Tuesday, January 30, 2024

An old man walks into a betting shop...

It's quite some time since I struck an 'over the counter' bet but, having run an errand for pork and leek sausages along with other sundry items last Saturday morning, I saw this promotion in the window of a local William Hill shop: 

Bet £10+ on racing, get free £5 bet on racing.

Unusually, I happened to have this spare tenner burning a hole in my pocket so, for old times' sake, I went in, wrote out the slip in my neatest hand-writing with one of those small biros: £10 win 1.50 Cheltenham The Real Whacker - how the memories came flooding back! - and promptly presented it to the dishevelled youth stood behind the counter. 

The receipt records the bet was struck at 08:39:45; when I politely enquired about my qualifying free bet, callow youth promptly informed me he wasn't authorised to give me one and if I wanted to claim it I'd have to return after 11.00 when a manager would be 'on site'.

Of course, I never managed to keep this rather hastily arranged appointment with a betting shop manager but I took the trouble to pop in the shop on Monday morning, just to clarify some T&Cs. 

Callow youth had been replaced by a more helpful young lady who, after some research, informed me my wager didn't qualify for the offer as I had placed it over the counter and not on SSBT.

'SSBT?' I asked.

She waved at a brightly lit terminal strategically situated over in a rather gloomy corner.

I thanked her for her help but, as I left the shop, noticed the original promotion still displayed in the window. 

The first of seven significant conditions listed in the small print read: 

"Stake £10 on selected UK Horse Racing meeting on SSBT or over the counter [my italics] and receive a free £5 bet."  

The last listed significant condition read: 

"Further terms apply."

Emboldened, I went back into the shop and, after further discussion, was advised to mail William Hill's customer helpline. My case is currently pending; I have been allocated a case reference number.

As we're repeatedly reminded during ITV's Saturday afternoon racing coverage: 

"It's who you play with."

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