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leif
31 Oct 21 23:07
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Date Joined: 26 Jun 08
| Topic/replies: 6,618 | Blogger: leif's blog
It's not difficult to work out how Sandra Gilmartin became the Racing Post/SIS Betting Shop Manager of the Year, having captured the title in 2019 and currently enjoying an extended reign thanks to the pandemic-induced hiatus.

"We do Safer Gambling Week 52 weeks of the year," is her rapid response when asked what her new job entails after having graduated to join Paddy Power's field-based team ensuring staff in every betting shop in their estate are interacting with customers on safer gambling, safeguarding and age verification.

It's a role she was born for, having started in betting shops in her native County Meath 20 years ago. "I was doing it then and I didn't know I was doing it," says Gilmartin.

"You knew all the guys who came into the shop and their wives and uncles and what they worked at and that they had a family wedding the next week."

But how did that translate to a busy shop in Coventry when she ended up in Britain?

"It's the same thing," she replies. "You might not know their aunties and uncles and cousins but you know what bet types customers have, what stakes they put on, what time they come in and how long they usually stay, then if something changes you might have the conversation with them."

The "conversation" that Gilmartin would have had then, instinctively, and which she now ensures is part of the skillset of every betting shop team on her beat, would be one to express concern rather than to challenge.

She explains: "If someone usually puts on £50 each-way two or three times a week and that suddenly changes to £200 each-way you'd say, 'That's not like you, what's going on here?' It's that simple. It's all about getting to know these guys and making sure they're all right.

"Betting shops are a safe place for people to bet. You not only have shop staff keeping an eye on you, you have your fellow punters.

"It's all about human contact in betting shops, not only with us, the staff, but with each other. Anybody can bet online at any time but we can watch and guide and interact with customers. It's a safer environment in that regard, in that we look after them and they look after each other."

But what happens when you need to have a more serious conversation, suggesting a customer stops betting or asking them to provide evidence they can afford to continue at the stakes at which they are playing?

"We might notice they're spending too much time on a machine and we would go out and ask them if they're doing okay, if they'd like to have a coffee and take a break or maybe set a spending limit," she says. "If you know your customers, then that sort of interaction is second nature."

But what if you don't know anything about the newcomer to your shop? And what happens if you feel you have to ask more difficult, personal questions about whether a customer can afford to bet and have they evidence to prove it?

"Those questions are asked on a daily basis now," says Gilmartin. "The majority of those asked don't like to show a wage slip or P60, but we give them the Betting and Gaming Council leaflet which explains it to them and the staff would say, 'Listen guys, this is for your own good. We need to make sure you can afford the amount you're spending'. They're reluctant, there's no doubt about that, but the majority are okay in the end.

"An important part is getting proof of ID and we'd conduct further checks and investigate proof of funds if there were flags.

"If a customer was paying in cash and then took out a card to go to the cash machine, that would be a clear interaction straight away. 'Are you sure you want to do that?'

"And we're constantly checking to make sure we're not letting any under-18s bet. We think 21 all the time but some staff might be better at spotting under-21s. It's not all about the face, it may be how they dress or act.

"It's about teaching them how to broach the subject with thorough training. They might be nervous about challenging them. Some are very young themselves and might feel a bit intimidated by customers.

"As soon as you turn 18 you can work in shops, so you might have an 18-year-old challenging a 21-year-old. You can understand their trepidation.

"When I started in betting shops my priority was how to calculate a Rule 4 deduction. You could be stuck behind the counter with a pile of bets in front of you, never getting a chance to glance up. Now it's all about interactions with customers.

"Things have changed, dramatically, that's for sure."

https://www.racingpost.com/news/safer-gambling-week/if-a-customer-started-betting-200-each-way-youd-say-thats-not-like-you/519288
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Report leif October 31, 2021 10:14 PM GMT
She explains: "If someone usually puts on £50 each-way two or three times a week and that suddenly changes to £200 each-way you'd say, 'That's not like you, what's going on here?' It's that simple. It's all about getting to know these guys and making sure they're all right. (none of your business luv)

"Betting shops are a safe place for people to bet. You not only have shop staff keeping an eye on you, you have your fellow punters. (really?)

"If a customer was paying in cash and then took out a card to go to the cash machine, that would be a clear interaction straight away. 'Are you sure you want to do that?'

"It's about teaching them (new staff) how to broach the subject with thorough training. They might be nervous about challenging them. Some are very young themselves and might feel a bit intimidated by customers.

