Skybet keen not to be 'tarred with same brush' on sleepers.
A MAJOR bookmaker yesterday sought distance from the controversy surrounding the issue of 'sleepers' - the millions of pounds of punters' unclaimed winnings - by insisting they did not want to be 'tarred with the same brush' as their rivals, writes Lee Mottershead.
Pointing out that their operations are based around telephone and internet trade as opposed to betting-shop business, Skybet said that their customers were in a vastly different position to those punting on the High Street.
Skybet spokesman Dale Tempest said: 'We don't want to be tarred with the same brush as High Street bookmakers on the subject of sleepers.
'If there is unclaimed money with us, it just sits there in people's accounts and we don't have access to it.
'Obviously it is in our interests for people to carry on betting with us, so we write to our clients reminding them that they have money in their account.'
Tempest's comments came 24 hours after the Racing Post reported on an internal Coral memo sent by a district manager that seemed to discourage managers from endeavouring to return sleeper money to their customers.
Denying that the memo represented company policy, Coral on Monday said the document had been sent by a new member of staff and that a new memo had been issued by the regional manager 'instructing the staff concerned to ignore the district manager's memo'.
Declining to provide a copy of the new memo to the Racing Post yesterday, Coral spokesman David Stevens said: 'It's not our policy to release internal communication into the public domain.'
The Government's Gambling Bill is expected to raise the issue of sleepers in Parliament later this year.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 25, 2004|
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