Cover blown!

There’s been gambling a story in the news you may have heard about, involving a chap taken to court and prosecuted by Bet365 on charges of fraud.  The chap was multi-accounting and taking advantage of bonus offers, and making a very significant level of profit by doing so.  Although exact details are sketchy, it appears he went way beyond the “friends and family” approach, possibly running thousands of accounts.  There are a few interesting threads on Twitter that delve into it a bit more including one by the Smart Betting Club (plus a link to another) so search on there if you haven’t seen these already.

Anyway, all of this was in my mind when I felt my “cover” was blown in a bookie’s last week.  I have three BetFreds I use very regularly, using cash to place my bets.  All three are within about five or six miles of home and I tend to use them in rotation.  Why?  Because I know that just like with online accounts, if a shop sees someone being successful and believe them to be a threat to their profit margin, they’ll restrict/ban them.  By spreading out my bets I’m doing the equivalent to using two or three online accounts to back the same horse so as to bring the stake down at each and hope as a result to stay under the radar that little bit longer.

Last week however, I walked into Shop No.2, only to be greeted by a smiling face (they clearly don’t think I’m a threat just yet!) from a cashier I see almost every day in Shop 1.

“What are you doing here!?!”, she says, and I see the head of the guy who I know is the Manager of Shop 2 shoot his eyes across and cast me with what was undoubtedly a stare loaded with suspicion.  It’s the managers we have to be careful of – the cashiers are fine!

I came up with some story about just passing after work and how I often come in here when I’m working there, blah, blah, blah.  Had to account somehow for the fact I’m in Shop 2 on an almost daily basis too.  What tangled webs we weave, eh?

Now I know there are a lot of decidedly grey areas when it comes to multi-accounting online.  If you’re opening and taking advantage of literally hundreds of accounts or more, then I can see why that is showing fraudulent intent.  But say your brother opens an account, perfectly legally and above board, and then provides you with access to it?  That’s not so clear cut.  Possibly it is legally, as it may well be a direct breach of the terms and conditions your brother agreed to when opening the account.  But what in effect is the difference between that and asking your brother to go into a shop and put a bet on for you?  I’m not sure you could/would be prosecuted for doing that.  Proving it would be tricky for a start.

It’s the fact that punters have to go to such lengths to get a bet on that is at the core of the issue here.  I can’t help thinking that having to make up stories to friendly cashiers in an ongoing attempt to be able to get a bet on not just now but in the future too, is something that really shouldn’t be necessary.

A quiet week’s betting with not much happening, but I’ll update the figures on Wednesday, when I’ll also answer a query from a reader about how the individual service numbers equate to the total ROI figure.

Until then…

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