Anyone getting involved in betting via a land-based bookmaker will know the process of placing a wager. You choose your team, your horse, your player or whatever you want to bet on, know about the odds and then pass your bet over to the assistant behind the desk. They then proceed to place the bet for you and hand over a betting slip which has all of the relevant information on it regarding the wager that you have just placed. Included alongside all of that information is details on the event, the odds and so on.
Once the event you are wagering on has played out, you can then return to the betting shop with that slip and pass it over to the assistant once again. They will check all of the details and provide a payout to you, if it is a winning bet. But let’s just consider another scenario, shall we? What happens if you lose your betting slip between placing the wager and the event coming to an end? How can you go about picking up your winnings from the bookmaker? What process do you need to undertake to claim them? How are you able to prove that you placed a wager in the first place and that you have actually won some money?
We’re going to look into this in detail and explain how to go about claiming winnings when you have lost the bet slip from the bookie. Take a look below, and then if it ever happens to you, you’ll know what to do.
The Normal Procedure for Betting Shops
Because placing bets via land-based bookies is slightly different to placing bets online, you will actually need to return to the betting shop where you placed the winning bet. These days, if you have ever placed a bet via such an establishment, you will see that the assistant behind the desk scans the wager into a computer. And while this would normally just be something that is considered as the norm for effectively placing the bet, it’s not all that happens when that scan takes place.
After you have passed your bet over and the transaction has been completed, your bet is essentially translated, so to speak. This means that your wager is typed into the computer itself, and this includes the stake that you have placed on it. All calculations and permutations surrounding the wager are also registered at this point, and your potential winnings from the bet are worked out at this stage, too. Essentially, a database is formed of every bet that is placed within the betting shop, including your own and anyone else’s.
This means that a bet that has been placed can be found by typing in a specific horse’s name, football team name, tennis player’s name or whatever associated with the wager placed. If you remember the stake that you placed on the event as well, then this can be typed in at the same time to try and locate the bet within the database. Giving as much information to the cashier as possible will assist with this, such as the time that you placed the bet and the date this was done on.
It is also the case that you will need to complete a lost claim form within the bookmaker’s shop, and this requires you to write out your bet all over again. That should be ideally done in exactly the same way that it was on the original betting slip. You then need to pass that lost claim form over to the cashier, who will try to locate your bet and provide you with the payout that you should have from winning it.
A Lost Ticket at a Race Meeting
This is also the case if you are attending a horse racetrack where betting takes place, for example. However, this must be done in a swifter way. Should you lose your betting slip while at the racetrack, then you need to contact the Betting Ring Manager who is on duty on the same day. This is an independent person who is employed by the Administration of Gambling on Tracks (AGT) Limited, and he or she is there to regulate and monitor on-course betting activity. One or more of these will be active and present at each and every race meeting taking place. The principal roles of the Betting Ring Manager is to allocate pitches, enforce betting legislation and help resolve any disputes between bookies and the general public in attendance at the racetrack.
If you do not contact the Betting Ring Manager on the race day in question, then a claim for winnings will not be able to be processed. Many different bookmakers process a huge number of bets at every single race meeting – around 30 million gambling transactions of this nature are placed at racetracks every year – that lost tickets are unable to be processed if they aren’t brought to the attention of the manager that same day.
A similar scenario then takes place as that within the land-based bookmakers’ shops. It is also important to note that a form of identification should be taken along with you, such as a passport or a driving licence. And this is true of whether you are claiming for a lost ticket at a land-based betting shop or at a racetrack.
Lost Tickets, Money Claimed & Found Betting Slips
It’s not difficult to imagine that for the many years that betting has been legal in the United Kingdom, multiple people have lost their slips associated with the bets they have placed. Some people are a bit more absent-minded than others or have just been the victims of bad luck with such, doubtless. Take a look at some real-life instances of betting slips going missing, other people finding winning tickets and claiming the winnings, and so on.
Lost Winnings Thanks to a Selfie
There is always that phrase that should remain in a bettor’s mind when discovering they have a winning slip. And that phrase should be, “don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”. This should definitely have been the thought process of Chantelle from Perth, Australia, who in 2015 attended the Melbourne Cup horse race.
