Punter claims bookies refusing to pay out on £5m Champions League win

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Darren Hope, 52, was escorted out of a branch of BoyleSports in Coventry by five police officers after he staged a one-man protest over what he believes occured. He claims he won £5m with an accumulator bet culminating with a succesful prediction of the European Champions League final score back in 2019, in which Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0.

Darren says BoyleSports lost his betting slip but the bookies says the bet was never made and the branch at which Darren claims to have made the wager didn’t even exist at the time.

The punter, who lives in Coventry, complained to adjudicator Independent Betting Adjudication Service but it too stated the Irish company hadn’t opened a store in Coventry by May 2019.

Yet there is a police log of the protest staged by Mr Hope inside the bookies which states officers were called to the premises on September 25, 2019. That was over a month before Boylesports and the IBAS claimed the Boylesports opened.

“We are talking about a multi-billion pound company, so it’s peanuts to them,” Darren, an electrical engineer, said today.

“It’s a breath of fresh air to them. I’d be living in a new house if I had that money. I even went to a Ford garage to order a Mustang. I feel very let down.

“This has caused me a lot of stress, a lot of sleepless nights. I feel betrayed.”

Darren told Birmingham Live he placed £20 with BoyleSports in May 2019 on a bold punt for Liverpool to beat Barcelona 4-0 in the second leg of the semi-final at Anfield at 400/1, Spurs to beat Ajax at 18/1 and for Liverpool to then beat Spurs in the final, at that stage priced at 35/1.

All predictions came to fruition so Darren claims he should have been given £5million.

Mr Hope admits he has no concrete proof he should get the huge windfall, alleging the winning slip was handed to the Foleshill Road bookies, with his contact details and signature scribbled on it, when he went to collect his winnings.

The engineer added: “I went to collect my winnings on June 2, the day after the final, and was told they couldn’t pay it from there. I put my name, address and phone number on the slip, signed it, and gave it the woman. People have said I was stupid to hand over the slip, but what else was I supposed to do?

“At 8pm that night I got a call from BoyleSports. The man confirmed to me I’d won, asked for my bank details, gave me a transaction number – 320536809, and said it would take 90 days for the money to become available. I was in very high spirits.

“I waited until September 25 and looked at my bank account and the money wasn’t there.”

It was then Darren took matters into his own hands and he staged his demonstration at the shop.

“The attendant said they didn’t know anything about it,” said Mr Hope. “In the end, the attendant was starting to get angry and called police – five came in.

“One pushed me in the back and I told him there was no need for that. He said, ‘you can’t do this in here’ and I asked, ‘can you blame me, what am I supposed to do?’ ‘Use the system,’ he replied.”

A letter sent to the gambler by the Independent Betting Adjudication Service reads: “(We have been) provided with details of your complaint against Boylesports and your follow up correspondence with Action Fraud.

“Unfortunately, I have contacted Boylesports and they have confirmed that they did not open a betting shop in Coventry until November, 2019. I regret that we cannot progress your complaint against the company any further.”

Action Fraud has been contacted but has been unable to assist the punter. In a letter, dated January 14, 2020, the government body informed Mr Hope: “On this occasion, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau have reviewed your crime and based on the information currently available have not been able to identify a line of enquiry which a law enforcement agency in the United Kingdom could pursue.

“We continuously assess the content of individual and linked crime reports. If, as a result of new information, the situation changes we will provide an update.”

That has only added to Mr Hope’s anger.

“Surely they only have to study CCTV from the shop?” he said. “That, at least, would show me making the bet and going in to collect my winnings. It’s common logic.”

In an email to BoyleSports, sent this February, Mr Hope wrote: “This bet still remains unresolved and you therefore still owe me the winning money.

“I am prepared to accept a settlement amount of 50 per cent. I therefore request that you contact me within the next seven days.”

Express.co.uk and Birmingham Live have contacted BoyleSports for comment.



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