Two Salford Red Devils fans who thought they had won £23,400 after a flutter on their team at the bookies have had settle for a fraction of that amount.

The M.E.N. reported in October how Gary Smeaton and best mate, Kris Shenton, had a bet back in January 2019 when no one gave their team a hope of success. But the team had a sensational season.

They both stumped up £50 to place a single £100 "double" accumulator bet.

They had Jackson Hastings at 25-1 to be named the Super League's "Man of Steel" and the Red Devils to finish in the top five at 8-1. Both bets came in.

The two friends were expecting a whopping payout of £23,400. But the bookies, William Hill, reckon the bet should never have been taken.

William Hill said they would not pay due to "related contingency" - where two bets are directly linked as one has a direct influence on the other. Gary was livid.

He took them to  the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) who offer an impartial adjudication on disputes between customers.

Now they have made their ruling. Gary said: "I am not happy at all. They have decided that Kris and I should get £4,000 each. Reluctantly we have had to accept the decision as there is nowhere else we can take the dispute.

"I will not be going in a William Hill bookies ever again and I know friends who will be doing the same after the way we were treated."

The settlement is a higher than what William Hill had wanted to originally pay. They had regarded the friends' flutter as two £50 bets and were prepared to pay out £1,700 to each of them.

"IBAS decided on £4,000 each to take into account the inconvenience we had endured," said Gary.

Gary Smeaton's Facebook post when he was offered a total of £8,000 instead of the £23,400 he thought he had won at William Hill's bookies after a flutter on the Salford Red Devils.

The company director from Swinton, added: "After the story appeared in the Manchester Evening News I was in Puccini's restaurant in Swinton. Fred Done, the bookie, was at the next table and the owner of the restaurant mentioned the story to him. Fred spoke to me and said if it had been his bookies the would have been no need for adjudication - they would have paid out."

Gary had hoped his big win would have given his daughter, Lauren, a flying start in her business venture.

"I have given the £4,000 to her. She has a dance studio and theatre in Wythenshawe - Shooting Stars. I had been hoping to give her a lot more when we thought we had won £23,000."

Gary put the bet on at the  Swinton branch of William Hill. He said: "The guy in the bookies wrote it out for me. My mate kept the betting slip. We never dreamed that it would ever come in.

"I never thought Salford would finish top five, but I did have an inkling about Hastings winning the Man of Steel. I am a massive Salford fan. I sponsor Tyrone McCarthy and the Devils' mascot.

The betting slip

"I was on holiday abroad when we beat Wigan to get to the Grand Final and then Jackson won his title. I was made up. Even Jackson's mum was pleased for me. Then she sent me a message after reading what William Hill had said and said she was gutted."

"I went back to the branch where I placed the bet and the person who wrote it out for me said he 'must have been half asleep' when he did it."

At the time of the dispute a spokesman for William Hill said: “As stated in our rules, a related contingency occurs when one or more parts of the bet placed affect the outcome of the bet. In this case, the prices of Jackson Hasting winning Man of Steel and Salford finishing in the top five are related. Were one outcome to happen, the other would be directly affected and as such the double price would be significantly smaller.

Gary Smeaton's furious post on Facebook after William Hill refused to payout on his Salford Red Devil's bet.

“This bet has been struck as a result of human error and as such has been corrected. At no point was the double on offer before the start of the season. Unfortunately, we realise this is disappointing for the customer and we can only apologise."

Asked to comment on the £4,000 each settlement a spokesman for William Hill said: "“IBAS are an independent body and we accept their ruling.”

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