Fat Duck Australia ballot scammed

The ballot system for securing tables at the Fat Duck when it opens in Melbourne next year has been scammed, with small groups using computer programmes to grab dozens of reservations.

heston blumenthalScammers secured at least 90 tables for groups to sell on for profit or give away as gifts to clients, while thousands of other hopefuls have missed out.

Earlier this it was reported that the critically acclaimed Heston Blumenthal venue is closing its doors in Bray for a short time and re-locating to Australia.

Antipodean diners were told they would be allowed to enter a ballot in October of this year with a table for two available for AU$1,050 and only a few thousand lucky applicants eventually being admitted.

Despite the tickets being non-transferable, within hours of the tickets being released they were on sale on sites such as Gumtree for upwards of AU$2,000 each.

Business Insider, however, has reported that the online ballot system was manipulated by three finance professionals who apparently hired an IT expert to create a computer programme that would spam table applications in the ballot.

Some 50 tables for between two and six people were apparently secured in this way and are now being used as gifts for clients or sold to colleagues at cost price.

Another group also managed to use a similar system to secure 40 bookings and have then been selling the reservations on for AU$500 a head, mostly to the finance industry.

The scam was apparently possible because the third party used to organise the ballot did not record IP addresses, which allowed the computer programmes to bypass the one application per person limit.

A further 3,000 applications were excluded from the ballot on suspicion of being multiple entries.

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