Grandad who took £2,000 from Coral is banned from bookies for ‘winning too much’

A punter claims his local betting shop has banned him because he was “winning too much”.

Grandad Michael Bates, 74, pocketed just over £2,000 in a 12-day streak of 48 successes at a Coral’s branch.

The widower, who told how he landed the modest haul after devising a method to predict horse race winners, said a staffer then asked him to leave and not come back.

He said: “They should not be allowed to do this. It can’t be right. It’s not as if I’m a Las Vegas high roller.”

The dad of three – a regular at the bookies in Colchester, Essex – went on: “I was told I couldn’t come in any more as I was winning too much.

“How can they invite you to bet then tell you to go away if you win? They only want customers who are losers.”

He said his “system” for picking winners was ­purely based on his research findings that 80 per cent of races are won by horses with the numbers one to four.

The retired roofing firm boss said he left the shop without protest after being ordered out. But later he phoned Coral’s customer service team to query the ban.

In a recorded conversation, listened to by the Sunday People, he was told staff have the right to decline bets, including for the reason that a customer has won too much.

“I was shocked,” he said. “I can’t believe this is right.” He now visits other bookies in the town and his winning streak appears to be continuing for the moment.

Coral’s PR director Simon Clare said he would investigate Mr Bates’s complaint as it is against the firm’s policy to ban punters for winning.

“For a very small minority of shrewd bet that it’s likely to be unprofitable for a bookmaker, we may want their bets phoned to our trading desk for authorisation,” he added.

“Even these are rarely ­refused but we may limit the stake.”

The Gambling Commission said there was no legal “right to bet” and no bookmaker had to accept a bet.

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