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Gamblers told to contact gardai in Betfair row

Gamblers who are unhappy their bets were declared void after a blunder by Betfair have been advised to make a formal complaint to the gardai.

Hundreds of punters were left fuming after their bets were voided because an error meant they were offered hugely inflated odds on a fancied runner at Leopardstown on Wednesday.

Betfair has blamed a "technical fault" -- but the Republic's Department of Justice said disgruntled customers can go to the gardai.

"Online gambling is a big part of why the legislation in this area is being developed," a spokeswoman said last night.

"As it stands the first port of call for any complaint should be brought to the gardai."

Last night a spokesman for the gardai said they were unaware of any complaints.

Betfair yesterday again attempted to explain the glitch which meant Voler La Vedette, an easy winner of the Christmas Hurdle, was able to be offered at 28-1 in-running (placing bets after the race has started).

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This trade would have left one 'small-time' customer with a theoretical €27m payout and potential liabilities of €714m had the betting exchange not voided the in-running market.

Irish punters had piled on nearly €2m in bets at the 'wrong' odds and were set to win almost €56m before the error was spotted and all bets were declared void.

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