t look good for the angry player, so he took Betfred to court over the outcome. More than two years later, a ruling was made which awarded Mr Green his winnings as well as the interest that would have been accrued on top.
Katrina Bookman Wins $43 Million…and is Then Offered $2.25 and a Steak Dinner
Back in 2016, Katrina Bookman chose to visit the Resorts World Casino based in Jamaica, Queens, New York. It was there that she opted to spin a few rounds on the Sphinx Wild slot machine. Offering a five-reel, five-row slot game, and coming from the IGT brand, she had doubtless chosen an entertaining title to play. Her bet level stood at $0.40 per spin across the 40 paylines of the game, meaning a minimum bet of 1 cent per line.
Yet 44-year-old Bookman and her partner could not believe their eyes when they saw the screen light up and start flashing. It then froze in place with a winning total of $42,949,672 being displayed. At this point, Bookman opted to take a selfie next to the machine, showing her elation and sheer joy at winning such a huge amount. The machine told her that a ticket was being printed out for that amount, and this would be what she used to try and cash-in her payout.
Unfortunately, those dreams of receiving her near $43 million reward were dashed almost instantly when casino management approached her and ushered her away from the floor. Bookman was then informed to return the following day in order to learn about the “official ruling” by the Resorts World Casino. She did as the casino asked, but when she returned the following day, the casino told her she had won absolutely nothing.
The management team at the casino informed her that the massive jackpot she had won was simply the outcome of a machine malfunction. As a “gesture of goodwill”, Bookman was offered $2.25 in winnings – which supposedly was the amount she should have won on the spin – and a complimentary steak dinner at the casino.
Bookman set about suing the casino right away after this. A Resorts World representative meanwhile told CCN Money that a malfunction in the Sphinx Wild machine had caused the erroneous payout to be displayed. This was later confirmed by the New York State Gaming Commission. Furthermore, the maximum win that is pointed out in the game’s terms and conditions is $6,500, because it is not connected to any progressive jackpot network, unlike some other games. Despite an attempt to sue the casino, Bookman’s case was eventually denied, and she was left with a payout of nothing.
Veronica Castillo Bags $8.5 Million in Washington…but Workers Shut Off Her Slot Machine
In a similar case, Veronica Castillo of Portland, Oregon chose to visit a Rochester, Washington casino back in 2015. She chose to play the Jurassic Riches slot machine, with her mother standing close by as she did. Ms. Castillo opted to insert a $100 bill into the machine and set about spinning the reels to try and from one or more winning combinations.
On one of her spins, the game started flashing and providing her with a payout. That payout bolstered her balance up to $8,589,298.89 in total. This was a point that Ms. Castillo wanted to remember, so she took a picture of the machine and its hefty balance.
“I was very excited and happy”, she said to KOIN. Yet her happiness was immediately dashed by a casino employee who came over and informed her that the machine had actually made an error. The malfunction had resulted in the huge amount being displayed on-screen. It was this point that the casino staff shut the machine off, took it away and printed out a ticket to provide Ms. Castillo with an $80 reward.
Machines within the casino all have stickers stating that “malfunction voids all pays and plays”. And it was this that the casino utilised in its argument against paying the player her $8 million reward. Ms. Castillo stated that it was cheating though, even going as far as to label it as possible fraud. The casino CEO stated that nothing of that nature had ever happened within the Lucky Eagle Casino before since he had started working there in 1995. Castillo looked into getting herself a lawyer to fight her case against the establishment.
Punter Loses Out on £700,000 Following Horse Disqualification
Accumulators can frequently provide exceptional payouts to bettors, providing all of their selections are winners. And in 2016, that is exactly what Ian Brown engaged in. For the Cheltenham Festival taking place in March of that year, he opted to place a £1 bet each way on Josies Orders as part of a seven-horse accumulator.
The other six of the horse’s included in the 34-year-old’s acca won their respective races, and Mr. Brown was likely looking forward to a compelling finish. Josies Orders came in second position in the Glenfarclas Chase though, which was the fifth race in his acca, and Any Currency took first place in the end.
Ian managed to pocket £500 from the event and his bets, although five months later on, Josies Orders was promoted to first place after tests were conducted on the urine of Any Currency. From that test, it was discovered that the horse had a banned substance within its body, resulting in its disqualification. Despite that new result, Ian was informed that the bookmaker he had placed his acca with, Skybet, was sticking to its “all bets settled on the day” policy.
“Obviously I’m gutted”, he said when asked for comment. His £1 each way stake would have resulted in him winning a total of at least £700,000 from his acca, despite some people claiming that the 658,125/1 odds should have resulted in him winning closer to £1 million. Mr. Brown thought he would get the money from Skybet once the disqualification of Any Currency was announced, but almost instantly, the bookie took to Twitter to state that they would not be paying anything extra out.
It wasn’t just Skybet that refused a payout to punters, though. Paddy Power also stated that it would not change any of its original payouts following the disqualification of Any Currency.
Approximately $42 Million in Possible Winnings Missed Out on in 2019
In the Kentucky Derby in 2019, 20 horses qualified for the final race. The purse for that 2019 event stood at $3 million – an increase of $1 million from the previous year – and was broadcast by NBC. In that race, the horse known as Maximum Security crossed the finish line in first position, just ahead of long-shot Country House.
Unfortunately, Maximum Security was disqualified, as during the race, he swerved out from the rail while still on the lead. This impeded the progress of several other horses in the race, and despite regaining his momentum to cross the finish line first, he was relegated down to 17th place following 20 minutes of deliberation over the events by stewards. This promoted Country House to first place. The disqualification of Maximum Security was the first of such to take place since 1968 when Dancer’s Image suffered the same fate, but due to a drug infraction.
The disqualification was controversial in itself, as during the Derby, it is common for a bit of roughness to occur due to the large field size. The owners of Maximum Security sued in the U.S. District Court of Frankfort, Kentucky. Through this action, they sought to reinstate the win and distribute the purse money based on the actual finish order of the horses. That lawsuit was dismissed in November of 2019.
The disqualification of the horse ended up swinging millions of dollars in bets. According to some sources, the approximate winnings just for the win/place/show bets on the horse would have been around $42 million at TwinSpires, which is the online service for Churchill Downs. However, those bettors who had placed a wager on Maximum Security had to wait around in agony for the track officials’ decision. One bettor thought they had turned their $8,000 bet into $44,000 with the Maximum Security win, but the ruling cancelled the reward out.
That figure of $42 million does not include any of the exotics that were impacted by the horse’s disqualification, meaning that the actual payouts to players would have been a lot higher in the end. Of course, this resulted in a great outcome for anyone who had wagered on Country House. The horse was the second-biggest longshot ever to have claimed the crown at the Kentucky Derby in its history. For example, one Country House bettor managed to turn their $2,500 wager into $133,000 at TwinSpires.
As it happens though, the larger portion of wagers were placed on Maximum Security, due to the horse’s status in the racing world. And that resulted in many people missing out on a fantastic payout.