Totesport vs. Player: IBAS sides with sportsbook

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Totesport vs. Player: IBAS finds in favor of sportsbook
On 1/29/2009  SBR reported on a player's ToteSport complaint. The sportsbook had changed the player's winning wager, making it a losing bet.

Totesport (SBR rating B-) gives player wager he did not place
On January 17, 2009, a player wagered 125 Sterling on Wolverhampton +1 goal at the price of +433. After Wolverhampton covered, he found an email from Totesport telling him there was an "input error," commonly referred to as a "bad line" when talking about American sports. As a result of this "error" Totesport reversed the spread, changing his winning wager into a losing one. Totesport's terms and conditions allow it to adjust prices, but not spreads. When confronted with this fact by the player, it would not cite a rule allowing it to take this action. Totesport would not discuss the issue with SportsbookReview.

IBAS reviewed the dispute between the player and Totesport, and ruled in favor of Totesport. In its ruling, IBAS did not consider whether Totesport's rules allow it to alter the spread in a pending wager.


1. An online customer of Totesport placed a £125 bet on Wolves [+1 goal] in the
handicap market at odds of 100/30 [4.33] in their match against Bristol City on 17
January. T<)tesport settled the bet on the correct spread [Wolves -1] but the
customer disputes their right to do this.

2. The Panel have established that the handicap market was inadvertently displayed
by Totesport with incorrect handicaps, i.e. giving Wolves one goal start instead of
Bristol City. Whilst this was a careless error, the Panel believe it was an obvious
one, as Wolves were priced at just 13/10 [2.30] favourites to win the match
outright. In common with all other bookmakers, Totesport have a rule that entitles
them to correct such manifestly obvious errors.

3. In addition, the Panel understand that Totesport sent all affected customers an
em ail more than two hours prior to the match starting advising of the error and
giving them the opportunity to cancel the bet if they did not want it at the revised
terms. In this case the customer did not respond to the email [contending that he
did not read it until after the match was over] so Totesport had no alternative other
than to settle the bet on the correct handicap. The Panel feel it is pertinent to point
out that had Wolves won the match by two or more goals then the customer would
have been paid out accordingly in respect of a winning bet.

4. Whilst the Panel would find it more acceptable in situations such as this to make
the 'default' settlement a void bet, it is not unreasonable for a bookmaker to take
this alternative stance, as long as affected customers are advised in good time. The
Panel would also add that it is not unreasonable for a bookmaker to assume that a
person betting via an online channel would be readily contactable by email.

5. The Panel therefore adjudicate in favour of Totesport.

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