Saturday, 29 June 2013

Investing And Morality

Here we go again. Something in my Staying Pure post seems to have touched a raw nerve:

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you written a number of blog articles for Bettingexpert?
Isn't their approach based on the Bookmaker affiliation model?
http://www.bettingexpert.com/about/business
Not having a go, just curious why you're not keen to support Bookies through your site but seem happy to do so on another - what's the difference?
Mark
P.S. I think Bettingexpert is a very informative site with lots of thought provoking articles.
Goodness. If that's not having a go, I would hate to get on the wrong side of Mark, who knows me well enough by now to know that a response will be coming.

Does he not know that it's almost the end of the month and that he should be easing up by now? (For new readers, despite being pro, Mark operates in a "lower gear" toward the end of the month for reasons still not fully understood by anyone but himself). Even better, it's actually the end of the second quarter, so Mark should at most be in first gear if not neutral. Not having a go.

Anyway, to address the points in Mark's comments.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't you written a number of blog articles for Bettingexpert?

As I have mentioned in this blog many times, and tweeted ( @CalcioCassini ), I certainly have. And darn good articles they were too! I'm a little surprised Mark didn't know this.

Isn't their approach based on the Bookmaker affiliation model?

I'm beginning to suspect at this point, that Mark's questions might be rhetorical, because the business model behind Betting Expert is indeed based on affiliate relationships as explained in the link clearly displayed on their home page. Betting Expert say that there is no impact on their editorial discretion, (as they might be expected to do), but I've not seen any evidence to the contrary. In fact, they were happy to get the story of Bet365's welshing on this punter's bet out there last year although as it turned out, there was a little more to it than was revealed initially.


Not having a go, [I think he was...] just curious why you're not keen to support Bookies through your site but seem happy to do so on another - what's the difference?

The main difference is the degree to which I might reasonably be accused of being happy to "support the bookies". To me, there's a big difference between:

1) taking bookmaker money, placing a lurid and tacky advert for them on my blog, and hiding affiliate links in my posts, and

2) writing some educational articles that will definitely draw visitors to a site that openly declares its business model, but which may or may not result in any of the embedded links on that site being clicked on.

Most people make such 'moral' distinctions in their lives all the time. We may abhor smoking, but do all the index funds we invest in have no tobacco company holdings? We may think climate change is a huge threat, but do we give money to oil companies? Obesity is becoming an epidemic - do we own any fast-food shares?

We're all in betting to make a profit. Do we worry about the likes of Paddy or Claus Elgaard when we are making our value bets?

While seeking a consistency between your investments and your morals is laudable, it is almost certainly an unachievable goal. You just have to draw your own line.

My feelings on Betting Expert are that the site is pleasingly classy, with some excellent articles and resources that really do help the average punter. If people want to buy cigarettes or lottery tickets in a store where I have a stand selling fresh fruit, well that's fine. My responsibility for that choice is minimal, even if the customer was drawn to the store for my apples in the first place.

It's a little different when you yourself are selling tobacco out of your own house. 

For me, writing a post such as the following, complete with undisclosed affiliate links, crosses a line:
Once a sponsor has given you money and and encourages you to write "natural posts" casually throwing in their company or product, to my mind the quality of the product goes down. Fortunately most readers see right through this, and turn away rather than say "Oh goody, let me open up accounts with Bet365, Sky Bet and Stan James via these links".   

I see a difference in where we each have our lines, but others may not. This is an interesting topic that I hope some of you choose to comment on it. Mark will be back with a reply, and we should bear in mind that he is a pro making his living from this, so any extra income may be a justification for him to lower his standards, but we will see. 

What would also be interesting to know is how he can keep his Stan "Winners Unwelcome" James account open. 

8 comments:

Little AL said...

chuckle, chuckle

Little AL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Punters Friend said...

Now now boys, play nicely.

This is an interesting topic and one that I feel should be openly debated a bit more.

What has not been pointed out is that bookmaker affiliation is generally generated on "losing" accounts where they pay a revenue share, so the more a punter loses the more the affiliate wins!

Now on sites that promote themselves as bookie bashing sites this really does question the ethos of the site, how can you be helping punters to win but then taking money from them when they lose?

You only have to look around Twitter to see that there are a number of Twitter accounts with huge followings that claim to be "tipsters" that are heavily affiliated to certain bookmakers, this has raised the question of "do bookmakers get into bed with certain tipsters and encourage them to tip losers on their behalf generating a win win situation"

This one could rumble on.........

SoccerDude said...

Sorry Cassini

On this occasion I think you're going to have to accept both barrels square between the eyes. Mark has caught you out and the response from you is both weak and untenable (and I'm guessing it took you a while to even figure-out what the response should be).

However, happily this is all highly inconsequential - and I can easily see what you've done here because I do it myself all the time. And because you post so often on a decent cross-section of subjects, you are probably more prone to it than most.

It's all to do with throwaway lines. So often, I will blurt-out something, often just to fill a paragraph or two, but that can become problematic as it then has to be defended. On more than one occasion I've found myself defending something that I don't really feel that strong about simply because I've been backed into a corner.

Never mind. In most cases (as in this one) it's all beyond trivial anyway.

Do keep up the gentle prodding and poking though, as it's good fun and entertaining. Causing the odd ripple in the betting blogging community is never a bad thing in my opinion.

Oh, and when you have a moment, if you would be good enough to pop over to my site and click on a couple of my links, that would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

" You only have to look around Twitter to see that there are a number of Twitter accounts with huge followings that claim to be "tipsters" that are heavily affiliated to certain bookmakers, this has raised the question of "do bookmakers get into bed with certain tipsters and encourage them to tip losers on their behalf generating a win win situation" "

1. Losing tipsters don't have any following.
2. If a tipster was good enough to be actually be paid by a bookmaker to tip losers then he'd have no need to whore himself in this way. He could just kill the exchanges and/or shock.....horror.... Be paid by members for successful tips.

Webbo said...

This is an interesting discussion as experimenting with these ads is something I've tried in recent times and I haven't received any money from these yet either so it's rather ironic that Cassini is possibly the only one to profit from these, albeit indirectly.

I do think there is something that rubs people up the wrong way about the lack of transparency in these affiliate type advertisements and whilst I do think it might be a good idea to make this apparent somewhere, I don't think it's an obligation and nor should it be.

One of the main reasons that we are attracted to betting is the lure of the possibility of making money and if we can find other sideline ways of doing this then why not, even if this it helped or funded by other players. This is also effectively the basis for the betting exchange concept itself!

We all have something to sell either directly or indirectly through out 9-5 jobs. Most people are oblivious to how company's such as Facebook use them and their personal data to make money and there are a whole host of more cunning and unethical ways that multinational companies make money from us.

One could argue that Cassini's articles about draws are an attempt to 'draw' attention to his XX subscription selections or that by showing how easy it is trading Basketball or NFL is an attempt to increase liquidity on the exchanges so he can make more profit.

I have no doubt that this is not the case but I'm sure you get my point. For me this one has gone right against the form book/historical records and is a win for Iverson! 1.01 busted?

Punters Friend said...

Anon

"Losing tipsters don't have any following."

Really, you clearly have not done your homework before posting this, take a look at GYTO and you may wish to re consider that statement.

AL said...

i noticed the adverts have disappeared from Iverson's blog... looks like Cass 2, Iverson 0.