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HGS
22 Feb 21 12:59
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Date Joined: 12 Apr 05
| Topic/replies: 4,945 | Blogger: HGS's blog
Shamelessly copied from horse racing forum.  Good piece below from Lee Mottershead RP. Blood boiling stuff.

Australia - the same should apply here
By Lee Mottershead
4:00PM, FEB 21 2021
Facebook is not the first big business to realise Australia is no pushover. Major players in the British bookmaking industry could attest to the same. Their experience, and now their enthusiasm to take a bigger slice of the Aussie cake, shows they could undoubtedly give British punters and British racing a better deal.
Those who bet regularly on racing could soon have their freedom to do so challenged by affordability checks. Bookmakers are already carrying out such checks at the behest of the Gambling Commission. It is true, however, that for a very different reason bookmakers regularly seek to stop punters punting.
Restrictions and account closures are the bane of punters' lives. This column has previously lamented how people who win too much or beat starting price too often are prevented from betting by bookmakers or limited to such paltry investments that they might as well be stopped.
Syndicate manager Sam Hoskins used Twitter to highlight an excellent case in relation to a leading bookmaker that is not being named here because it merely reflects the industry norm. Hoskins tried to place £10 at 7-2 about Gordon Elliott being the Cheltenham Festival's leading trainer. He was limited to a maximum of £7.15. Even worse, another of that bookmaker's customers who also fancied Elliott's prospects showed proof he had been told a wager of no more than 71 pence was permissible.
That looks ridiculous because it is ridiculous. The reality is bookmakers do it because they can do it. When they entered the Australian market they tried to do the same. They were stopped.
Known disparagingly as "corporates" in Australia, our leading firms became figures of derision when they started shutting down profitable accounts and heavily restricting stakes.
Behaviour that was very new to the country angered the state racing authorities, which through legislation are the bodies that licence bookmakers to bet on the sport. In 2014 Racing NSW became the first to intervene. It told the newly-arrived British bookmakers that if they wanted to retain their licences they would need to abide by the same minimum bet rules that applied to racecourse bookmakers.
As such, it became a statutory requirement for the likes of Ladbrokes, William Hill and bet365 to lay any punter to win $2,000 (£1,126) on a metropolitan win or each-way bet, assuming the wager was placed after 9am on the day of race. Racing Victoria followed suit in 2016. Now it is the nationwide norm. Moreover, accounts can be closed only if a bookmaker can show the punter is breaking integrity rules. Simply being a talented form student is not a good enough reason to raise the drawbridge.
At first bookmakers complained. Eventually they stopped complaining. They came to accept that for a business making many millions of dollars in profit, it seemed nonsensical and embarrassing to claim it was not possible to risk losing $2,000. Indeed, some firms have begun to embrace the minimum bet stipulations, going above and beyond the law's requirements in order to make their offerings more attractive than those of their rivals.
In short, the same bookmakers who tell smart punters over here they can have only a few pounds or pence on their fancy for the Grand National, over there very happily exist in a system that forbids such restrictions. Not only that, those bookmakers want to swim deeper into Australian waters.
That has become obvious through Entain - owners of Ladbrokes and Coral - making a move for Tabcorp, which has around 25 per cent of the Australian digital betting market. Through Ladbrokes and domestic business Neds, Entain already boasts 15 per cent market share. It is big. Crucially, and revealingly, in a land where rejecting honest winning punters is not allowed, it wants to get bigger.
A precedent has indisputably been set, underlined by the fact Australia's online market leader, Sportsbet, is part of the Flutter stable that owns Betfair and Paddy Power. It all begs the question, why can our bookmakers not treat punters at home in the same way they treat punters abroad?
William Hill is another firm to have become a significant player in Australia, where minimum bet rules apply
There is no good reason. The real difference is the BHA lacks the statutory powers of Racing Victoria or Racing NSW. British racing's leaders cannot compel bookmakers to act better, but they can at least ask the question, perhaps through racecourses offering some sort of partnership or kitemark model. It would be in the sport's own best interests to do exactly that.
The reason why is Britain's bookmakers not only treat Australian punters differently to British punters. They also treat Australian racing differently to British racing.
Bookmakers in Australia have to hand over between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent of turnover on every domestic racing bet. In the UK they pay ten per cent of gross profits. With bookmakers running at margins of between six and eight per cent on the sport, some lower if entirely offshore, their contributions equate to only 0.6 to 0.8 per cent of turnover prior to media rights payments, around a quarter to a fifth of what Australian racing enjoys.
That makes it entirely sensible for British racing to take Australia as its aspirational barometer, yet it must do so not just in relation to its own deal from bookmakers but the deal punters receive.
The case those punters have is irresistible. Our bookmakers no longer argue about their obligations to Australian customers over minimum bet rules because they know it would be impossible both morally and practically to win the argument. Given exactly the same principles are at stake, they could not win such an argument here either. We should therefore have something very similar to the Australian system, ideally extended to the ante-post market on major races.
It should happen because there is no fair or credible justification for the status quo to remain.
Pause Switch to Standard View Seems Australia run most things...
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Report pompey rat February 23, 2021 9:47 AM GMT
Thanks for petting this article up. You would like to think that the GC or CMA would pick up the baton on behalf of punters, but they either lack the will or do not have the ability.
Report HGS February 23, 2021 9:52 AM GMT
Don't have the same power pompey but isn't  that the point of them? To recognise this sort of bollox and regulate accordingly.
Report track record February 23, 2021 10:49 AM GMT
the whole industry in this country is a complete joke
they restrict winning punters but seem unable to restrict losing punters / which looks like
resulting in affordability checks and all the negative knock on effects that will have
Report ItsMeSwaddle February 23, 2021 12:42 PM GMT
I hate the whole Towcester setup you get the feeling you need to be 2L better from outside to beat inside.

But i think we need it to work to show there is any hope.
Report Takethepaintoftherails February 23, 2021 5:43 PM GMT
good read.
Report YDNA_got_it_right_now February 25, 2021 6:01 PM GMT
Rhetorical question. Why has it taken woolly bags so long to write that article ??
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