Saturday 31 December 2011

Tipster Selections

A few late, in some cases VERY late, selections from the Tipster League for matches this weekend.

The best method so far is Backing the 'Lay the Draw Selection' from Ian Erskine, and despite a late loser yesterday (Bristol City winning at Southampton, a game that would have seen LTD followers take a bath) we will be backing the Reading v Ipswich Town draw at 4.1.

In second place, Geoff goes to places I have never heard off for half of his picks, and has:

Fourth placed Green Pullover goes with:
and 10th placed Griff's EPL Draw selections are Bolton Wanderers v Wolverhampton Wanderers (3.40) and Sunderland v Manchester City (4.25).

No selections from mark J, nor again from the Game of Two Halves, and I suspect this has been quietly dropped.

Updates after New Year's Day, and a reminder that competition winners Geoff and Loudsight are on the draw at Coventry this afternoon and a lay of Manchester City at Sunderland tomorrow respectively. No selection from Marky Sparky yet - I hope he realises the free bet he won expires at midnight...

Friday 30 December 2011

Conspiracy Theories

Some clarification from skoqp who said:

Sorry, correction... I meant the Federal Reserve's Charter not mandate. The Federal Reserve was established in 1913 and granted a 100 year charter.
Actually, not any clarification after all. It makes for a great story, especially when linked with the supposed Mayan prophesy for 2012, but there is no truth in either.

The original Federal Reserve Act of 1913 did provide for the expiration of the corporate "power" of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks to exist in 20 years from the banks' organization, but this was amended in February 1927 so that each of the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks can now only be dissolved by an act of Congress or "forfeiture of franchise for violation of law." There is no expiration date, either next year or any time. I hate it when the facts spoil a good story, but this is what happens when you listen to David Icke.

Loudsight made his selection with his winnings, and has layed Manchester City at Sunderland on New Year's Day at 1.6. He actually stands to win a penny more than he thought -
Mark Iverson seems to think that having a baby is more important than finding a winner. Clearly, Mark wears the trousers in his house. It's just that they are pink, with little flower patterns and bows on them, all sewn together by Mrs. Nic Iverson using the baby girl clothes they were given before finding out that they were in fact having a boy. Anyway, we hope that Mark is soon running around the baby ward modestly shouting his surname - "I've A Son!, I've A Son!" so that he can get back to important things in life. What price a first name of Ivor for the little chap?

Geoff M has selected the draw in the Coventry City (David Icke's former team I do recall) v Brighton and Hove Albion match (3.35) on Saturday, and has pledged that he
will give a third of the winnings to the Help for Heroes charity if it wins so fingers crossed
A fine gesture.

Finally, an update on the Betfair glitch the other day from the Guardian - though when they say that 'a fix was applied', it's not what you're all thinking. The final paragraph was interesting: The most damaging long-term effect of Betfair's latest PR disaster, however, could be a loss of trust on the part of its customers. The phantom money put up against Voler La Vedette was too obvious to miss, but some may now wonder whether the everyday sums too are really what they seem.
The Betfair betting exchange said on Thursday that its technicians had identified and fixed the software flaw that caused the in-running betting on Wednesday's Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown to be declared void. Voler La Vedette, the easy winner, was available to back at odds of 28-1 from early in the race until she crossed the line, causing £800,000 to be staked on the mare worth a total payout, in theory, of nearly £23m.

Tony Calvin, Betfair's spokesman, also launched a defence of the exchange's response to the unprecedented betting activity on the Leopardstown race, in an interview with At The Races. While he acknowledged that the episode had been "highly embarrassing and an unacceptable betting experience for people", Calvin said that "there was a unique set of events that allowed this to happen".

Calvin speculated that an automated trading programme, or "bot", had almost certainly been responsible for placing the rogue bet into the exchange, but confirmed that Betfair itself operates in-house bots on the exchange.

He also said that Betfair, which now operates its exchange via Gibraltar to avoid betting duty, had nothing to hide from Britain's betting regulators. "If the Gambling Commission want to come and have a look, that's fine," he said. "We're always honest and transparent."

Calvin's interview also suggested that punters who are dissatisfied with the way that the issue has been handled could take their concerns to the Independent Betting Arbitration Service (IBAS), which resolves disputes between punters and betting operators.

Betfair is expected to release an extensive and final report on the incident on Friday, but in a statement issued early on Thursday afternoon, the exchange said that "we have identified the issue and replicated it in a test environment last night. A fix was applied overnight, and is now subject to rigorous testing."

The statement added that "contrary to some media speculation, we can confirm that all in-running bets on this market would have been voided, had Voler La Vedette won or lost. There was never any chance of the account in question profiting yesterday. The account in question was also immediately suspended after the Leopardstown race."

The identity of the Betfair customer who placed the rogue bet remains the subject of speculation, though the account is believed to have been operated by an individual client with a modest balance, rather than a bookmaker seeking to hedge liabilities or an account linked to the exchange itself.

"If you're looking for a £1m-plus customer, you would be barking up the wrong tree," Calvin said when questioned on ATR. "People think we are protecting the customer, but that is not the case."

The bizarre betting patterns on Voler La Vedette's race, and the decision to void bets which left a number of Betfair's customers believing they had been denied a generous payout, came at the end of a difficult year for the betting exchange.

Its share price has been stuck below £8 for many months, well adrift of the £13 at which the exchange floated in October 2010. A number of senior staff, including Ed Wray, Betfair's chairman and one of its co-founders, and David Yu, its chief executive, have either left the company or are in the process of doing so, while in September, Betfair left a number of customers disappointed when its software failed to process a significant number of bets, including some winners, into the biggest Tote Jackpot pool in history.

The most damaging long-term effect of Betfair's latest PR disaster, however, could be a loss of trust on the part of its customers. The phantom money put up against Voler La Vedette was too obvious to miss, but some may now wonder whether the everyday sums too are really what they seem.

The events at Leopardstown could also increase awareness of the extent to which the day-to-day activity on the site is controlled by bots, rather than "ordinary" punters with a laptop or a smartphone. And any betting operation that loses the trust of its customers is on a slippery slope.

Thursday 29 December 2011

Presidential Pants

And the winner is... well, actually, we have three winners, so the £333.33 was quite an appropriate prize amount after all. The 1/3rd of a millionth hit was reached last night, and as a result Mark Iverson, Loudsight and Geoff M each have a free £111.11 Betfair bet. No horses. No dogs. Win, and they walk into the sunset with 2/3rds of the profit. I shall post their selections up here as they come in, unless the prize goes unclaimed of course.

