Punter sues Paddy Power for refusing to pay £268k winnings because of ‘mistake’

A businessman is suing gambling giant Paddy Power after it refused to hand over his £286,000 winnings on the grounds it was a mistake.

James Longley, 44, told the High Court that he blew £3,000 celebrating when his £13,000 each-way bet on a horse race came through.

Paddy Power took back Mr Longley's winnings two days later and told him it was a "mistake".

The Leicestershire millionaire said he originally asked to bet £1,300 but took the plunge after the gambling giant offered to accept a wager that was 10 times that amount.

But the bookmaker cancelled the jackpot and claimed that Longley had not intended to play with such a large stake.

The "mistake" therefore entitled the company to adjust it in line with the lower stake and pay out only £28,600, Paddy Power said.

Mr Longley had already lost around £19,000 that day and decided to back the racehorse Redemptive – phoning to place a total £2,600 bet.

The operator requested authority for a stake of that size but accidentally relayed it to an authorising trader of £13,000 each way making a total of £26,000.

When the bet came through Longley was credited with £286,000 in his account.

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Mark James, representing Mr Longley, said the trader who authorised the bet, Aiden McCarthy, quickly had second thoughts and told his managers that he had "massively overlaid" a bet.

James said the trader had wrote to his bosses saying he could "only apologise for this massive error on my part and I can't explain why the liability didn't register with me".

McCarthy said that he had looked at Longley's bets that day and that it seemed he was "chasing" his losses and decided to accept the £26,000 stake.

Representing Paddy Power, Kajetan Wandowicz, claimed that there had been an obvious mistake in relaying Longley's intention which was to place a bet totalling a much smaller £2,600.

Wandowicz said that "Paddy Power reserves the right to correct any obvious errors" and the betting giant had the right to "adjust the bet".

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