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Showing posts from April, 2011

Fletcher gets a year

A strange decision this one - either he's guilty of getting a horse pulled up and deserves a long ban, or he's not? The grey area in between seems a bit odd.

Punter disqualified for a year

High profile punter Stephen Fletcher has been disqualified by Queensland stewards for 12 months for having prior knowledge that "Bold Glance was not allowed to run on its merits” in a race at Eagle Farm in February.

Stewards handed out the penalty on Friday after finding Fletcher guilty of a breach of racing rule AR135(c).

Stewards said in evidence during the inquiry that Fletcher "is a close associate of Bold Glance's jockey Bobby El-Issa”, who was recently disqualified for two years over the same matter.

"Fletcher's conduct has the capacity to deter those already involved in the sport from continuing their association, and may discourage individuals from becoming involved in, or wagering on the sport,” a release from Racing Queensland stewards said.



Perhaps reality set…

Eurovision action

It's a shame there's no clear favourite for Eurovision this year, I might have been able to repeat this performance from a couple of years back. Stepping back to a slightly lower profile market and trying to lay the field can really pay off - the final position, shown here, comes from hard work laying every selection as many times as you can, bit by bit, for small amounts (at high market percentages), so that you eventually have a healthy green book and can keep on laying.

Start early and get laying!

Surprise research finding equivalent to 'drinking beer will make you drunk'

Shock horror in this one - a Betfair-funded study favours exchange betting and says it has caused no damage to the racing industries in the UK and Australia.

Now I'm not going to get into the argument of whether it has or it hasn't, but you could bet as much as you like at a price shorter than 1.01 (with a much greater likelihood of occurrence than Blackstairmountain winning) that the outcome was already decided..... why would Betfair fund a research study if they didn't know what "Eugene Christiansen, the noted U.S. gambling-industry analyst" was going to surmise?

Is there such thing as an independent study anymore? Call me a cynical bastard but every research study seems to conveniently agree with the people stumping up the cash.....

'well-placed racing industry source' in dreamland

High-flying Sydney punter Steve Fletcher is facing a battle to retain control of his punting empire after being implicated in a Queensland racing betting scandal.

$1m punter faces ban

FEARLESS Sydney punter Steve Fletcher - the man who was Eddie Hayson's partner in the Great Greyhound Sting of 2005 - could have his gambling operation crippled if found guilty of any involvement in the Bold Glance scandal today.

Fletcher, who bookmakers say punts more than $1 million a week across racing and sports, has been charged by Racing Queensland stewards for allegedly being a party to jockey Bobby El-Issa not giving Bold Glance every chance of winning after backing the horse to lose a race at Eagle Farm on February 26.

El-Issa was slapped with a two-year disqualification but is currently appealing against the sentence for not showing his usual vigour over the final 200m when Bold Glance was challenged by eventual winner Essington.Fletcher could be warned off racecourses around the country if f…

Value doesn’t pay the bills

An extremely rare guest post on my blog, from a former bookmaking colleague who has been a pro punter now for several years, Vasu Shan. You can follow him on Twitter @vasman60

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“Value doesn’t pay the bills”. I’ve always hated that expression. What does it mean?? Surely, it’s simply the ramblings of an unsuccessful punter. Is that old chestnut about finding winners being preferable to finding value rearing its ugly head? Of course, none of us can predict the outcome of an event with any certainty, nothing is “nailed on”, it’s not possible to “buy money”. We’re not in the business of prediction, we’re in the business of probability. A successful punter backs both winners and losers, ensuring that the rewards from the winners outweigh the cost of the losers. Value is what it’s all about, isn’t it?? If you need a winner so badly in order to ensure your electricity doesn’t get cut off, you probably shouldn’t be betting at all. If you need a bit of luck on the punt to pay for…

the day the poker died

Massive day for online poker with serious criminal charges being laid against the biggest online poker firms who target the American market....

Online poker companies indicted for fraud


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The founders of the three largest Internet poker companies have been indicted for bank fraud and money laundering, federal law enforcement officials said Friday.

The United States Attorney in New York unsealed the indictment against eleven people, including the founders of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. In addition to charges of bank fraud and money laundering, the companies are accused of illegal gambling offenses.

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The companies allegedly arranged for the money from U.S. gamblers to be disguised as payments to hundreds of non-existent online merchants for the purchase of items such as jewelry and golf balls, according to the indictment.



Those firms are in deep, it will be interesting to see what happens to those firms who refused to take US business on the…

How much is too much?

