Your Help Needed: Minimum Bet Law & How You Can Get Involved

 

If bookmaker account restrictions and closures are a problem for you then I have important developments to share today – including how you can help drive change towards a minimum bet law – where bookies would be compelled to lay ALL punters a certain amount whatever their skill and profit level.

Driven by the punters champion, Brian Chappell of Justice for Punters, it is your chance to stand up and demand change in the bookmaking industry.

A Gambling Commission Consultation On Bookmakers

The Gambling Commission (GC) has recently opened a new consultation into Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP)’ of bookmakers and are extremely keen to hear from gambling consumers (i.e. YOU) on your thoughts about the industry and how you are treated.

If you want the GC to have more powers to enforce fair play of any sort amongst bookmakers, including the ‘right to bet’, (in other words to introduce a minimum bet law for sports betting) it’s vitally important as many of you as possible contribute to this consultation.

It’s not just the right to bet and minimum bet laws that are covered by this consultation but also other bookmaker ‘complaints and disputes’ that you might have. After all, we all know that present customer services from nearly all major bookmaking companies are poor and people often have to wait months for justice using dispute resolution.

It’s your chance to feedback therefore on topics like:

  • Your experiences with bet restrictions and your thoughts on a min bet law;
  • The issues you regularly experience with bookmakers as a keen punter;
  • The changes you would like to see implemented as part of a fairer system.

All of these opinions and more are being sought by the Gambling Commission as part of their consultation.

Rather than fill in the long-winded LCCP formal consultation document itself, the good news is that you can now share them your thoughts with the GC via email to consultation@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

But before you pen your email – allow me to provide some ideas on how to make your submission to them as powerful as possible…

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Tips To Make Your Contribution As Impactful As Possible

To help ensure your email to the GC has the maximum impact, I have a few pointers on how to frame it as follows:

  • Include as much detail as possible

The more detail you can include in your email to the Gambling Commission, the better. If you have a long history of bad treatment whether it be bet restrictions, slow withdrawals, bet disputes or anything else, then make sure you write about it.

  • Share your personal experiences

No-one can question your personal experiences if you have suffered what you believe to be unfair treatment at the hands of a bookmaker, so be sure to include as many of these as possible within your email.

If you had your account limited or closed – why did this happen and when? Had you made any money betting at that point? How did each firm treat you?

If you had a bet dispute or delay withdrawing funds – again, why did this happen, who was it with and how long did it take to resolve? (if at all)

  • Try not to rant & be constructive

I know bookmaking can be an emotive subject for many, but if you can, try and make your points as calmly and eloquently as possible. Ranting emails are likely to be overlooked in favour of those that make their points clearly and constructively.

  • Question the standards and morality of restrictions

We all know there are some very distinct issues when it comes to betting restrictions and that it is simply wrong that a UK gambling licence allows companies to refuse to trade with anyone who shows ability when sports betting.

This is not fair and not what a bookmaker is supposed to have a licence for.

It is presently made worse by the fact that bookmakers do not make it clear in their advertising and terms and conditions that all customers who study and use skill are effectively banned from sports betting using stake restrictions.

Contrasting restrictions with how free and easy bookmakers make it to lose money with them, be it online in their casino or by playing FOBT’s and you have some very clear double standards to reference.

Why We Want A ‘Minimum Bet Law’

We have been banging on about the issue of restrictions now for several years, including through our Better Betting Campaign, which we ran in 2016 to raise awareness of this issue.

As we outlined in that campaign – the solution to betting restrictions has long been that of a minimum bet law or right to bet, which would compel all bookmakers as part of their licence requirements to lay a bet from all punters for an agreed amount.

A sensible figure bandied around is that of laying to lose up to £500 on any one bet – so for example you could get £50 on a 10/1 shot without issue.

I ran a short poll on this for 2 hours on social media on Tuesday with 36% of you thinking £500 is a sensible amount and 38% hoping for £1000+.

SBC Twitter Poll

Whatever the amount any minimum bet law might have, it’s worth looking to Australia, where a similar rule has been imposed for sometime now and is working to good effect.

To implement such a rule in the UK would ultimately require regulation as bookies have shown no appetite to lay bets from all punters themselves. They have proven time and time again, that as an industry they cannot self-regulate effectively.

Whilst most bookmakers continue to blame ‘arbers’ and say it’s only a tiny minority of punters impacted by restrictions, the ever-growing number of those complaining about it would suggest otherwise.

