Perhaps it is the close proximity of Christmas and all the good food and festive cheer the next couple of weeks bring that has invoked feelings of happiness and optimism. Or maybe my upbeat mood is the direct consequence of reading an editorial piece written by Bruce Millington in the Racing Post last week. Thinking about it, I believe it’s more the latter!
At last, the racing industry’s trade publication has approached head on the issue of betting restrictions and account closures imposed by our leading online bookmakers, the trigger for which seems to be pulled with uncommon speed and alacrity (dictionary definition: “brisk and cheerful readiness”!) nowadays.
Historically the newspaper, so reliant on bookmaker advertising for revenue, has been notably reticent in adopting an accusatory tone towards their “paymasters”, but is the worm now turning? Millington has finally accepted that the current situation regarding account restrictions is far from ideal: “the situation with bookmakers refusing bets has reached a point where action is needed, and hopefully 2018 will be the year when something happens to resolve an issue that even some betting industry figures say has got out of hand.”
What I found particularly interesting was Millington’s proposal that UK bookmakers ought perhaps be made to stand a bet to a guaranteed minimum liability, a path trodden already in some Australian States. He alludes to the fact that Coral, a firm which for a certain class of race (or higher) will lay a bet to win at at least £500 for any wager struck in one of it’s shops. As Millington points out, introducing such a guarantee has hardly taken the company to the brink of bankruptcy, not according to their financial statements anyway.
The issue of course is that introducing such rules on the bookmaking fraternity would likely need direct and interventional action from the Gambling Commission. I must admit my own feelings towards the GC have been those of indifference. Until now, I’ve not seen anything from them that shows they have teeth. Millington however, who I’m certain knows a lot more about the Commission than I do, believes that they are evolving into a beast to be reckoned with: “The Gambling Commission is no longer the inert organisation it was in its infancy. It is now active – bordering on aggressive.”
So perhaps 2018 will be a tumultuous year for us punters with bookmakers being forced to lay a decent bet at last. My own thought-process tells me that if they are, then we as punters could wave goodbye pretty quickly to BOG concessions, extra each way places and various other bonuses that those fortunate enough to have viable accounts enjoy at present. To my mind, this would be a fair swap. Here’s hoping.
Betting for December
A much better week for the portfolio with most services generating a profit, some of them significantly so.
Jason James put a recent dry spell behind him with a couple of excellent days. A 9/1 winner on Wednesday and another at the same price on Sunday meant it was a fine week for JJ.
Other than that it was the two footie services that really came good. The considerable success of AH Edge was down to an admirable consistency throughout the week, whilst Football Service 1 came up with a couple of big priced winners in the Premier League at the weekend.
The only service to hit a bum note was Racing Service A, but only a matter of time before dropped points are regained with ample compensation.
Figures for the month to date:
ROI: 8.39%. ROC: 2.44%.
AH Edge: Staked 41pts, +7.17pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 9.5pts, +5.05pts.
Football Service 1: Staked 21pts, +6.47pts.
Jason James: Staked 54.5pts, +9.25pts.
MVS (Lite): Staked 33pts, -0.37pts.
Northern Monkey: Staked 37.625pts, +9.66pts.
Pilelist Racing: Staked 15pts, -7.47pts.
Racing Service A: Staked 17.75pts, -8.75pts.
Racing Service B: Staked 30.25pts, +2.25pts.