"As soon as you turn 18 you can work in shops, so you might have an 18-year-old challenging a 21-year-old. You can understand their trepidation. (what for minimum wage?)
Report slickster October 31, 2021 10:19 PM GMT
An absolute load of bull. A right busy body. 200 each way? Are they taken these days? If you're a mug maybe. This is where were at. A desperate state of affairs. You just can't walk into a shop now for a ton win. You get a list of questions ffs.
Report ItsMeSwaddle October 31, 2021 10:20 PM GMT
All this rubbish about safer gambling. Plain and simple if you do your money its on YOU.

Everyone has done there money at some point.
Report leif October 31, 2021 10:28 PM GMT
"Betting shops are a safe place for people to bet. You not only have shop staff keeping an eye on you, you have your fellow punters.

The last thing most punters want is their 'fellow punters' keeping an eye on you Cry

Betting shops were a lot 'safer' for staff when there were bandit screens between you and the disgustomer.

Ask any ex-manager who subsequently got robbed and the staff traumatised by some drug fuelled, knife-wielding muppet jumping the counter.
Report ronnie rails October 31, 2021 10:29 PM GMT
I have noticed in the last couple of weeks a high increase in people self excluding.

Ronnie.
Report ballyregan October 31, 2021 10:30 PM GMT
the worlds knackered this safer gambling bullcarp is getting silly
sandra take the bet smile and move on that is your job not a life councillor
as for stalking customers and keeping note of the way they do things it is just creepy love.
Report leif October 31, 2021 10:54 PM GMT
MO of a punter with a problem

ton win. ton win. 50 win, 50 win, score win, zero return

>>>off to the cashpoint

returns with a bag of chips

ton win. ton win, 50 win, score win, 75p s/fc

chucks his chip wrapper at the bank of screens and leaves.
Report dave1357 October 31, 2021 11:01 PM GMT
I don't know why you are all abusing the woman, she's just doing what the Gambling Commission etc want.
Report ballyregan October 31, 2021 11:12 PM GMT
I know not her fault dave1357 I apologise I blame merson shilton and all the massive losers that keep popping with organisations and groups who are destroying the gambling industry saying they should have been protected
sorry sandra you should not have to stalk and protect people from having a bet but I suppose that is what you have to do now
Report Fashion Fever October 31, 2021 11:17 PM GMT
id get to told where the door was if I asked for a bottle ew
Report matso November 1, 2021 1:08 AM GMT
An embarrassing pile of Bullshit
Report Fashion Fever November 1, 2021 1:20 AM GMT
no one chasing has 200 ew, just chuck on 400 on the next fav they see
Report Joe Lampton November 1, 2021 8:02 AM GMT
Embarrassing piece. Showing your wage slip is for your own good etc etc. Is this what it's come to. Racing Post should try and carry out some proper journalism rather than this PR puff piece. Mind you how many of them are over 30. Here's a thought leave people to spend their own money how they wish. Might go down to local PP and see what happens when I want £200 e/w. RP hang your head in shame.
Report parispike November 1, 2021 8:37 AM GMT
The idea of getting £200 on (say) a 3/1 poke in Paddies is beyond laughable.
Report Celtic warrior November 1, 2021 8:57 AM GMT
Lets hope that 200 ew wasnt on a ew extra place race. You would get 13/2 about a 12/1 shot. Notice they love those half odds as alot of the mugs cant do fraction
Report GLASGOWCALLING November 1, 2021 9:23 AM GMT
Interesting piece on the sale of this Rag, Taking advantage of the furlough scheme !!!!!

  https://news.sky.com/story/racing-post-owner-spotlight-sports-gallops-toward...
Report sixtwosix November 1, 2021 9:28 AM GMT
It's akin to living in an Orwellian world where communication has no bearing on reality
Report sixtwosix November 1, 2021 9:30 AM GMT
Going for a bet ...keys check , money check , p60 , check , driving license check ......
Report Movewiththetimes November 1, 2021 9:58 AM GMT
How to lose one of your best customers Laugh
Report Joe Lampton November 1, 2021 9:59 AM GMT
I'll finish it for you sixtwosix....bet refused check
Report slickster November 1, 2021 10:43 AM GMT
If a customer started betting 200 each way bla... shows you how out of touch this bookies mouthpiece is with reality. Utter garbage and lies.
Report tony6499 November 1, 2021 11:14 AM GMT
And in the real world none of that happens
Report The Management November 1, 2021 12:05 PM GMT
Not been in a shop for a good while now  - and it would only have ever been to do some filthy each way bets. Trying to do £50 ew in one shop would have got your card marked and resulted in the removal of being able to take prices and/or your stakes cut! So progressing from £50 ew to £200 ew would seem a bit unlikely!

