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09 Sep 15 15:50
Date Joined: 28 Jul 03
| Topic/replies: 634 | Blogger: reb's blog
Successful Gamblers Barred From Betting

Aaron Rogan - The Times online (Ireland) 7/9/2015

Irish-based bookmakers are boosting their profits by singling out, restricting and effectively banning successful gamblers.

Paddy Power, **** and Ladbrokes, the three biggest bookmaking companies in Ireland, severely restrict some of those who win regularly.

Former employees of Paddy Power claim that the company uses specialist software to monitor gamblers and detect regular winners.

The same software can also pick out losers, and two former employees said that less successful gamblers were often encouraged to bet more or to switch to online casino games, which offer the company a guaranteed return on bets.

The former Paddy Power traders said that customers were tracked from the moment they registered and that the information was used to build a profile.

A gambler who won €25,000 in a single event had his Paddy Power account restricted so that he could win just 10 per cent of the amount the bookmaker was willing to lose to other gamblers on any sport bet. The company held a file on him noting that his bets were very occasional and that he was a careful gambler. The file was obtained using data protection law, which allows anyone to apply for all the information a company holds on them.

“I don’t blame bookmakers for trying to weed out the big winners but that’s not what is happening. Fun punters who have had a few wins are finding themselves restricted when they come along with their €40. I’ve heard of people who’ve had three or four bets and their accounts have been practically frozen. They are absolutely monitoring winning accounts,” Paul Kealy, betting editor of the Racing Post, said.

Paddy Power announced pre-tax profits of €167 million for 2014 in March and recently confirmed a merger with Betfair, the online betting exchange.

The Times has obtained images of betting slips that clearly demonstrate the extent to which gamblers have been limited. In certain cases restricted gamblers found that accounts owned by their families or relatives were also limited.

Some winning gamblers received emails from Paddy Power, **** or Ladbrokes telling them that they would no longer be able to bet or that their accounts had been restricted from using the same services as other customers.

Kevin Blake, a broadcaster with the betting channel At The Races, said that bookmakers had recently started targeting customers who researched odds online, even if they were losing money overall.

“Morally it is wrong to shut down guys who are winning when another guy who quite clearly has a very serious gambling problem and is losing money just continues on. I know of losing gamblers who are given free hospitality at events and treated like kings,” he added.

Gambling in Ireland is still regulated under bills from 1931 and 1956. A gambling control bill was published in 2013 but it has not been implemented, meaning that the rapidly changing industry is still largely unregulated.

Paddy Power and Ladbrokes Ireland said that they promoted responsible gambling and restricted winning customers to offer better value to others. **** denied restricting customers on the basis that they won bets. All three declined to comment on specific examples sent to them by The Times.
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Report oldbean September 10, 2015 7:19 PM BST
its rampant, even us small indo's have the software to built a profile on you quickly.. a pp manager told me almost everyone in the shop is tagged at some point, then released after x amount of bets when u are of no danger to them, they even track who collects your bet if u dont, create a profile on him to, i cant imagine how much they'll know about the punter when they merge with betfair..
Report kincsem September 11, 2015 11:29 AM BST
Friday 11/09/15 11:13
I have returned from my visit this morning to Paddy Power HQ in Clonskeagh, Dublin.
From leaving the house to returning was 53 minutes.  PP HQ is three miles away.

I brought two blank "Request For Acess To Records Under The Freedom Of Information Act, 2014!" with me but didn't use them.
I had a list of questions written on a blank sheet of A4 paper.

After a ten minutes wait in reception I met two people.
My questions were along these lines
(1) is Personal information given by PP to other organisations (e.g. banks, building societies, credit rating agencies)?
(2) is personal information requested/received by PP from other organisations?
(3) is there a list/schedule of information held by PP on customers (databases etc)?
(4) is there info on betting markets, events favoured by the customer and their ability/lack of ability/profitability?
(5) is PP/Betfair info customer info shared/will it be shares?

I was told they will send me responses by e-mail.  They retained the A4 sheet with the questions.
They also said it would be better to contact them by e-mail or phone for info requests.
I asked why.  They said staff may not be available when a caller arrives.

My PP account is almost dormant.  I mostly use Betfair.
My €250 at 100/1 with PP on Thomas Bjorn in the 2003 Open was a driver for my move.  I could not cash out.

I did not find out what information they hold.  They did not supply a list.
They did not encourage me to fill out the FOI form (or discourage me).
The meeting lasted 10/15 minutes in reception.
If I don't get a reasonable response I will return.
Report mincer11 September 11, 2015 11:31 AM BST
Well done kincsem.
Report kincsem September 11, 2015 11:33 AM BST
Nothing happened.
I didn't even get barred. Happy
Report mincer11 September 11, 2015 11:38 AM BST
The more hassle they get the better, and i applaud anyone who makes life uncomfortable for them, and their staff.
Report reb September 11, 2015 11:38 AM BST
Gambling Problem

If bookies can spot winning gamblers and close their accounts, they should do the same for addicts.

The Times online (Ireland) Editorial 7/9/2015

“When the fun stops, stop.” This was the tagline of a recent responsible gambling campaign paid for by Paddy Power and its competitors in the UK. It was an eye-catching initiative — but not half as eye-catching as the betting industry’s constant press releases, carried as news by many outlets, about the lucky punter who struck it rich through dumb luck on a football accumulator.

Paddy Power’s online “punting hall of fame” is regularly updated with tales of gamblers who turned €1 into €38,000 with a lucky run.

The company’s spokesman, also called Paddy Power, told The Sunday Times in March that he was not selling a dream, just entertainment. For every €100 you bet he wants to take €10, and you will be happy for him to have it because you’ve been entertained along the way. It’s all a bit of fun.

What he failed to mention was that if you start to take home a bit more than €90 out of every €100, the company’s risk management team may spring into action.

Today’s revelations in The Times showing that winning punters are severely restricted suggest all is not quite as fun as it seems in Power Tower, where pre-tax profits for 2014 reached €167 million. It is a business and its main activity is making money.

There have been high-profile cases of people losing it all, and more besides, by betting away their savings but the PR departments of large bookmakers do not seem as keen on these stories. When that happens, they do not comment on individual cases.

Gambling has insidiously turned from an on-track treat to part of everyday life. Through online services, punters have access to a tapestry of markets at every hour of the day or night. When there are no races left to run, you can put your real money on a virtual horse race, tennis match or football game.

If you want to get your entertainment by looking at form guides, statistics or track history, the bookmakers are less welcoming. Knowledgeable, or some might say responsible, gamblers can find themselves limited to betting in cents on a race.

In New South Wales, Australia, which like Ireland has a strong horse racing culture, bookmakers have been regulated. If you want to be a bookmaker there, you have to take a bet up to a certain limit on horse racing.

No one is suggesting that bookmakers are obliged to take every bet, but they should be required to take the same bet off every person. They should also be required to be transparent about the restrictions they place on gamblers. Basic questions we asked went unanswered. Specific allegations were responded to with general replies.

The companies claim they are protecting themselves against “inside information” and arbitrage betting, the practice of placing bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit.

None of the gamblers who spoke to The Times used arbitrage betting. Most of them were just people who fancied themselves as bright enough to beat the bookies.
Report kincsem September 11, 2015 12:07 PM BST
I got an e-mail at 11:44 this morning from Paddy Power.

Their e-mail is a most disappointing document.
It provides a link to the terms and conditions of holding a Paddy Power account.
To allow me read these T & C I downloaded it to Microsoft Word.  It is 24 pages.

A very slight attempt is made in the e-mail to address my questions.
They did not answer these
(1) is Personal information given by PP to other organisations (e.g. banks, building societies, credit rating agencies)?
(2) is personal information requested/received by PP from other organisations?
(3) is there a list/schedule of information held by PP on customers (databases etc)?
(4) is there info on betting markets, events favoured by the customer and their ability/lack of ability/profitability?

Perhaps they want me to read the 24 pages and see if I can find the answers there.

They have provided no information that is not already in the public domain.

Paddy Power have I believe, made a mistake.
I will send a polite e-mail to the person I met this morning and ask is this the PP full response.
If this is their response (imo no response) then they will engage more fully.
Report kincsem September 11, 2015 1:28 PM BST
My reading of the Freedom Of Information Act is that it applies to government department and entities established under any act other than the Companies Acts.

That means bookmakers, being private companies, can keep any info they like, and probably swop it, sell it, give you good or bad ratings, and give these ratings to others.
I would like to know if information is bought/sold/transferred between bookmakers and banks, credit card companies.  We can not know.
Even the FOI act has exceptions:- information obtained in confidence; commercially sensitive information; personal information.

