Wednesday, 11 October 2017

From Bar To Street To Bookie

Tony Stephens had some thoughts on the 'bashing the bookie' theme writing:

Initially I did think the same as Steve. However, you do see profit statements from the big bookies saying things along the lines of profits are down due to unfavourable sports results. Surely profits could only be down due to less turnover if they were properly bookmaking with balanced books. What I don't get with the "bookmakers" and what I think should be looked into is why customer A can't get £10 on selection 1 but customer B can have whatever they want at the same point in time.
When a bookmaker reports a large loss, it's usually worth far more to them in publicity than the loss itself. Some of you may recall the events of January 2014 which prompted a Press Release from William Hill:
Online Sportsbook has continued to show strong wagering growth, up 48% in the first two weeks of 2014. However, football results in week 2 were highly unfavourable with an unusually high number of odds-on favourites winning. Driven by the impact of this on our otherwise very attractive accumulator business, we recorded a £13m loss in the week. There is no certainty that we can recoup this shortfall to internal expectations but based on previous experience of such customer-friendly outcomes, such as 'Dettori Day' in 1996, we anticipate a positive benefit from increased customer confidence, particularly with so much of the season ahead and with the 2014 World Cup to come.
In that one Press Release we learn that yes, a freak set of results, from events in-play simultaneously, meant that they were unable to balance their books, but note the expected "positive benefit" resulting from this beating. A £13m loss sounds like a lot of money, but no mention of how many million they profit in a typical week. 

As for Customer A and Customer B being treated differently, bookmaking is a business, and like any business, bookmakers can choose who they do business with. 

Similar to how pubs can choose to serve or not serve you, usually based on your past behaviour, it's the same with a bookmaker, and in the same way that local pub managers exchange information about certain customers, so do bookmakers.

It's just how it is, and I'm not sure who is supposed to look into it, or what they are supposed to do about it. The business has decided they don't want you as a customer, so you deal with it. Take it as a compliment. Open an account with a market maker who doesn't ban winners. They may want 60% of your winnings, but I think I've mentioned that topic before and I'd hate to repeat myself.

1 comment:

Tony Stephens said...

In Australia I don't believe they just accepted a licensed bookmaker picking and choosing who they take bets from. As I understand it there is a minimum liability that must be accepted. Without researching it too much I would say someone had a look at their original model and then changed it for some reason. Why should we just accept the current model in the UK?