Celtic reprieve causes problems for bookmakers

Celtic Football Club’s unexpected reprieve from Champions League elimination is causing some bookmakers a headache as curious punters get in touch to see if their previously losing bets are now, in fact, winners.

Celtic lost on Wednesday night 2-0 to Legia Warsaw in the CL qualifier, with an embarrassing 6-1 loss on aggregate. However the Polish side brought on a suspended player five minutes from the end of the second leg, and the action has caused UEFA to punish the team by awarding Celtic a default victory of 3-0, enough to allow them to progress on away goals.

The switch around from a 2-0 loss to a 3-0 victory has had several punters scrabbling for discarded betting slips or quickly signing into their accounts, but most will be disappointed.

Ladbrokes explained that the ‘90 minute match’ markets will stand as per the original result, including for betting in play markets. Therefore the firm is not paying out on Celtic to win 3-0.

However the bookmaker is putting its hand in its pockets for those who bet on the ‘Who will qualify’ market. Despite immediately paying out on Legia Ladbrokes is also paying out on bets placed for Celtic to qualify either before the tie began or indeed after the first leg.

Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “Customers who backed Celtic to qualify have had a reprieve. On the eve of the new season, we didn’t want our customers to suffer due to the bungling Warsaw management so we’ve picked up the bill and will pay out twice.”

Paul Petrie, director at McBookie.com, said that all bets will be settled on the official tournament result as adjudicated by the tournament organiser or official organisational body.  Subsequent changes, disqualifications and/or appeals will not affect settlement of bets.

He explained: “The only one that may be impacted is Celtic To Qualify For The Group Stages as that is a special market. We will probably have to settle that as a winner if they make it past Maribor.”

Despite the complications caused this morning, Petrie said that the judgement would be positive. “In the long run it is great because even if they  don’t qualify for the group stages,  they now go in the Europa League group stages regardless,  so it means there is European interest up until the end of the year – guaranteed.”

McBookie is now offering Celtic at 2/7 to reach the group stages after been reinstated. Opponents Maribor from Slovenia who are 5/2.

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