So we will learn nothing about the information Paddy Power and Betfair hold on us, unless there is more legislation.
Report mincer11 September 11, 2015 3:20 PM BST
Paddy Powers is a public company not a private one. Not sure that makes any difference or not,but thats the reality.
Report Tolmi September 11, 2015 3:33 PM BST

Its not the Freedom of Information Act that governs your request its the Data Protection will give you the information you need.
Report reb September 11, 2015 3:59 PM BST
Tolmi is correct, kincsem. I'm not sure if you've read the article, below, which I posted on another thread last March. It details such a data information request by Richard Oakley, editor of The Times (Ireland), from PP and the subsequent reply he received. The three articles which I've copied and posted above from The Times online , all follow on from this original and inspirational article by Richard. His idea that ALL Paddy Power online customers should be able to view their ALL-TIME Account History (Number Of Bets, Total Amount Staked, Total Amount Won/Lost) in the Account History section of their PP account provides empowerment for all who wish to bet responsibly.
Report Kelly September 11, 2015 4:26 PM BST

Thus you cant find out the above quoted figures re your total plusses and minuses . I asked Betfair once upon a time for a total figure from day one on my account , interested to see how much commission I had paid them ,  assumed it was a simple button pushing exercise for one of their employees . Buried in detail , none of which made any sense to me , never got the figure . The fact that the debit card changed ( only once ) in the 14 years obviated total figures available via deposits and withdrawals .In total I am a minus man , hence premium charge not a factor  , and I have a fair idea of what the figure for my previous debit card was . I am pretty sure my PP ( restricted ) account shows a decent profit , but dont think I can verify that .

When PP and Betfair "get together" will they be allowed to swap customer/ client figures ?

Questions such as these and other posed above just reinforce the need for SOME government ( not just that in Australia) to grasp the nettle and force through some punters charter or regulations .  God knows , it should be a vote catcher . Only people holding shares in bookmakers have any sympathy with the bookies generally.
Report reb September 11, 2015 4:39 PM BST
Kelly, just like anyone else, you can verify your all-time Profit/Loss record with PP under data protection law. I did it myself recently.
Report Kelly September 11, 2015 4:44 PM BST
The most restrictive bookie in my experience is baldy baps . Anything in excess of a 50p exposure is rejected , by the mechanism mostly of excluding bets of less than 50p . Maybe they would lay 50p on a 4/5 shot , might just try just for info . 

Ladcrooks are tucked in just behind baldy baps .

Korals used to be OK , now useless for me ,so joining up with Lads will not affect me , but the merger fires another arrow through the heart of market competition .

Politicians , stop spending your time exploring various dodges , become the punters friend !
Report Kelly September 11, 2015 4:49 PM BST
Reb , that presumably means contacting them . I constantly refuse to answer any bookie invites to participate in surveys etc , and shun "loyalty cards" ( equals tracking device ) . Do you think they bin the info request ( or do you think they "make a note" ) . Most of us prefer to operate quietly .
Report reb September 11, 2015 5:10 PM BST
I like to operate quietly too, Kelly, but the Gorey Post Office (gambling addiction and fraud) case of 2012 shocked me into action.
Report kincsem September 12, 2015 6:32 AM BST
Thanks Tolmi
Thanks for educating me guys.  I am a stupid.
Next week I'll check out the data protection acts.  PP didn't educate me, but I have time.  If I get anything I'll let you know.
A few years back I got downloads from PP and Betfair of all my bets.
I am interested in: are they passing or receiving info on credit worthiness; account comments incl stuff like employment; info hacked; and will all our PP betfair info be thrown into one pot.

What I really want to know is does MONEYTREE have an account, and is he their most valued customer. Happy
Report kincsem September 12, 2015 6:59 AM BST
I couldn't open that link
Report kincsem September 12, 2015 7:30 AM BST
I found my Paddy Power and Betfair download, but they are only 2003 to 2007
My PP account goes back into the mid 1990s (I remember 1998 bets).
The didn't give me a download pre-2003.
I'll have to research how much does Freedom Of Information cover (i.e what timeframe)

Paddy Power 2003/2007
Golf    ___1,577.50
Paddy Power Profit___8,734.76

Betfair 2003/2007
Golf    ____1638.26

Betfair Profit___7,496.35

Just for interest these are a few of the Paddy Power winners
Invasor (Breeders Cup) 200 at 11/2
Sir Percy (Derby) 300 at 16/1
Clan Royal (Grand National) €200 at 10/1 (2nd btn 3l) jockey lost whip, veered Sad
Falbrav (QE II) 400 at  5/2+
Michael Campbell (Irish Open) 5 ew at 50/1 (only €5 ffs Sad)
Alamshar (King George 50 at 7/1)
Thomas Bjorn (Open 2003) 250 win Cry 100 place at 100/1
Choisir 25/1 Zafeen 10/1 (Royal Ascot) 20 wins, 10 double
Brian Kerr (Ireland manager) 50 at 16/1

Betfair winners
Justin Gatlin (100 m Olympics) +€2,806, odds 22, 51, 60
Sir Percy (2006 Derby) +€2,002, odds 18s
Oscar Pereiro Sio (2006 Tour de France) +1,642, odds 180
Retief Goosen (US Masters 2007) +2,778, odds 120s
Finscael Beo (Eng 1000 Guineas) +1,435 odds 2.4
Croatia ht/ft (England v Croatia) +950, odds 20s

No enough to buy a box of matches.
Report Kelly September 12, 2015 10:32 AM BST
Some nice winners there .

A friends nephew trained Invasor , our friend did not back it   , I rang him and told him his nephew had won the world's richest race .  Good on you .

Surprised they did not act earlier as you have a winning habit .
Report Ozymandius September 12, 2015 11:47 AM BST
Report reb September 12, 2015 12:31 PM BST
kincsem, here is the excellent article by Richard Oakley on 8th March 2015, that I refer to in my post yesterday at 15.59 and which prefaces the recent articles from The Times online (Ireland) which I have pasted, above. The parts in bold have been highlighted by me as I believe the comments by Patrick Power (Marketing) are potentially very significant. More on that later.

When Richard Oakley asked for details of his Paddy Power account, he found out why the house always wins.

My name is Richard Oakley and I am not a gambling addict. I was, however, a “low-staking, standard” gambler, according to Paddy Power.

I started betting online with the country’s favourite bookmaker in July 2008 and I stopped last December. It has been 68 days since my last wager. In that time I laid 2,216 bets, staking €17,377.33. This might seem excessive, but it includes bets made with earlier winnings. The amount of cash I transferred into my Paddy Power account was much smaller. On average, I made six bets a week of about €8 each. Unlike many gamblers, I regularly withdrew some of my winning amounts — as any future loan application process will hopefully confirm.

In short I was a tiny fish in the €80bn sea of international gambling. I carefully maintained a “low-staking” customer profile, but I wasn’t so insignificant that I went unnoticed.

According to Paddy Power, I was quite good at betting on athletics and politics, performing well enough in both sectors to be worth monitoring, and to have a limit imposed on the amount I could wager.

On politics I was given a 60% “stake limitation factor”. In other words, if the bookmakerwere prepared to lose a total of €1,000 on a particular politics bet, I was allowed to stake only an amount that could result in me winning no more than €600. In athletics, the factor was 80%.

Paddy Power, it seemed, had no problem with me losing as much as I liked on other bets, but it wasn’t prepared to allow me to win the full amount of cash it was prepared to lose on politics and athletics wagers.

These determinations were made by the company’s traders. I know this because I recently applied under data-protection law for the information that the company holds on me. Last week I was given a document containing my gambling record and “customer attribute notes”. It transpired that on two occasions, in July 2009 and May 2014, Paddy Power staff logged onto my file and set new parameters, having identified a modicum of success on my part. “Looks smart on athletics,” one wrote.

For bookmakers to do well, they need customers to lose about 10% of everything they bet, preferably over a long period of time. They do everything they can to ensure this, including enforcing limits on bets. The house always wins. Last Tuesday, Paddy Power announced its preliminary results for 2014. Net revenue was up 18% to €882m,and the firm made a pre-tax profit of €167m. Its customers bet €7bn during 2014, up 16% on the previous year.

Go through the full report and you’ll find the 10% figure for which bookmakers are aiming. Having paid out on all winning stakes, Paddy Power was left with 9.9% of all money wagered. Shouldn’t this margin convince gamblers to put down the mini biro or close the betting app? For while there is fun to be had,almost every gambler will generally lose 10% of everything they bet. For every €100 deposited into your Paddy Power account, Paddy keeps €10. Thanking you.

