2 must-watch video interviews on a minimum bet guarantee & bookie restrictions

For those of you following the ongoing topic of bookmaker fairness and a right to bet without restrictions (AKA Minimum Bet Guarantees), then I want to point you in the direction of 2 excellent video interviews published recently by the bookmaker, Star Sports.

Firstly, we have the ‘ordinary punter’ viewpoint with 3 fascinating interviews with Brian Chappell (AKA Jimmy Justice) from the Justice For Punters pressure group on the fantastic work he and his organisation have undertaken on behalf of bettors.

Across the series of 3 videos, Brian discusses the need for Minimum Bet Guarantees and why he feels this is the best way forward for punters looking to ‘get on’ with traditional bookmakers. He also reveals plenty on the negative tactics some bookies and casinos have employed and continue to employ to frustrate punters. Brian and the other volunteers at Justice For Punters have also been able to get some very high profile stories on bookies behaving badly covered by the likes of the BBC and the Times (a front page story no less) and credit must go to Simon Nott of Star Sports for the interview.

Brian’s approach to gambling and demand for ‘fairness’ is in direct contrast to that from another very recent Star Sports interviewee – Skybet head honcho, Richard Flint, who in 3 more videos tackles a series of hot betting topics including why Skybet don’t accommodate winning punters.

By my reckoning, this is the first time a bookie CEO has openly stated they don’t wish to take bets from winning punters as part of their business model. They only want losers.

Whilst I certainly don’t agree with many things Richard says, especially when it comes to why such a profitable business as Skybet can’t afford to accommodate the tiny proportion of gamblers that win, his willingness to engage on the topic should be noted and encouraged.

Keeping Up The Min Bet Guarantee Pressure

Both Richard and Brian’s interviews are important as they keep the conversation going on the topic of Minimum Bet Guarantees and the need for all punters to have the right to get a fair bet on.

Only last year a meeting was held in parliament to discuss the problem of restrictions (amongst other topics) and it’s a story that is continually being covered by the mainstream media who like most of us, find it hard to understand why it’s not a level playing field for all.

Richard Flint’s firm – Skybet are in fact one of three bookies currently trialing Minimum Bet Guarantees with the public – although it is Bet Victor who are leading the charge on this front with the most extensive offer. Their ‘Bet Guarantee’ markets are available for every UK/Ireland race, where you can win up to £500 from 11am onwards backing both to win and each-way.

According to a recent article published in EGR Intel, Bet Victor are persevering with the Guarantee despite some ‘bad business’, specifically surrounding those taking advantage of bad each way races. This in turn has led to them at times offering different odds in their ‘Guaranteed Bet’ markets compared to those on offer via their traditional racing markets. A move that makes sense, especially if it leads towards the long-term adoption of such Guarantee Bet markets by Bet Victor and other firms – many of whom will be watching the results of their trial very closely indeed.

For more on the current situation with Minimum Bet Laws, Brian Chappell has also written an interesting Justice For Punters update on exactly where we stand from his perspective, which outlines several points including questions on the legality of restrictions.

For those of you interested in this topic, I will continue to keep you in the loop on all major developments including any changes or new additions to the Min Bet Guarantee ranks.

If you want to join in the conversation, you can find SBC on twitter (@sbcinfo) and you can also read a full lowdown on the 3 main Min Bet Guarantees here.

Best Regards
Peter Ling

Smart Betting Club Owner and Founder

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The Latest on £500 Minimum Bet Guarantees & Sky Bet’s New Offer

Minimum Bet Guarantees have been in the news recently and last week the biggest firm yet – Skybet joined the throng with the unveiling of their own £500 ‘lay to lose’ offer – available to those betting on all Class 1 and 2 races from 10am each day.

Whilst it was welcome news that such a large bookie as Skybet had put up its own guarantee, their offer is not as extensive as some of the others available, yet is still another step in the direction for those of us fed up of restrictions and closures.

I covered the topic in more depth in my article on Min Bet Guarantees a couple of weeks ago and the hope is that these offers could be the start of a more widespread acceptance of bets from all punters (not just losing ones).

Especially if stories like this article in the Daily Mail continue to raise awareness of unfair bookmaker practice in limiting winning bets.

