Betfair apologises after keeping punter £100,000 out of pocket for months

Betfair has apologised to one of its customers after he was left out of pocket for many weeks when an attempted deposit of nearly £100,000 to place bets on the US election in November was taken from his bank but did not credit to his account.

The customer, a long-standing account holder with the betting exchange who lives in Ireland and bets mainly on horse racing and sport, arranged the transfer of €110,000 (£98,000) a week before the election on 3 November, having confirmed with Betfair’s customer service department that there were no limits on the amount he could deposit and that the deposit would be accepted. He also fulfilled all of the firm’s “KYC” – Know Your Customer – requirements.

When the credit failed to appear on his account statement, he became increasingly concerned that his money had effectively vanished, but despite numerous daily contacts with Betfair’s customer service department, no one could tell him where it had gone.

His frustration increased as the election came and went with the money still missing from his exchange account. He then asked Betfair to return the money to the same bank account from which it had been transferred but again, despite “multiple requests and inquiries” to Betfair’s customer relations and escalations departments, the money remained somewhere in the exchange’s coffers.

Betfair’s market on the US election was the biggest in the exchange’s history, with around £500m matched on the outcome. Several weeks after it was finally settled, however, and more than 10 weeks after the customer attempted to make his deposit, his £100,000 was still missing. The money was finally returned to his account on Thursday, a few hours after the Guardian asked Betfair to investigate its whereabouts and the delay in returning it.

In an email to inform him of the transfer, a Betfair representative apologised for the “inconvenience brought about the delay”. The company declined to offer any further comment when contacted on Friday about the case.