“PUNTER’S €1 turns to €200k” screamed a newspaper headline last month. The “lucky” Galway gambler won €206,262 thanks to a 17-fold football accumulator. “Anyone who defies odds of 206,261-1 is due a tip of the hat, ”said a representative of Paddy Power, availing of the free publicity to help cover the loss.

The winner in this case was not named, but problem gamblers who end up in court usually are. Last October, a 27-year-old Kildare man was spared a jail term after stealing €100,000 from his employer to feed a “chronic gambling” habit. His name and address were published at the time, but he has a new job and is paying back the money, so we can skip that formality here.

The two cases represent the extremes: the small gambler who beats the odds and strikes it big; and the addict who loses until he reaches an all-time low. Almost everyone else is somewhere in between. Paddy Power has 2.4m active online customers. Exclude Australia, and the breakdown is 1.4m in Britain and 405,000 in Ireland and the rest of the world.

Pete Lunn, an economist with the Economic and Social Research Institute, and a specialist in economic decision-making, said more gamblers think they are winning than actually are because they misconceive how much it is costing them. “Research suggests there will always be a  minority of gamblers who are up, but some will be up only because they have been lucky and they will eventually lose,” he said. “Similarly there are some losers who in the long term might win, but that pool is likely to be smaller. The proportion of gamblers who are systematically up is very small.”

Bookmakers promote responsible gambling and have sections on their websites dedicated to messages such as “when the fun stops, stop”. They argue most customers bet within their means, and enjoy the various ups and downs.

“We’ve always been clear with punters that they are probably not going to beat us,” said Paddy Power, the eponymous spokesman for the company. “We are not selling a dream, we are selling entertainment. It’s about getting extra value from an event. Our hope is that if you come into our shop with €100 and you walk out with €90, you’ll feel you had €10 worth of entertainment.”

Lunn is not sure it’s quite that simple. “With gambling you are buying entertainment or social interaction, and that’s fine. The difficulty is there are other things going on, to do with human behaviour. Gamblers systematically misconceive the likelihood of getting something back from their transactions and tend to take excessive risks. It’s hard to believe that they are always making a rational judgment when buying this particular form of entertainment.”

It has been proved that when people incur losses, their instinct is to take risks to recoup them, according to Lunn. Humans also tend to be optimistic and exaggerate the chances of winning a particular bet even when given information, such as odds, to the contrary. “Bookies make money because the system is set up to take advantage of human behaviours,” he said.

Colin O’Gara, a consultant psychiatrist and head of addiction services at St John of God Hospital in Dublin, is part of the research team behind the current National Online Gambling Survey ( In his work, he deals with the 1% of adults who are considered severe gambling addicts. He estimates about 5% of people are “at risk” gamblers.

“The idea of gambling being fun is critical to the industry, but it’s inherently addictive — and that bit gets missed,” said O’Gara. “All of us have the potential to succumb to an addiction if the cues in our environment are strong enough. With gambling, the cues are very strong.”

He points to the high level of gambling related advertising, and the fact that betting odds, and stories about supposed betting coups, are routinely reported in the media.

“Problem gamblers often start off with a big win that hooks them in and they start chasing the next one, which may never come,” said O’Gara. “Gamblers talk about form, but they fail to factor in chance. The people I work with started off like everyone else and followed an extreme trajectory. There is a lot of denial on their part. They will tell you they don’t have a problem, even though they may have stolen their children’s holy communion money to bet.”

O’Gara believes the gambling industry should be more closely regulated. Both he and Lunn have argued for the introduction of “binding limits”, whereby gamblers would enter into a legal contract with a bookmaker to bet only a certain amount in a given period. They also want online gambling accounts to include details of total stakes, total winnings and total number of bets. These three categories were detailed in the personal file I received from Paddy Power, but were not visible in my online profile which holds only records of recent bets.

Last week the bookmaker said it would generally give this information to customers who specifically requested it, but would now consider making it a feature of online accounts. It claims to have already a system whereby gamblers can declare a limit,one that can be increased only after a 24-hour cooling period.

“We try to be responsible without being draconian,” said Paddy Power. “We have to facilitate people who enjoy a bet without any problem. We offer people the chance to control their betting, and if anyone indicates they are struggling to do this, we point them in the direction of help.”

WHEN the Kenyan runner Florence Kiplagat won the World Cross Country Championships in Jordan on March 28, 2009, she was so surprised that she reportedly fainted. Back in Ireland, I celebrated in wild style on her behalf, having won €1,400.

Various previews of the race had tipped Kiplagat as a potential winner, so when Paddy Power gave her odds of 14-1, I wagered €100. A colleague advised me to take the money and run, but I was having too much fun to close my account.

If you think you might have a gambling problem, there are questions you should ask yourself.Do you bet more than you can afford? Are you able to stop? Do you lie about it? I checked the list recently and answered a firm “no” to them all. I am not a problem gambler, but my total number of bets, 2,216,has shocked me into realising I was a regular one. In general I gambled on the results of rugby matches,first goal-scorer in football matches,athletics and on big events such as the Olympics or a golf major.

To begin with, I really enjoyed gambling. I got a buzz when I won and didn’t mind losing. Over time, however, I found I was less excited when a bet came up trumps, and eventually indifferent. By contrast, I went from being mildly disappointed when losing to being rather unimpressed. On a couple of occasions, I found this affected my usually upbeat mood, and that is the key reason I quit. The fun, as the slogan goes, has stopped; so I have too.

I was a reasonably careful gambler and my file shows I am actually ahead. I staked €17,377.33 and won €17,981.57, so I’m in the black by €604. Not bad,but hardly life changing and not a great return for time spent — outside working hours, boss — thinking about bets. I will miss the satisfaction of calling something right, and the sight of money appearing on my Paddy Power balance, but I won’t miss checking results on my phone on family days or cursing situations in matches over which I have no control. I won’t say I’ll never bet again, but I don’t think I will. So ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, and after six years, it’s a goodbye from me to Paddy Power. It’s been, well,interesting.
Report Kelly September 12, 2015 1:49 PM BST
Good article .  The addictive bit gets glossed over usually, and when you think ( that is one word ) the bookies are targetting addictive ( most often losing ) punters the morality question surfaces . Especially if the gambler concerned is in a position to "borrow " money from employer and friends .

Earliest situation I knew about personally concerned the worst punter I have ever known , idiot when it came to betting .  He knocked approx 100k ( in the sixties ) from his employer , it all went to one bookmaker , who had 2 offices near the guys place of work .  The guy disappeared eventually , various theories being bandied about , suicide the most probable , body never appeared though .

The bookmaker thrived , and at time concerned built up a small local chain , from very humble beginnings , and he was no JP . I hope all concerned sleep/slept well at night .
Report PBK September 12, 2015 6:32 PM BST
As someone who is regularly given my marching orders from bookmakers, I never gave it that much thought as to how in depth the bookies look at individual punters. I thought it was nothing more than over zealous area managers who's winning what ! A couple of weeks ago I was told in my local Baldfred I could only have SP on any bets including............and this the one that p!ssed me off his pushes. He sits there every week slating the other bookies mainly Corals about not giving the punters value, but now it would seem I can not have the value, double standards me thinks ! While I was not supposed to know the figures my heinous crime was to in the last two years lay out £17,000 and returned £21,000 a profit of 4k or over two years about a fiver a day. Just because I managed to sort the wheat from the chaff and not blindly follow all of his pushes I'm no longer welcome. All very sad. Of course I could always play their machines Plain
Report Kelly September 12, 2015 6:50 PM BST
Playing their machines is all they want PBK . The old style bookies were ( generally) sportsmen , who enjoyed the buckle themselves ( with the odds on their side ) . The current crop are a crowd of bean counters .  The bookies invented arbing , some specialised in it , nowadays they are paranoid that anyone else would have the effrontery to emulate them .

Galdy bap is the worst , and ads are just nauseating knowing what they do . Trades description act should be applicable , but there is no regulation for bookies .
Report Kelly September 12, 2015 6:50 PM BST
Thats Baldy .
Report PBK September 12, 2015 7:17 PM BST
Totally agree Kelly their like insurance companies, great at taking your money but hate paying out. As for the machines I would never play them. The only time I did was a few years ago, Ladcrooks used to give you a free £10 bet if you had a tenner on a football bet, would be a final. I used to pick a bet that I could lay off. I would go around all the shops in my area and have a bet. With my free go I would play roulette backing black and red. Unless I was very unlucky hitting the green 0 I would win a fiver. After a while they got wise, I told them if they wanted to act like drug dealers outside a school they had to expect to be burnt. Sadly I'm not that eloquent therefore can not put into writing how much I hate I can do is "Cu nts the lot of them" Wink
Report Kelly September 12, 2015 7:30 PM BST
PBK there are a few still who are gentlemen  and sportsmen, but they are completely and utterly swamped by the bean counters .