A supposed technical glitch in one of the horse racing markets yesterday saw a horse, Voler La Vedette, with over £21m available at 29, a liability approaching £600m. All bets were voided, but it's a little concerning how such an error could occur. I've never seen anything like it before, and I'm not sure anyone else has. Scott Ferguson has a fuller post on it here. skoqp asked
Would you be so kind as to discuss the potential entry and exit points in the game. Perhaps by annotating the graph. All I see is a price ramping up and then down again. When looking at price movements after the fact/event it's quite easy to visualise entry and exit points. Obviously, whilst the game is in progress it would have been impossible to know how far up the price would go and vice versa when it started to drop. So I can only imagine that you would have to have predetermined entry and exit points...
Unfortunately, the game has long gone, and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to match the spikes with one specific play. It's about momentum changes, and the entry and exit points are subjective. There is certainly no pre-determined point, at least not for my trading style. It's a rare game that heads straight to 1.01 though, so a strategy of laying both teams at say 1.9 (if they are closely matched) is profitable long-term. I believe I mentioned before that I looked at a number of charts with Peter Nordsted a few years ago, and noticed some repeating patterns. skoqp also has some reassuring words about there being another Xmas, and if he is offering 1.05, I would like some of that price please.
Well, it's 1.05 that the world won't end in 2012 and that there will be Christmas in 2012. But it's certainly 1.02 that there will be some serious fireworks as a result of the EU blowing up. 2012 will be the year they fail to kick the can down the road. I hope you are well hedged... Oh and has anyone noticed that 2012 is the year the US Federal Reserve's mandate comes up for renewal, and 2012 is the year of the US Presidential Elections. Politically and economically, this coming year will be exciting beyond anything we've experienced so far... Lots and lots of interesting bets. I've already made a tidy little sum by backing Ron Paul early on - in the Republican Nominee market on Betfair.:
Sorry for the rambling post, i actually meant to ask - do you live in Europe? If so do you really stay up till 1AM to bet on the NBA and NFL.
You lost me a bit there on the US Federal Reserve's mandate coming up for renewal in 2012, since the mandate of maximum employment and stable prices is set in stone, but 2012 is a bigger year than most - and not just because it has 366 days! It's a big year for sport, starting with the League Cup semi-finals and then the less important Euro 2012 in the summer. There's also the London Olympics, if that is your cup of tea. And yes, there is a Presidential Election in the United States. I can't bring myself to bet in the Republican Nominee market - they are all awful, but I'm hoping it'll be one of the more awful candidates, who faces Obama in November.

Mitt Romney - wears magic underwear, sorry, temple garments. Leader of the free world...

Michele Bachman, where does one begin?

Rick Perry "I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution.”

God help us.

Throw in Newt "Family Values" Gingrich:
"He walked out in the spring of 1980.... By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said, "Daddy is downstairs. Could he come up?" When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from my surgery." - Jackie, his first (of three so far) wife
with that lot, and Libertarian leaning Ron Paul looks by far the one to give Obama (1.91) a run. I made some money on Barack Obama last time around and I am hoping for a repeat win for both of us - even if it makes for a late night, which don't seem so late when there's money at the end of it!

Wednesday 28 December 2011


Geoff picked up some good draws over the weekend, with some lower division (Mansfield Town v York City) and Scottish picks (Ayr United v Raith Rovers and Falkirk v Ross County) coming in, and for Griff, the long run is finally over as Sunderland and Everton drew 1-1. Although there were no XX Draw selections this weekend, this game just missed selection, and so I had a reduced financial interest in it and a winner on both the draw and the Under markets. The other close selection was Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur, no draw today, but a consolation prize in the Under. The Tipster Table has been updated with the latest results here:

With no football until the weekend, all eyes now turn to the “333,333” hit competition. Right now it’s looking likely that number will be hit either tomorrow, December 28th, or Thursday 29th, and for both dates we have winning entries. Today's total hits, plus an extra 30 will make the winning date the 28th so if you are one of the three who has that date, start pressing the refresh button repeatedly. In the event of a tie, the free bet of £3.33 will be divided equally between the winners. Or did I say £33.33? I was thinking of a similar competition to guess the hit count at the end of 2012, but since the world will end on the 20th December, there won’t be much point. I hope everyone enjoyed their last ever Xmas.

The NBA, the gift that keeps on giving, did a little taking on day two of the regular season, but the strategy of laying low is one that has been tried and tested over a few seasons now, and the failure of one team (Chicago Bulls) to do what they are supposed to do (come back and beat the Golden State Warriors) isn’t a cause for concern. A couple of comments suggest that at least some readers of this blog are seeing the potential this sport offers - Tennis Trade Strategies wrote
I monitored the Lakers game. And I found Chicago to be too low at 1.28 with an 8 point lead early in the third. Lakers was as high as 4.5 and above that time and came back down to evens within the 3rd quarter. I like the odd movements better than on NFL games. It seems more predictable to me. I will try to spot some patterns I can use on the NBA, since the market was real good matched last night, which I didn't expect at all.
and 24the$ wrote:
Yesterday was ''standard situation'' in NBA at half time (in a game between two more or less even teams)where one team is up 10-14 points... so laying a team who is winning at that moment, is almost always worth considering. And when you have Boston Celtics who is one of the best 3rd quarter teams in the league for the last few years (since KG joined) ... then this was a no brainer ;)
"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future" - Yogi Berra

Monday 26 December 2011

Growing Up

Web gambling gets boost from Obama administration

By Jim Wolf and Nicola Leske

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration cleared the way for states to legalize Internet poker and certain other online betting in a switch that may help them reap billions in tax revenue and spur web-based gambling.

A Justice Department opinion dated September and made public on Friday reversed decades of previous policy that included civil and criminal charges against operators of some of the most popular online poker sites.

Until now, the department held that online gambling in all forms was illegal under the Wire Act of 1961, which bars wagers via telecommunications that cross state lines or international borders.

The new interpretation, by the department's Office of Legal Counsel, said the Wire Act applies only to bets on a "sporting event or contest," not to a state's use of the Internet to sell lottery tickets to adults within its borders or abroad.

