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GRAND NATIONAL PRESS RELEASE - Wednesday 2nd April 2014

PRESS RELEASE – for Saturday 5th April 2014 (Grand National)

TOP TIPS FOR AVOIDING BETTING DISAPPOINTMENT ON NATIONAL DAY

It is hard enough finding a winner in the Crabbies Grand National, so make absolutely sure that what should be a winning day doesn't turn sour with your bet not returning what you'd hoped or expected.

Our Top Ten Tips

1) If you're not sure how to place a bet, ask! Hundreds of people in every betting shop and on every bookies' website are placing their first bets on National Day so don't be afraid to ask staff in the shops or online if you're not sure. They will be ready and waiting for your questions.

2) Shop around. Part of the fun of having a bet is trying to secure the best odds available on your horse. Prices can vary significantly from bookmaker to bookmaker. Compare the prices in local betting shops, adverts in your newspaper or search online for an odds comparison website. Look out for special offers too.

3) Look out for the Ts & Cs attached to special offers. Some bookmakers' offers might only be found online or only in their betting shops. If there are 'money back' promotions (e.g. money back if your horse falls at the first) check whether you actually get cash back or whether you will receive another free bet to the same value.

4) If you're writing the bet out yourself, make the instructions as clear as possible and be wary of horses with similar names. Write 'Grand National' to avoid any doubt. When Neptune Collonges won the big race in 2012, many disappointed punters who had simply written 'Neptune' had their bets halved, with their stakes split between the winner and the unplaced 100/1 shot Neptune Equester.

5) Check that you're getting the bet you want. If you fill in a special shop coupon, make sure that your printed receipt displays the right horse and stake money. If you bet online, be careful as for the Grand National, most bookmakers offer prices on horses to win, to finish placed (traditionally, the first four finishers, although some bookmakers pay on more places as a special offer) or even just to finish the course. Be careful to choose the type of bet you want and check the online betting receipt to make sure.

6) If you want to take your chosen horse's current odds (as opposed to starting price) ask betting shop staff to check that they're still available before your bet is placed, as bets will be settled at the price that was available at the time your bet was struck. Make sure you have that price on your printed receipt, as the odds can fluctuate regularly before the ‘off’. The opposite applies online, where bookmakers assume that you want to take the current available odds and you will need to check a box to select starting price. If a bookmaker is offering a 'best odds guarantee' (the better of either the current price or the starting price) there is no possible advantage to choosing the 'starting price' option, as you automatically receive it anyway if it beats the odds you have taken.

7) Remember that an each way bet is effectively two bets, so costs double your stake money e.g. £5 each way = £5 to win & £5 to be placed - total cost £10

8) If you have any queries about your bet make sure you raise them before the race.

9) If you're not sure whether your online bet has been properly accepted, look for the 'my account' page to consult your transaction history. If a bet is accidentally placed twice, or the wrong horse or bet type is chosen, contact the customer services department immediately to ask about having the problem corrected. They are not obliged to cancel or amend a bet, but often will if the request is reasonable.

10) Try not to leave your bet to the last minute. Some betting websites can slow down in the build up to the big race - don't leave yourself disappointed. Proof that you had tried to place a bet in time is unlikely to help you to be paid out.

If you do end up in dispute with your bookmaker about a particular bet and if the matter can't be resolved with further dialogue, visit the webite of the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS)(www.ibas-uk.com) to find out whether the bookmaker is registered with us and, if so, to complete an online dispute adjudication form.

The service is provided free of charge to consumers. For further information or to request a form by post, please contact 020 7347 5883.

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