Knew the manager of a chain of bookies way back , he often admitted to me he knew nothing about betting --and he proved it occasionally when he took up an occasional stance at a certain sporting event . But they made money with relative ease .
Report PBK September 12, 2015 7:38 PM BST
Agree mate as a friend of mine says "Bookies used to be honourable rogues, now there just rogues" my saying "You used to be Turf accountants, now your just accountants" Sad
Report PBK September 12, 2015 7:42 PM BST
In any other walk of life Kelly you couldn't expect to have it all go your way. If M&S bought 100 meat pies they might sell 85 at full price the rest they may have to reduce with three or four ending up in the bin.
Report Kelly September 12, 2015 9:15 PM BST
Only comment I would make about M&S is that invariably I feel I have got value and more especially quality when I enter their establishments . Apart from one spectacular betting shop in down town Belfast , which is akin to a hotel reception area , cant say I have that feeling when I enter ( and leave quickly) most betting shops these days .
Report PBK September 12, 2015 9:42 PM BST
There's a hills in London near the American Embassy. Leather tub chairs, staff making you cappuccino's with biscuits, even Kit Kat's. The toilets are all marble and there is flannels to dry your hands, it's just like a pucker hotel. It's their flagship shop,  hit em for six k on a Tuesday was PTL on the Thursday when I returned Sad
Report PBK September 12, 2015 9:43 PM BST
Sorry Kelly maybe Lidl would of been better for the meat pie example Mischief
Report kincsem September 13, 2015 11:14 AM BST
Thanks for putting up the article.  it was a good read.
I found looking at my PP and Betfair downloads my turnover appeared large.
Much of that on Betfair was laying winning bets and cashing out positions.
And placing one bet on Betfair could be a dozen tiny bets.

Another thing the article suggest to me is I bet in quite a few markets.  It must be obvious I have no inside info.
What I like is long time-frame events and big odds.

My betting was by telephone with PP about 10+ years ago.  Then I switched to Betfair.
Playing poker on PokerStars with Eircom dial-up was about 250 a month, so I got wireless broadband, got rid of the phone, and stopped betting with PP.

I'll go the data protection request route.  PP didn't venture suggestions on my visit what I should do to get PP info.

Strangely while I was reading the report on the previous page I got a message from my Firewall software
"Network Threat Blocked.  UDP Port Scanning Attack.  Port scanning has a low direct impact, but is often used as a first step before real network attacks."

One think that I can not understand.
Why do bookmakers restrict winning punters?  I can understand restricting a bet to a few hundred, not to £10.
They have the opportunity to change prices to balance their book.
Report reb September 14, 2015 11:41 AM BST
Below is the final article from The Times, last week, on the reality of modern-day bookmaking practices and their failure to give customers real transparency on their online account.

Paddy Power Urged To Disclose Betting Data

Aaron Rogan The Times online (Ireland) 8/9/2015

Ireland’s largest bookmaker still does not allow its punters to see detailed information about their betting history, which experts say could help prevent problem gambling.

Paddy Power, which made pre-tax profits of €167 million last year, said in March that it would consider allowing its online customers to see their total amount staked, total winnings and total number of bets.

However, this week Paddy Power said it was still “currently reviewing our processes in this area to give customers greater transparency over their play”.

Online gamblers, at present, can see their betting history for the past two years and the total staked amount is not included. However, the bookmaker keeps internal “customer attribute notes” which include the full amount a punter has staked since they opened an account and their balance details. Copies of the records for two customers were obtained by The Times using data protection law, which obliges companies to reveal data they hold on individuals.

Colin O’Gara, a consultant psychiatrist and head of addiction services at St John of God hospital in Dublin, called on the company to include the extra information in the history section of online accounts.

“Gamblers have a distorted view of how much they have bet and how much they have lost or won over time, so any information that helps address that is to be welcomed given gambling is an inherently addictive activity that can become a serious problem for certain people,” he said.

In March, Paddy Power said it would provide detailed information to gamblers if they requested it, but the company’s marketing spokesman said it would “seem fair” to allow them to see the data without having to ask.

“It’s not available in the ‘my account’ section of the website, and, to be fair, it is something that maybe we will include as part of the process of improving and adding functions to it. It’s not a secret, it’s their information and there is no reason why it should not be in there,” the spokesman added.

The bookmaker has 2.4 million online customers, including more than 400,000 in Ireland.

Paddy Power said that it promotes responsible gambling. “Betting should be treated as just another form of entertainment in a balanced lifestyle. In order to help our customers bet sensibly we have put in place a number of measures such as deposit limits and the facility for self-exclusion,” a spokesman said.

“We also have a dedicated team of professionals who review the latest practices in this area and ensure we are implementing measures to protect our customers.”
Report Kelly September 14, 2015 4:21 PM BST
Last sentence interesting . Does that include some punter with a spectacular losing account wagering 40k plus on some womens football match most of us wouldn't bet 10p on ?

Never knew any bookie who did not love a losing punter .  One close friend of mine , who WAS a losing punter , on a daily basis , used to be given VIP treatment by his local bookie . Guy eventually emigrated to South Africa where the only place you could bet then was on the track . His way of escape , luckily it worked .
Report mincer11 September 14, 2015 4:39 PM BST
A problem gambler to any bookie is one who no longer has any money, the problem being theres nothing more to be got. At that point they wouldnt care if he threw himself off the Eiffel tower.
Report kincsem September 15, 2015 11:06 AM BST
I called to Paddy Power head office Clonskeagh, Dublin, this morning and handed in a letter asking for info about my account as allowed by the Data Protection Acts.
Report Ozymandius September 15, 2015 12:31 PM BST
Fair play, if only Borneo could find something constructive like this to do in his retirement.

Kincsem, I may owe you an apology in indirectly questioning your gambling abilities, I think I have you confused with Kriskin.  (Cue a comment from Wonks about me having a senior moment followed by obligatory innane smiley)
Report kincsem September 15, 2015 1:08 PM BST
I don't remember you questioning my gambling abilities.  If we had an internet punch-up I've forgotten about it. Happy

I overhead PP reception staff talking about a previous visitor who is a regular PP visitor and has a reputation for causing trouble in PP shops.
It must be one of the Betfair forum mob. Laugh

No response to my letter this morning from PP.  Last Friday their e-mail was issued 45 minutes after I left.  It was mostly a link to their Terms & Conditions.
Report kincsem September 17, 2015 10:42 AM BST
I will call in to their offices this morning with a cheque of €6.35 requested in an e-mail to process my request
They sent me a summary of my account from 2003 to 2015.
I checked it, disagree with the figures, and sent them an e-mail asking them to agree with my numbers and asked for another summary.
Although betting with them from the mid to late 1990s I didn't get anything for that period.
No "customer attribute" comment received yet, or other info.
Report reb September 17, 2015 2:23 PM BST
kincsem, I found the figures that they sent me to be pretty much equivalent to my own records. I'd say if the difference between your figures and their figures are material then you could request that they send you a breakdown of the individual bets over the 12 year period.
Report kincsem September 17, 2015 5:31 PM BST
I made my third visit to Paddy Power HQ in Clonskeagh, Dublin 4 this morning.  They e-mailed that they wanted a cheque of €6.35 and ID (passport, driving licence).
I had received by e-mail a list of my deposits and withdrawals from 2003 to 2015 totals each year.  It showed I was losing.
When I checked it against the 2003 to 2007 PP download I had from a few years back I noticed they had left out three cheques I received in June, July, August 2003.
Those three cheques would turn the loss into a profit twice the loss they showed.

This morning I was only dropping in a letter questioning their figures, the €6.36 cheque, and offered my passport at reception.  The receptionist said I needed customer support.  Two people met me in reception.
They will let me know if my figures are correct or if PP is correct (if I was a betting man I would put €1k on me at evens).

Why did you want your deposits/withdrawals?  Because I would like to know if I am profitable, as imo these should be available to PP customers on their account.
So far I have met four Paddy Power people, although I was happy to just drop letters in reception and leave.
I got an incorrect deposits/withdrawals statement (Profit and Loss) for 2003 to 2015 imo.  Nothing from before 2003 but I'm not too pushed if it is not easily available.
I have not got customer notes.
Report kincsem September 17, 2015 6:47 PM BST
Another review by me shows credit transfers to my bank account not shown in the PP summary of withdrawals.
(traced from the PP download to my bank statements)
Their figure shows I lose 27% of deposits; my figure shows I make a profit of 84%.
I sent another e-mail.
Report peckerdunne September 18, 2015 11:23 PM BST
Honestly, why not regulate the punters.....

