ūüéßSBC Podcast #65: Flawed Big Name Tipsters, BetMGM’s Value Boosts, Unbelievable ‘Inside Info’ & Using Chasing Steamers

In the latest SBC Podcast I am joined by SBC’s Josh as the¬†Betting Clever¬†podcast returns to tackle a whole host of important topics in the betting world.

We get into what’s going on with affordability checks, why we don’t think much to the petition about it and the reality of using the black market and its growth. We also touch on the Tony Calvin ‘furore’ and the real issues with free tip columns like his, how to take advantage of Bet MGM’s deep pockets and some of the ongoing work we are doing reporting on tipsters.

One tipster of note, which has already attracted a range of questions due to an¬†88% ROI headline & claims of using ‘inside information’¬†is something that we cover in depth. This gives listeners an insight to how we approach new services, what we look out for and how we are collectively quite cynical!

There is much more besides in the podcast linked up below and we have provided some timestamps underneath so that you can skip to different parts of interest.

You can listen to Episode 65 now via Apple / Spotify / Google / YouTube and all other major podcast directories (search Smart Betting Club)

video preview‚Äč

Two Members Of The SBC Chew The Fat

In this episode, Josh and I discuss:

00:00 Intro РThe Return of the Betting Clever podcast

01:40 Hellos РJosh going too far after golf wins and our betting routines

04:05¬†Politics & Betting¬†– Affordability, The fairly hopeless ‘Petition’, The Gambling Commission and favourite dinosaurs

11:56 The Black Market РGrowth of unregulated operators and their issues

16:05¬†Rants¬†– industry big wigs, na√Įve regulations & useless bureaucrats

19:50 Bet MGM РWhat are they doing entering the UK market & how we can profit from their boosts

23:42 Early Tipping РTony Calvin, records, reactions and why these sites release information before markets have formed

29:00 Demetrio Giotti Рmaking money on European basketball with Pinnacle

33:20¬†Inside Information¬†– Pete & Josh’s cynicism & being pleasantly surprised

39:47¬†Chasing Steamers¬†– who it’s for, our use of it and caveats

48:45 Headstart Racing Рremarkable prices with this new free SBC tipster

This podcast series provides the perfect opportunity to discuss anything that you would like us to look at in the betting world so if you have any suggestions, please contact us through the usual channels and we will look to incorporate listener ideas into our future shows!

Enjoy!

More information & links on the ongoing consultations due to impact UK based bettors

I wanted to share a few important updates on the email I sent a few weeks back about proposed new ‘affordability’ checks on¬†UK based bettors.

If you missed that article, you can read it on the SBC Blog Рsomething I urge those of you based in the UK who bet regularly to do as the implications are massive.

1. Shorter Gambling Commission Consultation – 9th Feb Deadline

The first thing to mention is that following my initial email on this topic, the UK Gambling Commission have released a significantly simplified consultation you can fill in –¬†available via this link.

This consultation is not only shorter but more to the point without the jargon and should take no more than 15 minutes to fill in.

Time is ticking on this though and you have until the 9th Feb to submit your feedback so don’t delay!

2. Horseracing Bettors Forum Submission

For those of you looking for some further inspiration on talking points to consider as part of your submission, Colin Hord, chair of the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF) shared with me a summary of the key points they had put forward.

I have copied them below as they get to the heart of the issue and why in their opinion, affordability limits are not necessary.

