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Man sues Coral for refusing payout on Rangers relegation bet

The company refused to pay Albert Kinloch £250,000 after £100 wager at odds of 2500/1.

Coral: Albert Kinloch claims the bookmaker's conduct is 'cheating' (file pic).
Coral: Albert Kinloch claims the bookmaker's conduct is 'cheating' (file pic). © STV

A former bookmaker is suing Coral for refusing to pay him £250,000 after he placed a bet of £100 at odds of 2500/1 that Rangers would be relegated.

On Tuesday, Albert Kinloch told a court how he placed the bet when "it became common knowledge that Rangers were going skint".

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, the 72-year-old told how he began following reports in newspapers and on radio and television about the Glasgow club's financial position in 2011.

Mr Kinloch, from Glasgow, said he formed the opinion the club were in serious trouble and a "dead club walking".

Remembering what had happened to Gretna FC when they were relegated to the Third Division because they could not complete their fixtures in Division One, he went to a Coral shop in Tollcross, Glasgow, in September 2011.

He said: "I asked for their prices on Rangers being relegated and the young lady said it was 2500/1. 

"I laid my bet of £100 at that price and the young lady phoned the head office and I gave her my slip. 

"She took my money, put it in the till and gave me my receipt."

His counsel, Anna Poole QC asked if anything had been said about relegation or the rules of the SPL and he replied: "No."

Mr Kinloch was asked if there were any rules displayed on the walls of the shop and replied: "There were basic rules on the walls - horse rules and football rules but nothing about relegation".

Coral, he said, stated that Rangers had been demoted.

Mr Kinloch said demoted and relegated were "interchangeable". He added that Coral had continued to refer to Rangers by that name and as being part of the "Old Firm".

"They didn't call it the 'New Firm' and they can't have it both ways," he told the court.

Mr Kinloch added: "The only word for Coral's conduct is 'cheating'. I am quite sure Coral as a company did not expect me to carry on like a dog with a bone. They thought I would give in. I do not give in."

Questioned by Craig Sandison QC for Coral, Mr Kinloch said he had began working for his father, a bookmaker, when he was 14 or 15.

"We have not heard anything about this or your experience as a bookmaker" said Mr Sandison. 

"No one asked" he replied.

The QC said: "You were being represented as an ordinary person but you are highly informed about the gambling industry"

"Highly respected" said Mr Kinloch.

Mr Sandison then asked Mr Kinloch why he had gone five or six miles to the Coral shop when there were several other bookies closer.

Mr Kinloch replied he had stopped going because "when you are winning, they don't want your business".

He said there had been nothing underhand about his bet at the shop. 

"I am not a mug punter," he added.

The hearing was adjourned until Wednesday.

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