"The United States Department of Justice has given the online gaming community a big, big present," said I. Nelson Rose, a gaming law expert at Whittier Law School who consults for governments and the industry.

The question at issue was whether proposals by Illinois and New York to use the Internet and out-of-state transaction processors to sell lottery tickets to in-state adults violated the Wire Act.

But the department's conclusion would eliminate "almost every federal anti-gambling law that could apply to gaming that is legal under state laws," Rose wrote on his blog at

If a state legalized intra-state games such as poker, as Nevada and the District of Columbia have done, "there is simply no federal law that could apply" against their operators, he said.

The department's opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Virginia Seitz, said the law's legislative history showed that Congress's overriding goal had been to halt wire communications for sports gambling, notably off-track betting on horse races.

Congress also had been concerned about rapid transmission of betting information on baseball, basketball, football and boxing among other sports-related events or contests, she summarized the legislative history as showing.

"The ordinary meaning of the phrase 'sporting event or contest' does not encompass lotteries," Seitz wrote. "Accordingly, we conclude that the proposed lotteries are not within the prohibitions of the Wire Act."

The department expressed no opinion about a provision in the law that lets prosecutors shut down phone lines where interstate or foreign gambling is taking place.

Many of the 50 U.S. states may be interested in creating online lotteries to boost tax revenues and help offset the ripple effect of a federal deficit-reduction push.

The global online gambling industry grew 12 percent last year to as much as $30 billion, according to a survey in March by Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy, based on the Isle of Man, where online gambling is legal.

Federal prosecutors in April charged three of the biggest Internet poker companies with fraud and money-laundering along with violations of another federal law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 1986.

The government outlined an alleged scheme by owners of the three largest online poker companies - Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars - to funnel gambling profits to online shell companies that would appear legitimate to banks processing payments.

Celtics Roasted

Down by 17 points at one point in the first half, and trading at 1.1, the Celtics rallied to take a 10 point lead in New York v the Knicks, an early (opening game) example of NBA prices being driven too low, too early, and then too low (on the Celtics) after the rally. Here's the chart:

Early days of course, but it's hard to see anyone but the Miami Heat winning the Championship this year. They demolished a new look Dallas Mavericks team yesterday. Also impressive were the Oklahoma City Thunder - four interesting months ahead.

I've had some bizarre comments on my blog in the past four years, but this one from Average Guy was a little different
Hello Cassini, you may not know this but I believe you are the Yoda of the sports betting world. I need your advice so less of the prostration from me, please tell me what is the roasting time for a boned and rolled turkey breast of about 3.2 kg ?

If you don't know, nobody does.
20 minutes per lb, plus 20 minutes. I don't work well with kgs. Kegs I'm good with though! And who is this Yoda character of whom you speak? I am possibly the only person in the civilised (I use the term loosely) world who has never seen a Star Wars film. To infinity and beyond!

Saturday 24 December 2011

Luck Of The Draw

With not much football today, for me the focus is on the NFL where there are a number of games on the calendar. A few selections for tomorrow from the Tipster League members, with Griff hoping to end his run of 20 consecutive EPL losses with a draw between Sunderland and Everton. The XX Draws have stuttered in the last few weeks, and in the EPL alone is on a run of 9 consecutive losers. The EPL does seem to have been a tough division to find winners (draws) in of late. Not sure if that is down to a lack of draws, or whether the typical percentage are still hitting, only in unexpected places. The Green Pullover has a few draws tomorrow:
Mark Iverson wrote a post a few days ago detailing his professional approach to trading covering what events he bets on, and what his expected profit will be from them. To some extent, I do the same thing, but with a 'proper' job that often means an irregular work schedule, I can only plan ahead to a certain extent. I have the pleasure of being on-call on Boxing Day for example, and expected to work on New Year's Day and Monday the 2nd! With bonuses and pay raises to be determined early in January, it's not a good time to upset the bosses. I also noticed that Mark mentioned that he has not had a losing month in five and a half years, which is most impressive. I have few losing months, but they do happen. One this year, three in 2010, one in 2009, two in 2008, three in 2007 and one in 2006. Frustrating, but as with any losing run, if you can look back and see the big picture and keep the losses in perspective, it's not a big deal. While I was on Mark's blog, my eye was drawn to his link to the hapless Odwyer's rather sad blog, which hasn't changed in message since I last checked it several months ago.
It's frustrating because I know I can make this pay big if I had some kind of stability, but I've not had that for a good year now.
He opens his latest post with
I must be one of the few people in profit on Betfair that don't have a penny to their name. How's that for poor money management?! The majority of what I made in the last few months was used to pay-off what I owed, which left a small fraction, which I lost after that. It still left me in profit of over £700 over a 3 month period, but I don't even have 2 pounds in my Betfair account right now.
Clueless, but if you are playing with the rent money, you're never going to be able to build on any success, not to mention that any success will be fleeting if it is the result of luck rather than an edge. It's the golden rule of investing - don't play with money that you can't afford to lose.

An amusing reply from Gundulf on the NBA who wrote:
Thanks for that Cassini. As the last time I watched a basketball game it featured Meadowlark Lemon and Curly it would seem that I am out of touch with the money making opportunities presented.
Perhaps a little. Merry Xmas to all of you.

Friday 23 December 2011

Hurt And Upset

GolfingGolfer had a very apt George Soros quote to add to the campaign to explain value:

"It doesn't matter how often you are right or wrong - it only matters how much you make when you are right, versus how much you lose when you are wrong."
Perfectly put.

John weighs in on the primary factors affecting the price on football games with
Are injuries, although less common, a factor in football? Injuries are a key driver in the NFL, especially when a starting quarterback goes down. Take a look at how the Indianapolis Colts have fared this season.

Weather is also a key factor in the NFL. I don't know much about football, but I would expect it play a factor, especially in the over/under markets.
Hurt players can have an impact on the price in any sport - individual sports such as tennis or golf obviously far different to a team sport, where the key is how much does the injured player mean to the team. As John says, in the NFL, the quarterback is key - just look at the fortunes of the Indianapolis Colts this season without star Peyton Manning (although they did rather well last night, more of which later). Less of an issue in football with eleven players, unless it's a key (key being a relative term here) player of course, but with just five players on court per team in basketball, injuries can be hugely significant here. The loss of a top player Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Derek Rose, Dwight Howard for example, is huge. The loss of playing time through foul trouble is also an area that can give you an edge in this sport. A couple of early fouls on a key player, and you know the team will be without him for a while.