Chantelle, who had never been involved with any form of gambling before, chose to place a $20 (£9.31) bet on a horse with the name of Prince of Penzance. The horse had odds of 101-1 odds, but it went on to win the race in question, resulting in Chantelle breaking into a fit of happy emotions. She went on to post a selfie online via Facebook, showing her in her finest race day attire and clutching on to her winning ticket. From that bet, she should have been on the receiving end of $825 (£384). Not bad for a small wager for the very first time.
Yet Chantelle should have resisted posting that selfie before collecting her winnings. Upon going to the betting desk to collect her winnings, she was informed that the funds had already been collected! How could that be, she wondered? Well, Chantelle was unaware of the fact that her betting slip contained a barcode, and this was clearly visible in the Facebook selfie that she had posted. That barcode was then used at an automated machine by someone else to claim the cash she had won from her wager.
Clearly realising that it was one of her friends (due to the fact that her Facebook profile was set to private), Chantelle took to hurling a bit of abuse via her feed, finishing off by telling whoever had stolen her money that they had ruined her day at the races.
Man Picks Up Winnings from a Betting Slip He Found
These stories may seem like they could have happened long ago, but actually, in September of 2021, a story broke of a Sheffield man fraudulently claiming the winnings of a betting slip he had randomly picked up.
Police officers in Sheffield released a CCTV image of a man that they wanted to locate in connection with a theft from a Betfred in the city. According to the report from the police, at around 9:30pm on Wednesday, September 22, a member of the public dropped a winning betting slip whilst inside the betting shop. He left the bookies, unaware of his lost betting slip, only for it to be picked up by another man who proceeded to go to the desk and cash it in, leaving the Betfred with the winnings himself.
The CCTV footage was released online and the image of the man responsible for claiming the winnings fraudulently was posted to various news outlets and social media platforms. Enquiries remained ongoing, with the police very keen to track down the responsible culprit in some way. Yet it seems as though little has been done about it, with no follow-up to the report released by the police in Sheffield.
A Lost £10 Betting Slip Sees Man Turn to Rage
Going a little further back to 2018, a man who entered the Chiswick branch of Ladbrokes told the cashiers that he had lost his betting slip from a £10 bet that he had placed via a self-service betting terminal within the store. A spokesperson from Ladbrokes said that a shop colleague tried to help the man out with regard to this, but the customer resorted to anger and rage, rather than listen to what he was being told.
Instead, he turned and picked up one of the chairs inside the bookmaker’s and began smashing up the shop. Employees were forced to retreat to a safe caged area of the store, where one of them filmed him taking his anger out on the interior, smashing televisions and computer screens during his rampage. The police were called out to the Ladbrokes shop, but by the time officers arrived, the man had fled the scene.
Investigations were conducted by the police to try and locate the guilty party, with CCTV also being utilised inside to assist them with such. Whether or not he was found was never reported, but it is likely that he won’t have received his winnings from the supposed lost betting slip after his tirade.
Lost and Found Betting Slip
One final story has a happy ending for everyone, and it surrounds a 43-year-old Grand National betting slip!
In 2017, Bob Holmes was sorting through some paperwork belonging to his late father, when he discovered the 43-year-old William Hill slip. Joe Robertson had placed the win-only bet on the Grand National which took place in 1974, backing one of the greatest and best-known horses in history – Red Rum. On that slip, it was written, “£1 win. Red Rum. Live 3.15”, and a shop code confirmed that the bet was placed at odds of 11-1.
Clearly, Mr Robertson forgot where he had put the betting slip and it remained hidden for those 43 years. When this was shown to William Hill, the big-hearted bookmaker chose to proceed with a payout for Bob and his wife. From that betting slip, he became £130 richer, and then the bookmaker chose to throw in an extra £130 on top to use on that month’s Grand National event. A matching donation was also handed out by William Hill to Bob’s favourite charity, Water Aid.
Speaking on the occasion, Bob said that he had made the discovery of the betting slip while helping his sister-in-law move house. “There was a whole pile of old papers, income tax stuff and so on belonging to her mother and father”, he said. And then upon finding the betting slip amongst everything, Bob commented, “On closer inspection it turned out it was a bet that my wife’s father had placed on Red Rum in the 1974 Grand National. The bet had definitely been placed because it had the bookie’s stamp across the top and bottom, so it had gone through the machine”.
Joe passed away in 1978 at the age of 85, but he rarely engaged in betting more than twice a year. And undoubtedly, he would have turned the house upside-down to try and find the winning slip. Thanks to Bob, the winnings were finally paid out and then some. Which just goes to show – it may never be too late to gather winnings!