TAB takes $100K hit on Adams
"Well done. As a regular punter, albiet not on this event, the TAB has done the right thing."Featured comment
The TAB will honour first-place bets on both Valerie Adams and Nadzeya Ostapchuk.
The agency’s policy is to pay out based on the podium finish.
But in the case of the New Zealand shot putter’s graduation to gold – following Ms Ostapchuk’s shot put disqualification as a drugs cheat – it decided to make an exception.
The decision was made at a TAB meeting this morning, and will affect the fortunes of "thousands" of punters.
Bookmaker Mark Stafford told NBR ONLINE “business-wise, it’s a financial nightmare, but it’s the right thing to do”.
The decision would cost the TAB “close to six figures”, he says.
Many Olympic punters were betting for the first time, or at least not regular bettors.
To have not honoured their bets on Ms Adams “would have left a sour taste” and lessened the odds, so to speak, they would have returned to gamble on future sporting events.
$30 bet, $25,000 payoff
The TAB’s decision led to a particularly big pay-off for one punter.
Mr Stafford says a Timaru man bought a $30 “multi-bet” ticket covering the outcomes of multiple events. “It hinged on Val winning.”
And when the TAB decided to honour bets on the shot putter, it mean the Timaru punter had his 10 wins in the bag and could collect a whooping $25,000.
Mr Stafford says the agency did not know the man’s multi-bet was hanging in the balance when it made its decision.
The biggest win? $130,000
The Timaru winner was not the games biggest winner. Another mullti-sport punter who bet $5200 on the outcomes of 10 events collected $130,000, Mr Stafford says.
Overall, betting was heavily focused on just two athletes: Ms Adams and rower Mahe Drysdale.
The TAB had already paid out on Ms Ostapchuk’s gold.
Mr Stafford says if anyone felt uncomfortable keeping their winnings in light of the Belarusian’s disgrace they could pay the TAB back on a voluntary basis.
He did not expect anyone would.