Even the Racing Post has belatedly got in on the act, with Editor Bruce Millington finally agreeing action is needed on this issue. Although his counter-argument that such a law would see some punters opening multiple accounts to get up to £20,000 on (if the min bet law was £1000 and they had 20 accounts) is a very weak one. In reality, very, very few punters are staking up to such levels. In any case, bookmakers are not being told what odds to offer so they could simply slash the price on any bet they are worried about liabilities on if too much money comes in. It’s that old chestnut again – bookmakers actually running a proper book.

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Parliament Takes An Active Interest

Bruce was also one of the invited speakers (alongside Simon Rowlands of the excellent Horseracing Bettors Forum and SkyBet CEO Richard Flint) at a recent Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Group seminar entitled ‘ ‘Are bookmakers unfairly closing customer accounts?

As the Guardian report of this packed meeting suggests, the likelihood of a min bet ruling is growing ever more likely as momentum grows on this issue.

One of the attendees, Lord Lipsey summed up many punters thoughts when he exclaimed that “We should be congratulating winners, not denigrating them, if we want racing and betting to grow” and that “Bookmakers need to get a grip of this”.

The clear implication that if bookmakers won’t take action on this issue then the government and regulatory bodies will, just as they are doing on FOBT’s.

All of which is why it’s so important as many of you as possible share your experiences with the Gambling Commission on bookmakers.

If you believe a min bet law is needed – let them know why and how restrictions have impacted you.

You can send your thoughts to them via this email address: consultation@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to help drive change!

Thanks To Justice for Punters

A word if I may as well here for the aforementioned Justice for Punters (JFP) group of volunteers, who continue to do sterling work on behalf of us all and who have led the charge on this topic.

Brian of JFP has been a tireless campaigner for punters rights and a constant thorn in the bookies side over recent years. Whilst the Racing Post refuse to highlight his work, he has been quoted extensively by the likes of the Times, Guardian and BBC who recognise his status.

His help in raising awareness of this new consultation and enabling the Gambling Commission to accept submissions via email has also been vital. My thanks go out to him for all his assistance.

For more information on the work of Justice for Punters please do visit https://justiceforpunters.org/ and become a ‘friend’ of their campaign. This is free and none of your details will be shared with any other organisations or for that matter, anyone.

Best Regards,
Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

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SBC Awards: Vote for your best & worst bookmakers, websites & podcasts

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Public voting has now opened for SBC’s Tipster & Betting Awards, and we want your help in deciding the best (and worst) of the betting world from 2017.

Alongside your chance to name and shame the bookmakers you like or loathe the most, you can also vote for your favourite betting website and podcast.

Here are the categories you can now vote for:

  • Your Favourite Bookmaker
  • Your Worst Bookmaker
  • Your Favourite Betting Website
  • Your Favourite Betting Podcast 


Cast your vote via this link
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Voting itself should take you no more than 30 seconds of your time and best of all once cast, you can also enter a prize draw to win a Platinum ‘Pro Punter’ Smart Betting Club (worth £105.99)

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Why Your Vote Matters

There are several reasons why your vote is important as the SBC awards are your chance to help us highlight those companies doing the right (and wrong!) thing by you.

Perhaps its the bookmaker/betting exchange offering the best odds and service or even the betting website offering a superb resource for punters.

As we know not all bookies are created equally, so you can also nominate your worst bookmaker to help us expose and shame the firm(s) that got your goat last year.

Perhaps they restricted your stakes, closed your account or simply offer the worst odds and worst service going. If so we want to know who they are!

Finally, this year we have a new category – favourite podcast to highlight the growing number of quality betting podcasts out there these days.

Read About The Results Next Year

We will be publishing the results of your votes early next year in the 2018 SBC Awards, with a special focus given to the winners of each category.

The ‘winner’ of the worst bookmaker award will also get a special prize alongside the public shame of being rated bottom of the pile for all to see. Given the poor way some bookies treat many punters these days, its fair to say this is always a competitive category!

So don’t delay, cast your vote now (It will only take 30 seconds of your time!)

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Founder

<< JOIN THE Smart Betting Club TODAY >>

“90-DAY 100% SATISFACTION MONEY BACK GUARANTEE”……

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Winning Tipster Puts Up Bet, Slashes Odds (Or Do They??)

One of the biggest issues affecting us punters these days is without a doubt – getting our bets on and obtaining good value odds on the bets we strike.

