In-running bets voided after £23m Voler fiasco

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The success of Voler La Vedette at Leopardstown yesterday ignited chaos across the betting community after a bizarre glitch on Betfair appeared to open up unprecedented liabilities.

Always going best, the mare was in full control of the race after jumping the last – yet remained available to back at odds of 28-1. "In-running" punters wagered £1,642,094 before the market was suspended, and between them anticipated a payout of £23m. Ultimately, they were to be disappointed. After two and a half hours, Betfair voided all in-running bets on the race.

Many questions had been asked, above all concerning the fact that the total amount available to backers had been £21m – ostensibly exposing someone to liabilities of around £600m. Since exchanges do not operate credit, all kinds of wild theories were being aired until Betfair issued a statement.

"An investigation has revealed... an obvious technical failure which allowed a customer to exceed their exposure limit," it said. "In accordance with our terms and conditions, all in-running bets on this race will be made void. We fully appreciate the dissatisfaction this will cause many customers, and apologise for a very poor customer and betting experience."