My memory of Sandra and her kind = lurking by the football coupons ready to pounce on any young lads (looking to place a harmless small stake football bet) and pretty much forcing them to take part in a "free to enter" contest on the FOBT's in the hope of turning them into a compulsive degenerate problem gambler.
Report slickster November 1, 2021 12:42 PM GMT
And the article in the rancid today has inexplicably removed the phrase "each way!!!!!!!". So it's 200 and 50 WIN. The hypocrisy and lies going on here is disgusting. They think every punter is thick. Whole article a concoction of falseities.
Report CLYDEBANK29 November 1, 2021 12:42 PM GMT
The trouble with the article is that no one is going in a betting shop any more and getting £200 ew on (unless they were a problem gambler).  So I'd take the rest of the article with a pinch of salt.  As someone has said, surely a problem gambler would highly likely back win only.  The idea of an 18 year old approaching a 30 year old well built Romanian builder on the machines is not a scenario I'd envisage either.
Report sparrow November 1, 2021 12:45 PM GMT
I am wondering why all these people go through all these security checks and aggravation just to get a bet on with a bookmaker.
Report CLYDEBANK29 November 1, 2021 1:01 PM GMT
I'm sure this lady does a fantastic job and is very good with people.  She wouldn't get the award if she didn't.  But I'm also sure she wouldn't get the award if she didn't "say the right thing"  It's duplicity and/or ignorance, although tbf she's backed into a corner with the interview, and the primary motive quite naturally is self interest.  It's a bit like being interviewed on Miss World and saying how they'd lover to save the planet and help starving kids in Africa.  Be refreshing if when interviewed they said.  "well I'm willing to put with these smug, wealthy old men who think they are god's gift, but who actually repulse me, because of the publicity and money being on the show will give me"
Report CLYDEBANK29 November 1, 2021 1:27 PM GMT
Going back 10 years or so, I was told by one of their traders that Sportingbet had an arrangement with Michael Owen.  Derek McGovern had said in a newspaper article that Owen was a complete mug punter, which subsequent evidence would suggest was a ruse.  He was I think a brand ambassador and on very friendly terms with the boss of Sportingbet, although the impression I got was that there was unrequited friendship one way, and purely a financial interest from Owen the other.  Owen had an account which was marked up by a multiple of 10, meaning that he could get 10 times the stake of an unrestricted gambler, and the agreement apparently was that if Owen was ever refused a bet he'd sever all ties with the company.  Anyhow Owen was winning a considerable amount, consistently and over a long period of time, (hard to come to any other conclusion that he was a front for getting on bets from his racing connections) and that it was only a matter of time before the boss of the company came to his senses and had the guts to refuse his bets.
Report geoff m November 1, 2021 2:25 PM GMT
Try and have £200 ew on owt get refused then REPLY Thats just like you!!
Report howard November 1, 2021 2:28 PM GMT
Owen's bets over some time were detailed in full in a newspaper poss the NOTW.  Think with VC. Nothing but favs and nearly all losers.
Report The Management November 1, 2021 2:35 PM GMT
The Management01 Nov 21 12:05Joined: 27 Dec 00 | Topic/replies: 6,000 | Blogger: The Management's blog
My memory of Sandra and her kind = lurking by the football coupons ready to pounce on any young lads (looking to place a harmless small stake football bet) and pretty much forcing them to take part in a "free to enter" contest on the FOBT's in the hope of turning them into a compulsive degenerate problem gambler.


I forgot to mention that when it became apparent that the FOBT's were going to finally get regulated - Sandra (and her kind) spent a couple of months showing all the addicts where they could download the app to carry on playing with unlimited stakes on-line.

Very responsible! - God bless you Sandra.
Report Whippin Piccadilly November 1, 2021 2:50 PM GMT
"We might notice they're spending too much time on a machine and we would go out and ask them if they're doing okay, if they'd like to have a coffee and take a break or maybe set a spending limit," she says. "If you know your customers, then that sort of interaction is second nature."


Laugh Always good to start the week with a good laugh!
Report CLYDEBANK29 November 1, 2021 3:11 PM GMT
"Owen's bets over some time were detailed in full in a newspaper poss the NOTW.  Think with VC. Nothing but favs and nearly all losers."

Well there's 2 possibilities.  1. That story was always BS or 2. He was a mug and subsequently got help from racing connections to act as a front man. 