With bookies sensitive to ‘shrewd money’ especially in markets like horse racing, sometimes obtaining a good price on the bet we want can be a real battle.

Tipster puts up bet, bookie slashes odds…

…or so it goes, especially for some of the most popular tipsters such as Hugh Taylor or Pricewise, where the prices they tip at (and all too often settle at) disappear in a matter of seconds.

Yet all is not lost as with the right data and experts to guide you – it is possible to find genuinely, winning tipsters that quote realistically achievable odds.

Let me explain how using a recent example of a profitable tipster we examined here at SBC.

Intensive Odds Tracking For Each Tipster

Mindful of the issue of odds movement, for each tipster we review here at SBC, we hire a specialist odds checker who tracks and records the odds available to see just how realistic they are.

This odds tracking helps to uncover:

  • How long the odds quoted remain available for;
  • How realistic the quoted odds actually are and if you can achieve them in practice;
  • How the odds move after set time periods (e.g. for a racing tipster – after 15, 30 & 60 minutes, at 10.30am plus Betfair SP);
  • Which bookmakers are being quoted and used.

Once you have this data, it allows you to make some very informed decisions on whether the odds quoted by a tipster are realistic or the biggest work of fiction since Harry Potter!

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Recent Tipster Review Example

To illustrate how this all works, here is an example from one recent tipster review we published.

The review itself focused on a very profitable racing tipster, who since 2012 had advised 2599 bets and made a 15.4% Return on Investment (ROI).

Their strategy was to advise bets in big feature races only, either the big Saturday Meetings or large Festivals like Glorious Goodwood or Royal Ascot. As these betting markets take a lot of money, most tips would be advised late in the evening or early in the morning.

For this particular odds tracking task, our in-house staff member monitored the odds for every tip advised over a 6 week period.

Only quoting the best odds if available with a small panel of bookmakers including: Bet365, BetVictor, BlackType, Betfair Sportsbook, Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Skybet, Tote and William Hill.

During this 6-week period, our odds tracker monitored 76 bets in total and noted the following for each tip given:

  • The advised odds by the tipster;
  • The best odds available on receipt of tip email;
  • The best odds 15 minutes after receipt;
  • The best odds at 8.00am, 
  • The best odds at 10.30am 
  • The performance at SP

And here is what he found, with the drop between the advised odds and each other category illustrated by the Estimated ROI difference.
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Marginal Odds Movement – Especially Before 8am

Breaking down this table – we noted straight away that there was very little difference in the odds available both immediately and after 15 minutes had elapsed with just a -0.2% and -0.6% swing.

Even at 8am, the difference between the advised odds and what you could obtain was -1.6% and at 1030am, whilst the odds had shifted further, the difference was -5.2%

Remember this service has made a 15.4% ROI long-term, so if getting on by 8am in the morning, you would only lose -1.6% ROI at worse. Leaving you with an actual real-life ROI of 13.8%.

If you couldn’t get on until 10.30 am, this 15.4% ROI, would drop to 10.2% ROI. Not ideal certainly, but still allowing you the chance to get on and make a fair profit.

Ultimately, we have to come to expect with any profitable racing tipster that there will be a degree of odds movement over time. The fact that the possible ROI differences within 15 minutes are as small as -0.6% and leaving you with a 14.8% ROI in reality is very good in today’s betting world.

It is also very important to note how likely it is you might obtain better odds if having access to more firms than the 9 we quoted from in our odds tracking exercise. Opening up the potential to even beat the quoted odds performance.

Why The Bookmakers Quoted Also Matters!

It’s also important to understand which bookmakers are quoted when a tip is put forward and our odds tracking exercise allowed us to report on this as well.

Let’s face it, if a tipster is quoting standout odds of 16/1 with a firm such as Boylesports (widely known to be amongst the worst for restrictions) there is next to no chance you will get on if showing a modicum of profit.

Below you can find the detail on those bookmaker firms that this tipster used the most, with Bet365 clearly the most popular and quoted on 42.3% of occasions.

After that, came Paddy Power, Bet Victor and William Hill with a combined 36.3% of all bets, followed by a few bets with the likes of Stan James, Ladbrokes, Betway, Skybet & Coral.

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Love or hate the likes of Bet365, they are not known as the worst culprits when it comes to either restricting accounts or slashing odds – which makes sense given the odds tracking study we ran.