While we are on the NBA, Tennis-Trade Strategies asks:
How about the Warriors game on the 25th. They trade above 2.50 now, but I would expect them to win or at least I think they trading way to high for their 3 Point skills and playing home will have the players pumped.

Would this be a good entry point getting matched before the game at such a price and trade out if warriors get a good start and if they go behind more than 1 or 2 back to back points trade out?

This would be my first approach on NBA, not sure if this is a good one. Market might also overreact and go above 3 or 4 on a run against the Warriors.
and later added
now i see why price for warriors keep rising... biedrins and ellis out... injury... especially ellis is gonna hurt the team
a perfect example of the risks of taking a position too early. Stephen Curry is also doubtful after injuring his ankle again in the final pre-season earlier this week. Also, Monta Ellis has some off field issues to deal with (wife / girlfriend / sexting - usual NBA stuff!). John (again) commented that:
The Warriors are responsible for some big swings. Along with the Suns, they play the highest tempo of any NBA team. They are coached to shoot the ball within the first ten seconds of the shot clock. If they go cold shooting they can fall out of games easily.
One thing to be aware of is that the Warriors have a new coach this season, Mark Jackson, and the style of play may change slightly. Certainly in the days of Don Nelson, they were one of the best teams to trade, with their propensity for both giving up and scoring points in bunches. The Clippers look better than ever this season. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, backed up by Chauncey Bullups and DeAndre Jordan, this should be Clippers' best season ever, and opening day / night will be very interesting.

Finally, I mentioned the Indianopolis Colts earlier, and last night they upset the Houston Texans, rallying to win on the final drive. I will stop boring you soon with all these charts showing the opportunities in the NFL for trading, but this was one of the better ones. Trading at 1.1x after taking a 7-0 lead, the oft-mentioned strategy of mine to lay the first TD scoring team paid off rather nicely, although unfortunately I was out by the time the final drive was under way. I couldn't help but be concerned that the Colts would have been better off as a franchise by losing the game. Oh well. Here's the chart for the Colts from a little before the end:

Thursday 22 December 2011

Market Personalities

Markets have their own unique personalities. Gundulf said...
The pre-determined direction of price movements in a football match are surely down to two main factors - time decay and goals. Are they not also the key drivers in basketball and nfl? If not, why are those two different? (I know little of basketball and absolutely nothing of NFL, so this isn't a 'flippant' question btw)
Time and goals are indeed the main factors in a football betting market, but goals are a rare commodity. What it boils down to is that there's a big difference in the in-play markets between a low-scoring sport such as football, and high-scoring sports, such as basketball, tennis, or the NFL. In the NBA, it is not unusual to see 1.0x hit on both sides during a game. Just last night, in a pre-season game, Miami Heat had a 21 point lead over Orlando Magic, and traded at 1.03 before the Magic got their outside game going and ended up winning by six. Anyone who knows the NBA, and knows how strong the Orlando Magic are from three-point range, (number one), would have been all over that 1.0x as soon as the run of misses came to an end. Low-risk, high-reward. A seemingly big lead can vanish in a hurry, and in pre-season games, coaches will often rest their star players and give bench warmers a run out - often the only action these players see all season! These leads vanish over and over again. Here's the chart for Orlando:
and just to give you an idea of how the American version of football can be perfect for trading, here's the chart from last night's game:
A little more interesting for trading than football? Just a tad.

I mentioned the LAy Laykers the other day, and their remote chances of any success have gone even further south with the news that Kobe Bryant has "sprained ligaments in his right wrist". Is it a coincidence that he has recently split from his wife? The Laykers lost again last night and are win-less in all pre-season games with their season starting on Xmas Day v Chicago Bulls. (That's all TWO pre-season games by the way).

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Winners Help

BubblesBrian came back to yesterday's Winners Overrated post with this comment:

Thanks for the remarks on your blog.

You say that "Betting is not about finding winners.", now I'm not being pedantic or ignorant here, but surely that's what betting is precisely all about. Finding winners that make you more money than the losing bets.

As I mentioned my biggest problem is that it's so subjective, two different people could bet on exactly the same results and generate a profit, one can say they followed value the can state that they went with gut feeling, yet you would say they have both achieved value. Yet who is right? The person who admits they chose value or the person that denied it? Because it's subjective there is no definite answer.

I am a little fish in the shark infested waters at the moment, so as such I don't fully understand every concept about the gambling world. And obviously I am open to learning about it in order to help myself succeed. I will hopefully have a eureka moment when finally it clicks and suddenly it becomes clear. Until then I will continue to search out good guides and read what I can find to improve my knowledge.
There is no finer resource for improving your knowledge of sports investing than this blog :) Yes, winners certainly help, but my line "betting is not about finding winners" was not meant to be taken literally. Rather, it was intended to make the point that successful betting is about MORE than just finding winners. Winners alone will not cut it.

To address your question of value being subjective, and subjectivity is not a problem at all - it's how we make our money, in sports betting this is of course true. If we all agreed on the true price, betting exchanges wouldn't do too much business. Also, understand that it is not possible to say after one match that you had a value bet. A win doesn't make the bet value, and a loss doesn't mean the bet wasn't value. You can only be confident that you have value if you consistently make money, and if you are, then you are finding value whether you realise it or not.

Understanding the concept of value is actually the easy part - the harder part is finding it!

I was about to publish this post when I saw that the Sultan has weighed in on this debate again. Worth a read in full, but the last part I thought was particularly astute when trading in play. While tennis doesn't do it for me, basketball and the NFL do, and these comments are exactly how I think about finding value trading these sports. I don't see the same opportunities in football due to the pre-determined direction of price movements.
How do you know that the price you are taking is value? That is all down to experience of watching and analysing the markets. For example, I know instantly when a price in a tennis match looks like good value because I have studied those markets for years and can work out the probability of a particular event happening based on instinct and intuition. I see patterns emerging that I recognise and these are based on a variety of factors, the key ones being the players themselves and how they tend to perform and the market and how the prices tend to move. Remember, the market fluctuations are driven by human emotions and reactions to what is happening in the game. If you can spot over-reactions, then you can spot the value. You won't get it right every time, you may not even get it right MOST of the time but that doesn't matter because your risk-reward ratio should ensure that, in the long run, you will come out on top.

