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When will Betfair start restricting/banning accounts?

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Replies: 507
By:
Tam's Loup
When: 22 Sep 06 20:23
the big winners don't really think they are winning from each other, do they?
By:
frog
When: 22 Sep 06 20:23
I dont mind losing my leisure quid to genuinely skillful professional gamblers but I do object to losing it to insiders and **s.
By:
dogdice
When: 22 Sep 06 20:24
in answer to the original question -

it won't make any difference if Betfair ban or restrict accounts, it will only be a question of what they can get out of it. Keynes said that.
By:
DJ Sunset
When: 22 Sep 06 20:25
I dont mind losing my leisure quid to genuinely skillful professional gamblers but I do object to Betfair thinking its not them who end up paying 95% of the bill to subsidise insiders and **s.
By:
balat
When: 22 Sep 06 20:31
So , did u mean that we bet against betfair and not from other punters???
By:
dogdice
When: 22 Sep 06 20:32
if I've said it once I've said it 1,000 times - I'm in a taxi with two race horse owners who have runners in the same race. we all know the jockeys. what do you think happens ?

what happens (in the fairytale) is that we all agree that the "best horse wins"
By:
dogdice
When: 22 Sep 06 20:35
gambling isn't a job like harvesting potatoes. Betfair are simply a conduit and as such (as an asset) they are completely dispensable.
By:
dogdice
When: 22 Sep 06 20:37
the software is presumably replicable, and the people are on the daft side of reality, so what is the "goodwill" sum ?
By:
I bet I don't gamble
When: 22 Sep 06 20:53
rubbish thread.
By:
CLYDEBANK29
When: 22 Sep 06 21:06
I mentioned years ago that "commission" was a smokescreen. That its the losers that keep the show on the road and all consistent winners do from a profit point of view is take profit away from Betfair.

CAT says that the accountants at Betfair have now come round to this way of thinking but 2 things fly in the face of this. Firstly if you pay low commission (and I assume that covers the vast majority of big winners) you have your own dedicated account manager. So not only are you taking money off Betfair they are also spending extra resources on you. Secondly is the api. I may be wrong, but i'd imagine that most people using this are winners and all the api is doing is helping existing winners become bigger winners.

Anyhow liquidity is essential and another essentiality is the ethos that winners are welcome. And with bookies closing down winning accounts faster than it takes Asafa Powell to run the 100metres its a very important part of Betfair. Stories of big winners and big wins keep the dream alive and generate interest in gambling in the first place whether it be Alec Bird, Phil Bull or The Cincinnati Kid. I maybe wrong but I think most punters would be disgusted if Betfair started closing (straight) winning accounts. Likewise, if The Cincinnati Kid was real, i'd bet most poker players would love the opportunity to play against him even though they be far more likely to lose.

"Your good kid but...................."
By:
CLYDEBANK29
When: 22 Sep 06 21:09
as long as i'm around you're only second best"
By:
medemi
When: 22 Sep 06 21:10
and another essentiality is the ethos that winners are welcome.

Right on, and it doesn't even matter whether I'm a winner or a loser myself.
This is how it should be. **c the bookies.
By:
medemi
When: 22 Sep 06 21:12
Winners are welcome, because we want to beat them.
That is the game we play.
By:
the man
When: 22 Sep 06 21:22
that's right Clydebank
By:
Minnesota Fats
When: 22 Sep 06 21:23
The kid's good, but I'm the man!
By:
Gutless Wonder
When: 22 Sep 06 21:25
the money in our betting banks -
do betfair invest this in any way and take the
profits? or can't they touch this?
By:
Col Archaius Tory
When: 22 Sep 06 21:35
Just got in from a rare night out and for me this is a cracking thread whichever side of the argument you're on.

Lots of interesting points raised - e.g. Snake says if accounts were closed here the business would die, and DJ countered that the Big Three close winning accounts routinely yet their businesses prosper.

My view is that, if Betfair did it on the quiet, while rumour of it would get out, while it wouldn't help the business in some ways (because one of the hitherto main ways of promoting this place was that it's not a bookie and you won't get closed down here) but I honestly don't think the business would die because the vast majority lose here already.

It would just reduce the overall standard of players a bit, bringing more into the average which drive the highest churn rate.

No one who win here wants that to happen and, in any case, regardless of the arguments, it's highly unlikely it ever will happen, but it's an interesting talking point.

Im not going to express a view either way but, if they did go down this road, instead of just banning people, why not put them for eviction by email vote to the rest of the userbase instead?

Done your cobblers on the World Cup? Well, heres the guy you lost most of it to  should he stay or should he go?

Nice bit of theatre.

I also agree that what I'd heard about Betfair's accountants raising the issue of big winners being detrimental to long-term growth doesn't sit well with reports that the lowest commission payers (who IMO are usually, but not always, big winners) get dedicated account managers.

If Betfair were brutally pragmatic with their marketing/customer care budget, theyd treat the biggest winners like dirt - a guy winning six figures a year here won't like being treated by dirt, but hell put up with it because he makes a nice living here - and devote their customer service resource to keeping the biggest losers sweet instead.