They mostly all play into their hands.....the bookmakers...
Report kincsem September 24, 2015 11:18 AM BST
My request for info from Paddy Power under the Data Protection Acts was on 17/09/15.
Nothing received yet.  The law allows 40 days for a response, or 27/10/15.
Report kincsem October 3, 2015 1:00 AM BST
I deposited €100 into my PP account and tried to bet €100 on the Prix De L'Arc De Triomphe, and was restricted to €45. Shocked
Report kavvie October 3, 2015 11:33 AM BST
ya must be a big loser if they allowed you 45e..
Report kincsem October 3, 2015 12:47 PM BST
Eagle Top €45 at 50/1 for the Arc.
The weight of my money has smashed it into 40s.
Report kincsem October 10, 2015 1:49 AM BST
Paddy Power sent me two e-mails in response to my Data Protection request timed 17:09 Wed 07/10/2015.
I found them in my e-mail this evening (I was out on Thursday).
Most of my betting with Paddy Power was from 2003 to 2006.  Since then Betfair.

The e-mails had five file attachments:
Unfortunately, three files had an .aax extension and it took me a long time to find the program on the web to open these.
The other two files were .xlsx and  .docx extensions and as I use Microsoft 2003 (.xls .doc) it took more downloading to get file viewers.

Files received
(1) OB Account information
Registration Date: 03/06/1997
Shows a profit of about €7,200 (deposits €9,700; withdrawals €16,900)
Customer Group: Standard (method used to measure the value of a customer to the business)
Customer Service Notes: None
Customer Attribute Notes: None
Date of birth: 28/02/1900
and in this file are scans of the letters I sent/hand-delivered in 2015 asking about my info.

(2) Older Chats-pdf
Online chat files where I ask about how do I do stuff on their website.

(3) Customer Statement Dep + Wth
An .xlsx file I can not open.

(4) Customer Statement-pdf
A detailed statement headed 01/01/97 to 06/10/2015, but it is only from 01/01/2003.
I already have an Excel file download from Paddy Power for 2003 to 2006 probably received in 2007.

5) P&L-pdf
This is a Deposits and Withdrawals schedule with one figure for each year.
I first received this file by e-mail 16/09/2015, and on 17/09/2015 I sent two e-mails to PP listing errors in their file.
They had withdrawals as €6,350.  The correct figure imo was €16,152.
Disappointing that after two e-mails and a hand-delivered letter pointing out their errors they still repeat the wrong info.

Files sent to me in formats I can not read, and an encryption format .aax with no explanation and no suggestion where I might get software to read it.
No customer attribute comment. €7,200 profit on €9,700 deposited = 74% profit
They sent the same incorrect deposits and withdrawals statement twice, surprised to get e-mailed the same wrong info the second time after I pointed out €9,800 errors.
I'm guessing my betting history from 03/06/1997 to 31/12/2002 (deposits/withdrawals) is not in the Paddy Power figures, but they do not say.  Their summary (5) runs from 2003 to 2015 incl.
They said in an e-mail they received my €6.35 Data Protection fee but not did not receive my ID.
This is strange as I handed the cheque to them and handed my passport to them (they took it away and copied it) in their head office in Clonskeagh.
Report wildmanfromborneo October 10, 2015 9:15 AM BST
Paddy Power are one patient outfit.

You demanded some old information about yourself and when they kindly gave it to you you complained the information was wrong.
It begs the question if you knew the information already why were you harassing them.

This general idea that bookmakers must have morals is nonsense,the equation is simple they are trying to take your money and we are trying to take theirs.
Report MWDS October 10, 2015 12:36 PM BST
You demanded some old information about yourself and when they kindly gave it to you you complained the information was wrong.
It begs the question if you knew the information already why were you harassing them.

Especially in the context of this earlier post - "it would be fun to find out if I am a useless compulsive gambler and a cretin or worse."
Report kincsem October 10, 2015 2:35 PM BST
I didn't ask for old information, I asked for information.
I am asking for information that should be available to all under Data Protection legislation.
Paddy Power have a Compliance Officer responsible for Data Protection.

I knew the information for 4 years, and told them.  I have been betting with them for 18 years, from 1997 to 2015.
I gave them my passport in their offices.  They said in an e-mail I did not provide ID.

In the summary information that covered 2003 to 2015 they sent wrong information for 4 years.  I could check the information for those 4 years as I already had it.
I sent two e-mails pointing out their errors but they again sent out the wrong info.  In their reception I gave them copies of their errors.
They told me in their reception that there probably would be no personal info on my files (personal attribute information).
And of course when I got the information weeks later there was no personal information.
Even after giving them my passport a few weeks ago they still have my date of birth as 1900.

I did not expect info from 1997 to 2002 incl but it would be nice if they had the info in any form (summary).
I thought I was profitable from 2003 to 2006 from the earlier download, but getting the idea in getting up-to-date info was to see if that download contained all my betting.
From 2007 onwards my account is almost dormant, between €100 and €200 a year on four horse accumulators on the Classics, and all losing.

Most of what I got from Paddy Power were copies of my e-mails to them.
The info they supply is encrypted in software they use but the customer does not have (Axanthum Software's Axcrypt).
I had to search the internet to find out what software produced .aax file extension, and they download the software.
Finally at 14:00 today I find an Excel .xlsx viewer that allows me see the last of the PP files, and the info is correct (deposits/withdrawals) for 2003 to 2015.
My €100 bet on the Arc at 50/1 restricted to €45?  Do they restrict all customer bets e.g. bets over €50 or is 50x€100 too much for PP?

This is what imo PP should do
(1) tell the customer (a) the information available (b) the time period covered (3) the format in which the info is supplied (file type, file version)
(2) the requirements to obtain that info: cheque for €6.35; identification (passport; driving licence)
(3) check the information before they issue it.

I wasted three visits to Paddy Power head office (one should be enough), and many e-mails and letters.
Report Ozymandius October 10, 2015 4:13 PM BST

As I understand it, your objective was to find out if they had any 'interesting information' on you?

Did you find any?
Report kincsem October 10, 2015 5:01 PM BST
Below is what I got
I have XXXed out my name and address
As you can see there is nothing there (now).
I think the total bet count of 185 is wildly understated

Admin Screens Account Information 
Username    XXXX47
Customer ID    2000xxxx
Title    Mr
Name    xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Address    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Stillorgan Co Dublin Ireland
Security Questions    NA
Date of Birth    1900-02-28
Mobile    NA
Customer Group    Standard
Account Type    Debit
Registration Date    1997-06-03 00:00:00
Last Bet Date    2015-10-03 00:57:04
IP Address
ID Type    NA
ID Number    NA
ID Checked    NA
Age Verified    Yes
Account Type    Debit
Account Currency    EUR
Account Balance    €59.03
Account Status    Active
Total Bet Count    185
Total Stake    9731.80
Total Winnings    16910.56
Customer Service Notes    None
Customer Attribute Notes    None
Customer Payment Methods    Card
Report Ozymandius October 10, 2015 5:13 PM BST
Em, ok, anything of particular interest?
Report CheltenhamRoar October 10, 2015 5:45 PM BST
Yes, the fact he was born in 1900 ScaredLaugh
Report kincsem October 10, 2015 8:52 PM BST
The only thing of interest was I lost my internet connection for three hours after I made the above post. Sad

They have no comments about me on the info they gave me.
I expected something like "this guy is amazingly unlucky" Laugh
... after my £250 win, £100 place at 100/1 on Thomas Bjorn in the 2003 British Open (possible €25k)
... or my £20 four horse accumulator on the English Classics when 3 of 4 won (possible €66k)
... or my English Oaks 20/1, English Derby 11/1 double that failed by a head in the Derby (possible £15k)
Report Ozymandius October 10, 2015 9:07 PM BST
Thinly veiled, 'I'm amazing' thread imo.

Either that...or a possible Movie script...with the following trailer voice-over (to be read in that booming, dramatic, Hollywood voice beloved of movie trailers)

A man with nothing better to do...
A man in a heroic stand against an evil corporation...
A man who refused to take No for an answer...
A man who persevered against all the odds....

