IMAGINE thinking you've won more than £500 just in time for Christmas only for your bookie to pull the rug from under you and tell you you're not getting your cash. That's the nightmare scenario facing a Scottish punter who's trying to get Sky Bet to play fair.

Sean Hanlon contacted me earlier to tell me about a void bet from the weekend. Nothing new there, almost all of us have had some kind of bet voided for one reason or another, but usually the bookies claim a “palpable error” and there's nothing we can do about it.

Although I can't find an official definition of a palpable error this one that comes up first on a Google search seems to sum it up quite nicely.

Palpable Error. A bookmaker can cancel (void) your bet, claiming it was a palpable error (or a “palp”). This can occur when a bookmaker has made what they call “an obvious mistake”, such as reversed the odds of a match or some other kind of accidental error made while quoting the odds.

In most instances of a “palp” I'd say us punters KNOW the bookies have screwed up and we've tried to take advantage, whether it be incorrect odds or an overvalued cash-out. In some instances I've even had some sympathy for the bookies!

But this instance feels altogether different. There is no obvious palp despite Sky Bet claiming there to be one.

Sean placed a £5.45 bet on Saturday on there being 14+ goals scored by the home teams in the seven Premier League matches that day at 100-1. All seven duly obliged, netting exactly 14. Job done. Well done Sean, a nice little earner for Sean,  just in time for Christmas.

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Or maybe not! Imagine Sean's surprise when the bet was settled as void.

As you'd expect, Sean contacted Sky Bet to find out what was going on.

He was told the bet had been voided because SKYBET had incorrectly listed Chelsea as the home team in their match against West Ham. Complete nonsense.

And here's why …

  • The bet is unambiguous. It clearly states 14+ home goals scored. This is in relation to the Premier League games on Saturday regardless of what they list as fixtures.
  • If Sky Bet are claiming this as a palp then it should be noted Chelsea were clear favourites to win at West Ham on Saturday. If odds available (100-1) were based on Chelsea being the home team then arguably the odds should have been higher based on their OWN mistake.
  • The bet has been placed in good faith by Sean. There is no obvious mistake* or accidental error here, the odds are around what you'd expect.

*To give some context, although I've no idea how market makers would price this bet up, I checked the odds on all seven Premier League home teams to score two or more on Wednesday and it came to more than 200-1.

Despite my best efforts on Wednesday Sky Bet would not entertain any dialogue about the matter on Twitter. Instead they ended up arranging a call with Sean in which they stuck to their guns and claimed to be within their rights to void the bet.

The final insult for Sean was the offer of a £20 credit as a gesture of goodwill.

Needless to say Sean rejected the offer and is now awaiting an escalation of his complaint from which he'll receive an identification number to take to IBAS.

He'll have a long fight ahead of him to try to get the money he's due. It's all so unnecessary and unfair. Unfortunately it's not unusual, as has been proven on my timeline tonight with several people highlighting similar issues with Sky Bet of late.

I'll be in Sean's corner as he tries to retrieve the money owed to him but it's another black mark against Sky Bet who seem to be making a habit of poor customer service.

*UPDATE*

Things have moved on a little today.

Sky Bet have been in touch with Sean via email to clarify things from their end. They're now stating the games Sean's bet featured were a list of European games taking place that evening. Four of them in fact, at Juventus, Valencia, Twente and Boavista (those four scored just 5 goals between them).

However, Sky Bet have admitted to incorrectly listing the games associated with the bet. Instead of the European games above they say the list that was visible featured Spurs, West Ham, Wolves, Aston Villa, Fulham and Wigan (unfortunately these teams only managed to score 9 goals). This error led to the bet being voided.

This is contradictory to the original reason given to Sean for the bet being voided.

Sean is adamant he accessed the bet from the tab for Premier League Specials and feels he was right to assume the bet featured only games in the Premier League. At the time of writing, Sean cannot access his bet via his account.

Sky Bet have apologised to Sean but have confirmed they will not be upholding his complaint.

26 Comments
  1. jolo210 10 months ago

    Thanks mrfixit no skybet for me anymore i feel for sean i really do hope he wins in the end as you say its a long fight i myself have been in the gambling industry for over 30 years and bookis still amaze me when they wont pay out we should all stop betting with skybet and take our hard earned money elsewhere

    • elvis parsley 10 months ago

      Someone should launch a petition as a starting point to help this guy get his money.
      Is £500 really going to bankrupt skytheft ???

  2. townie 10 months ago

    who owns sky bet say no more

  3. fraser51 10 months ago

    Good luck Sean, I hope skybet eventually see sense and pay you what you are owed the sooner the better

    P.s Mr fixit I never ever heard from William Hill regarding my cards bet

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 10 months ago

      I spent as much as I could on that one. They said they’d contact you.
      Email me and I’ll make sure you get the free bet at least.

  4. maccathered 10 months ago

    fecking disgrace this you will get your money Sean keep fighting them lad ring them every day they will get fed up,i’m not using them anymore if this is their tactics.

  5. jos 10 months ago

    What a breakfast choker this story of Sean’s is. Well done Mr F for highlighting it. I am honestly fuming for the lad! What an utter cheap shot by Sky. The bet was an obvious out and out winner as Mr F explained. I WILL NOT be using skybet from here on in, and I do use them more than most other bookies. Sorry, I USED to!! You’ve shot yourselves in the foot Skybet. This story WILL do the rounds on social media and people will be sickened by it. How dare Skybet take people for granted and treat, Sean, and others, in such a manner!