So, come Xmas time, big fat hampers for the ten biggest losers, dog t*rds through the letter boxes of the biggest ten winners, and everyone's happy: right?
By:
Gay Stan Loves It On Top
When: 22 Sep 06 21:57
Betfair:

"Winners Welcome, Losers Essential"
By:
CLYDEBANK29
When: 22 Sep 06 21:58
Love this quote from The Cincinnati Kid

"Listen, Christian, after the game, I'll be The Man. I'll be the best there is. People will sit down at the table with you, just so they can say they played with The Man. And that's what I'm gonna be, Christian."
By:
medemi
When: 22 Sep 06 22:08
You don't see people banned from the stock market, yet there are big winners
and big losers over there as well.
Betfair provide a service, a platform where people can match bets.
It is not that hard to understand, even if you got used to the bookies being around.
It is simply not their business to interfere with people who are winning or losing.
That's the model and that is how it should be.
The focus should be on preventing fraud and fighting criminality, because that
will harm everyone, except the fraudsters themselves.

It seems to me some of you have been around bookies way way too long.
By:
the man
When: 22 Sep 06 22:22
If you banned certain big winners then liquidity would drop massively and there would be no money there for the recreational punters to match. There would be nothing more off putting than seeing a blank screen with no odds. Obviously I'm not talking about Chelsea v Liverpool match odds but there are lots of markets being held up by a few big players
By:
Col Archaius Tory
When: 22 Sep 06 22:38
''It is simply not their business to interfere with people who are winning or losing.''

The problem with that statement is that it IS Betfairs business.

And, like all businesses, they want to make as much money as possible.

If anyone or anything got in the way of that - or if they just thought that was the case - they might act.

Betfair can call themselves a technology company until theyre blue in the face but theyre not, theyre a betting operator, and are taxed and regulated as such, and, like all betting operators activity on the betting platform they provide and administer is of considerable interest to them if it impacts on their levels of commission revenue,

There is absolutely no point in bringing morality or any sort of sense of what's right or what's wrong into this - Betfair would make a purely commercial decision if, that is, they ever made any sort of decision in this area.

Moreover, the more time passes and the more the ownership of the business passes from the hands of the founders into financial institutions and their accountants, the greater the chance that whatever policies were thought most likely to maximised profitability would eventually be implemented.
By:
Get On MASSIVE
When: 22 Sep 06 22:45
Betfair would be just like the bookies.

Losers welcome, winners will be shut down. So maybe an advertising slogan along the lines of you can't win, either you do the right thing and lose or we'll shut you down.

I make my living on Betfair and have dragged a healthy six figure sum out of Betfair and if they shut me down I'd just open an account in someone elses name. An inconvenience but no problem.
By:
medemi
When: 22 Sep 06 23:14
CAT,

I wasn't referring to the moral side of things, not as much as you are implying.
Betfair are at a disadvantage to the bookies, there are not that many recreational punters
as they would possibly like. People come on here to make some money.
Banning winners won't do betfair no good IMO because it IS the objective of most punters,
contrary to the bookies' customer base.
Betfair should use their strenghts and not copy strategies that won't work for them.
I think they will do fine in the future.
By:
Col Archaius Tory
When: 22 Sep 06 23:55
medemi,

Those on this thread who deride the notion of Betfair restricting or banning big winners seem to have this naive idea that, if Betfair decided to do this, they'd go public about it.

Well, I never see much mention of the bookies restrictions in their marketing material and doubt if Betfair would be public about it either.

No, just an account closed, here, an IP address blocked there, the same stuff the high-margin bookies do, to make it tougher for a regular big winner who takes lots of cash out of the system and doesn't generate much in the way of commission.

And they'd be selective - people winning fortunes but doing so by providing tonnes of visual liquidity and operating to tiny profits on turnover would be left alone - it's the price-hitting guys thumping in 5% plus profit on turnover they'd go after, but on the quiet.

But there'd be an outcry and no one would bet here any more, I hear some cry?

Since when has that kind of protest made any difference to how the bookies operate?

So why would anyone think it would have any impact here?

What was it - 0.71% who make 15k or more a year here?

What percentage of users here lose overall? 70%? More?

Such a covert ban could take place and the majority of users here would never even know about it, much less be affected by it.

The professionals who - by winning too much, too fast, fast and too regularly - were perceived to be stunting the rate of churn among the average players and taking money out of the system at a faster rate than Betfair was earning commission, would be quietly euthanised.

And the vast majority of the user base would notice no difference except, perhaps, that they lost at a slightly slower rate, thus generating more commission revenue for Betfair as these users recycled a bit more of their own money for longer.
By:
wonby10
When: 23 Sep 06 02:08
DJ Sunset on radio ga ga...coming to you right now!
By:
Col Archaius Tory
When: 23 Sep 06 03:24
Put it this way, the two ideal users for Betfair are two players of average ability who just sit there, betting on match markets which are basically spin-of-a-coin affairs, endlessly matching bets with each other at evens (2) and taking it in turns to win the same amount, with Betfair slowly milking both their account balances in commission.