Coming soon to a Cinema near you;

"Enforcing the Data Protection Act"
Report kincsem October 11, 2015 9:48 AM BST
I gamble to have an interest while watching sports events.  Very small potatoes.
Irish poker players regularly make win more in a month than I made in my gambling life.
€100k wins are common, with many over €500k (FG, JA, EO'D, AB, SC, MO'D, DO'K)

Legislation allows people access to information held about them.
I would like if others asked bookmakers for info to see if they get similar output.
Did the An Post worker who lost €1.75 million have an account, and did he have customer attribute notes?
In December 2012 he got a 4 year sentence with 1 year suspended so he should be out shortly.
I'm sure bookmakers never keep notes about customer attributes. Wink
Report Ozymandius October 11, 2015 9:53 AM BST
Maybe you should go back to reception and ask again?  Why give up now?  Specify 'notes about customer attributes' in your request.  Perhaps they have some colour coding system or other, to categorise punters, which would not show up in a data trawl?
Report kincsem October 11, 2015 10:03 AM BST
Good morning Ozy
Either they did not keep notes back in 2003 when I had a few wins, or they "reviewed" my file before releasing the info.
I use Betfair now so my data request was just curiosity.
My real interest is horse pedigrees.  My time on pedigrees is 100 times that spent on picking losers.
Fwiw I am this morning entering race times from 1981 into my Group winners databases.  Confused
Report workrider October 11, 2015 10:06 AM BST
I am also interested in pedigrees Kincsem , you'll have many happy hours pondering them . They are a reference worth keeping.
Report Ozymandius October 11, 2015 10:11 AM BST
Well, thank God you have got it out of your system.  The girls at reception can breathe easier now.

You might feel at home here;

They have a book out; "Dull Men of Great Britain", by Leland Carson

There are more than 5,000 members of the Dull Men’s Club – and that’s just those honest enough to sign up.

Leland Carson pulls together tales of the ordinary from members such as Kevin the roundabout collector, Archie the “drainspotter", Steve Morton the filofax blogger and a chap called Keith who actually watches paint dry for a living.

Read this bizarre book bemused, amused, or furiously wondering why your 20-year-old collection of daily recordings of the six o’clock news’ opening sequence was overlooked in favour of these amateur efforts.
Report kincsem October 11, 2015 10:19 AM BST
If you want to know about real gamblers read Captain Mac-Hell by Richard Onslow.
Machell won the equivalent of £40 million when Hermit won the Derby in 1867, and the owner won £8 million.
In his early years he won bets by jumping from a standing start onto mantlepieces; over billiards tables.
Thanks for the recommended reading.  I don't think I could stand the excitement.
Report kincsem October 11, 2015 11:33 AM BST
Well, thank God you have got it out of your system.  The girls at reception can breathe easier now.

Interesting comments, Ozy.
I checked back through my posts and did not mention girls in reception.  It is not a term I would use.
Have you been to Paddy Power head office yourself?
Report keen leader October 11, 2015 12:04 PM BST
ozy, I am disappointed with your attitude towards kincsem.

I don't know kincsem from adam, but I applaud you all the way for your persistence. You are 100% entitled by the law  of the land via the Data Protection Act to force any bookmaker to furnish all the details they hold about you, be it life time account details or "notes".

PP have played hard ball with your legitimate attempts to unlock that detail. you have acquiesced to their various requests, passport/fee, and when your then receive partially encrypted information, it obviously does not correlate to your accounts of transactions with them. Put simply, the PP historic trial is either a poorly maintained file or they have deliberately withheld information.

in pursuing this episode, you have proven to all, that getting transparency from bookmakers could be a near impossible task, save for perhaps Betfair.

In the past few years, we have seen a sequence of events casting PP in a very poor light....the Gorey postal worker, specials stopped in offices throughout the country, lowering limits on internet customers that had the cheek to win, and more recently markets with ridiculously high margins.

We will look back on the period of 2002-2007 as the golden era for punters. The last few years in Ireland on the high street, we have seen the demise of the independent.....whether you liked these independents or not, their presence created competition...PP in particular were very generous with offers in the face of local independents....sadly most of these independents have either sold up  or ceased, and PP and Byles are getting close to a monopoly in many towns(Laddies do exist, but can you get on with them?).

We are now moving to a position almost back to 20 years ago....should you be severely limited on-line, all that is left now, part from the exchange, is to try the shops again...BUT with PP's accountants tightening the belt all the time, shop punters may soon be struggling to get 200 or 300 quid on a 3/1 shot in a shop........the PP corporate ideal, is to have loads of mug 10 quid punters playing away on those miserable 5/1 field handicaps you find in the corrupt all weather racing, not laying bets of over a 100 quid.

If you think things are bad now, it will only get worse..........have a look at the "election budget proposals" of Sinn Fein/IRA...........they are recommending to re-introduce a betting tax of 3% to be imposed on all shop doubt to be gathered up and re-distributed to the welfare scroungers they seem to protect throughout the island.

again well done Kincsem, I think a wee correspondence with Declan Lynch of the Sunday Independent may be mutually beneficial.
Report Ozymandius October 11, 2015 12:21 PM BST
I was only messing with him really, KL.  I failed to understand why he kept reproducing uninteresting information discovered.

As far as I know, there are numerous exemptions in the Data Protection Act which allow companies to refuse access to personal data.  For example;

* The data relates to forecasting or planning, and its release to you would prejudice business or activities

* You have requested access to data which have been retained for the purposes of historical or statistical research

* If the effort in doing so would be disproportionate

etc etc etc. 

KInscem is a persistent sort, perhaps he will consider pursuing this further?
Report reb October 11, 2015 12:40 PM BST
As keen leader says, well done on requesting and getting your data info from PP, kincsem.

Ozy, we should all be persistent in revealing the reality of modern day gambling and in seeking legislative changes to help in the protection of that small minority of people who have a gambling problem.

For myself, I wrote a letter to PP requesting the info they held about me under the Freedom Of Information Act 2014 last April. I enclosed a cheque for 6.35 euro (admin fee) and verified my ID.

I found the whole process very efficient and had, what I considered to be accurate info and customer attribute notes regarding my betting activity only, sent to me within 30 days. During that time I also spoke with the PP Online Support team leader who offered to give me my info over the phone.  I preferred to receive it by post as I was forwarding it on to Richard Oakley of the Sunday Times (Ireland) to help him in his paper's revelations regarding the reality of present day online "bookmaking".

My date of birth was give as 28/02/1900 but I think the reason for this was to protect my ID in the event of the info falling into the wrong hands (everybody knows their own date of birth).
Report Ozymandius October 11, 2015 12:48 PM BST
Of course, I agree with that, Reb.  I just couldn't help but find humour in the process as detailed.

So you got 'customer attribute notes' then, can you reveal what they said?
Report reb October 11, 2015 1:10 PM BST
"V.I.P.". They also enclosed an invitation with tickets , as their guest, to the Europa League Final and the Irish Derby at the Curragh.Blush
Report kincsem October 12, 2015 1:59 PM BST
Very witty, Reb.  People following Paddy Power in the media for the last few years will get the reference. Cool

Well, thank God you have got it out of your system.  The girls at reception can breathe easier now.

Just for a bit of background for the other readers and posters.
I called three times to Paddy Power head office in Clonskeagh, Dublin.

At the reception counter I waited until a receptionist was free from the phone and asked me a question.
I handed over my letter with a brief explanation.  I was told to take a seat (about 10 metres away) and they would send someone from customer support to speak to me.
There are two receptionist (women).

My second visit was the same routine.  Thanks, take a seat, customer support will come.
Again two receptionists (women, the same two).

My third visit handin in the cheque and my passport.  Take a seat, customer support will arrive shortly.
Again two receptionists (women, different two).

The "girls at reception" had at most a minute interaction with me each visit.  They have calls to take.
It intrigues me that Ozymandius knows that they have more than one receptionist, and that they are women.
Report Ozymandius October 12, 2015 2:09 PM BST
You are easily intrigued, just a throwaway remark

Tell us more about the fascinating minutiae of your visits.  What colour were the walls and was the floor carpeted or tiled?
Report workrider October 12, 2015 4:48 PM BST
Ozy getting OWNED again .....Laugh
Report Kelly October 18, 2015 8:39 PM BST
5 live did a piece on this this morning , one person who operates a tipping line said that 52% of his subscribers were restricted , and over 75% of his subscribers had issues with the bookies .  Bookies declining to comment though , except for Billys and Paddys who couched their responses in the usual fashion suggesting they were the punters friend rather than the enemy .
Report mincer11 October 18, 2015 8:45 PM BST
More and more people are having their eyes opened that" thou shalt not win "from bookies nowadays.
On line is completely for the birds, but the one amazing thing is that the losers who play on the exchange can still convince others that they are winners.
Report pa lapsy October 18, 2015 8:53 PM BST
Tend to stick up for PP here though all the same, Kinscem is in profit on his account and despite he didn't like/agree with just getting the E45 on,it was at 50/1 giving a liability for them of over 2k,fair enough imo.
Report mincer11 October 18, 2015 9:07 PM BST
In profit my hole Pa. The price of a bag of chips id imagine.
Report pa lapsy October 18, 2015 9:14 PM BST
Ah Mincer i know we are all in fairly bad form with the rugby diaappointment but tis more than a bag of chips according to the figures on page 2, he is still getting a fair crack.
Report reb October 19, 2015 1:50 PM BST
Great piece of radio. Thanks for posting, Kelly.

