Latest Cases - October 2015

Is the bookie making a brain dead moron out of you?

1st October 2015

Good afternoon, friends,

In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….

  • Don’t get taken in by a £45k payout….
  • Keep it in perspective….
  • A top betting product for the BDMs….
  • Sports-betting of the future….
  • The name on the file….

Don’t get taken in by a £45k payout….

Last week I said that multi-leg football accumulators were perhaps the dumbest bets in Britain.

I stand by that. Even in the face of news on Monday night that a William Hill punter won in excess of £45,000 on a 6-leg football accumulator that cost just £5.00.

It is Sod’s law that a big 5-figure accumulator goes in less than a week after I castigate such bets in my column. But I stick to my guns. Accumulators like that are not good bets.

Hearing about such bets going in is a rarity. It happens once in a while. And the bookmakers make sure you hear about it when it does.

In those instances – where the bet has cost the bookies a few quid – they make sure they squeeze every drop of PR mileage out of the situation. They do what they can to turn a negative result into a positive….

The newspapers aren’t interested in anything under the surface of the story. They’ve got space to fill and deadlines to hit. They just like the story about a working guy hitting pay dirt.

They don’t intentionally set out to mislead readers into believing such bets are good business to indulge in. But they don’t dig around for the truth of the matter either. Instead they stay neutral, report the story at face value and the bookies get the benefit of looking like they are willing and smiling dupes who are there for the taking.

Keep it in perspective….

We never hear a single word about the many thousands of punters whose accumulators go down day-after-day – be it on racing or football – and how their lost stakes add up to millions.

Look at the likes of Fred Done, Victor Chandler and all the rest of the bigwigs at the top of the betting companies. They are very successful people. They have done well for themselves. They have plenty of money and all the trappings of success. Fair play. And good luck to them.

But be aware that accumulators and other dumb bets finance that success. The proceeds of accumulators and other silly bets keep the bookies in silk shoes and snakeskin underwear (or should that be the other way round?)

No matter. The point is that a very small percentage of accumulator bets go in. A minute percentage.

The odd £45,000 loss along the way is neither here nor there. It’s just an inevitable blip in the figures. It’s just an accepted cost of doing business. A drop in the ocean. We really are talking that much money.

If you’re in any doubt then why do you think the bookie prints up special slips to make it even easier for shop punters to place accumulator bets? Why does he go to the considerable trouble and expense of doing that?

Is it because he has a heart of gold and wants to make your life as simple and as comfortable as possible?

Or is he on some level taking advantage of that fatal combination of laziness and greed that exists in the heart and soul of the average punter?

Is he actively hoodwinking those punters into taking the path of least resistance and stepping regularly into bets that suit him over them when measured across the long term?

I know what side of the bet my money would be riding on.

I stand by my original assertion that multi-leg accumulators are among the dumbest bets in Britain. But they are not the dumbest. There are even worse bets you can place.

A top betting product for the BDMs….

Before we go any further I should reveal that BDM is an acronym for Brain Dead Moron.

I borrowed the term from an American acquaintance of mine who uses it to define the average Democrat voter.

His politics are neither here nor there. In my book the political system in the US – and the UK for that matter – is so corrupt that it doesn’t deserve to be engaged with at all on any level …. But that’s by the by….

My point is that you’d have to be a Brain Dead Moron to engage with the type of accumulator-based betting products the bookies have been creating and introducing to market via their various Apps.

For example, take Betfred’s ACCAttacka product which forms part of the firm’s Sportsbook betting app.

In Betfred’s own words the ACCAttacka has ‘reinvigorated the weekend football acca selection process with style & substance in equal measure.’

We have to confess that we don’t really know what that actually means or refers to. It just sounds to us like a lot of marketing-jargon-type language that doesn’t actually mean anything but has been stitched together to sound like it does….

But what we can tell you is that the ACCAttacka innovation means you can simply log into your Betfred mobile account, select a desired bet stake, outline the amount of money you would like to win and then sit back and let the Betfred software build you a potential winning accumulator….

In other words you don’t have to have any meaningful input into the bet at all – above or beyond stumping up the hard cash to pay for it.

The bookie will put the bet together for you. Apparently this dazzling innovation removes‘the laborious element to selecting your legs….’

In other words, don’t waste any time or effort thinking for yourself. Don’t come armed with an informed opinion. Don’t get intellectually involved with the bet you are placing. That’s way too much like hard work.

All you need to do is tell us how much you want to bet and how much you want to win – and we’ll find the selections at the right prices for that to happen.

Sports-betting of the future….

This is sports-betting of the future, folks. Where the punter hands over responsibility for picking his betting selections to the guy he is betting against – the bookie.

That sounds like a recipe for betting success doesn’t it?

It sounds very much like handing over your money to the used car salesman and letting him pick the right car out for you – whilst you go to the pub for a skin-full. You’d do that wouldn’t you?

After all picking out the right car is hard work. Why not let that guy take all the effort out of the process and take care of things for you?
What could possibly go wrong with that scenario? You can trust this guy to overcome his own vested interests and put you first. Sure. That’s exactly how it would go. That’s exactly how human nature works…. Isn’t it?

Of course, the process of change is gradual. The face of betting is being altered. But incrementally. One small step at time.

If you don’t like the selections the AccAttacka picks out for you in your multi-leg accumulator, then you can change them. You still get to think for yourself if you want to. The bookies can’t change the entire culture overnight.

But the non-thinking option is the default. And the over-ride will be written out of the system at some indeterminate point in the not too distant future. That much is for certain.

New punters – younger punters – are being presented with a very different industry and very different products and services than you and I saw when we started betting.

These days everything is push-button, automatic, labor-saving, instant, no-hassle, and available-on-a-plate. You don’t have to think. We’ve got folk here who can do that kind of thing for you. ‘You don’t have to worry about thinking anymore, son. Things have moved on.’

Just click-and-play. That’s how it’s going. That’s where things are headed. Just make sure you know how to top up the funds in your ‘Play’ account and you’re good to go.

Thought, informed opinion, judgment. These things are slowly being removed from betting products. To be replaced more and more with concepts of play, chance and luck. And, of course these culture changes play very much into the bookie’s hands.

Being able to think and take a view of your own is perhaps the only weapon you have in your war with the bookmaker. It is certainly the most potent. Take that away and you’re just cannon-fodder – sure to get obliterated in the firestorm at some point.

The name on the file….

On some shelf in a corner of a dark room at some bookmaker’s head office there’s a file. Some far-thinking executive put it there some time ago.

In the file is a Profile – outlining exactly the kind of punter the bookie wants to be betting with 10, 15 or 20 years from now.

The documents in the file outline exactly how this ideal punter of the future will behave, what he will bet on and how he will bet it.

Right now the bookmaker is designing and developing the betting products and services that ideal punter of the future will habitually use. He’s throwing all his resources – financial, technological and human – at these projects.

Things like AccAttacka give us a glimpse of what we can expect to see hit the market in the years ahead. They show us which way the wind is blowing. They tell us what kind of punters the bookies are intent on creating and catering too.

So too does that file gathering dust in that dark room at the bookie’s HQ. There’s something stamped on the front of it in 32 point bold. We can just about make the words out in the gloom. They read: Operation BDM…. 

Make sure the bookie isn’t turning you into a Brain Dead Moron, my friend.

I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.

The Judge

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