Min Bet Guarantee Round-Up

(Updated 30th November 2018 in light of Betfair’s expansion to offer the guarantee on all races)

To help keep you informed, I have penned a quick summary of what is on offer from each of the 3 firms offering these guarantees and the different terms and conditions. Please note – this covers online betting only.

Bet Victor – By far the most extensive offer initially, Bet Victor have rolled out a ‘Bet Guarantee’ market for every UK/Ireland race, where you can win up to £500 from 11am onwards. Both win and each way betting is allowed.

Those of you who have had Bet Victor accounts closed in the past are also welcome to apply to have them reopened to use in the guarantee market. Indeed already a dozen or so of you have emailed me to confirm previously closed accounts are now usable once again.

Despite initially offering the same odds in the ‘Bet Guarantee’ markets as in their normal racing markets, you can now expect to find worse odds at times, especially for smaller race meetings or those with unfavourable each way terms. Evidence seen by us recently suggests the ‘Bet Guaranteed’ market is now working regularly to higher over-rounds and lower value prices.

Therefore, do be sure to double-check the odds being offered in the Bet Guarantee market and how they compare before placing your bets.

Betfair Sportsbook – Initially offered a £500 lay to lose guarantee for all class 1 and 2 races for UK and Ireland, although this was recently expanded on the 30th November to cover ALL races.

You can bet up to £500 on all races win only from 10am and those of you previously restricted by Betfair Sportsbook will be able to get on without issue. Unlike Bet Victor’s offer there is no separate ‘guaranteed’ market and you simply bet as you would do in the regular Betfair win racing markets.

Skybet – They will lay a bet to lose up to £500 from 10am onwards, although this is for win bets only and in class 1 & 2 races.

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As and when any other bookmakers roll out their own offers, I will keep you updated.

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6 More Places To Bet In This Unique Guide

For those of you after further recommendations on the best places to bet, especially some of the lesser-known options, then you can find a very detailed rundown on 6 firms in the latest Smart Betting Club publication: The 2018 Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide

The 6 firms included in this guide might not be household names, yet they offer some of the best value odds, lowest commission rates & best of all – they welcome winning gamblers. You will never have your accounts closed for being successful at betting

Offering solutions for punters on all sports including but not limited to Horse Racing, Football, Golf, Tennis and all major US Sports like NBA or NFL, this guide will help show you the best firms to bet with to make long-term sustainable profits.

You can access your copy of the 2018 Betting Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide with any Smart Betting Club membership (Silver, Gold or Platinum). As soon as you join the Smart Betting Club service, you are granted instant access to the guide.

Sign-up today and gain instant access to the Smart Betting Club

See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

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Insight Into The New BetVictor & Betfair £500 Minimum Bet Guarantee

 

Earlier this week Bet Victor made a significant announcement of interest to punters everywhere with the introduction of a ‘minimum £500 bet guarantee’ for all UK and Irish horse races.

This guarantee states that, from 11am each day, anyone, even those of you who have had Bet Victor accounts closed in the past, are now eligible to win up to £500 betting on horse racing.

Here is what they had to say:

“As of today (Monday 20th August), when placing a single bet as normal, customers will be presented with the option of selecting Guaranteed Bet, a new market which will give customers the chance to win up to £500 on the ‘win’ part of a single bet. The market will appear alongside existing ‘extra markets’ on any race.

Guaranteed Bet is only available on ‘win’ and ‘each way’ single bets only from 11am on the day of the race until the race starts. Thus, a £50 ‘each way’ bet on a horse at 10/1 would qualify.”

Betfair Follow Suit…

The very next day Betfair also announced an expansion of their own £500 minimum bet guarantee to class 1 and 2 races and several other race meetings taking place in the UK and Ireland.

This offer is slightly different in that it applies an hour earlier from 10am and covers win bets only. In addition, it also included the intriguing caveat Betfair reserves the right to exclude customers who, we believe, are executing trades using automated systems or software.’ Some might see that as a possible get out clause….

You can read about Betfair’s offer in more detail here and no doubt news on which race meetings will qualify for this concession will follow each week.

Step In The Right Direction

Both Bet Victor and Betfair’s announcements are the first step on the road toward a voluntary acceptance of bets from all punters, including those of us previously deemed ‘unprofitable’ due to the nature of the bets being placed.