Postman Drops Sack

Peter Webb reported on his blog that for one week only, possibly a Xmas Special, Betfair upped their Super Premium Charge to 120%. Or this is what appeared to have happened. Later, Betfair refunded half, possibly after receiving a complaint or two. While 60% of something is more than nothing, 120% certainly isn't. You know what I mean!

No regular Premium Charge for me this week, after the Napoli - Roma debacle. As I write this, the Udinese - Juventus game look like it will recoup some of the losses for me. My Unders price was 1.58, and with 1.84 available, a 16.5% edge was more within my comfort zone, and 0-0 is the score with about one minutes remaining. First game of the season that Juventus have failed to score - good for me!

Peter's prior post ended with a PS:
A funny footnote to this post. I was searching for “mail man sack” and up popped a load of images of Blackburn manager Steve Kean.
which reminded me of a story from my younger days, when my football team were enjoying a curry and a couple of beers after training one December night a few days before Xmas. During the meal, one of my friends mentioned that he was trying to complete this Crossword Special in a magazine, and that the first prize was a cruise, and that he was just one answer short.

Appealing to me with a little flattery, he said "Rob (this was before I became Cassini) - you're a smart guy, can you help me complete it?"

The table went quiet, and I naturally said "Of course, what's the clue?"

"Postman drops sack," he said.

"Postman....drops....sack" I repeated slowly, mind turning.

"How many letters?" I asked.

"F***ing hundreds of them", he replied " They were all over the place".

The table erupted - I certainly fell for that one.

Born In The USA

A couple of bits of news from Smarkets - the first is the announcement that their commission rate will be down to 2% in 2012, and the second is a (mostly) good article about the attitude of Americans to gambling. (I say mostly because I buy car insurance since the law mandates it, not because I'm betting I'll have a car accident).

After listening to your feedback on our proposed commission structures, we have decided to reduce the commission of all users to a flat rate of 2% in 2012. This new commission will take effect from the 9th of January, making Smarkets the exchange with the lowest base-commission in the industry.
And why gambling can be good for you:
In 2006, a law making it illegal to gamble online passed in the United States. This law meant that I had to relocate to the UK in order to set up Smarkets, the betting exchange I co-founded with my colleague and fellow American, Hunter Morris. It is unfortunate that we were put in this position, as we now operate a thriving business in a depressed economy and have been creating jobs, rather than cutting them. According to the Congressional Committee on Taxation, legalizing online gambling in the United States could generate $42bn in tax revenue. As it stands, countless Americans engage in illegal online betting with offshore operators, proving that even if you pass a law, people will find a way around it.

No matter how you do it, gambling permeates our everyday existence – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Dr. Patrick Basham, director of the Democracy Institute (a public policy think tank based in Washington and London) asserts in a book he co-authored earlier this year, Gambling: A Healthy Bet, that gambling can be good for you. Basham says gambling can add to human happiness because it is a “net contributor to public health, economic life and an important component of a liberal society.” Furthermore, he argues that gambling can help train people to manage real-life risk. While addiction is a concern, less than 1 per cent of people who gamble are said to be addicts. I think the benefits of gambling outweigh the risks.

Buy a cereal box and you might find a lucky ticket inside entitling you to a free trip to DisneyWorld. Search engine giant Google sports an ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button below the search box on their homepage. Users who click it after typing in their query are taken directly to the first search result. Google can’t promise it will be the page you’re looking for – but you’ll take a chance on it. If you’ve ever bought car insurance, you’re a gambler. Disagree? Let’s think about it logically. By purchasing car insurance you are essentially betting on the fact that you will get into a car accident.

W.I Thomas, an American sociologist, argues that humans were born to gamble and that an appetite for risk is inherent in all of us. History appears to back him up on this. In Ancient Rome, citizens were allowed to gamble during the annual Saturnalia festival. So popular were the festivities that when emperors Augustus and Caligula tried to shorten the celebration, it caused an uproar. Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky allegedly wrote Crime and Punishment in a hurry because he was in need of an advance from his publisher to help pay off his gambling debts.
Gambling is ingrained in our culture. When the British government elected to reinstate the National Lottery in 1994 after a 168 year hiatus, the surge in popularity was massive. An estimated 70 per cent of the adult population in Britain gambles in some form, be it on fruit machines, at a roulette table, or on the Grand National. In other words, people are going to bet on the outcome of events, whether you want them to or not.

People gamble for a variety of reasons. From a social point of view, people bet because it’s seen as a form of recreation and entertainment. An outing to a bingo hall, for example, acts as a social vehicle. In psychological terms, people gamble because they think they stand a chance to beat the odds and make money. French psychologist Clemens France argued that gambling and faith are analogous in that they both express a desire for order, salvation and reassurance. In the same way that people turn to faith in times of uncertainty, humans are naturally inclined to place irrational bets on the outcome of events because it gives them a sense of hope. There is something comforting about putting your faith in the unknown.

The financial benefits of gambling to society are hard to ignore. In a study published in 2010, Deloitte estimated that the UK betting industry was worth approximately £6bn. Of that, an estimated £700 million was generated in taxes annually from the retail betting industry alone. A breakdown of the way Camelot Group (the company that owns the National Lottery) divvies up funds reveals that for every pound spent, 50p is put into the actual prize fund. 28p is donated to good causes. A further 12p is given to the government and 5p to retail commission costs. Camelot Group only gets 5p for every pound it earns and of that, 4.5p is used to cover operating costs.
Gambling suffers from a less than savoury reputation, but evidence suggests that we aren’t doing anything wrong. Aside from the financial and social benefits, to engage in gambling is to partake in an entertainment activity that we are naturally inclined to do. There are few highs greater than flashing a royal flush at your opponents. And if you’re unlucky today, your chances are just as good tomorrow. As Chico Marx famously said “If I lose today, I can look forward to winning tomorrow, and if I win today, I can expect to lose tomorrow. A sure thing is no fun.”

The United States should repeal this silly, unnecessary law.

