Saturday, 29 March 2008

the wagering landscape of Australia is about to change

Betfair's landmark vistory in the High Court this week over the head-in-the-sand protectionists of the WA Govt will shake up the betting industry of Australia like never before. Not only can a state deny a firm licensed in another state the licence to operate or use their data should they be willing to pay a similar fee to everyone else, it also will mean an end to the interstate advertising restrictions which has hampered competition for years. Now we can have a proper national racing paper, bookmakers and betting exchanges being allowed to sponsor races or sporting teams or even advertise on TV. Most states recognised the laws breached the constitution but the racing bodies, heavily controlled by the TABs, made sure no rival firm was allowed to advertise. Only NSW was anal-retentive enough to think their law would stand up in court, or at the very least, liked to wave their 'power' around and threaten anyone who dared to advertise in NSW if they weren't licensed there.

Bring on the new era!

Monday, 24 March 2008

IASBet for sale

Rumours have been rife in recent months and this article confirms it, IASBet, the Australian corporate bookmaking operation headed by Mark Read, is up for sale. Read must be about 60 now and probably feels the time is right to sit back and enjoy his money rather than stressing about the demands of shareholders. Ever since floating back in 1999 at $2, it's been a pretty lame stock, most recently trading around the 30c mark. He hopes to sell for $1 a share which is pretty ambitious in the current climate. I started my career in the betting industry and still own a small lump of shares. I'd be happy to get any more than the two cases of beer it has been worth for the past five years!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

still think the stock market is fair and safe?

Rogue traders are again in the news, manipulating the money markets in order to reap multi-million pound bonuses. Banks and hedge funds are the greediest gamblers of the lot. There's no social responsbility attached to the financial industries, unlike the gambling industry. And people think horse racing is bent.....

Another Telegraph story

You can bet your last pennies that there will be stories like this to come as the credit crunch continues...

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

William Hill get off very lightly

In the recent £2m problem gambler claim, the judge has remarkably found bookmaker William Hill at fault, but effectively said the punter would have lost all his money anyway, so it wasn't their fault.... Surely this one has further to go via appeals courts.

Read here for more.

BWin chasing Argentina - but facing resistance

Bwin's quest for global domination continues. After legal issues in France and Germany in particular, they have tried the same tactic in Argentina by acquiring a regional licence and then expecting that to work nationally. Fair enough you say, but the Argentinian government are very anti-sports betting, so don't expect them to give this one up lightly. The Argentinean Football Association wasn't too happy about it either.

South America is massive on football and other sports such as motor racing, tennis and horse racing are pretty popular as well. It's a big market if someone manages to crack it.

what a week

Cheltenham is over and a couple of new superstars at the top of the game have emerged.

We already knew Denman was good, but he simply brained them, including even money favourite and defending champ Kauto Star in the Gold Cup. And trainer Paul Nicholls has another star in two-mile chaser Master Minded who looked like he ws still in the third gear when obliterating the field in the Champion Chase.

Good links from last week :

The Independent ran a great article on Britain's most outspoken punter, and co-owner of Gold Cup winner Denman - Mr Harry Findlay

The Gold Cup replay

Queen Mother Champion Chase replay

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wild weather takes its toll

Wednesday's racing called off at Cheltenham after storm gales overnight and were forecast throughout the day. With thousands of punters in hospitality and temporary structures, course management really had no other option but to call the day off. 90% of travelling punters would have been able to change their travel plans. The forecast for the next couple of days is far more envouraging and all races from today will be absorbed into those day's schedules.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Cheltenham here we come

Good luck if you're getting heavily involved at Cheltenham this week. It's gonna be rather wet and blustery, could this be the downfall of some of the more temperamental horses?

If you're looking for free bet offers - take a look at www.startbetting.co.uk.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Super Saturday at Flemington

Cracking day of racing at Flemington, the home of the Melbourne Cup today.

Group 1 Newmarket Handicap over 1200m.

Group 1 Australian Guineas over 1600m, for 3yo.

Group 1 Australian Cup over 2000m at wfa.

Weekend Hussler has the boom on him in the Newmarket, but he's taking on the older horses here down the Flemington straight six. The grey colt Light Fantastic will start a clear favourite in the Guineas while the Australian Cup field has no obvious standout. The champion 2yo and 3yo filly of her year Miss Finland has been disappointing in open class, this is a fairly weak field, but has the bubble completely burst on her?

Two weeks of biathlon left

The great new sport to trade has only two rounds left - this weekend in Siberia, then next week in Norway. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won the men's sprint on Thursday, the incredibly gorgeous Magdalena Neuner won the women's event. Saturday is for the pursuit races, and the Mass Start events on Sunday.

It's a great sport to bet on - an athlete can go from 1.02 to 100 within seconds with a couple of missed shots on the last stage. Some hold their nerve and prove their class, others just bottle it! A great event to be backing and laying on Betfair.

For the biathlon betting guide - click here