Latest Cases - November 2015

250,000 reasons why I own this specific betting account...

5th November 2015

Good afternoon, friends,

In this issue of Punters’ Verdict….

  • Make like a mercenary….
  • Take a free shot at £250,000….
  • 3 ways to improve any tipping service….

Make like a mercenary….

You don’t need to be a great reader of a man’s mind to figure out that I’m not desperately keen on bookmakers. They serve a purpose. They provide a service – of sorts. But as a group – and this is well documented – I consider them a greedy, corrupt and crooked class of animal.

If you’re going to bet – and, let’s face it, we’re not going to stop any time soon – I suppose the bookmaker is a necessary evil. That’s hardly a ringing endorsement. You wouldn’t want to take it to a prospective employer as a reference. But, given its bookmakers I’m talking about, it’s about as close to a superlative as I can drum up.

Poor prices, dishonored deals, broken promises, customer service hardly worthy of the name, cheating, lying, making the rules up as they go along, advertising prices and then refusing to lay them to punters with a decent record….

The case against bookmakers is long and deep and varied and one that I’ve made it made it my business to prosecute in this column across the years.

But there is a flip side to the coin. Bookmakers do have their uses – or, at least, they are open to being used by punters. And I have no compunction about mercilessly using bookmakers to my potential advantage whenever the opportunity arises or allows.

Bookmakers are fighting like weasels in a sack right now to win market share from one another. And that’s good for punters….

The bookies are all trying to outdo one another on sweeteners – beneficial features of service that they hope will encourage you to open accounts and bet with them like a loyal little punter for many years to come. And that state of affairs creates a situation you can take advantage of.

For example, right now there’s a bookmaker I stop off at every Friday afternoon. I don’t do so to bet with them – though now and again I will if it suits. Instead I’m there on a mercenary basis to take advantage of what they are prepared to give away. I’m there to get my hands on a little regular something-for-nothing. I’m lining up for a free lunch….

A free shot at £250,000….

For many years Skybet was a bookmaking outfit I wouldn’t look twice at. On the sports I bet on their prices were always rock-bottom or close to it. They didn’t offer concessions. They didn’t do offers. In short they did little or nothing to win business. They were one of those bookmakers (Blue Square were another and look what happened to them) who thought that if they opened the doors that was all that was needed to fill the bar.

Somewhere along the line they woke up. And these days their business plan makes a point of giving punters an incentive to bet with them rather than the opposition.

For example, in the big handicap races on Saturday afternoons you can almost guarantee that Skybet will now be one of the firms offering enhanced place odds – usually on more races than the competition, too.

I bet the big handicaps and that’s enough of a reason for me to hold an account with the firm. But that’s not what the big attraction is.

The really big draw is the chance to win £250,000 every weekend of the football season playing their Super 6 competition. Every Friday afternoon I log in to my account – where I haven’t had a single penny piece on deposit for at least 12 months – and have a go at predicting 6 correct scores on that weekend’s nominated football matches.

I haven’t got close yet. And maybe I never will. But I haven’t won the National Lottery either and I pay good money to play that twice a week. The bottom line is that I’m always in with a fighting chance of bagging that £250,000 (it takes 60 seconds of my time) and I don’t have to pay or bet a brass farthing for the privilege. It’s almost as sweet as free beer.

No doubt the powers that be at Skybet hope that punters who play will then choose to bet with the firm. But it’s not a requirement. Betting with them isn’t mandatory. To some extent they are relying on goodwill – just as punters rely on the same thing when they place bets in good faith with bookies.

But goodwill is not always there when you need it. Is it?

If you fancy giving yourself a chance of winning £250,000 every weekend of the football season then follow my lead, make like a mercenary and  exploit the free opportunity on offer at Skybet. It makes no sense not to?

3 ways to improve any tip or betting service….

Wonders never cease, ladies and gentlemen. In the mailbag this week a request for help from an individual who wants to set up a tipping service. Our man wants to know what he can do to make his service appealing to ‘cynical commentators’ like me….

We might well respond publically and in-full within the pages of this column in the weeks ahead. For now though we will limit ourselves to some brief observations….

If I were to write a guide to building a successful tipping service (and maybe one day I will) I would say the following 3 elements are absolutely key to attracting people and producing a service they want to stick with….

  • Give in order to get. When someone is interested enough to hand you their name and email address you should look to reward that act of good faith with more than just an avalanche of emails designed to extract money from them. Give them something. And give it freely. It might be an insight. It might be a bit of knowledge. Whatever it is make sure it has real and practical value.Make sure it is something good that they can use. Right from the outset you are letting them know that you value their interest and that your primary intention is to give as good as you take.
  • Give of yourself. Your clients are real people. And real people react and respond best to other personalities. When you send an email it will – if you are lucky – be read by a real person. Make sure that what they read is written by a real person. You don’t need to give them your life story. You don’t need to tell them about your hemorrhoids or your problems with the bailiff. But, if you want a long and fruitful relationship with your client, you can’t be a robot either. If all you ever hear from someone is one shabbily pieced-together sales pitch after another, how long is that guy going to remain in your address book? Be real. Be yourself. Quit trying to write the perfect sales pitch. Focus instead on making a real connection with your client – and deepening that connection over time. The rest will follow.
  • Provide a proper service.This takes effort and hard work. Maybe that’s why so few tipping and information services live up to this element. Most make big promises. They have big intentions. They’re out to dazzle you. But they fall short on delivery. These services are generally focused on getting money. Providing the service is an after-thought – something to be half-heartedly cobbled together and passed off as the service initially promised. If you want success then tell your client what you are going to do for him – and then do it well. To the very best of your ability. Work hard at actually serving and fulfilling your client’s needs. Cut no corners. Consider yourself your client’s employee and take that role completely seriously – like your life depends on it. Put the time in. Go the extra mile. Do all you possibly can to make good on your promise. Show you client what you are doing on his behalf. Take these steps and even when you fail it will be seen and understood as not through want of effort or dedication.

Now I am not the last word on this subject. I know that you will have ideas of your own about what makes a good tipping service good and a bad one bad.

  • So I open this subject to the floor. What advice would you give our prospective tipster about producing a ‘good’ service? Let me know your thoughts. You can reach me right here. I will look forward to hearing from you.

I’ll be back with the Verdict next week.

The Judge

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