Winners Overrated

BubblesBrian is having trouble getting his head around the concept that you are not looking for winners when betting, but value. He writes:

I mean if let’s say the team at the top of the premiership plays the lowest team in the lowest league then surely the top team should win and the odds will show this. Yet there are people who won’t take this bet just because its not value, or on the flip side they will bet on the losing team just because it represents value, almost guaranteeing a losing bet.
He adds:
Having said all this I am not saying that there is no such thing as value or that you don’t need value to succeed. All I am saying is that it is something that I don’t fully understand, I have yet to read something that makes it concrete in my mind that not betting on who I believe will win just because it’s not value is a good thing. I mean I could just say that every bet I make is value and because its subjective, even if I am losing then there’s not really anything or anyone that can say otherwise is there.
Think of a roulette wheel, 36 numbers plus the zero, with the probability of any one number being 1 in 37 - 36/1 or 37.0 in Betfair terms. If a casino were to offer you the zero at 50 to 1 for an unlimited number of spins, would you pass this up because each bet would be "almost guaranteed to lose"? Betting is not about finding winners. Bragging to your buddies might be, but if you are serious about making money from your betting, you are only interested in value, which may indeed be subjective, but is as real as the P&L on your statement.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Midweek Tipster League Selections

No time to tidy these up, but there are some selections for the midweek matches.

Mark J has the following: Newcastle (v West Bromwich Albion) (2.02 -0.5 on Asian Handicap); Rennes (v Bordeaux), (2.22 -0.5 Asian Handicap), Novara (v Palermo) at 2.50 and Tottenham (v Chelsea) at 2.64.

One draw from the Green Pullover, St Etienne v Paris St Germain at 3.2.

There are also some XX Draw selections this midweek, and it's encouraging that despite the poor run of results of late, new subscribers continue to show their faith in them by signing up. Late goals do happen, but they will even out (I hope) over the long term.

And Griff has two draws this week - Aston Villa v Arsenal (3.85) and Everton v Swansea City (4.0).

Penny Pinching... And World Peace

Dave, aka Gundulf, at Betfair Football Trading extracts one question and answer from the Sultan's excellent recent series of interviews , (although he has lately resorted to desperately copying posts of mine from nearly two years ago!) which was this:

Q: When learning, what did you find the hardest aspect of trading to crack?

A: The hardest part of trading is identifying the entry and exit points. Anyone can back the unders in a football match, wait five minutes for the price to drop a few ticks, and lock in a profit, but was the entry point value? Was the exit point value? A lot of people consider this to be trading, but to me, without a valid reason to enter or exit a market, it’s gambling. The predictability of price movements is the big problem with trading football in my opinion. The scarcity of goals means that prices trend in a very predictable way, and if the opening price was correct, you are unlikely to find value during the game. If the opening price wasn’t correct, then my approach is to take the value bet and let it run.
Dave then analyses this advice, and writes:
Many readers probably do as I do and scalp the unders markets in a football match. Why do we do this? One reason, as Cassini states above, is because the price movements are so predictable. All the time there is no goal, unders will reduce in price. So if I back £100 at 2, lay at 1.98, back at 1.98, lay at 1.96... recycling that same £100 and adding to it every time there is no goal, does it really matter if my entry and exit points are 'value' according to the traditional definition. I've struggled with this one - and I don't think it does!

The reason I enter this market is usually to cover another trade in the same match where I am slightly more 'value conscious'. It might not be a classical approach but if I intend to stake say £50 on a correct score trade and I can scalp a £40 green on both sides of the overs / unders in the same match then in my mind a) that's a valid reason to enter and exit that market and b) it enables me to view the entire match under one overall 'umbrella'. The gamble involved, of course, is that a goal might be scored after a back has been matched and before the lay has been matched. But that is a calculated gamble in my opinion and, yes, of course I've been caught! Many times!
No names, but I have heard a rumour that the predictable trend is so seductive, that even the greatest of traders fall hopelessly in love with it on occasion. It's so easy to put a £1,000 on pre-game at, say 1.96, only to see the price drift to 2.0 by kick-off. No problem, you say to yourself, I'll lay off £800 at 1.95 and let the £200 I am comfortable with, run. Then Napoli, or whoever our imaginary team is, concede a goal in the 3', before the price gets close to 1.95, and our trader is in big trouble, cursing his stupidity.
The truth of it is that if you are backing at 2.0 to profit from a movement of one tick, you'll win more often than you'll lose, but when you lose, you'll lose more than you win. You are not considering value, because your hope for a profit relies on you finding a greater fool than you.

Does this make sense ever? No. It makes no difference whether or not you have a bet in another market on the same match. All you are doing is attempting to reduce your exposure, and if you feel you need to do that, it means that you over-staked on your initial bet. Instead of backing on the correct score market with £50, and then taking a big risk (believe me, I know how hard it is to lock in £40 without either staking big or waiting a long time for the price to move far enough), why would you not simply back the Correct Score market with £10? It makes absolutely no sense to try to randomly jump in and out of the Over/Under market, and it most definitely is not "a calculated gamble" whatever Dave's opinion of it is. It is a gamble, and as a trader, we need to be above gambling. And quite what the point of backing "£100 at 2, lay at 1.98, back at 1.98, lay at 1.96" is I'm not quite grasping. Why lay off at 1.98 in the first place if you intend to back it straight back? You often won't be able to do that anyway. Your lay at 1.98 will be taken when it is a value back for someone else, and the available price for you to back at again will now be down to 1.97 or even 1.96. So all you end up doing is giving away even more value. And the qualifier that you would only do this "every time there is no goal" means what?

Goals are not exactly two a penny, unless it's a game that Geoff has selected for a draw, of course! And speaking of pennies, someone once described the approach mentioned above as akin to picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller. It's a steam-roller that can, and will, hit you at any time, however clever you think you are.

This is exactly what I meant to highlight in my answer to the Sultan - that this style of betting is gambling, not trading, and it doesn't work. It looks easy, but you're wasting your time.

If you can identify value in the Over/Under markets, my advice is to bet a modest stake, and let it run, not necessarily to conclusion since any edge becomes reduced as the game goes on, and I'm of the opinion that laying off a bet at 1.01 even though the 'true price' might be 1.009 is quite acceptable.

By this I mean that at the start of a game, if you have Unders priced at 2.0, but 3.0 is available, (unlikely, but I'm simply making a point), that's a big edge, but if you have a winning bet with a couple of minutes remaining, the 'true' and available prices will have converged to all intents and purposes, your edge is minimal. Therefore if you still have your opening stake at risk, you are over-staked.

