Archive for the ‘Horse Racing’ Category

“Australians love a punt. And since the first rule of gambling is that the house always wins, this is really another way of saying, Australians love losing money.”

Australians love a punt and the house always wins, whether you believe this or not, I’ll say it again, the house always wins.  Personally, I don’t love losing money and if you’ve read this blog you will find many examples of ways to gamble that reduce the house edge or even sway the odds in your favour.  But the point has always been made as we are not delusional and selling a fantasy, there is no such thing as a sure thing and every bet you make is a gamble, where the bookie always makes money whether you actually win or lose.  Be smart, be honest and have fun is how the Champ Bros approach gambling, and as Australians raised in a gambling culture where we get a public holdiay for a horse race and ANZAC Day is associated with 2-Up we don’t want to trash our heritage, but we also don’t want to be taken for suckers.


Australia’s gambling obsession, in one depressing chart

John McDuling
Published: September 3, 2015

Australians love a punt. And since the first rule of gambling is that the house always wins, this is really another way of saying, Australians love losing money.

Basically, some offshore outlets such as William Hill are offering Australian customers the ability to bet on live sports via their smart phones. Strictly speaking, ‘In-play’ betting is outlawed on online platforms, including smartphones.

Data from H2 Gambling Capital, a London based industry researcher, obtained by Fairfax Media last month, shows that Australians lose more money per adult on gambling than every other developed country.

Back in 2010, the Productivity Commission actually estimated the average loss for each Australian that gambled at $1,500.

For what its worth, that review found there was an overall net benefit (through taxes and enjoyment) to the economy from gambling of between $3.7 billion and $11.1 billion), but the costs to problem gamblers were substantial and devastating, ranging from $4.7 billion to $8.4 billion

That aside, what is clear is that Australians are leading the developed world on gambling losses. Whether a review of online sports gambling laws, and potentially, advertising of gambling during sports matches, does anything to curtail this, remains to be seen.

This story was found at:


It’s the Spring Carnival again leading into the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday (looking forward to the day off work for a horse race!), and the sports betting agencies are going into overdrive with advertising and incentives to win the punter’s dollar.  As you may be aware, making money from horse racing is nearly imposibble unless you have inside contacts to get information the rest of us aren’t privvy to, but even then the returns for the number of horses in the field always leads to ‘Bad Bets’ being made, and over time, they will bleed you dry.


Melbourne Cup spurs online gambling as exotic products push legal boundaries

Anne Davies
Published: October 31, 2015

For most of us it’s a chance for a once-a-year flutter in a sweepstake or a plain vanilla bet at the TAB. By the time the Spring Carnival, horse racing’s most prestigious season is over, Australians will have bet nearly $1.5 billion since August.

There’s a war raging for the gambling dollar as multinational online gambling houses slug it out for a share of a lucrative but overcrowded sports betting market, worth about $750 million in revenue, but with turnover 10 times that. On top of that, offshore operators are trying to lure Australians – the biggest gamblers in the world – to part with their cash.

It used to be that to place a bet punters had to wander down to the dingy TAB or make a phone call. But increasingly online betting companies are testing the boundaries of the law to offer all manner of exotic betting: things like in-race betting – which allows punters to place bets up to 20 seconds after the horses start running, rebates on horses coming second and third, and cash or rewards schemes and other inducements to open an online account.

Simultaneously, mobile phones have made gambling more accessible anywhere anytime, particularly to a new demographic – young men – who have grown up transacting virtually every aspect of their life on the phone. And the companies want their business.

Over the last decade several big multinational betting companies have entered the Australian market, taking on Tabcorp with online betting shops. British giant William Hill took over Tom Waterhouse last year. Ladbrokes, also from the Britain is here, as is Unibet from Europe. Sportsbet, the home-grown online operator, has been taken over by Irish company, Paddy Power.

Before the Melbourne Cup, the online betting companies are offering all manner of inducements. For example William Hill is offering $150 free if you open a new account with $50, and Ladbrokes is offering up to $250.

The fine print says that the stake must be turned over at least two times before it can be withdrawn and because of laws prohibiting inducements in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, they are not available in those states. But by the time a punter realises he is ineligible, he will probably have signed up for an account.

Gambling is also the fastest-growing category of advertising on TV. Until 2009 advertising by interstate gambling companies was banned by NSW and Victorian legislation. Most online companies are based in the Northern Territory for tax reasons. Companies allegedly relied on dubious practices such as giving journalists free credit in their accounts to mention their name. But in 2009 the High Court ruled the laws were a restraint of trade and since then it’s been open slather – particularly during sports events – even those televised at times when children are watching.