Well worth a listen. Starts at 42-43 minutes in.
Report kincsem October 20, 2015 9:40 AM BST
Interesting post on about bookie spyware on your computer

I checked my computer.
There is a iesnare directory on my computer dated ....... 09/10/2015 ...... Laugh
Report kincsem October 20, 2015 10:00 AM BST
And it seems this is the datacentre that responds to mpsnare on my PC   .........
Report pa lapsy October 20, 2015 1:51 PM BST
I think the facts are getting conveniently  "glossed over" here.
Kinscem (1)your  account is well in profit and (2)they are laying you to a liability of 2k.

I consider that very fair,whatever about dodgy offers,very poor overnight prices etc, they don't deserve a complaint in your case.
Report Ozymandius October 20, 2015 4:43 PM BST

Have read the above and gone through the well explained steps for removing and blocking ieSnare.

And then I read the following;

Neil says:
September 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm
I’d be interested to hear if anyone has had problems since removing ieSnare. Until a couple of weeks ago I had a full complement of bookmaker accounts, many of these have been active for several years.

In the past fortnight I’ve been gubbed (no BOG, no access to promo offers) by Betway, **** and Stan James. As well as that, I’ve been limited to tiny stakes with Ladbrokes and relatively small stakes by Sky.

Possibly a coincidence, but I’m not so sure.


So, I regret having done so...and not sure how to reverse the procedure Cry

Also if you read into ieSnare...I don't understand if it is that harmful.. a bloke writes..more akin to a hardware tracker as opposed to an internet activity tracker.

Examples of what it knows about your device are:

Device Type e.g. PC, MAC, etc.,Operating System e.g. Windows, OS X, Linux, etc., IP Address, IP Geolocation: City, IP Geolocation Country Code, IPGeolocation Proxy Flag, IP Geolocation Country Name, Internet Service Provider (ISP), Operating System Version, Component Serial Numbers, MAC Address and many more. it only really a problem for those with accounts in multiple names??????
Report Ozymandius October 20, 2015 4:49 PM BST
So the accusation on that ieSnare allows bookmakers to know the type of sites you visit & sport you bet on in great detail.  seems inaccurate to me.

And all the people blaming ieSnare for getting them restricted....that's seems wrong too...unless they are all multiple account holders, which I doubt.

That said, I know feck all about this, just learning through reading comments which may or may not be accurate.
Report workrider October 20, 2015 6:04 PM BST
Very interesting lads,would this ieSnaare be legal, or is it something you agree to when opening a account with a bookie ?
Report kincsem October 20, 2015 6:33 PM BST
This ieSnare is new to me.  I learned about it on this morning

This was posted by me on this thread at 01:49 Saturday 10 Oct 2015
"Paddy Power sent me two e-mails in response to my Data Protection request timed 17:09 Wed 07/10/2015 with five attachments."
"I found them in my e-mail this evening  09/10/2015 Friday (I was out on Thursday) 08 Oct 2015"

The words in bold were added now to clarify the sequence.

I said earlier today
There is a iesnare directory on my computer dated ....... 09/10/2015


It is clear to me that Paddy Power included ieSnare with the five attachments they sent in their e-mail dated 17:09 Wednesday 07/10/2015.
I opened that e-mail on Friday 09/10/2015 and since then ieSnare is on my PC.
Paddy Power did not tell me they were sending me ieSnare, or that it was going on my PC when I opened their e-mail / attachments.
I did have a three hour loss of broadband that evening, and some file downloading / updating on shutdown and startup - I thought it was Windows 7, and that is possible.


Bookmakers will make the case that it is an anti-fraud measure.
(1) ieSnare software allows subscribers (quote from the link below) "for example if you use the same machine to sign up to two or more different sites that use the iesnare system, each site will know that you’ve recently signed up somewhere else and potentially earmark you as a criminal or abuser"
(2) know that you are betting on other gambling sites, and probably the amounts.
(3) in my face to face discussion in PP reception I asked was my information shared with other organisations.  The answer was NO.
If Paddy Power put my information on the Iovation servers (suppliers of ieSnare) for other gambling companies to access then the NO answer was incorrect.

Websire with more information

(2) above is my guess at what bookmakers do.  They will identify winners, and stop them.  In the bookmaking world winners are probably seen as fraudsters.
"Quickly identify, reward and retain your VIP customers with enticing promotions and an excellent playing experience. This will engage them more, keep them on your site longer, and increase your bottom line."
Report Ozymandius October 20, 2015 6:40 PM BST
know that you are betting on other gambling sites, and probably the amounts.


from my limited understanding of this particular software, that is a nonsense accusation.
Report Ozymandius October 20, 2015 6:44 PM BST
When you log into PP, iesnare is automatically on your PC...unless you have taken measures to block it.  No need for them to email it to you.  Did you login on 19/10?
Report Ozymandius October 20, 2015 6:45 PM BST
Sorry 09/10.
Report pa lapsy October 20, 2015 6:55 PM BST
I,m not greatest with computers but did a search for mpsnare and deleted the two files which contained them.
Both seemed to be part of "flash player".
Betduck live video wasn't operable after the deletion of the files.
I remedied this by allowing " cookies" on betduck,the same two files are there now and video is back. It is certainly one of the files that allows the video to run and possibly the two as both contain the word "flash player".
I,d be very neutral in claiming they are malicious,maybe but doubt it,am however open to correction.

The last few months i,ve noticed a huge rise in the number of tracking cookies,going from 20/30 to hundreds in a session,considered harmless still don't like the thought of it (innocent sites honestly). Use Firefox and someone on some forum here mention use the "Self destructing cookies" add on. It kills them stone dead and "superantispyware" is now basically redundant in the tracking cookies department.
Report reb October 22, 2015 8:32 PM BST
Recent article from The Guardian on the new reality of present-day betting :
Report dj876 October 22, 2015 11:13 PM BST
Online petitions will obviously have no effect, mainstream media and open-minded journalists are the only possible ways to communicate to some degree of a mass audience (a niche topic but maybe the bleeding heart angle could garner support) of how these publicly listed companies operate on a daily basis.
They will only ever consider changing when they're forced to do so through legislation or through mass public perception.

I will repeat some of my questions,maybe they won't be as quickly moderated on a dated thread.

a)Why didn't PP's Software not highlight the postman's reckless gambling? How was he flagged as someone to be brought on VIP trips?
b)Was this 1.7 million ever repaid to the exchequer?
c) Why is almost every punter that doesn't show problem gambling tendencies restricted?
d)Did BC ever take off the green jersey?
e)Why were 690,000 PP customers not informed that their accounts were hacked.PP had knowledge that Usernames,passwords and security questions were hacked in Canada for 4 years but failed to inform 1 customer?
f)Why are known non runners shortened to accentuate rule fours.
g)Why are problem gamblers encouraged to bet on games,casino and roulette through free bets.
h)Why can't punters have access to their profit and loss.
i)off course books manipulating the SP.
Report wildmanfromborneo October 22, 2015 11:20 PM BST
I know its cliched but the fable of the Scorpion and the Fox is the answer to most of the questions posed.

Its not only the manipulating of the SP that's a disgrace,its the delaying of the shows til three minutes before the off.

Anytime I go racing the bookies are betting for at least twenty minutes before the off.
Report dj876 October 22, 2015 11:28 PM BST
Is this perhaps one type of future litigation that you might not detest as it's a certainty to happen?

It only boils down to that analogy for those with some comprehension,I won't feign to have much an interest in their circumstances but it's a method of garnering public attention.

The data protection issue was extremely serious and was dealt with in despicable fashion by these parasites.
Report Catch Me ifyoucan October 28, 2015 12:56 PM GMT
Paddy Power And Betfair Agree Terms On All-Share Merger 08 Sep 2015 07:58

LONDON (Alliance News) - Paddy Power PLC Tuesday said it has reached an agreement with Betfair Group PLC on the terms of a recommended all-share merger between the two companies.

The merged entity, to be called Paddy Power Betfair PLC, will result in Paddy Power shareholders owning 52% of the combined group, while Betfair shareholders will own 48%. Betfair shareholders will receive 0.4254 new Paddy Power Betfair shares in exchange for each Betfair share.
Paddy Power shareholders will also receive a special dividend of EUR80 million.