Essentially by using a Kelly style of betting - the bigger the edge, the bigger your stake - so as the edge reduces, you become over-staked, so the correct approach, in my opinion, is to reduce your stake as your edge diminishes. I have started to do this with the XX Draw selections, and with a run of five losses due to second-half winners, (51', 56', 83', 85' and 87') that seems a far better idea than backing Unders pre-game for silly money. Live and learn.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the Lakers have a new name on the roster:
He was formerly known as Ron Artest of course. The Lakers will need all the help they can get this year to be top dog in Los Angeles, never-mind the Pacific Division, the Western Conference or even contenders for the NBA Championship. They are not, in my opinion.

Monday 19 December 2011

Edge Trimmer

As we add more and more selections to the Tipster Table, the ROIs will settle down, but it was still a little surprising that after this weekend's results, the standings are unchanged from last week. A reminder to the selectors that there are a full schedule of top league matches in England, France and Italy this week, although the German and Spanish league take an extended break over the holidays.
Lest anyone think that I am perfect, an easy enough mistake to make, things went from good to bad fast in the later football tonight. A sizeable bet on the Unders in the Napoli v Roma game was in trouble when Roma scored in the 3' (thanks to a dreadful Sanctis goalkeeping blunder) and I took a big hit. In fact this was my worst football result since the Copa America tournament in July, and I'm a little annoyed at myself for staking so aggressively on a bet that had just an 8.1% edge. I normally make 10% the minimum before I get involved, and outcomes like this remind me why. Funny how I had no desire to take a screenshot when the news is bad! The good news is that the arrival of the Super Premium Charge is still an estimated 94 days away. That'll make for a nice birthday present.

Sunday 18 December 2011


I found this gem of a system for playing the Under / Over 2.5 Goals markets. The only slight problem I see with it is the complete absence of any mention of value, and the assertion that an Under or Over is, on occasion, 'certain'. Other than that, it's quite brilliant. I am seriously thinking of abandoning my strategy of calculating goal expectancies to find an edge in these markets.

My name is Vincent and I want to share my betting strategy with you. I play on over/under 2.5 goals in football matches like this:

I take into consideration the last 4 matches of each team involved in the current game (that's 8 matches in total).
If a game has ended with an over 2.5 score I give it +0.5 points.
If both teams scored in that match I give it another +0.75 points (even if the match ended under 2.5).
If the game ended under 2.5 I give it -0.5 points.
If one of the teams didn't score in the match (even if it was over 2.5) I give it -0.75 points.

In the end I sum up all those points and I get a positive or negative result. To give an example:

match results 4:2 2:1 2:2 0:0 2:0 2:1 3:1 3:0

For the above matches my calculation would look like this:

+0.5+0.75+0.5+0.75+0.5+0.75-0.5-0.75-0.5-0.75+0.5+0.75+0.5+0.75+0.5-0.75=+3.5 points.

That would mean to put a 3.5/10 units bet on over 2.5 goals. The maximum results are +10 and -10 points. That would mean a certain over 2.5, respectively under 2.5 goals match.

I usually place a bet only if I get a minimum +/-5 points result. So, for example, if I get a +6 I place a 6/10 units bet on over 2.5 goals.
Well, perhaps not - the Manchester City v Arsenal game this afternoon was highlighted as a value Under bet, with my calculations on this outcome 2.13, and available to back at 2.38. By half-time I had layed off 75% of my risk, and was wishing I'd layed it all off when the game opened up after Manchester City's 53' opening goal. "Goals change games", but the storm was weathered, and in the end it was a good (betting) result.

There was just the one XX Draw Selection this weekend, which was AC Ajaccio v Stade Rennais, and frustratingly, this was a winner as late as the 83' (trading at 1.38, from a pre-game 3.85) before ending 1-0. At least there was the small consolation of a win for the Unders at 1.9.

I shall update the Tipster Table once all the matches are concluded. Time for some NFL now.

Nebetyli Sirgaliai**

The mention of European basketball, in particular Lithuania, triggered this memory of a story from a few years ago which I found mildly amusing.
The Lithuanian love affair with the sport began in 1937, when the country, which often felt overshadowed by neighbouring Estonia and Latvia, won its first European Championship in Riga (Latvia). People here will tell you that the players spent dozens of hours returning home in a train which stopped in every small village so they could mingle with the crowds.

But the popular jubilation was to be short-lived. In 1940, the invasion of Lithuania by Stalin’s troops paved the way for 50 years of inhuman occupation, marked by the deportation of political dissidents to Siberia and the tyranny of the KGB. Everything had to contribute to the greater glory of the USSR. Lithuanian players, who excelled on the basketball court but harboured nationalist sympathies, were blacklisted. So it was that magicians like Algirdas Linkevicius were never allowed to play wearing the CCCP strip.

As a result, Lithuania’s clubs took on the role of Soviet giant killers. Chief among them the legendary Zalgiris Kaunas and Statyba Vilnius, whose battles with CSKA Moscow, the Red Army club, were the object of unbridled passion. In the late 1980s, according to one spicy anecdote, 5,000 Lithuanian fans without tickets traveled to Moscow to watch the final of the Soviet championship between Zalgiris and CSKA. Warned of the arrival of this horde of troublemakers, Colonel Gomelsky, CSKA’s coach, made sure that all of the seats were distributed to Russian soldiers. Unfortunately for him, the Zalgiris supporters went on an afternoon tour of the city’s barracks, where they traded litres of vodka for the precious tickets. When the time came, the Moscow indoor arena was completely won over to the Kaunas cause.
** "The fans are no longer quiet" - perhaps my Lithuanian isn't so bad after all...

Saturday 17 December 2011

Colossal Rhodes

Still a few matches for the Tipster League to play tomorrow, but highlights to this point include the continued success of backing the Lay The Draw selection, which produced two winners from five selections, and an ROI of 83.3%! The final selection only missed out to a 90+4' goal, in a game that was goal-less to the 77' which would not have been good for Lay The Draw followers at all. The anti-draw selection was Olympique Marseille v Lorient, or L'Orient as they were named in the e-mail. Misnaming a team like this doesn't send the message that you know your football, but I guess Ian missed my post from March last year on this subject. But he does keep finding winners - for us!

I've also mentioned that fluking a 3-3 draw shouldn't be allowed when it comes to finding draws, six goals is just a crap-shoot, but Geoff goes two better today. He super-fluked a rare 4-4 draw as Sheffield Wednesday played Huddersfield Town in League One, and saw that additional rarity of two teams coming back from two goal deficits, with the final goal in the 90+7', and the extra additional rarity of one player, Jordan Rhodes, scoring four. Now that's drama.