In the first nine months of this year, from January to September, the industry spent $107.6 million on TV ads alone, up 38 per cent on the same period in 2014, according to Standard Media Index, a company which measures advertising spends. And those figures don’t include the massive spend for the Spring Carnival and the Melbourne Cup.

Gambling has become a lifeline for free-to-air television. Standard Media Index chief executive Jane Schultz says gambling ads have rocketed from the 15th-largest category in 2014 to eighth.

The companies are also active on social media. They tweet to the football codes’ hashtags and post funny shareable videos on YouTube, featuring their logos.

But anti-gambling campaigners warn that online gambling, and the way it is being marketed, has dramatically raised the danger for young people.

In researching this story, I discovered that my 19-year-old and most of her friends have online gambling accounts. “Of course, everyone does,” she said, as if I had asked about Instagram. “It saves you having to go to the TAB.”

But it is not so benign as Instagram. Deakin University researcher Samantha Thomas says online gambling effectively puts a gambling venue, open 24/7, in your pocket. The marketing for online gambling is targeted towards young men.

One campaign showed legendary Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on the couch with two blokes, wearing green and gold scarves as the national anthem played and pulling out their phones to bet on their team.

“The message was ‘betting is patriotic and entirely normal’,” Thomas says. “It’s a step in the normalisation of betting among young men. They are shown in peer groups, and sports betting is being directly linked with common symbols surrounding the sport.”

Once signed up, online gamblers can expect regular correspondence by email or even phone calls if they are valuable enough.

A few months ago the online site New Daily published a first-person piece, the confessions of a “retention officer“. He described how his job was to ring people who had been inactive and offer free bets or credit. Often he would find himself convincing someone who was desperately trying to give up their habit.

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon, a long-standing campaigner for robust gambling controls, says online gambling and the way it is being marketed with matching free bets to get people to open accounts, free credit and saturation advertising aimed at young people, threatens to spawn a new epidemic of problem gamblers.

Because of its immediacy, online gambling, is as addictive as poker machines, he says.

“I am worried we will have a generation of young men who won’t be able to buy a car, go overseas, buy a house,” he says. “The scars of that will be long-lasting and have huge social consequences.”

In September the federal government finally initiated a long-promised inquiry into the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. It will be undertaken by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell. Written in 2000, it’s clear the act is struggling to keep up with technology.

Take for example the issue of in-play betting – placing bets once a race or event has started – which is legal in TABs and over the phone but illegal online.

The policy reason behind the ban, Monash University researcher Charles Livingstone says, is that in-play betting online, unlike making a bet at the TAB, is instantaneous and continuous, offering a similar intense emotional experience as pokies. Punters can literally see the odds changing.

William Hill, headed by Tom Waterhouse locally, along with another British rival Bet365 have been operating a controversial service. It requires punters to keep their smartphone microphone on, while placing bets online. This they say, makes it a phone service, within the law.

A few months ago, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which has responsibility for internet services, referred William Hill to the Australian Federal Police after a complaint. This week the AFP said it would not investigate, based on resourcing issues, leaving the service’s legality still up in the air.

“This is a great outcome for Australian punters who will no longer be forced to bet In-Play via illegal offshore bookmakers which pose a huge threat to both consumer protection and the integrity of Australian sport,” Waterhouse said.

“Throughout the development and before launching In-Play, William Hill took prudent steps to ensure In-Play is a ‘telephone betting service’ that is 100 per cent legal and compliant under the Interactive Gambling Act,” he said.

“What sets William Hill apart as a company is its willingness to push the boundaries through technology and innovation to give its customers something much better.”

But whether the review will delve into this and other more pressing social questions arising out of the growth of online services remains to be seen.

The review makes it clear that its primary focus is illegal offshore based services which ignore the Australian laws. As well as offering prohibited casino games like roulette and pokies online, they sidestep licensing, tax and harm-minimisation codes.

“It is estimated that offshore wagering is a $1 billion annual illegal business in Australia,” then social services minister Scott Morrison said when he announced the review.

Xenophon says that there is no doubt that the illegal offshore sites have caused “enormous hardship”. “People have lost huge amounts of money especially to operators based in Gibraltar,” he says.

But that’s only part of the issue, he says, as evidenced by the 2013 report by the Department of Communications into online gambling and the submissions of Financial Counselling Australia.

The promotion and marketing, provision of free credit, unfettered by the consumer credit legislation, offering inducements and other aspects of the local online industry also need to be tackled, he says.

The fourth term of reference of the review appears to provide scope to look at locally based online gambling. It says the review will look at “the efficacy of approaches to protect the consumer – including warnings, information resources, public information campaigns and any other measures, regulatory or otherwise, that could mitigate the risk of negative social impacts on consumers”.