Many customers have been closed or heavily restricted by racing bookmakers and not just those of us with a proven track-record either. There are numerous stories of loss making punters having accounts blacklisted simply for taking the wrong bet at the wrong time or with ‘standout’ odds.

This is a subject that I have covered in depth here at SBC, whether through our 2016 Better Betting Campaign, articles on keeping your bookmaker account open, or the call to action to raise awareness of the issue with the Gambling Commission back in March.

Finally, it now seems that action is being taken and that bookmakers have started to recognise that there might be a better way forward than the current mess.

HBF’s Chair Speaks

These guaranteed bet announcements come hot on the heels of discussions held by bookmakers with the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF), an organisation first setup in 2015 to represent the interests of those who bet on Horse Racing.

Acknowledging the depth of the account restrictions/closures issue for punters everywhere, the HBF board opened dialogue with bookmakers on a voluntary Minimum Bet Offer and these recent announcements are the result of that.

To find out more on this story I chatted to current HBF chairman, Matt Bisogno, for his thoughts on these recent developments. Here is what he had to say:

“From a punter perspective, this is obviously very good news. It should reduce the number of duplicate accounts and, far more materially than getting a bet to win £500, it means that most previously restricted punters will be able to have £20 on a 5/1 shot. It seems ridiculous that that is not the case universally, but I think that is the headline win here.

Of course, we punters cannot have our cake and eat it, and I think it is right that operators make the MBL (Minimum Bet Liability) provision on a ‘no frills’ basis, i.e. no Best Odds Guarantee offers.

Competition in the marketplace should still ensure that such concessions exist for recreational bettors: in other words, I think we’re moving towards two different punter demographics, each of which is catered for slightly differently.

My hope is that operators will see an improved turnover from MBL such that, even if their margin is slightly reduced, the absolute figure remains competitive as a result of the greater volume wagered. That will depend on how MBL is traded on both sides of the transaction, of course, and punters have a duty to ‘play nicely’ to that end.

These are interesting times, and I’m pleased HBF has been able to directly impact the landscape, hopefully for the better.”

 

Some great insight from Matt and I think most punters would agree that getting something on, even without concessions like Best Odds Guaranteed from 10/11am onwards is better than nothing at all.

More Bookies To Follow?

Whilst only 2 bookmakers are onboard so far, as per an online guaranteed bet offer, it is hoped more will join them in due time with another major firm rumoured to be close to doing exactly that.

It is also reasonable to assume that all other bookmakers will be watching the outcome of Bet Victor’s and Betfair’s new guaranteed bet offer with keen interest and will likely follow suit should it work out (i.e. if it is profitable for them).

It is more than possible that in doing so, the terms surrounding such guaranteed bets might be expanded as competition grows. Higher staking levels, earlier bet times, and even expansion into other markets and sports could feasibly follow – yet only if this early roll-out goes well.

Many punters, quite rightly, are deeply cynical about bookmaker motives and promises, yet this on the face of it does look promising so far. We must acknowledge, however, that it’s only being offered by these bookmakers because they feel it might be overall a winning venture for them.

Bet Victor Closed Accounts

One other very interesting point to raise regards those of you who have suffered closed or restricted betting accounts with Bet Victor as they are re-activating such accounts for those punters who wish to delve into their new guaranteed bet market.

I notified SBC members of this earlier this week and I have already heard from many who have had their accounts re-opened and made eligible to bet from 11am on these races.

I even heard from one member who had his Bet Victor account closed 5 years ago and, yet, was seemingly no longer registered on their system (at least they couldn’t find him!). He has now opened a fresh new Bet Victor account that can now bet on all markets.

With this in mind, it is well worth checking where you stand- to do this, Bet Victor are inviting you to email help@betvictor.com with details on your account for usage with the Guaranteed Bet market.

My early analysis of the odds also indicate that horses in the ‘Guaranteed Bet’ market with Bet Victor have identical odds to those offered to all other customers. Thus, any fears over a ‘2-tier’ odds system should be allayed.

Keeping You Updated

I will of course keep you all updated on any further developments as per these Guaranteed Bet Offers should as hoped, more bookmakers join Bet Victor and Betfair.

I am also keeping a keen eye on how these existing offers play out and how they are honoured, with all SBC members having a direct line to me to share feedback on their experiences.

Those of you on Twitter can also follow the Smart Betting Club (@sbcinfo) for the very latest news as it breaks.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

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