Updated: 3094 Other

BETTER THAN BUG SPRAY.In the years leading up to the millennium, New Year's eve wasextreme on the pub and club circuit, with national chains and thelocals doing an absolute storm of trade, with the year 2000approaching all the talk was

Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

Bookmakers In the 21st Century

Better Than Bug Spray

In the years leading up to the millennium, New Year's eve was extreme on the pub and club circuit, with national chains and the locals doing an absolute storm of trade, with the year 2000 approaching all the talk was about the world ending, a computer virus was going to kill us all and we would not see January 1st, 2001.

That theory did not quite fly, but something happened in the pub industry leading up to the millennium, 

All of a sudden and industry in decline thought they could see an angle, they had a product that would only be available once in the next 100 years.


The one thing the betting industry has in spades is a product, but what of the standard?

I mean the comment about 2 punters betting on flies crawling up a wall is becoming more and more a reality, in fairness looking at the quality of some of the midweek racing over the last 12 months it makes more appeal!!

The pub and club industry after a long debate decided the best way to exploit this huge marketing opportunity was to simply rob the general public blind, with local pubs in the West Midlands charging anything from £40 to £200 for a ticket to the great millennium party, this was applied to regular punters as well as the once a year crowd.

In response, the public raised a glass in one hand and gave a two-fingered salute with the other. 

The bar trade has never fully recovered from this nonsense and the chances are that if you saw in the new year at a house party, 15 years ago you would have been in a bar.

Less Is Less

The major problem with clichés is they a generally used by people who simply cannot think of anything sensible to say,

You can be telling somebody of your troubles over a cup of coffee and they can reply with such gems as “swings and roundabouts “and “it is what it is”,

Landlords all over Great Britain were giving this answer to regular punters for 6 months leading up to the great millennium robbery.

The Words All 4 Ran Are Becoming A Pain

In complete contrast to the pub industry, horse racing and bookmakers are doing the opposite, they have a great product but seem determined to dilute it to the point where it is no longer of interest.

I have watched in amazement lately at some of the ridiculous races being run.

Horses crawling around for three miles over the jumps and turning a staying con test into a sprint , at what point will competitive racing return? 

On Course Betting Odds 

Will punters return when it does, the answer to this question is in my opinion a bigger picture about the competitive value of racing and its real value to the bookmakers (I use this term loosely, as making a book is nothing like it used to be).

The bookmakers now obviously have multiple revenue streams which is a logical approach to take. The FOBT explosion, football and any number of sports are now available to punt on and I have a real worry that racing as a spectacle is dying and has been for some years, if you converse with anybody under 25 these days and mention horse racing it has the same effect of asking them if they keep ferrets or smoke a pipe (though they may react more favourably to a crack pipe!!). I am not a youngster but at 38 I certainly don't see myself as an old man, although this has taken a little while to type as this dam pipe will not stay lit.

The solution for racing is simple less racing of a higher quality

Competitive racing draws a crowd and stimulates the public, look at the way the Cheltenham Festival has grown in contrast to racings decline. The reason the festival is such an event is that it encapsulates everything that racing and bookmakers do so well, hugely competitive fields and the ability to have a “proper” bet. 

The solution for bookmakers is also simple, start being bookmakers again, trust your compilers and make a book, if you want to go long do it properly, don't print 16/1 in the morning papers if we can only have 50p on.

Sorry, You Are 20p In Profit 

The biggest concern is the difficulty of participation in horse racing these days, years ago an account restriction could be worn as a badge of honour, 

If the majors didn't want to do business with you, a winner is what you were and they didn't want to know.

The mug selections are still readily available, 

I know a lot of people are fond of a LUCKY or YANKEES, etc. and I have no desire to lecture anybody on betting, you pay your money, it is your money, you take your chance, 

However, I worked in the industry for a substantial amount of time and the bookies love these bets because when you bet in perms a just one loser starts to tear your bet to pieces. 

They don't promote these bets for nothing (YOU WILL NEVER SEE THE LUCKY “ONE” SLIP PROMOTED) but show even the remotest talent at finding value on singles and you will be flagged very quickly.

I don't say finding value in a tone as to lecture you on odds and percentages, 

You simply have to beat SP on a regular basis to get the hammer now, that's right you don't even have to be winning, with certain bookies just the POSSIBILITY of taking a bet from a punter that MAY win is enough.

You Can however Have A Hundred At 36/1 All Day Long On Certain Bets

Mention no names, but if you see a bald fella staring at you from a shop hoarding offering bonuses, with a big smile that says “I AM YOUR FRIEND, I AM THE KING”, ignore him and he may go away, i

If he persists, turn around and march up to him and demand £4 on a 6/1 shot, and dam it you want the best odds guaranteed, trust me it is better than a bug spray.

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