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Showing posts from September, 2011

Betfair copping a hiding in the news this week

First there was Betfair taking money from punters' accounts, thinking they had successfully placed their bets on the huge Tote jackpot day last week, only to find out when they went to check their winnings, that the bets never went through. There is nothing more frustrating for a punter than not knowing whether your bets are on or not. Betfair's policy on tech glitches like this is all about covering their arse, and not compensating customers. Betfair punters rarely place just one bet - often it is a series of bets and trading positions which change frequently, so knowing exactly what your position is at all times is critical. Otherwise, punters might as well just use a regular bookmaker....

Today news broke that Betfair had a customer data breach just before the float and conveniently kept it quiet. However minor it was, if police all over the world were involved, then customers deserve to know. Another bad PR story further eroding Betfair's once pristine, now terminally…

Ed Wray the latest to bid farewell to Betfair

There's a time at most big companies when the last of the original founders move on - sometimes it is by choice, other times they are usurped by investors or an involuntary departure in a wooden box was the only way they'd leave.Ed Wray, Andrew Black, Mark Davies, David Williams (legal) and Jon Cumberlege (operations) were the main five guys at Betfair when I joined way back in 2002 and what a great time it was. An exciting new company putting a rocket up the tired old UK betting industry and wanting to take on the world. The latter quartet have long moved on to enjoy the riches of their involvement, Ed has just announced he will be stepping down as company chairman. The company is a long way from where it was in those days, some for the good, some for the bad, but you can't argue it has changed the betting industry forever. I remember first meeting Ed in the old Parsons Green office after an hour chatting to David Williams, the head legal guy for several years, who had…

Clean up the rorts by merging the steward panels

NSW harness racing has had an image problem for a while and the lid has recently been blown off a massive integrity scandal within the sport. Faced with a sport potentially going down the tube, how do you fix it? The NSW Minister for Racing has proposed merging the stewards' panels for thoroughbred and harness racing to clean up the sport. There are probably many flaws in the proposal but they should be able to be resolved. There is plenty of crossover between the two sports at steward levels, many regularly make the switch.

The NSW harness racing industry needs a massive broom to go through to clean it up, and if Ray Murrihy is involved, it's far more likely to happen than by leaving them to sort it out themselves.

Betfair in the news

Some recent press snippets to cover... The Australian reports that BF Australia chief exec Andrew Twaits has announced his intention to move on next year.

As mentioned in the previous post, the BHA is determined to waste more money on forcing the higher-profiting Betfair users to pay levy. Two obvious issues with that:
- why is the BHA getting into bed with one levy-dodging company, William Hill, to chase another one it believes isn't paying its share?, and
- if bookmakers can move their servers to Gibraltar to avoid paying tax or levy, then why can't an individual punter? Would love to see that one challenged in court.

One of the original Betfair founders, Mark Davies, is suing his legal firm for £4m because they screwed up his share registration, costing him a packet when the BF share price collapsed. The share price has improved a bit in recent weeks (although let's face it, there wasn't much further down it could go!). It has now broken back through the 700p mar…

Paul Roy wouldn't last five minutes at a listed company

When a publicly-listed company's CEO is stuck in the past and continually pisses money up against the wall, major investors waste no time in demanding a leadership change. The racing industry however, has no such structure, no such powerful stakeholders within, and no such chance of getting rid of a complete clod at the helm....

We've been here before:

How many fuckups is Paul Roy entitled to?

There's also a great article from ATR presenter Sean Boyce on one of his earlier blunders, but his site is giving a malware warning, so I'll pass on that for the moment.


Now Roy wants to blow the rest of the racing's rent money on a 100/1 shot with a formline of being flogged at every start.

Racing the loser as Paul Roy links with William Hill to fight Betfair

There is no prospect of success for the British Horseracing Authority as it seeks a judicial review of how the Levy Board handles betting exchanges.

Anyone who walked down High Holborn last Thursday ran the risk of being h…

Corruption can occur from within

Eye-opening story of the depth of corruption in NSW harness racing from Brent Zerafa. There have been rotten eggs in NSW harness racing for years, and for a sport which isn't as well funded as their thoroughbred counterparts, it was often ignored, put down to coincidence or consigned to the 'too hard' basket. Harness racing, or trotting as it is often known, is often called the 'red hots', signifying regular short-priced favourites and that all is not necessarily above board. Add to that the level of dodgy characters involved, particularly using the sport as a legitimate way to launder money, and you soon see why the image of the sport suffers.

When punters whose golden goose is being killed off start firebombing stewards' cars, you know they've found something serious.

Probe into alleged trots misconduct

AN ANONYMOUS phone call to Harness Racing NSW was all it took to set in place a chain of events that threatened to expose a rampant underbelly.

Nestled ri…