|Ian Kerr, a statistician, thought the odds offered by Scottish bookmaker Colin Ross on the 2002 US Masters golf tournament were a little generous. So he placed a series of bets with Ross’ company, Cross-bet.|
But Kerr’s six bets won, Ross only paid out a small percentage of the winnings, prompting an argument which led to Scot being struck off by the gambling industry’s arbitration body.
Ross has twice been ordered to settle bets worth thousand of pounds to Kerr, a former maths teacher, by the Independent Betting Arbitration Service. His refusal to pay led to his being struck off.
Kerr used his knowledge of golf betting to pinpoint what he thought overly generous odds offered by Cross-bet on final scores in the US Masters. April 2002 Kerr called Cross-bet, to place a total of £1,000 on 20 separate £50 bets involving six different possible outcomes.
However, Kerr was not paid his full winnings of £10,000, just some cash and small cheques amounting to £2000.
'By paying me £2,000 he acknowledged that I’d won,' Kerr told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper. 'But he only sent me a fraction of what he owed me. He still owes me £8,000, including interest.
'He never had any problems when I lost £400 to him the previous year, and it just seems to me that he will do anything to get out of paying what he owes me.'
Ross’s advertising claims that in the event of a dispute, IBAS will be asked to rule,” and their decision will be accepted by both parties subject to mutual agreement.'
Kerr contacted IBAS in July 2002 and in August 2003, finding in Kerr’s favour. The adjudication panel slightly reduced the amount Kerr claimed he is due. After another appeal from Ross, the case was reviewed, again finding for Kerr.
Last week Ross wrote to Kerr saying he would only pay him £800. He added: 'Let the fun begin.'
Gambling debts are not recoverable by law in the UK, but Kerr’s case may force a change, according to a spokesperson for the UK’s Department of Culture Media and Sport, who said on Saturday 'While not commenting on any particular case,” “it is this kind of situation which shows the need for a modernisation of the law on gambling.
'In future, gambling debts will be treated under law in the same way as any other consumer debt.'