With three draws from six to date this weekend, Geoff's final two matches this weekend are Aston Villa v Liverpool and Cesena v Internazionale.

Flash asked a couple of questions:
Hi Cassini, after recently getting into basketball trading I have a couple of questions:

Do you watch/trade the Euroleague?
Plus you mentioned in your interview with the Centre Court Sultan that in basketball "the same patterns repeat themselves time after time". What are these patterns?

Thank you!
I do occasionally watch/trade Euroleague, but the NBA is just better for both activities. Playing in NBA stadiums, with NBA rules and officials, NBA teams are 27-2 v Euroleague teams, and 36-7 overall so there's no debate about the quality. And English is my first language - far gooder than my Turkish, Russian, Greek, Polish, Croatian, Isrealish, Serbian, Lithuanian and Slovenian.

As for the same patterns repeating, you really need to put in the hours yourself to get a feel for it, but essentially the game is one of momentum, and you will see overreactions to momentum changes all through the game. An 8-0 start will bring the price on a favourite down too far for example. Time-outs are crucial, and watch for key players getting into foul trouble. The market is often slow to understand for example that two early fouls will mean an extended seat on the bench and if that player is key, the team is likely to struggle. Late in games, you can lay at 1.0x for a very low risk / high reward bet. A couple of three-pointers and a stop in between will see a comfortable 10 point lead reduced to a very manageable four point deficit, and that 1.0x will soar. Please feel free to use the Donate button to thank me!

Late Tipster League Entries

Ian from the Football Trading System came up with five matches today, which I have added to the Tipster League entries:

For the second consecutive week, there is no mention of the Game Of Two Halves Selections in the Premier Betting Newsletter.

Weekend Winners

Here, in order of standings in the Tipster League, are this weekend's selections. Geoff's Draws already had one winner last night, a fluked 2-2 draw!, and his full list is:

The Green Pullover's Draws are:
Mark J's selections (Home wins) are:
The Random Draws are:
And Griff's Draws from the EPL are:

Friday 16 December 2011

Blip Or Trend?

Since the end of the 2007-08 season, the number of English Premier League matches finishing Under 2.5 goals has decreased each season. It's a trend that seems to be continuing, in fact accelerating, as you can see in the image above. If the percentage of Over 2.5 goals stays even close to 60% this season, and there is still more than half the season remaining, then that would be a significant shift from what is considered the norm. While more Overs is not good for draw-seekers, the XX Draw Selections have had 17 selections from England so far this season, 10 finishing under - better than the average 40%, but from a low sample it's impossible to draw any conclusions. As time permits, I'll take a look at the other leagues I follow and see if the EPL is an anomaly, but it's an interesting observation.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Sacrifice And Betfair Q3

Fulltimebetting's latest post included this:

I once saw an interesting blog piece that stated that it would take you 7 years to train as a lawyer and give yourself a good chance of an income yet when it came to learning about making a living from sports trading/betting it seems people are unwilling to invest more than 7 minutes. This situation is of course exacerbated by the fact that if you do a Google search of Betfair money making schemes you will see pages and pages of get rich schemes that “will only cost you £37 and you better hurry as there are only 17 places left". All utter bollocks of course but people obviously buy them as they are still out there.
I read something similar yesterday, which was:
If you want to become a lawyer, you should study law. If you want to be a doctor, then study medicine.
So if you want to get rich from betting or trading, study the markets. Later in the book - Zero To A Million In 12 Steps - the author writes about the need to sacrifice. "What are you willing to sacrifice in order to become rich?" - essentially you need to give up your time in order to achieve success. Your £37 can buy you access to some ideas perhaps, but you'll have to do some work for yourself at some point.

Betfair Results

The most interesting piece for me was the qualifier in the Betfair announcement yesterday was that revenue is down when income from "high rollers" is excluded. Surely the "high-rollers" haven't taken their money and gone to play elsewhere? Why would they do that? Oh! Wait a minute...

Good to see that people are spending less on the games.
LONDON (SHARECAST) - Betfair, the online bet-matching marketplace, says increased appetite for placing bets from mobile devices and a strong start to the football season contributed to a small increase in underlying group revenues at the half-year stage.

The group, which has had a torrid start to its life as a listed company, with a number of high-profile managerial departures, said underlying group revenues were up 1% in the half year to the end of October, compared to the same period of last year.

Underlying revenue for the period was £191.3m versus £188.5m the previous year, but this excludes income from “high rollers” achieved last year; when this figure is included Betfair’s revenue is down 10%.

Betfair claims its strong underlying performance has continued into the third quarter “with core Betfair revenue up 13% against the prior year”.

Adjusted, underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came in 36% ahead of the previous year with profits after tax up 43% at £20.6m.

Not all is rosy in Betfair’s garden, however. Its online games business has seen revenues slow due, Betfair claims, to a reduced marketing spend.

Overall, games revenues were down 5% in the second quarter compared to last year.

Betfair’s poker product is up 3% year-on-year in the second quarter.

Betfair has been particularly affected by a the introduction of a licensing framework for Games and Poker in Italy where it has decided to suspend its operations.

Betfair’s key product is its “Exchange” which, instead of offering bookmaker odds to punters, allows customers to bet against each other. This, it claims, offers them a better chance of winning because they receive more competitive odds, although the benefits of this for winning punters are reduced by Betfair's commission. The company said 28% of clients are in profit for the first half of the year and have received 7% better match odds on their wagers.

Total value of bets on the exchange is up 7% year-on-year on the half-year and 11% over the second quarter.

Betfair admits in today’s release that the exchange “cannot fulfil all betting needs and to be a leading sports betting operator we must offer customers a full range of products”. The company says it is developing its non-exchange offering.

The company has also announced the temporary appointment of its current Chief Financial Officer Stephen Morana, as the group’s interim Chief Executive until August 2012, when Breon Corcoran, formerly of Paddy Power, will take up the reins.

The current Chief Executive, David Yu will step down this year, he said today: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Betfair. When I started back in 2001, we were a small team of just 40 people in London generating revenues of around £400,000 and are now the largest betting exchange in the world, with 2,000 employees and revenues of nearly £400 million.”

Shortly after the open in London Betfair was trading up 2.39% at 832.47p. Over the year to date Betfair’s share price has fallen 16%, over the last five years the firm is down 48%.