Bookmaker Betfred have donated £1.25m to the charity fund for the Royal Manchester Hospital. The Hospital is looking for £4m for important equipment and the lump sum delivered by Betfred has helped them get over the halfway point of reaching their tally.
Betfred owner Fred Done donated all profits from bets placed on the Cheltenham Festival 2019 taken in high street shops to the appeal. The fundraising campaign is for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) equipment which will be used for children who have debilitating and life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy, brain tumours and brain trauma.
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “It is truly humbling that I have been able to help with this appeal for much-needed equipment. I think Mo had a word with God telling him to give some help to the children. There could not have been a better result for the scanner appeal than the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
“From my own sad experience, I know how important it is to have world-class equipment available to help save the lives of your loved ones. The new scanner will save the lives of seriously ill children brought to Manchester from all over the country and that is a fitting tribute to Mo’s memory. I feel privileged that I have been able to help.”
Kathy Cowell OBE DL, Chairman of Manchester Foundation Trust, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Fred Done for his commitment to our cause. This staggering donation will make a huge difference to this life saving and life changing Appeal taking us to the halfway stage of the money we so desperately need. We cannot thank Fred enough for his support.”
Looking back at the third round of the FA Cup there were plenty of upsets going around. League One side Gillingham took out Premier League side Cardiff for instance, while Newport County from League Two pulled off an even bigger shock in beating Leicester.
Other big winners pulling off shock wins included non-league Barnet beating Championship side Sheffield United and Oldham taking out Fulham.
24-year-old Laura Ward from Sheffield collected a great return of £8,800 from Betfred off a £1 bet on FA Cup giant-killers. The savvy punter correctly predicted four FA Cup third round upsets.
The picks that the punter went with were League Two’s Oldham taking a win at Premier League side Fulham at 9/1, Millwall beating Hull at 6/5 (the Lions were favourites), League One’s Doncaster getting the better of Championship side Preston at 3/1, non-league side Barnet beating Sheffield United, and that win for Newport over Leicester City.
The selections went into an accumulator.
Laura said: “I studied the Seventh Heaven coupon for about an hour and went for all the underdogs apart from Millwall beating Hull.
“I still can’t believe it, to win so much that could well transform my life for the sake of just £1 – it’s amazing!”
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “The third round might be fun for some people but it cost me well over half a million, with so many shock results and football fans like Laura picking my pocket with such tiny stakes.
Sometimes those big bold bets do indeed pay off. A Stevenage man has collected a pretty cool £40,000 return from a huge bet struck at Betfred on Saturday, November 3rd action. The wager was a 14-fold acca which covered matches from five division across England and Scotland.
Nick Lavranos nailed the lucky Saturday by selecting some bankers in the wager and then decided to rely on his knowledge to piece the rest of the bet together, leaning heavily on favourites for the wager. One of them was backing Newcastle to get their first league win of the season as they faced Watford, while West Ham struck in the second half of their game to beat Burnley.
The biggest drama of all in the bet was from the Blackburn v QPR match from the Championship. Bradley Dack struck a penalty kick just the minutes from time for Rovers to keep the bet alive, while Barnsley got a late one at home against Southend in League One, also three minutes from time.
Stevenage, the hometown club of Lavranos left it late to triumph over Oldham in their game while he relied on Celtic to win the top-duel with Hearts in the Scottish Premiership.
The Bet In Full – £5 stake returns £39,130
Everton 8/15 to beat Brighton
Newcastle 11/8 to beat Watford
West Ham 8/11 to beat Burnley
Blackburn 5/4 to beat QPR
Brentford 10/11 to beat Millwall
Derby 5/6 to beat Birmingham
Nottm Forest 7/4 to beat Sheffield United
Barnsley 2/3 to beat Southampton
Sunderland 2/3 to beat Plymouth
Lincoln 2/3 to beat Forest Green
Stevenage 11/8 to beat Oldham
Tranmere 6/5 to beat Exeter
Celtic 1/4 to beat Hearts
Motherwell 8/11 to beat Dundee
Last Sunday at Pontefract saw Champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa have a stunning day at the office. He paired up with trainer Mick Appleby to win all four of their rides to take the meeting by storm and it was a costly performance for the bookmakers, by the Jockey. Betfred reported losing £2.5 million on De Sousa’s efforts on the weekend.