Which is what I alluded to.  There was no way he was being lucky.
Report howard November 1, 2021 3:16 PM GMT
Very unlikely to be false or Owen would have gone after the paper.
Report ballyregan November 1, 2021 3:17 PM GMT
tremondous
Report howard November 1, 2021 3:19 PM GMT
yeah he could have improved with connections help but anyone that believed the paper would have layed his bets all day long. I would have.
Report themightymac November 1, 2021 3:33 PM GMT
Bookies don`t give a damn about problem gamblers and anybody thinking they do are living in cloud cuckoo land. Their responsibility is to their shareholders and they rely on problem and compulsive gamblers for their profits. I have never known anybody to be barred from shops for losing but I know a few who have been banned or restricted to £10 maximum bet for winning.

Worse online. With all the technology and analytics now available, they know exactly who the problem gamblers are and they encourage them with free bets and other incentives etc. Problem gamblers to these companies are the ones who are knowledgeable and disciplined and win constantly and when they identify them, which is rather quickly, the appropriate action is taken swiftly and they are banned or severely restricted.

I wonder if they will be running any FREE to enter competitions on the slot machines during Gambling Awareness Week, you know, the ones devised to get regular customers hooked on gaming machines.

They partake in all this nonsense not because they care about problem gamblers but because they have no option and have to look like they care and therefore comply with all this stupid legislation imposed by the Gambling Commission.
Report DIE LINKE November 1, 2021 3:57 PM GMT
Not sure offering caffeine to a FOBT addict with the tremors doing his conkers is going to help them.
Report themightymac November 1, 2021 4:03 PM GMT
Addicts won`t buy a coffee as it would mean less to bet. In fact, they won`t spend money on anything. Put £20 on a horse but won`t spend a fiver for a steak for dinner.
Report Duncan Disordorli November 1, 2021 9:40 PM GMT
Wrong date surely...April 1st rather than November 1st.
Report CLYDEBANK29 November 19, 2021 1:50 PM GMT
I was in a bookies last night just after 9pm.  Me and 2 other guys.  One of them Eastern European.  The Eastern European was playing the fruit machines.  Big bloke and extremely agitated, no smell of alcohol.  I was only in there less than 5 minutes in which time the third guy wisely left the shop pronto, then the Eastern European swearing profusely, only to return a few seconds later putting more money in the machine and getting more irate.  I was glad to get out as the slightest exchange could have tipped him over the edge.  I thought of this thread as the bloke on his own behind the counter was only a young lad and he must have been anxious.  If he'd have said 'Are you sure you want to do that?' god knows what would have happened.
Report ronnie rails November 19, 2021 2:28 PM GMT
Clydbank
the answer would of been f off and and a few more choice words then it would be its my f money i can do what ifing want with it.

happens most days

have a good day

regards

Ronnie.
Report ronnie rails November 19, 2021 2:35 PM GMT
Clydebank

the staff member would have been sworn at and called every nasty name under the sun then he would have been told its my money i can do what i want with it but not in those words happens everyday.

have a good day

regards

Ronnie.
Report ronnie rails November 19, 2021 2:36 PM GMT
sorry i thought the first one had been taken off took an age to go on.

Ronnie.
Report second again November 19, 2021 2:50 PM GMT
It is a shame the ways betting shops have gone,30 or 40 years ago you could have a good laugh in the betting shops,apart from early mornings I would not go near one now.Sad
Report leif November 19, 2021 6:10 PM GMT
It is a shame the ways betting shops have gone,30 or 40 years ago you could have a good laugh in the betting shops,apart from early mornings I would not go near one now.

These machines ruined the betting shops as far as the social aspect was concerned. I decided to give it up as a betting shop manager when they wheeled in the crack cocaine addiction type machines.

The regulars no longer wanted to be in the same vicinity as the crooks and clowns that were attracted to the spinning wheels like moths to a flame.

I take my hat off to the likes of Ronnie who've lasted all this time in what can often be volatile environments.

Granted, betting shops would have died an absolute death without the guaranteed income from the machines but it's a tough gig.
Report pandora1963 November 19, 2021 10:12 PM GMT
i was told off by a female betting shop manager for looking out of the window while i was waiting for my partner in the opposite store, haven't been in a bookies since
Report typhoon ginger November 20, 2021 9:24 AM GMT
Question for Ronnie, has it improved since the stake was cut from 100 to 2?

Surely fellas can't lose anywhere near as much as before and the fact you can only win small and not smash out of trouble with a few lucky spins like before puts players off?
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