Interestingly, there is no mention of advertising, and The Australian has reported the TV networks argued vociferously against it being specifically included.

A spokesman for the new minister, Christian Porter, said term 4 was deliberately broad and what was anticipated is that it will draw out issues and inform the formation of future gambling policy.

But others, like Livingstone are more sceptical, particularly as the inquiry is meant to report by December 18.

He’s also worried by the choice of O’Farrell to head the review, pointing out that both sides of politics in NSW are close to Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association, both big players in the gambling industry. In addition, O’Farrell also granted the second casino licence to James Packer’s Crown, which is also an emerging player in online gambling.

“What worries me greatly is that in order to tackle people being hoodwinked by illegal offshore operators, there will be a recommendation to deregulate to allow Australian online services and clubs to provide casino-style games.”

Tabcorp, which as the incumbent is feeling the pressure from the new competition, is backing a broad review and calling for it to explore not only offshore but onshore online gambling and the tsunami of advertising.

“This review presents the perfect opportunity to define the type of wagering industry we want in Australia and address the inconsistencies,” chairwoman Paula Dwyer said.

“We believe there needs to be a single rule across the country in relation to the offering of credit by bookmakers. Northern Territory-licensed corporate bookmakers can offer their clients lines of credit, although TABs cannot. We believe the easiest way to address this is to introduce a single rule preventing wagering operators from acting as lenders and providing credit to customers. Nationally consistent advertising and inducement laws would reduce confusion for customers and wagering operators,” she says.

“We agree with the community that it is too much and would support sensible solutions to reduce the extent of the advertising.”

The Australian Wagering Council, which represents a number of the big online bookmakers including William Hill and Betfair says it anticipates interested parties making submissions to the O’Farrell review that may also raise issues that address the broader regulation of the Australian online wagering industry.

The Australian Wagering Council considers the Australian regulatory environment confusing for both customers and operators.

“The promotion and delivery of responsible gambling and harm-minimisation measures is a key aspect of good regulation. The Australian Wagering Council has long acknowledged the importance of commercially sensible regulation of advertising, product offers and inducements and deferred settlement facilities,” it says.

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Cox Plate 2013

Posted: October 25, 2013 by Beaner in Horse Racing
Tags: , ,

The Cox Plate is one of the toughest Australian races over the 2000m distance hosted at Moonee Valley Racecourse. Only 1 of the last 7 favourites (So You Think 2010 at $1.50 – the shortest runner in this race in the last 45 years) has actually won the race which tells you that this is never a clear cut affair. Infact, 6 of the last 10 winners have gone around at $10 or higher. The race has been dominated the past three years by 4YO’s with Ocean Park, Pinker Pinker and So You Think taking out the last three (So You Think took this out at 3YO also). Interestingly, we have a 4YO favourite in It’s a Dundeel this year the other 4YO long odds in Super Cool.


Probably the most important factor for any race. Wednesday evening rated a Dead 5 after some fairly decent rains and the worst has come and gone. Expect a dead track Friday night and it could clear up to be Good with a bit of wind and sun on Saturday.


The most important tool for any race is understanding where each horse is expected to be during the run of the race and on previous data, determining how the race will be run by those out the front. This is one of the hardest speedmaps all carnival to figure out. Last year several horses positioned three-wide during the run and it is likely this will happen again. I wouldn’t be shocked to a see a few mapped closer to the back such as It’s a Dundeel go further forward, but it all depends on how they jump and what happens in the first 200m.

Click on the Speedmap photo below to see a higher resolution map.

Cox Plate Speedmaps Small

Cox Plate 2013

1. Green Moon 59kg (Barrier 12)
Never won with this weight previously and is better suited outside of WFA races. Could be used as a pace maker to give the other Williams runners a strong tempo early. Did run well enough first up over 1400m but hasn’t shown enough to be winning this. Best on Good going.
Verdict: Grand Final is the Melbourne Cup, not this. Shocked if he wins this.

2. Happy Trails 59k (Barrier 2)
Over the correct odds today. Goes well at the track and has been set for this distance all campaign. Last start ridden for luck got a very solid ride by Dunn to victory. Barrier 2 selected to ride for luck again and is actually better weighted today against Fiorente and PDL.
Verdict: Genuine chance who maps very well needing luck.

3. Fiorente 59kg (Barrier 15)
Has positioned out the back of the field in all runs this prep and overall last four runs in general. Did position closer than midfield in the Melbourne Cup though and ran on very well. Outside barrier certainly hurts for positioning. Has every chance but in all honesty, could be a better horse for the Melbourne Cup.
Verdict: Better suited to a longer straight and will have to pass a wall of horses going wide to get the win. Has the ability to win but is certainly shorter than I would want to take. May simply just be a saver option.

