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Irish online gamblers in limbo after UK site wrongly took bets for weeks without noticing

Sportingbet say they are searching for a remedy that’s agreeable to Irish customers.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

A UK-BASED online bookmaker was unlawfully taking bets from Irish customers for over two weeks before a problem was noticed, leaving some Irish customers in limbo about whether bets they’ve made remain valid.

Sportingbet have between 19,000-20,000 customers in Ireland but fell foul of a legal change this month that requires all remote bookmakers to obtain an Irish licence if they accept bets from Irish customers.

As a result, Sportingbet, which is registered in Malta, accepted bets from Irish customers that they shouldn’t have since 1 August.

The company says that these bets have not been voided but that a decision must be taken on their status.

It could even mean that Irish customers who made a bet with the bookmaker over the last three weeks and lost could have their money refunded.

PastedImage-56845 Source: Twitter/Sportingbet

A spokesperson for the company says they are seeking a resolution to the issue that will be agreeable to their Irish customers who have placed bets with them.

They say they have contacted Irish customers who are affected by the problem.

One such customer Roy Brindley told TheJournal.ie that he had successfully placed a bet on Saturday only for the company to inform him by email two days later that his bet has been voided.

Upon subsequent contact with the company, he was told that the bet was not in fact voided.

Brindley tweeted a screenshot of his bet and the subsequent email from the company saying that he received the email when the odds on his selection has significantly shortened.

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“It is similar to ordering stock from a broker (and paying for it) and told days later, when its worth has gone up, that they have changed their mind about selling it,” he says.

A spokesperson for the company said that the the insinuation that the email was connected to the fall in odds is not correct.

The exact number of Sportingbet’s Irish customers who’ve placed bets with the company since 1 August is unknown but the company says they will release a statement on the matter later today.

Until a decision is made on the licence one way or another, the company will not be accepting sports betting or virtual sports services to Irish customers.

Read: Ladbrokes restructuring could mean 200+ job loses >

Read: Gamble online? You’re going to have to start paying tax on it >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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