Paddy Power said that the boards of both companies believe that the combined group will be able to achieve annual pretax cost synergies of GBP50 million, which will be achieved in the third year following completion.
Following completion, Paddy Power Chairman Gary McGann will become chairman of the merged group, while Betfair Chief Executive Breon Corcoran will be CEO of the combined group. Andy McCue, CEO of Paddy Power, will fill the role of chief operating officer, while Betfair Chief Financial Officer Alex Gersh will continue to act as CFO.

Paddy Power added that both companies will retain their current dividend policies prior to completion, and following the merger will adopt a progressive dividend policy consistent with the merged group's enhanced growth strategy. Paddy Power said it expects that Paddy Power Betfair will target a payout ratio of around 50% of its profit after tax.
"The merger of Paddy Power and Betfair will create a company of world class capability and people who will deliver substantial up-front synergies and a platform for very exciting business expansion. The combination of Breon, Andy and their colleagues in this merger of equals comprises "the A team" in the business with the ambition to create a unique global player in a very dynamic industry," Paddy Power's McGann said.

"The merger of Paddy Power and Betfair will create one of the world's largest public online betting and gaming companies. The combination makes huge strategic sense by bringing together two industry leading and successful businesses and providing enlarged scale, capability and distinctive, complementary brands. Under the guidance of a strong and proven combined management team, this merger truly represents an attractive opportunity for both Paddy Power and Betfair to enhance their position in online betting and gaming and to deliver synergies, customer benefits and shareholder value," Betfair Chairman Gerald Corbett added.
Report reb October 30, 2015 10:50 AM GMT
Another article on the new reality of online bookmaking practices from the Ireland edition of The Times :

Aaron Rogan

October 26 2015

Paddy Power paid off a problem gambler with £500 and asked him to sign a disclaimer preventing him from discussing the payment after the bookmaker failed to close the account as requested.

The customer was told to seek help for his gambling problem and to not contact Paddy Power again, but he later received text messages offering him free bets and telling him “it’s been too long”.

Chris Gray, a 31-year-old civil servant from the north of England, said that he staked £1.85 million and lost about £18,000 over 15 months. He bet mostly on casino games, wagering up to £20,000 a day, and his gambling behaviour was so erratic that Ladbrokes banned him from operating an account with it.

In October last year Mr Gray asked Paddy Power — which uses the slogan “when the fun stops, stop” — to “please close and delete my account so I cannot use it again”. This followed days of correspondence, seen by The Times, between Mr Gray and Dublin-based Jeff Power, the company’s head of customer services.

Paddy Power failed to permanently close Mr Gray’s account. He reopened it days later and lost another £1,800.

Mr Gray had come to Mr Power’s attention last October after he repeatedly asked the bookmaker for bonuses so that he could gamble more on casino games. Such behaviour is a sign of problem gambling, according to a leading addiction expert. Ladbrokes excluded Mr Gray for five years after similar behaviour in 2013.

Mr Gray had repeatedly told the company that he felt he was entitled to the bonuses due to the extent of his betting, the high amounts he was wagering and the significant losses he incurred, adding: “I can confirm that I am in full control of my gambling”.

He was given a £100 credit as a gesture of goodwill, but complained when he discovered that he would have to bet the money before he could withdraw any of it — a common practise among bookmakers. After another series of emails, Mr Gray told Mr Power to close his account.

Five days later, on October 20, Mr Gray wrote to say that he had been able to re-open his account. By October 31 he had lost £1,800.

Mr Power offered to close the account “under responsible gaming so that you cannot reopen”. Mr Gray said this was what he had wanted originally and requested the £1,800 back. On November 14 he informed Paddy Power that he had contacted his MP and he intended to complain to the Gambling Supervision Commission in the Isle of Man.

On January 23, Mr Power offered Mr Gray £500 as a gesture of goodwill to “close off the matter”. He was asked to sign a disclaimer that included not taking any further action against the company or speaking to the media.

Mr Gray said that he agreed to the disclaimer because he needed the money, but that breaching the terms was in the public interest. He made a complaint to the Isle of Man Gambling Commission, which ruled that Paddy Power had acted correctly towards him.

Paddy Power, which announced a pre-tax profit of €167 million in March, said that it did not comment on invidual cases.

“Our customer service agents are trained to recognise language or behaviour associated with problem gamblers and engage with a customer around responsible gambling to ensure we provide the safest environment possible for our customers. Excessive bonus queries or requests are one of the behaviours that may trigger a conversation about whether our customer feels they are gambling within their means,” the company said.

Paddy Power told Mr Gray that it sent free bet texts to him after he had signed the disclaimer because he had not self-excluded from retail gambling, which was separate to online.

Colin O’Gara, a consultant psychiatrist and head of addiction services at St John of God Hospital in Dublin, said that bookmakers were reluctant to address the issue of problem gamblers because they are responsible for a a disproportionate amount of the industry’s income.

Report reb November 2, 2015 2:09 PM GMT
Latest article from Aaron Rogan of the times online (Ireland).   

Online bookmakers should be required to monitor and ban gamblers who show signs of addiction using the same software they employ to restrict winning customers, an addiction expert has said.

Colin O’Gara, a consultant psychiatrist and head of addiction services at Saint John of God Hospital in Dublin, is part of the research team behind the ongoing National Online Gambling Survey.

Dr O’Gara said that online firms had the data to detect customers who showed signs of problem gambling, but chose not to do so.

Online bookmakers put the responsibility on the gambler to recognise their problem, for example in a recent campaign that encouraged players to stop “when the fun stops”.

Dr O’Gara said that because the industry depended on the profits from compulsive gamblers, there was little chance that bookmakers would take proactive measures to screen them out in the same way they do winning gamblers, who they subsequently limit.

“There is a constellation of evidence which shows a disproportionate level of the income comes from problem gamblers,” he said. “Some studies have shown that up to 35 per cent of bookmakers’ profits come from the 5 per cent of their customers who have addiction problems.”

“Anything that shines a light on the fact that gambling is an addictive behaviour with serious consequences is not going to be adopted by the industry,” he added.

Former Paddy Power employees have said that the company uses data such as betting patterns to routinely screen out winning customers and entice losing customers to bet more.

The industry has the technology and means to identify problem gamblers. It’s not sufficient to take the person’s word that they’re in control if a bookmaker has evidence that shows the contrary,” Dr O’Gara said.

“It is not hard to look at data which shows patterns of play, time spent on sessions, and loss of perspective on the amount being staked, to see if someone needs to be observed as having a problem.”

He said that even when gamblers recognised that they had a problem, bookmakers often continued to contact them with offers.

“For self-exclusion to work it needs to be permanent and an easy path for people when they are distraught. It needs to be watertight but it’s far from it. I’ve had evidence from individuals who ring up distraught, sometimes suicidal, and when they are placed on hold they’re hearing about bonuses. There are many, many examples of people who have self-excluded being contacted with personal promotions months after: it is absolutely not rare.”

Paddy Power’s risk management team closely monitors customers and uses data to build profiles of their betting habits.

Tony O’Reilly, the An Post employee jailed in 2012 for stealing €1.75 million to fund his gambling habit, was recognised by Paddy Power employees as being a valuable customer and brought to sporting events as a guest of the company.

In March, Paddy Power, the company’s marketing spokesman, said that it would “seem fair” to allow customers to see data such as the total amount they had staked and lost without them having to request it.

“It’s not available in the ‘my account’ section of the website, and, to be fair, it is something that maybe we will include as part of the process of improving and adding functions to it. It’s not a secret, it’s their information and there is no reason why it should not be in there,” he said.
Report elcapitan April 17, 2016 7:42 PM BST
"Ladbrokes Ireland, which recently exited examinership after receiving €12.8 million investment from its UK parent company, would not comment on a customer’s claim that his bet was cancelled in a Dublin city centre shop when a trader in the company’s head office complained to shop staff that he had been allowed to bet €50 on a 14/1 horse."

Anybody else ever heard of a case like this?
Report Kelly April 18, 2016 8:02 PM BST
Cant see how an accredited bet could be cancelled unless it was a case of palpable error .

The mechanism for "cancelling " a bet would be unnecessarily cumbersome in relation to a cash customer .  The more likely scenario in the case of most bookies would be to let the bet run , and if it won , they would dispute the odds to be paid out . Have known that to happen , and have also known of punters getting on at better odds than they should have and having to accept reduced payment when the horse won ( sort of by agreement , but dependent on money involved ) .

The betting shops employ "Bassetts rules" ie liquorice all sorts of rules and regulations ( self propogated) , most of the rules are designed to protect them from paying out . And sometimes to protect themselves from their own staff who can spot the odd rick .

Best I knew about in that regard concerned a Miss World contest , some knew the result before it was announced , word filtered through somehow to betting shop personnel , one office manager I knew scalped his own shop at the then odds available .
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