Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A note on some bookmakers

Here are some ways in which I claim certain bookmakers rip off gamblers. I sent an article to a few newspapers but no response. Either my writing is poor (possible) or the bookmakers who advertise with the newspaper wouldn't be best pleased. It is certainly of interest for any first-time gamblers.

Betting is a business and whilst I agree profitability is the name of the game, these methods are suspect.

No names mentioned.

  • They restrict/ban sometimes even the slightest of winning punters. Everyone knows casinos restrict and even throw out people who have an edge but the high street bookmakers constantly stop anyone who shows they are capable of making a profit. If the message got out that no one was ever supposed to win at high street bookmakers they would have to offer more competitive odds. Most of the online bookmakers track bets of new start up accounts and if there is even the possibility that the gambler is profitable he is restricted or banned from betting. In short, whilst the advertising suggests profits can be made, in reality this is not possible.
  • Bookmakers restrict winning gamblers but copy their preferences and adjust their odds accordingly. They pay low wages to ‘traders’ when compared to the city and manage their books by copying winning bettors. For instance a smart winning gambler will try to bet £100 on a match - they will limit him to £10 and then change their price accordingly. This is so that they can pay poor quality traders (on some sports/leagues) and manage their positions easily. 
  • They offer extremely poor value for money at times when the gambler cannot choose elsewhere. For instance, the bets odds are available online, but the shops offer worse odds; finally if there is a bookmaker at a football match they offer the worst available odds as bettors have no where else to go once they are there. Examples can be given of the true margin they enjoy. In addition, almost always the price in the racing post differs from the shop price even though theoretically it should be identical. A gambler walks into a shop to be on Manchester United before he goes to watch the game..the price is 8% less than he imagined but he can't go anywhere else..if cigarettes where x% higher there is enough competition out there to choose another brand..of course there is enough competition out there but sometimes punters don't get to hear about it and the ones that do are restricted when they win.

  • They confiscate bets if they think the match is a fix but continue to take money on the outcome at poor prices..if the bets win they don’t pay out but if they do not, they keep the money as the bet was a loser. This is extremely out of order and is a bone of contention within certain circles. The most recent example of this was after a fixed match ..Bookmakers took bets until they couldn't take any more and they have not paid out on the result. Some of the money is legitimate that saw the end result as a likely result, others were arbing or just recreational gamblers. They should either not offer these matches or remove instantly if they think is suspicious. Further still they should void the bets until kick-off.

  • They claim certain bets are ‘palpable error’ meaning they don’t have to pay when the rules are very sketchy concerning this. There is a well-known tennis example which is fairly complex but is one of many.
  • Bookmakers sometimes do not incur any risk at all..They offer poor odds to the punter and then ‘hedge’ their risk by placing the same bet at higher odds on Betfair. In a sense they are simply converting currency by gaining 10p in the pound by bettors and making 6p in the pound off the hedge. This is fairly well-known within the industry but the average punter is simply giving away his money at these shops.
  • Bonuses given away online have certain conditions that are considerably less generous than advertised. While this is not remotely illegal and is common practice, it is still not right. 
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