In summary the HBF believe that affordability checks should not be introduced. The main reasons being as follows:

  • The Government has announced a review of the Gambling Act 2005 in which it wants to assess affordability checks: HBF believes that introduction of such checks is a matter for Parliamentary debate and ultimate decision by the Government.
  • Any checks will be easily avoided by using different online bookmakers, using proxy accounts set up by friends and family, betting on the high street or the racecourse in anonymity and potentially moving bettors to illegal bookmakers online and/or unregulated overseas operators, resulting in a loss of tax and levy income.
  • HBF believe that there needs to be a demarcation between betting on horseracing (and other sports) and online casino gaming, i.e. games of chance (roulette, slots, virtual racing etc.). The odds for a horse or sports event vary and depend on the opinion of the bookmaker‚Äôs odds compiler, whereas casino gaming is fixed odds betting in which the house has a built-in advantage. The horseracing bettor operates under a different risk framework to the gaming customer who is focused on the quick adrenaline buzz of the spin of a slot or the turn of the roulette wheel.
  • For many people, betting on horseracing is an enjoyable pastime, because, with time and effort, the player can develop skill that enables them to take a profit or at least lose an easily affordable amount. Horseracing betting for many is a cerebral activity that is challenging and enjoyable with an aspirational element of deriving a profit. A loss of betting revenue will have significant impact on UK horseracing.
  • The proposed limits are extremely low and would likely include small stakes players who encounter a losing run. Even those betting ¬£5 stakes would have a 20% chance of losing ¬£100 in a month if betting horses to win at 6/1. Betting Exchange and Spread Betting customers could also fall into affordability checks if they have liabilities of greater than ¬£100 per month and have to deposit additional funds even though they may not have lost. Similarly, the ante-post bettor may be creating an ante post portfolio for an event that does not take place that month.
  • We also believe that there should be a reduction in cross fertilisation of casino games with those who bet on sports and horseracing and that steps should be taken to make players more aware of the house edge in casino games.
  • HBF believe that Operators should be putting the welfare of their customers at the centre of their businesses just like an airline puts safety at the heart of their business. Safer gambling tools that have recently been required should be evaluated before affordability checks are imposed. The operators should create tools and procedures that can identify those that have, or are likely to have, gambling problems. After all, the Operators can easily spot those bettors who show skill!

3. SBC Podcast On This Topic

Finally, to explain more on this subject, in the latest episode of the SBC podcast, I spoke with Brian Chappell from the Justice For Punters website on this consultation and its potential impact on UK based bettors moving forward.

Brian has been at the forefront of many discussions with several stakeholders within the betting industry and so is ideally placed to shine light on the issues at hand and how important it is for as many UK bettors to take part in the consultation.

As part of the podcast we also explore whether staking and affordability limits will be introduced as part of a solution to tackling those with a gambling disorder and why the UK bookmaking industry is in such a mess due to its structure of restricting winners and encouraging losers.

You can listen and download this episode via the links below OR simply search ‘Smart Betting Club’ wherever you get your podcasts

Spotify

Google

Apple


That’s all for today,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

An important update for all UK based bettors on action you need to take!

[20th Jan Update: The Gambling Commission have simplified their online consultation – a very welcome decision! You can fill in your response before the 9th February via this link.]

I have a very important post to share with you today about new ‘affordability’ checks being proposed for UK based bettors, what you need to know about it and action you can take right now on this topic.

The UK Government recently announced a gambling review which poses the greatest existential threat to the serious UK based recreational punter in decades, and we have only weeks to fight for our rights to have a decent bet upon its conclusion.

Now this may sound extreme, but we are in battle with politicians and campaigners who have little knowledge of the betting and gaming industry and are adopting a hard-line stance towards it.

Following on from the FOBT debate and subsequent stake reductions, there was an inevitability that an industry review would happen, after all whilst you are restricted to £2 a spin in a betting shop, you can sit in that very betting shop gambling thousands in online casinos via your mobile phone.

The main proposal surrounds affordability checks, which have been put forward by the UK Gambling Commission as part of their ongoing consultation on how to address the issue of gambling disorder.

Options range from limiting bettors to a monthly loss no greater than £2000 down to just £100 and several other requirements that could impact all UK based bettors in the future. Including but not limited to the need to pass on your bank statements and wage slips just to ensure you can get a reasonable bet on.

These affordability limits are being considered because bookmakers have failed abysmally to properly address the numbers of people who bet outside of their means and are considered to have a problem with their gambling.