  6. hendz77 10 months ago

    The power of social media is underestimated. Sean should use this to his advantage and generate some bad publicity for sky bet. Companies hate reputation taking a beating so my advice to sean would be do your worst

  7. drogers 10 months ago

    Sky bet: voided by myself.

    Nil pois.

    Dirty actions.

  8. syedabbasi 10 months ago

    Mr Fixits better Not to mention skybet on this site when they dont have courtesy to entertain on twitter respectable Person like You. Just imagine for a second these prices are right, What about six matches out of 7 are correct One is disputable according to them. Atleast they van settle on the Basis of First 6 matches.Mr Sean keep fighting they can not refuse this particular bet even in their dream. Mr Fixits You have already mentioned here You have Bern warned. If possible also mentioned in your newspaper please ‘ Sky fällen on punters ‘. They can ignore us but not people like You who are running Most honest and transparent sport website in whole United Kingdom. Regards Syed.

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 10 months ago

      If I think a punter has a genuine case I’ll fight for him where possible.
      Some firms will respond, others don’t care.
      In this instance I don’t see what Sky Bet are trying to get out of – hopefully they’ll see sense and pay out.

  9. flowerpotfi 10 months ago

    Everyone should take to Twitter to voice this matter

  10. flowerpotfi 10 months ago

    I have voiced this matter on Twitter. I think most of us have been in the same situation as Sean and the more punters that voice their outrage the better. I had this recently when a bookmaker refused to pay out on Jedinak first goalscorer in Australia’s last world cup match whilst they were happily broadcasting on Twitter that Jedinak had scored a hattrick which included the first goal!

  11. Johnb 10 months ago

    On the dispute with skybet, we have to remember that skybets customers in the last year have gone up from 2 million to 2.6 million so we can’t hurt them by people stopping betting with them, they also make enough profits that mean we can’t hit them in the pocket and we have to remember that IBAS side with the punter just 10% of the time and even bookies own rules can be manipulated to favour themselves

    I myself have recently lost a complaint with a bookie as IBAS sided with the bookie.

    The racing clubs £17,181.81 is written off but plans are underway to get some of the bookies cream with one of our own horses next year, even if they know it’s coming, they won’t actually know till after it’s happened and all my profits will go to good causes

    Good luck if you go to IBAS, it looks a penalty kick to me

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 10 months ago

      If they make that much profit that we can’t hit them in the pocket – why don’t they settle a £500 bet which on the face of it is a winner.

      • Johnb 10 months ago

        Only skybet can answer that but my view is bookies will always hit the smaller punter, it’s wrong but that’s what I think, we get to hear about very few disputes because most people do nothing, they accept a bookies reasoning, a few years ago I encouraged people to email me their any problems they had and I was getting thousands a year and some going quite blatantly against their own rules

        skybet figures for 2017 are, Group Revenue up 38 percent to £516m and total customers rising 31 percent to 2.6 million. EBITDA was up 38 percent to £146m.
        of all the major bookies bet365 and skybet had the largest increases

        • Johnb 10 months ago

          One I remember from a few years ago was this one

          On the 17 January 2009 a customer placed a £125 bet on Wolves +1 goal on the handicap betting against Bristol City, the customer received odds of 100/30

          The match ended 2-2

          The bookie settled the bet as a loser saying that the line was wrong and that they had changed the bet to Wolves -1 goal

          Because the game finished 2-2 it meant the bookies actions had changed a winning bet to a losing bet

          The customer complained to IBAS saying that they dispute the bookies right to do this

          IBAS found in favour of the bookie stating that the bookie in question has a rule that entitles them to correct such manifestly obvious errors

          After this decision was made, the bookies rules were checked and their rule actually said that they are allowed to change the payout but not the terms of the bet

          This looked a penalty kick to me in that surely the bet should have been voided or the odds adjusted on the +1 goal,
          I assumed that changing a bet from +1 to -1 was infact changing the terms of the bet

        • Author
          Mr Fixit 10 months ago

          We’ve had some communication from Sky Bet on this and the post has been updated to reflect that.

  12. xbets 10 months ago

    I was suppose to open an account with sky bet especially becoz of RAB feature ….but after reading this …Sorry…NO to Skybet. Hope sean wins against all odds

  13. ged72 10 months ago

    I shall be cancelling my account with them asap. I hope Sean gets what he’s owed and a goodwill payment . The more people that cancel with them may give them food for thought.

  14. killmaddog48 10 months ago

    An absolute disgrace I will never bet with Sky Bet again knock it right up em !!!

  15. bertie 10 months ago

    Real bad form from sky bet just reading a Twitter betting site tonight they gave a 110/1 acc and it’s just come in the winning bets were mostly with sky bet it’s cost them a good few thosands pounds tonight KARMA

  16. dazimp 10 months ago

    Had a winner the other night on burnley ,Blackburn & Wigan at odds of 4/1 , only a £5 on it, all won and skybet have paid me £14 something , said my bet may have been deducted 57.5 dead heat on this selection , never heard of it before but not happy

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 10 months ago

      Obviously we all know about dead heat rules in football and golf but in football the only time I’ve heard it used is when a match has been abandoned or postponed. Are they trying to say they’re deducting winnings because the Blackburn was played a day later than scheduled?
      If so it doesn’t make sense and isn’t fair when it was stated in advance this would be the case. You need to ask them to clarify this.

  17. juan 10 months ago

    I am no big fan of skybet but i must say i placed a bet that shouldn’t have stood (a double when 1st leg had already won) and they emailed to say they knew it was a bet placed in error but they still paid out on my winnings as good will gesture…they also paid me a winner on a 2nd placed horse when the 50/1 winner turned out to be a different horse! Im no big fan of them by any means but like to share the good points as well as the bad

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