Any other pattern of activity is less than 100% efficient for Betfair's business model.

The more your p/l on your betting turnover veers away from zero, the less efficient a customer you are for the exchange business model.
By:
jarvis8
When: 23 Sep 06 06:03
dj seems to be worried most about losing the pool of cash from the victims of phone in results that are already known, if people are stupid enough to allow this to happen to themselves wont they just get mugged elsewhere and disappear anyway?.
By:
medemi
When: 23 Sep 06 06:40
CAT,

I think you are making a mistake by focusing on specific customers.
You should start from your model. Betfair allow everyone to play on here,
punters, traders (they even stimulate this group beyond what is fair), arbers
you name it. As a result of this markets become more and more efficient.
When markets become more efficient, that is when money is recycled more often.

Big winners (and there are very few because a lot of markets are reasonably efficient) could be
on a winning strategy. These people will remove inefficiencies in the end as their demand will
make the price drop, and other punters will adapt or find out about these strategy.
In the meantime they provide a lot of liquidity and pay a staggering amount in commission.

Removing a few big winners and killing everyones dream to become rich on here, just so customers
lose at a slightly less rate (short term) just doesn't seem to be the way forward to me.
And there are a lot of risks attached to that strategy.
Betfair might restrict accounts when it is quite obvious (or likely) that they are dealing with
insiders, but only if it is too hard to deal with them in a legal way. IMO.
By:
catflappo
When: 23 Sep 06 07:03
Medemi, I think that's a really good point about user's dreams of making it big. How many people would be put off when word got around (as it would) that betfair banned successful punters?

The betfair model is extremely simple. They take a proportion of each winning bet therefore they encourage users to place more and bigger bets. It seems to work...

CAT, are you really saying that if you started up your own exchange you would remove successful accounts?
By:
pumpkinslayer
When: 23 Sep 06 08:25
The problem is the majority of money backed is mug money awhile the majority being layed is pro money. Take out the pro's and liquidity vanishes overnight.
By:
sagaro
When: 23 Sep 06 08:59
Anybody dreaming of becoming rich on here is either as green as the grass or self-deluded beyond redemption. Basically i agree with CAT-the ideal customers are those who play often and win just often enough to stay here though gradual losses are near certain.
By:
rayzor
When: 23 Sep 06 09:40
This thread really is a load of rubbish.

Betfair rely on turnover. The more bets that are matched the greater their profit. If they ban the big hitters they are reducing the amount that gets matched on any event and their profits go down.

Why would they ban the bigger winners? The answer is that they wouldn't.
By:
DJ Sunset
When: 23 Sep 06 10:28
The more bets that are matched the greater their profit.:)
By:
The Betf
When: 23 Sep 06 10:34
CAT: > "Done your cobblers on the World Cup? Well, heres the guy you lost most of it to  should he stay or should he go?" Nice bit of theatre.

CAT, I cannot believe you of all people are spouting this rubbish, and I can only hope that it's tongue-in-cheek. If it's not the please never post to the forum again, becuase that has to be about the stupidest idea I have ever heard.

I asked the question earlier, and it has still not been answered. Exactly how much money does an account need to win before it is considered "too big"? Once I know that limit I'll make sure none my "best friends" (The Betfiayr, The Betfairy's Friend, THe Betfairy's Friend #2) ever quite reach the limit!

I still can't decide whether or not DJ started this thread to go fishing, but what I read here is deeply worrying if these are the real thoughts of real Betfarians.
By:
DJ Sunset
When: 23 Sep 06 10:38
Betfairy - I can't see why the status quo would be kept, once they try to start maximising profits. Perhaps they think they are max'ing profits at the mo, but I would be amazed if they think they are.
By:
DJ Sunset
When: 23 Sep 06 10:41
I think there are two issues here though - there's no reason for Betfair to ban any accounts, even the insiders. Its just that if someone is winning 100% of their bets, they would be willing to pay up to 99.9% commission. Insiders/**s accounts could be kept open by Betfair, but instead of Betfair getting one single rake of 2 to 5%, they should in reality be charging 99% to insiders to use the service.
By:
bigpoppapump
When: 23 Sep 06 10:48
**s should be shut down.

winners shouldn't and wont be.

b/f do maximise their profits; this is the real world sunny, not an economics GCSE. if they made 35m and you're saying "if they do this they could make 36" as some kind of proof that they don't max their profit is silly. suggests you have never run a major, profit making business.

b/f have gone from zero to zillions in 5 years with a business model of genius, and they need to take tips from us guys on here? right.
By:
bigpoppapump
When: 23 Sep 06 10:49
36m
By:
DJ Sunset
When: 23 Sep 06 10:52
bpp > how many of their big accounts would be willing to pay 5%, 8% or even 12% commission? if you're saying that a company that has almost no discrimination between users in their prices (the transaction charge is the one discriminatory tool they use, plus the fixed yearly cost for API access to API users) is maximising profits, I'd honestly be surprised.
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