BARCELONA'S comeback last night was pure theatre but it wasn't the most astonishing thing that happened in the eyes of thousands of punters on social media.

Sergi Roberto's dramatic last-minute strike sent the Nou Camp in to raptures and was cause for punters up and down the country who had backed Barca to qualify to jump for joy. None more so than the guy who pocketed £9000 having staked two grand on Luis Enrique's side to go through at 9-2 in-play.

But it was shortly after the final whistle that the real story, from a betting point of view, emerged. Punter @DavidReid_88 had taken to Twitter pre-match to request a “Price It Up” bet from BetVictor. It all seemed pretty straightforward and BetVictor gladly obliged with odds of 125-1 on a combination bet of Messi to score a penalty, Cavani to hit the woodwork and Barca to qualify.

C6au-siXMAU5Qvp.jpg_large

As the game unfolded all three events occurred;

  • 50′ Messi hit the back of the net with a spot-kick.
  • 52′ Cavani struck the post as PSG pressed for a goal to get them back in the game at 3-0 down.
  • 90+7 After Roberto's 95th-minute goal the full-time whistle blew and Barcelona had qualified.

So far so good for David.

That was until he realised BetVictor had settled the bet as a loser.

As you'd expect David queried the apparent mistake only to be hit with the inexplicable response below.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 09.10.54

Of course he hit the woodwork. We all saw it. News outlets reported on it. It happened. BetVictor reasoned further;

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 09.13.43

What? Yes, tucked away at the bottom of BetVictor's Price It Up rules was this cracker;

20. For any bets involving players hitting the woodwork, the following rule will be applied: “The ball must make contact with the woodwork and come back in play from an attempt on the opponent's goal during active play. Shots that hit the woodwork on their way into the goal will count. Any dubious shots will be settled off the competitions official websites.

So because Cavani's strike went out of play after hitting the post BetVictor invoked their get-out clause. I can't think why this particular clause would exist? Except to minimise losses in the event of it happening? Answers on a postcard please.

Despite the legalities of the clause it's clearly ridiculous. Yes it's our responsibility to read and understand the rules before we place a bet with any bookie but the phrase “hit the woodwork” is unambiguous and the commonsense understanding of it would apply to Cavani's shot which struck Ter Stegen's post.

Needless to say, punters across twitter were rightly outraged BetVictor weren't paying out and that such a clause exists. While the issue went viral BetVictor's social media guy appeared to have called it a night and it quickly turned in to a PR disaster for the firm. Punters started to highlight other dubious non-payments, unfair betting limits and account closures by Victor Chandler's company and many threatened to close their account themselves.

BetVictor had to act quickly … and they did. By morning they announced they were paying out on the “woodwork” bet – and rightly so.

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 09.43.45

But in a reply to David they referred to this decision as “gesture of goodwill”. Wrong answer BetVictor!

They should've held their hands up and admitted their rules were misleading and they would make an immediate change to reflect the commonsense view of “hitting the woodwork”. Instead they've lurched from one disaster to another. Let's see what their proposed statement comes up with later.

With Cheltenham around the corner BetVictor have ballsed-up almost as much as PSG did last night. However, the whole episode shows with the power of social media we can take the bookies and their dubious practices to task.

BetVictor still have the chance to redeem themselves but they got this one wrong. Very wrong.

 

*UPDATE*

BetVictor's statement has confirmed that “any shot that hits any part of the woodwork will count going forward.”

Here is the full draft from https://sports.betvictor.com/priceitup-woodwork-bet-barcelona-v-psg/;

Yesterday evening we accepted a small number of bets on a #PriceItUp market, ‘Messi to score a penalty, Cavani to hit the woodwork and Barca to qualify’ at 125-1 in the Barcelona v PSG Champions League match.

Customers request this type of tailored bet via Twitter and our Trading and Social Media teams price up the requests and reply to customers.

We settled these particular bets as losers, as under our betting rules for #PriceItUp, which are listed on our website, we have the following rule regarding woodwork-related bets:

For any bets involving players hitting the woodwork, the following rule will be applied: “The ball must make contact with the woodwork and come back in play from an attempt on the opponent’s goal during active play. Shots that hit the woodwork on their way into the goal will count.”

As Cavani’s shot against the woodwork didn’t rebound back into play, we settled these bets in line with the above rule, which was designed to prevent ambiguity around shots that may or may not have skimmed the woodwork.

However, we accept that in this case with #PriceItUp markets, these terms were not made clear within the individual bet, and, as such, have now settled all bets on this selection as winners. All of the customers involved have been individually contacted by us.

Moving forward, to avoid any confusion, we will update the relevant rule and publish it ahead of our next #PriceItUp fixture, which is scheduled to be next Monday 13th March for the FA Cup 6th Round clash between Chelsea and Manchester United.

We can confirm that any shot that hits any part of the woodwork will count going forward.

We apologise for any confusion caused.

9 Comments
  1. mrkop 2 years ago

    Ridiculous situation, id be bloody fuming.

    Hitting the woodwork should mean just that, end off.

    What ever happened to the case of the guy with the bet with corals ie Rangers gettting relegated?

  2. shaky 2 years ago

    I don’t like when bookies offer bets on outcomes that are open to their own interpretation. So many shots look like they could skim the woodwork and obviously there are no official decisions on these sort of calls, so you are stuck letting them decide if it happened or not.

    The above example is obviously ludicrous though. Every single shot that hits the woodwork will rebound back into play, even if only for a split second. The whole ball won’t have crossed the byeline before contact with the woodwork is broken.

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      The woodwork call they’ll need to go with an official arbiter such as opta who will give stats on such things.

  3. amichell 2 years ago

    Change in policy from Bet Victor welcome.
    I noticed reference above also made to concern from punters as regards account closures/restrictions.
    This area interests me and interested in others thoughts and experiences.
    I recently joined Betway and have made use of their promo offer (£100 matched by £100) and there bet £25 on footy trebles and receive 2 x £5 bets each week.
    I have made 7/8 bets per week….currently close to achieving the turn over requirement to keep the £100 matched bonus and currently have a small profit on top.
    Today I received an email from Betway that states
    ‘After careful review our senior trading team have taken the decision that your account will no longer be eligible to receive any future sports promotions…………the decision is final and cannot be overturned.’
    I am not aware of breaking any related rules.
    Is this behavior usual? Certainly contrasts with my positive experience of Skybet and Bet365 where my profits are considerably more
    any thoughts welcome.
    Cheers Alan

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      It’s certainly becoming more common and I’ve said before they don’t just look at profit – they look at patterns of betting and markets you place bets on.

  4. division10k 2 years ago

    Great article and delighted the guy got paid out. He must have had a great time watching that game.

    • Author
      Mr Fixit 2 years ago

      They didn’t really have a choice with the reaction to it. Was a great game for betting – if I hadn’t been working on a busy sports desk last night I’d have got more involved.

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