De Sousa was in the saddle for Michele Strogoff, Big Country, Future Score and Classic Pursuit – at combined odds of 654-1, with a Betfred spokesman observing: “De Sousa is undoubtedly the punters’ favourite – and he obliged big time.
“Congratulations to thousands of our customers who went nuts after the Brazilian had a perfect day. Our high street customers have had an absolute field day combining the four rides of the most popular of jockeys.”
Bookmaker Boylesports was another operator who got hit pretty hard as well with them having to shell out over €16,000 for a stake of just €15.50 on a Lucky 31 to just one customer. That epic winning bet comprised De Sousa’s four winning mounts along with another selection, Mr Orange.
BoyleSports spokeswoman Aoife Heffron said: She added: “De Sousa’s four winners were a popular selection with punters, seeing a host of BoyleSports customers receive relatively large returns for choosing to get behind the champion jockey. Let’s just say the good day we had on Saturday was undone in about four minutes on Sunday.”
It was not the end to their campaign that England wanted, as they bowed out of the semi-finals in a 2-1 loss against Croatia after extra time. So much hype had been delivered about England and their deep run at Russia 2018 that punters had been piling into them winning the tournament outright.
The dreams all fell apart despite a bright start against semi final opponent Croatia, with Keiran Tripper giving the Three Lions a fifth-minute lead. But in the 109th minute, it was Mario Mandzukic who broke the hearts of the Three Lions with the winning goal to put Croatia through to their first ever World Cup Final.
Had England managed to prevail then UK bookmakers would have been facing one of the biggest ever payouts in history. It is estimated that England winning the World Cup 2018 would have cost the industry around £250,000,000 in payouts.
Betfred alone confirmed they would be in-line to lose £6 million, was England taken home the trophy.
Betfred boss Fred Done said: “That’s two bullets dodged.
“£6 million if this incredibly well marshalled young side had done the impossible and actually won the world cup AND £500,000 on England outright refunds if we had gone out on pens.
“I don’t take any pleasure in that at all for I’m a patriotic Englishman and we’re coming home with honour.”
Betfred’s exclusive deal with horse racing pool betting is coming to an end soon and once it does, other operators are going to be able to offer pool betting at racetracks in the UK. With the changes coming, regulatory body UKGC wants to maintain full transparency about pool betting.
July 12th, 2018 is when Betfred deal to exclusively offer pool betting for horse races comes to an end. The UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) Social Responsibility Code 4.2.10 will no longer apply to horse races once that happens.
The code states: “The Licensee must make available on any day a system (referred to as the public display system) for displaying in a prompt and accurate manner, in respect of each individual pool available on that day wherever, or through whatever means, the Licensee is conducting a pool betting business” reads the code.
It basically says that anyone running pool betting services have to offer the day’s available markets at all times to the public for transparency reasons. This is applicable to dog racing, but under the terms of their deal, Betfred had to agree to it in order to exclusively offer pool betting.
But in the summer pool betting on horse racing is entering an open market phase and none of the operators who go out and offer pool betting have to abide by the conditions of the code. So the UKGC wants to close that loophole to try and protect punters by keeping the industry fair and open. Their plan is to extend the code to horse racing tracks.
A consultation will be held later this year ahead of Betfred licence ending. The chance is likely to go ahead, but with feedback, the conditions may be tweaked. Another area that the UKGC is concerned about is the social responsibility.
They have been cracking down on misleading gambling advertising after reviewing the marketing material of the UK’s licensed operators and third-party affiliates. They have taken stern action against offenders and the UKGC will be now turning its attention to pool betting in an effort to ensure transparency for consumers.