AN irate Ross-shire punter who bet on horse races in America and won complained after bookie William Hill refused to pay out.
David Simpson (60), from Muir of Ord, was left out of pocket following the mix-up – until the Ross-shire Journal stepped in.
Mr Simpson placed an each way accumulator bet on four races in Philadelphia, advertised in the Dingwall branch of the bookies.
A member of staff took his bet and when Mr Simpson checked on the internet on Sky Sports next day, he discovered that one horse had crossed the line first, two had come in second and one third.
But when he went to collect his winnings of around £30, he discovered the payout had been refused.
“They said the bet was void because they weren’t covering the Philadelphia races,” Mr Simpson said.
“They offered to give me my £2 stake money back but I wasn’t having that, I wanted my winnings.”
Mr Simpson said he contacted William Hill customer services who took the details from him but could not find the results of the races.
He was told the company only used the Sporting Life and Racing Post to check results.
Mr Simpson said: “It wasn’t as if I had won a lot of money. If all the horses had come in first it would have been thousands.
“Betting is a bit of a pastime. I only bet small amounts – around £15 to £20 a week – but after this I told them I wouldn’t be going in again, I’ll go somewhere else.”
But after being contacted by the Ross-shire Journal, William Hill agreed to pay Mr Simpson.
A spokesman said: “We sometimes cover races in Philadelphia but on this occasion they weren’t being covered and the bet was taken in error.”
As a result and after investigation, he said Mr Simpson would get his money and would be offered a free bet into the bargain as compensation.
The delighted punter said he’d be more likely to spend his winnings on coal to keep himself warm rather than using the cash to place more bets.