A relieved text has emerged from an employee of Australia’s newest betting agency after the company dodged a devastating $50million payout after launching a doomed promotional deal.
Betr offered an extraordinary 100 to 1 odds on every horse in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday in a potentially foolish move that could have devastated the News Corp-backed company.
Punters had been allowed to place one $10 bet on any horse in the race at 100 to 1 odds – meaning a guaranteed return of $1,010 if their horse won, including the then-favourite, Deauville Legend.
And a company staffer was reportedly relieved that the favourite faded on the home straight – texting a mate: ‘Gold Tripp hahahah’.
The text emerged in the Australian Financial Review on Wednesday. But the company isn’t out of the firing line with furious punters slamming the company for deactivating their accounts instead of paying out their $1,000 windfall.
Australia’s newest betting agency Betr has avoided disaster after Gold Trip won the Melbourne Cup. Pictured is winning jockey Mark Zahra with his wife
Tyler Chalwell told Daily Mail Australia he received an exciting call from his wife Kelly saying they were $1,000 richer after backing the winner, only to then discover the betting agency had deactivated her account.
‘She is ‘pretty p***** off,’ Mr Chalwell said. ‘We opened the account a few weeks ago when having a few drinks with friends and family.
‘So my wife and some friends signed up as I was talking about the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup offer.
‘She chose Gold Trip in the account, and her account was verified.’
Ms Chalwell also backed Anamoe at 21/1 odds – another betr offer for a max $10 stake – and was able to withdraw her winnings from that win.
‘Today she saw Gold Trip won and she was stoked but went to login and saw her account had been deactivated,’ her husband said.
Just 23 minutes before the race got underway she received an email that read; ‘Your betr account has been deactivated. You will not have any access to your account until you choose to activate it by sending an account activation request to firstname.lastname@example.org.’
Desperate attempts to contact Betr to have her account reactivated were unsuccessful.
Others online have also voiced similar stories.
‘You are a joke, why have I been deactivated. So angry,’ one social media user commented.
‘Same happened to my wife,’ another wrote.
Tyler Chalwell (right) told Daily Mail Australia he received an exciting call from his wife Kelly (left) that her $10 bet on Gold Trip at $100/1 won and they were $1,000 richer
Betr were in a tizzy on Tuesday before the Cup – frantically texting customers who had snapped up the promo with the offer of $150 in bonus bets, plus a refund of $10, if they scrapped their wager on Deauville Legend, the then-favourite.
‘EXCLUSIVE to your account. Lock in a win with Deauville Legend,’ read the begging Betr text to Melbourne Cup punters who backed the favourite at 100/1.
‘Follow the steps below before Race one at Flemington tomorrow and you can cash out your bet on Deauville Legend for $150 in Bonus Cash + your original stake refunded.’
Betr’s founder Matthew Tripp and his team would have had their hearts in their mouths when the race favourite threatened to hit the lead coming into the last turn.
But race outsider Gold Trip hit the front and stormed to victory.
Deauville Legend faded in the home straight to finish fourth – helping Betr avoid financial disaster.
Betr’s bold marketing ploy to attract punters almost backfired on Tuesday. Pictured are Melbourne Cup racegoers at Flemington on Tuesday
In another lucrative twist, the chief executive of wagering group Betmakers Technology Group, the company that provides the technology platform for Betr, also had a stake in Gold Trip.
Chief executive Todd Buckingham is a part owner in Gold Trip – meaning he won money from his own horse and the company he’s in charge of.
While the company no doubt saved millions with Gold Trip winning, sources within the betting industry confirmed Betr chiefs hedged some of their bets by placing wagers on the favourite with rivals to try to minimise the damage.
Tabcorp was understood to have taken on some of Betr’s liability as the company scrambled to avoid disaster.
Punters could place one $10 bet on any horse in the race – including the favourite – with a guaranteed return of $1010 if their pick then won, a marketing ploy which almost backfired
Betr, which is 33 per cent-owned by media giant News Corp, is now being probed by gambling watchdogs in NSW.
‘Liquor & Gaming NSW has serious concerns that this advertising may constitute a prohibited inducement under NSW gambling laws,’ a statement from the regulator said.
‘Broadly speaking, L&GNSW considers that an inducement includes any offer that may be capable of persuading or encouraging a person to participate, or to participate frequently, in any gambling activity, including to open a betting account.
‘We are investigating and will respond to any breaches with the full force of the law.’
The probe could also cost News Corp after its newspapers published adverts for the offer nationwide, which may also have been in breach of local state laws.
More than 80,000 racegoers (pictured) flocked to Flemington to see Gold Trip storm to victory in the 162nd Melbourne Cup
Betr was launched less than three weeks ago in time for racing’s Spring Carnival in a joint venture with bookie entrepreneur Matthew Tripp, who previously launched Sportsbet and BetEasy.
It was designed to harness and leverage the reach and power of broadcaster Foxtel and state newspapers to maximise betting potential, based on the successful Sky BET in the UK and FOX Bet in the US.
Betr launched with 60 staff and plans to quickly expand to 120 by targeting the lucrative under 35s market.
It is currently said to be bidding for the $1billion licence for wagering rights in Western Australia in a major investment and expansion.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk