A BOOKMAKER is investigating after a gambler was refused his £4,300 winnings because his betting slip was unreadable.

Gavin Boland, 31, placed two £150 bets on greyhound races at Coral, in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, on Friday.

Mr Boland, of Fleet Street, in the town, said the bets were tricast, which means he chose the three runners he thought would finish in the top three positions.

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After watching his selections win, Mr Boland was told by the checkout clerk he had won £4,300, but when a manager was called to verify the payout, he was only offered £1,200.

The manager said the bet was a forecast, which means two of Mr Boland’s three selections would have to finish in the top two places.

Mr Boland said: “They said my betting slip was not clear, but I put the bet on as a tricast.

The person who took my bet told them that is what it was and it went into their system as that.

“But when I went to claim, they said it was forecast, even though both the worker and I told them it was not.

“What is the point of employing people if you do not listen to them?

“If they could not understand my bet, they should not have accepted it in the first place.”

Mr Boland said he has contacted a solicitor and is willing to fight his case.

He said: “Some people might have taken the smaller amount, but I didn’t on principle.

This is my money, I won it fairly and it’s wrong for them to keep it.

“If I had lost my money they would happily have taken it without a second thought, but now I am trying to claim what is rightfully mine, they are making it difficult.”

As a tricast bet, Mr Boland would have won £775 on the 5.07pm race at Swindon and £3,525 ten minutes later at Monmore.

A Coral spokeswoman said: “We want to have a thorough investigation both for ourselves and for our customer.

“This can take up to a week and Mr Boland will be contacted when a decision has been made.”