The pressure is on the AFL to start restricting betting advertising as public sentiment starts to swing against it. Aussie TV is awash with betting company adverts now, not only during ad breaks but throughout local sports broadcasts. Odds updates, paid advertorial, sponsored segments, ground signage, mini-ads running across the screen during the action, jumper/shorts sponsorship - it's in epidemic proportions.The AFL and cricket are the worst at it, but are not the only culprits. I love a punt, it's the industry which has been my chosen profession for almost all of my post-uni life, but enough's enough. When it gets so intrusive that some people can no longer watch a match live (big screens are just as bad) or on TV, then it is a problem. These are sports where it's traditional that fathers bring their kids along etc. When it starts getting to plague proportions and parents start wanting to remove their kids from that environment, it's time to act.Other 'vice…

Hypocrisy goes wild after Grand National tragedies

Saturday morning - the tabloids can't get enough of the Grand National race. Free bets galore as they partner up with bookies and get every celebrity mug they can find to tip a horse in the big race. It's the world's greatest race they say, only magnifying Joe Public's ignorance of what the National really is - a 4.5 mile handicap race contested by a group of horses so narrow in their band of talent that the National is their best race to content. The public perception of the race is far greater than the actual quality of it. With a couple of exceptions, these are not horses who compete with the elite at Cheltenham, they are dyed-in-the-wool handicappers who will just keep on going and going. But ask Joe the once-a-year punter who is the better horse out of Long Run, Big Buck's and Ballabriggs; you'll only get one answer.Sunday morning - the race is over, everyone knows the result so no readers there. It's time for the tabloids to slaughter the National for…

German govt in cuckoo land

For several years, there has been much debate about German law and the licensing of sports betting. It's a country divided up into provinces which often have conflicting laws. Most, if not all, of the 'legal' online betting licences in Germany stem from former East German regions which were somehow able to offer things which weren't allowed elsewhere in the unified country. Now with the EU pushing hard for all member states to allow/regulate online gambling, Germany decided it had better follow suit before it got dragged through the courts forever and a day. And this is what they come up with....

Germany’s non-ratified sports betting proposals

7 five-year licences to be issued

16.67% turnover tax

Live betting but only on final result. No in-play

Only land based casinos would be able to operate online casino

Sports betting advertising only allowed on or in sports arenas and club shirts and not on television

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France is the most recent big European nation to build a r…

UK Gambling Commission actually does something....

....But it wasn't over sporting integrity, it was over a voting & betting scandal on the X Factor...

Virgin Media staff in X Factor bet scam

Three Virgin Media employees have been sacked after using internal data on X Factor voting to bet on the show.

The three staff members bet on the outcomes of the show's weekly eliminations.

The Gambling Commission investigated after being alerted to suspicious activity by online bookmaker Betfair.

"We are satisfied that the bets placed were substantially unfair as the individuals involved had inside information," the commission said.

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According to the Gambling Commission, £16,000 worth of bets have been declared void, the first time such powers have been used under the Gambling Act 2005.



Nice to see them doing something but how about investigating something important, like bent football or snooker matches?

Takeout increase means Californian racing going downhill fast

Californian racing authorities, in their infinite wisdom, decided that to fix all their funding issues they should screw the punter for even more money by increasing margins on most exotic bet types. A basic understanding of economics will tell you that increasing price will reduce turnover and thus players will have less to bet with next time. But, to get into the hierarchy of Californian racing and the government bodies who approved this staggering concept, an understanding of economic theory won't get you a job - you might actually be able to talk sense.

HANA (Horseplayers Association of North America) and others called for a boycott of West Coast racing once the increase was implemented on January 1. Here are the figures for the first ten weeks or so of the year.

California Horse Racing Boycott - Handle Losses Exceed $100 Million

Follow the link for the full data, but from selected stats...

Santa Anita - Handle (turnover) per race down 11.9%

Golden Gate - Handle per race down 1…

US racing to finally move in the right direction?

Potentially a huge story this. American racing has serious issues in a lot of areas - drugs, broadcast rights, not enforcing penalties nationwide, wagering margins... but now it seems there might be a body prepared to start doing something about it.

The end of racing's drug addiction?

In five weeks, 20 or so of the best 3-year-old race horses in America will go into the starting gate and vie for the sport's greatest jewel, the Kentucky Derby trophy. And every one of them will be drugged.

At least that's a very safe bet. Since 2006, every horse that has raced in the Derby has had a needle stuck in them before the race and been treated with Lasix, not to mention what other sort of legal and illegal chemical cocktails their veterinarians might have loaded them up with. That's 99 Derby horses, 99 drugged Derby horses.

This is, of course, insanity, but insanity usually prevails in racing because the game lacks leadership and a backbone.

That may be about to change. Racing Com…

Monday roundup

Not got as much time on my hands at the moment, so I'll try to keep the site fresh with a weekly update as a minimum...

Betfair shares break back through the £10 mark as their financial trading arm LMAX flounders. The newly-recruited CEO has gone after just three months; sounds like either a major difference of opinions or a long walk off a short pier. Also leaving is 'Chief Products and Services Officer' Matthias Entenmann. Considering the service these days is the most criticised part of the business from customers and the major shareholders will be looking for scapegoats, my guess is his share options had matured and he decided to jump before he was pushed.

The quest for licensing in Europe continues, and is messy as always. Greece started off with a ridiculous 6% turnover levy and have now switched to 30% GPT, which won't be too popular either, but at least it's manageable in a jurisdiction switching from monopolistic margins. The Greek government has also drop…