Mixing Casino-Style Betting With ‘Skill Based’ Betting

This issue is also down to bookmakers knowingly blurring the lines between betting on skill-based events such as racing and casino-style gambling, which are the biggest driver of gambling disorder and source of bookmaker profits. There is evidence that shows that problem gambling rates are higher if betting on online slots and casino games than, for example, horse betting.

Therefore a clear differentiation needs to be made between these two forms of gambling and the Gambling Commission needs to be made aware of it.

Ensuring that it can introduce targeted action to really treat those types of betting which have the greatest issues with gambling disorder rather than a blanket limit that impacts the vast majority of us who bet and do so sensibly.

A blanket set of affordability checks on all types of betting and all punters will only serve to create more issues including likely driving a section of the betting population who wish to bet more to go offshore or into unregulated markets. It also serves as an opportune time to raise the issues of restrictions and closures of shrewd gamblers and how this contrasts with bookmakers claims to take problem gambling seriously. How can then when it is only long-term perennial losers who are allowed to consistently bet without stake restriction or account closure?

Hence my post today as it’s vitally important that those of you based in the UK make these points to both the Gambling Commission as part of their consultation and also to your MP.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

There are three things you can do today to help raise awareness of the above points over the next few weeks:

  1. Submit evidence to the Gambling Commission as part of their consultation (ends 9th Feb)

This can be done at any time via the following link: https://consult.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/author/seeking-views-on-how-gambling-companies-interact-w/consultation/intro/ as evidence from all parties (consumers and operators) is invited between now and the 9th February.

The more of you that do so and reiterate the key points I outline above (separation of casino style gambling and skill based gambling) the better.

  1. Write to your MP

I have also been working with a UK parliamentary contact who has a keen interest in betting to draw up a template letter/email to send to your MP. Here is what to do:

  • Locate your MP here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP
  • You will need to input your postcode and it will find your MP and their contact e-mail address.
  • Once located, insert their name at the top and your name and address at the bottom and send the below.

Dear (insert MP name)

I am writing to express my deep concern about the current review into the Gambling Act and the suggestion by some campaigners that restrictive affordability limits are introduced to betting accounts held by recreational sports bettors.

The reason for my concern is what I would define as skilled betting on sports should not be treated in the same way as unskilled gambling on online casinos, slots or bingo. I spend many hours studying sports markets and would equate what I do to someone investing in the stock market. You do not have to face invasive affordability checks with this investing and I believe the prospect of having to send bookmakers bank statements and wage slips is a huge breach of privacy, a significant data risk and a gross infringement of liberty.

As well as this, I would argue that this is a sledgehammer to crack a nut solution, as evidence shows online slots and casino games have comparatively higher rates of problem gambling than, for example, horse betting. Introducing affordability checks for sports betting will simply drive punters to unregulated markets and hit the treasury revenues at a time the Country can least afford it.

I am therefore asking you to represent my views and contact Nigel Huddleston MP calling upon him to decouple sports and events betting from that in online casinos and reject intrusive affordability checks as part of this review.

Kind regards,

(insert name and address)

3. Sign Our Petition

You can also¬†sign our petition¬†backing up the above points and which will be referenced as part of the Smart Betting Club’s submission to the Gambling Commission.

The more of you that sign it and believe in the statement we are making, the more weight these points will carry and greater likelihood they will be listened to.

Sign the petition via this link

 

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW

If we don’t individually and collectively do our best to take action in the next few weeks, then we can likely have no complaints if in the future we are confronted by short-sighted blanket affordability checks that might impact everyone betting from the UK.

So the more of you that can either take the consultation or write to your MP (An email will take only a few minutes to send) the better and the greater chance our voices will be heard.

There is no doubt that bookmakers have failed to properly tackle the issue of problem gambling, but any new measures introduced need to be done so in a very targeted and specific manner to avoid ruining betting for the many of us who bet sensibly and within our means.

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor