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onlooker
17 Jan 21 13:23
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Date Joined: 18 Feb 03
| Topic/replies: 35,785 | Blogger: onlooker's blog
from irishracing ....

The perpetual tussle between punters and bookmakers is as old as time.

But, while the bookmakers have always held the edge, that advantage is getting far more pronounced as technology and corporations replace the human face of the sole-trader bookie.

The old days of fearless on-course layers willing to take an opinion on a race were but a fading memory prior to the advent of Covid as ‘the machine’ had long since governed the prices on offer at the tracks.

With no on-course layers for the time being at least, and no high-street betting shops either, all the trade now takes place in an online world where the algorithm is king.

We are constantly being warned about protecting our personal data and GDPR has become a buzz word for safe-guarding consumers from the worst practises of big business.
But an online betting account is the ultimate tool for the modern corporate bookmaker. They now know everything about your betting habits. When you bet, what you bet on, how much you stake and crucially whether or not you’re a winner or a loser.

Once their algorithm weeds out the small percentage of potential winners they are left with a distilled pot of losers. In fact, their data analysis has become so advanced that they no longer need to close accounts of the potential winners and can instead limit stakes on certain bet types and events and relax those limits where they know there is less risk.

The online bookie is in GAA terms the equivalent of Dublin. Virtually, if not totally, unbeatable and only getting stronger.

The vast array of online bookmakers in the market is proof, if any were needed, as to just how lucrative this business has become. The only real surprise is that Tesco, Lidl and Ryanair haven’t looked for a slice of the action yet.

You would expect a market as diverse as the online betting arena to offer greater choice for the consumer but that is scarcely the case. All firms quickly fall into line behind the biggest players in the market and even when pricing up events as subjective as horse races there is rarely more than a point or two in the difference on any individual runner.

Bet365, a giant of the online space, is currently offering ‘traditional’ Ante-post markets on all Cheltenham races so it should follow that there’d be an edge for the punter when rival company Paddy Power announced last week that they were going NRNB (non-runner no bet) on all 28 Festival races.

I looked at the Champion Hurdle betting with both firms and Paddy Power, with their money back concession, are shorter odds on every single horse. So, any potential advantage for the punter disappears into their higher over-rounds. Over-rounds that were already bloated on the Bet365 market.

Paddy Power are masters at these corporate sleights-of-hand where at first glance the offer looks great value for the customer but when you delve into the fine print you realise it’s not quite what it first seemed.

Most bookmakers follow Paddy Power’s lead so their recent change to the now standard offer of Best Odds Guaranteed will likely filter down through the industry. This week they reduced the daily limit on this concession from €50,000 to a mere €1,000.

The relentless advance of the corporate bookie should in theory spell its own demise. If punters can’t actually win why would they continue to bet? You’d probably need a team of psychologists to answer that question, but the addictive nature of betting must be a significant factor.

The structure of racing both here and in the UK is increasingly reliant on bookmaker profits by way of levies paid to the sport, TV rights and sponsorship deals.
The success of the sport is precariously linked to the success of the bookmakers; which is all under-pinned by its audience consistently losing money.

Not a financial model any sport would set out to achieve.
------------

[b]Could you imagine RACING POST publishing an article like that ?  CryGrin

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Replies: 147
By:
loper
When: 18 Jan 21 13:08
Testing?
By:
loper
When: 18 Jan 21 13:10
Surprised nobody else has commented on this outrageous situation.

The more its discussed openly the better.
By:
impossible123
When: 18 Jan 21 13:32
The demise of most online bookies is not such a bad thing, and I hope it happens soon esp if it encourages genuine old-fashion bookmaking in the future. The majority of the present online bookies, some of which "sponsored" high-profile National Hunt trainers, spoke volume. If the same had happened on the Flat the horse racing and punter relationship is clearly doomed similarly horse racing.

Bookies ought not to be allowed to sponsor horse racing - that's the job of the Levy Board. And, I firmly believe the present scarcity of non-bookie sponsorship of prestigious races a clear indication of their repugnance or distaste being associated with any bookie. Imagine judges and law officials sharing the same table with known gangsters, murderers or drug lords at a Convention Against Crime? That's what is happening in British Horse Racing.
By:
kavvie
When: 18 Jan 21 13:50
theres an interview with barney curley (love him or hate him) about the very subject about 10 years ago. he said, just in a factual way. "you cant win". if you win say reasonably consistently on any one sport you will be restricted to nothing. if you show any brains by taking a price bigger than the sp ,win or lose, you will be restricted. i love going racing but more as a social occasion.its funny to see at the bigger meetings all the boards all going say 9/4 the fav .then it flashes 2/1 every board..like sheep.. the game as we knew it is gone sadly.
By:
parispike
When: 18 Jan 21 14:28
loper18 Jan 21 15:10Joined: 08 Oct 01 | Topic/replies: 5,969 | Blogger: loper's blog
Surprised nobody else has commented on this outrageous situation.

The more its discussed openly the better.


It's not discussed loper because with one of two notable exceptions racing "journalists" are in the pocket of and in many cases on the payroll of the off course bookmakers. Mainstream journalists of course by and large do not understand gambling nor horse racing and their interest is sated by the "problem gambling" storyline. Gambling regulation campaigners will not touch the subject because, simply, their agenda is not enhanced by the prospect of people actually winning. Indeed they will likely view publicising that winning is possible is inadvisable as it may encourage people to gamble.

Betting on sport is aspirational but how can it be promoted when off course books are permitted to rinse addicts but shut down everyone who shows any ability?
By:
workrider
When: 18 Jan 21 14:41
That's a scary article yet we all know its true. No bookie gives a toss about punters , we are and always have been cannon fodder.
I acknowledge the reporter for having the guts to report it .
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 14:46
But at least these days we don't have to use them.
By:
parispike
When: 18 Jan 21 14:52
That's true sparrow but it doesn't change the reality. Can you imagine the Stock Exchange being permitted to ban winners?
By:
Nebs
When: 18 Jan 21 14:54
They don't want you to win.
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 15:00
Ah well isn't the Stock Exchange more similar to a betting exchange parispike?
By:
parispike
When: 18 Jan 21 15:02
Why so?
By:
jimnast
When: 18 Jan 21 15:07
impossible

bookmakers should not be allowed to sponsor Crazy
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 15:08
Players on both sides of the fence?  If you think the price is too high you can sell and too low buy.
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 15:09
You can't lay a horse with a bookmaker.
By:
Gordon63
When: 18 Jan 21 15:12
Betting on sport is aspirational but how can it be promoted when off course books are permitted to rinse addicts but shut down everyone who shows any ability?

three bookies - one of them with a significant high st presence and a somewhat infamous marketing department - have such severe restrictions on my racing bets e.g. 20-1 ew, ok for 87p!! that they're not useable, HOWEVER these very same books will take fairly large single bets on US sports (my current focus on college basketball) without (as yet!) any issue and I'm winning on all three...I suspect it's the same if I wanted to place large bets on football...horse racing punters definitely get the thick end of the wedge
By:
Deptford
When: 18 Jan 21 15:18
sparrow, you can back horse not to win.
By:
kavvie
When: 18 Jan 21 15:19
at vastly inferior laughable odds dept and you are very well aware of that
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 15:24
Deptford 18 Jan 21 17:18 
sparrow, you can back horse not to win.





Well I'm a little out of touch with bookmaker offers as I never use them, but how does this work then?
By:
Deptford
When: 18 Jan 21 15:28
365 mate, example, next race, Lethal Lunch is 8/11 not to win, that could be omen, im just cooking a Gammon Joint, first time ive tried it!!
By:
workrider
When: 18 Jan 21 15:28
Just looked at my casino allowance , would you believe they allow me lose up to a Million I kid you not...
By:
kavvie
When: 18 Jan 21 15:30
so you have to lay them the evens fav at 11/8 dept? do you not know how it works or what?
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 15:31
Lethal Lunch is 11/10 not to win one here, deptford.
By:
Deptford
When: 18 Jan 21 15:31
I dont indulge mate, just letting sparrow know
By:
Deptford
When: 18 Jan 21 15:32
Mate, sadly I aint laid anything for fooking ages!!!
By:
workrider
When: 18 Jan 21 15:34
Deptford...LaughLaugh brilliant
By:
JetLoneStar
When: 18 Jan 21 15:35
If only there was some kind of betting exchange where you can have as much on as you want without restrictions.

In all seriousness (despite the dropping liquidity compared to years past), as many mistakes and technical glitches Betfair make, its still remains a gamblers utopia compared to the bookie parasites. Better odds, ability to lay, In-running etc; without Betfair id most probably be on the dole queue, so am personally extremely grateful I havent had to wager a penny with the leeches, how they've gotten away with their unethical practices for so long is criminal. Wish BF would push the exchange more instead of trying to herd new customers to the generic sportsbook crap - but cant have it all I suppose.
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 15:40
jetlonestar, they make far more money on their bookmaking so they're not really too bothered about the exchange.
By:
workrider
When: 18 Jan 21 15:56
sparrow pure greed is what it is, when will enough be enough for them.
By:
screaming from beneaththewaves
When: 18 Jan 21 16:10
technology and corporations replace the human face of the sole-trader bookie.

The old days of fearless on-course layers willing to take an opinion on a race were but a fading memory prior to the advent of Covid as ‘the machine’ had long since governed the prices on offer at the tracks.


This is the key thing. This is what we've lost - the ability to bet against men who were willing to lay horses to lose thousands on the basis of half an hour in the car park glancing through the form in the Life.

Those individuals, with no price guide other than Neil Wilkins' tissue, made bigger mistakes betting to 130% in the Ring than you'll find on here now where layers bet to 101%.

But these days this place tells them exactly what price to lay. The exchange isn't our saviour. It's the cause of our oppression.
By:
ihal essex
When: 18 Jan 21 16:11
Thanks Onlooker, excellent article!
By:
dukeofpuke
When: 18 Jan 21 16:13

Jan 18, 2021 -- 10:28AM, workrider wrote:


Just looked at my casino allowance , would you believe they allow me lose up to a Million I kid you not...


my deposit limit on the exchange is £21,000

whereas my deposit limit Exchange Games Wallet is £100,000

By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 16:17
You can surely increase the exchange limit to £100,000, duke.
By:
Larabrown
When: 18 Jan 21 16:26
The modern bookmaker acts in an immoral, corrupt fashion which justifies using similar, unscrupulous tactics to get around their restrictions.
By:
Funny Magnet
When: 18 Jan 21 16:36
How can you get around the restrictions? There is only one market I am any good at and I can't get more than a few pence on.
By:
jimnast
When: 18 Jan 21 16:43
the exchange isnt our saviour its the cause of our oppression has a more accurate statement ever appeared on this forum ?
By:
sparrow
When: 18 Jan 21 17:04
jimnast, some claim to be much worse off since the exchanges arrived and others will argue the opposite. Personally speaking I prefer betting in place only markets and laying or even win betting at 101%.
By:
impossible123
When: 18 Jan 21 17:04
There are more than one browser and search engine yet they are competitive and not restrictive. Why can't the bookies behave in that manner? I'm sure it's just a matter of time another platform resident outside the UK eg Israel could replace The Exchange - those here are so ineffective and ineffectual difference.
By:
impossible123
When: 18 Jan 21 17:12
I'd rather lose my money here than to the blood-sucking online and high street bookies. They do not produce anything merely abusing and fuelling the addiction of gamblers.
By:
jimnast
When: 18 Jan 21 17:12
the point screaming is making is there are few mistakes now because of the exchange the bookmakers could have great figures on the board but there were still horses over priced now that hardly ever happens.

place betting sparrow i do agree there is some great value on here.
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