I have made around 20k per year extra”…

I used to work as trader for Paddypower and Sportsbet so i have an obvious interest in betting. [Using Tipsters] I have made around 20k per year extra.”    
As written by Justin – An SBC member since December 2013

Click here to read more from Justin on his SBC membership experience

How Our Unique Member-Funded Model Can Help You

The above is only a small excerpt from our detailed review of this particular service, but hopefully it goes to show how our analysis can help you genuinely find those tipsters who’s advised odds can be trusted.

For every tipster review we publish, you can expect to read concerted odds tracking analysis to help you understand just how the odds stack up (or not!)

We don’t just analyse odds movements in our reviews either.  We break down other factors such as yearly performance, monthly performance, performance by odds band, performance by racing code, and performance to Betfair Starting Price to name just a few.

We are able to go into such detail in our reviews due to the unique way we are funded by our members. This allows us to not only report back independently (so no affiliate links) but also to spend hours and hours investigating profitable tipsters.

Providing you with evidence of the tipsters making money in practice, not just in theory!

So if you wanted to see how our reviews and reports can help you – why not consider a Smart Betting Club membership?

Best of all, you can currently save up to £38 on the cost of subscription so don’t delay, sign-up right now and let us help you get started betting better right away!

<< JOIN THE Smart Betting Club TODAY >>

See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
SBC Editor

“90-DAY 100% SATISFACTION MONEY BACK GUARANTEE”……

“I believe so strongly in SBC’s ability to help your betting, you can subscribe with a 100% cast-iron 90-day money back guarantee”.
SBC Editor – Peter Ling     Subscribe Now

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6 Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Have Sympathy When Bookies Lose

If you believe everything that the bookies say then the past fortnight has been a nightmare period for them with huge betting losses incurred for both their racing and football departments.

It all started earlier this month when the weekends football action saw 22 out of 23 short favourites obliging across the 4 main English leagues – resulting in numerous stories of multiple accas coming in and some big pay-outs.

This was then followed up on Wednesday when infamous racing trainer Barney Curley pulled off a massive betting ‘coup’ with 4 very well backed winners.

Yet despite all of this, I don’t feel one iota of pity for them, simply because there is a lot more than meets the eye with these stories.

So without further ado, here are my 6 reasons on why we shouldn’t have sympathy for bookies…

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Why The Bookie Is NOT Your Friend

This week I did something I promised I would never do…… I got into a twitter ‘spat’.

Well it was probably more of a ‘strong debate’ than a spat, but it was on a subject that matters a lot to me: bookmakers and how they treat punters.

The bookie in question was Stan James and my ‘opponent’ their head of PR – Rory Jiwani. Now for all intents and purposes, Rory is a nice bloke and he deserves credit for being one of the few people to actually try and discuss issues that few other bookie reps actually will.

My challenge to Rory was how can he defend his bookmaker (Stan James) who are routinely one of the most complained about bookmakers amongst our members. This is backed up by stats whereby they were ranked 26th out of 27 major football bookies and 16th out of 19 major racing bookies, according to 2 large recent SBC members surveys.

Part of the reason for their lowly rating is their apparent clampdown on winning punters accounts as 52.29% of respondents in our recent horse racing survey had their Stan James account closed down. This was by far the worst stat for closures and I was keen to find out why Stan James had so little time for anyone making a semblance of profit! Why were they so different from many other bookies and not keen to lay a bet?

Ultimately, my quest for answers was not fruitful (no big surprise!), but it helps raise a very serious topic once again…that the bookie is not your friend.

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Are You A Victim Of The Betting Odds Conspiracy?

As punters these days we can bet on pretty much anything we like from the existence of Aliens being proven (33/1 to happen this year) to the winner of the Eurovision song contest, where nearly £1million has been matched at Betfair already! (It’s safe to say that Terry Wogan’s wig will be trending this weekend too!)

There is however one thing that binds us all together as punters: Bookmakers.

Love or hate them, there is no getting away from the fact we simply can’t bet without them. Yet choosing the right bookmaker to bet with is critical and can make a massive difference to your profits…(and sometimes whether we make a profit or not in the first place!).

Yet our own research at the Smart Betting Club indicates that the majority of punters are actually betting with the wrong bookmakers!

This finding is based on the stats from our 2 independent bookmaker guides (#1 on Football and #2 on Horse Racing), where we found that when it comes to the worst bookmakers…. Continue reading