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Aussie bookie goes bust... or just gets bored?

Rumours abound this morning about the demise of RacingOdds (.com.au), the bookmaking arm of leviathan, or should it be big-mouth, Australian punter Sean Bartholomew. The website has disappeared (although other Aus firms have recently been subject to DDoS attacks and are still having issues), but there have been grave doubts about the longevity of this business for a while, with the proprietor believed to have been looking for a buyer for some time. If it is just hacker problems, then it's poor publicity for the company not to immediately send out emails to all clients reassuring them the firm is still operating, as Sportingbet and Sportsbet did last month.

Punter funds will be safe - that's the benefit of the tight licensing laws in Australia. Each bookmaker puts up a hefty security bond with their licensing authority, to be distributed to punters in the event of financial insolvency.

It is quite possible that Bartholomew has simply given up on an unviable business and closed the doors rather than bleed to death. He is also a massive punter; if more time was being spent punting (as per the old days) rather than taking bets because of a small client base, then what's the point of paying for a licence? Note - there is nothing wrong at all with bookies being punters, so long as they aren't playing with client funds. The new breed of Australian pro-active bookmakers means taking the best prices elsewhere, doing your own form, using information gained from clients - winning punter A is very good on this sport, so let him have his bet, cut the price and back that selection elsewhere for the hose, and taking risks. Wouldn't you rather that than the stale UK method of cutting everyone back to a fiver after you land a few winners??

Their prices were almost all cloned from other sources, after all the hoopla and propaganda about 'we will not close any punter down' they became the fastest trigger in Australia to shut people down, and they didn't have the resources of the big corporates to spend the big $$ required to reach the recreational punters based in the rest of Australia. Just because he got his mug on the spring racing carnival coverage a few times blowing his own trumpet didn't mean punters were going to flock to him. The bookmaking industry is full of egos, and in times when there are endless choices for where to bet, they turn most people off....

Bookmaking is not an easy game - and this business plan was doomed to fail. Winning punters do not make winning bookmakers, and even then big Sean was rumoured to have gone bust as a punter at least once as well. Sometimes it just takes a wise man to walk away - exactly what has happened will no doubt surface soon enough...

UPDATE - Racingodds.com.au has been sold to Matthew Tripp's Sportsbet (51% owned by PaddyPower).

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