4. Foreteller 59kg (Barrier 9)
Late nomination who three runs back beat home Puissance De Lune at Flemington over 1600m by a nose. Last start breezed past Super Cool with no issues and finished 4L behind Atlantic Jewel. Most people were suggesting AJ at her best was a 3L better horse than all of these and on ratings it was close to that. That gives Foreteller a genuine chance for me.
Verdict: Only accepted after the rumour was going around about Atlantic Jewel being a non-runner. That was their first win. The horse has the ability to run well and go close. Big question if he can find his best around a turn.

5. Side Glance 59kg (Barrier 1)
International hope who hasn’t won since mid 2012 over 1700m on Good at Epsom. Did run on well the next start behind a handy horse called Frankel but after that has always found a few too good. Every chance last start losing by 2L and previous to that didn’t show much in the Prince of Wales. Not the best here.
Verdict: Other international runners appeal more.

6. Seville 59kg (Barrier 10)
Tough win in The Metrop.. but the next three who finished behind wouldn’t be winning here. Speedmap for this horse is hard to figure out. Has the ability to fit forward today but from the barrier, I have Seville going mid to back of field. Doesn’t look a top hope here.
Verdict: Tactics well be the key to this runner. Not sure can win with any tactics.. but can go close to placing with the right run.

7. Rekindled Interest 59kg (Barrier 6)
Ran ok first up over 1200m but then was poor in the Epsom off a strong tempo. Goes around well enough at this track but just isn’t Cox Plate winning material at the weights.
Verdict: Won’t be winning this.

8. Puissance De Lune 59kg (Barrier 8)
Never runs a bad race. Last start was by far his best run all prep when put down almost identical sectionals to Fawkner over 2000m off a hot pace out front. Did beat home Fawkner JUST and they were the only two out the front who stuck on. Barrier 8 looks PERFECT today and you can see him sitting 3-4 back on the outside hitting the line very hard. Top chance.
Verdict: Genuine horse who gives his all. Will go very close and maps well.

9. Masked Marvel 59kg (Barrier 5)
Progressive all prep but is better over further distances than this and seems to be set for the Melbourne Cup. Looks unders here today and will be running on from the back.
Verdict: Too far back. Better swoopers in this.

10. Mull of Killough 59kg (Barrier 4)
Unlike some of the other runners, Is here for the Cox Plate. Best runs have been over 1600-200m distances. Just ignore last start run and look to two and four back. Doesn’t have a massive turn of speed but can be ridden on from the 800m and just keep producing solid sectionals.
Verdict: Tactics the key. Looks a blowout chance at big odds. At least worth a few bucks.

11. It’s A Dundeel 57.5kg (Barrier 13)
First up run in the Memsie wasn’t very impressive when had every chance and couldn’t show enough for mine. Next start in a slowly run Underwood mapped well enough and snuck his nose out to win. In the big races has always gone close but it’s hard to forget Reliable Man winning the Queen Eliz last prep over him and Happy Trails just 0.5L behind. How much has that set back with the hoof issue affected him also? Then also the plate that has been fitted.. how much ground does he lose? Is certainly a big chance, but with all these factors, and the price, can you really have on top? Outside barrier also hurts.
Verdict: Is his best on a corner track? Beaten by Super Cool in the Vase last year here. Going much better than that run but still a concern. Can go close but barrier draw did hurt and limit tactics.

12. Super Cool 57.5kg (Barrier 14)
Convincingly beaten last start by AJ and Foreteller. Gains half a KG today against Foreteller but on previous four runs this prep, several horses here have always found a way to beat him.
Verdict: Can’t see SC beating a number home of these home.

14. Long John 49.5kg (Barrier 11)
Just how good is he? People are suggesting ‘there are no Pierro’s or All Too Hard’s in this field’. Well, I tend to disagree. Long John has progressed significantly all prep and has shown a great deal of talent. His sectionals have been solid ridden forward or back and with no real pace runners in the race, could sit out the front and find a moderate pace on. Seems to be screaming out for 2000m and is a big chance.
Verdict: It all depends on the tempo and how good the ones behind are. Has a chance and money has been coming for him.

15. Shamus Award 49.5kg (Barrier 3)
Can’t be ignored. Ran Divine Calling at course to a head and we know how well Divine Calling did last start behind Long Jonh. Shamus Award also ran on very well in that race from the back and can certainly position further forward from barrier 3. Some maps suggest Shamus and Long John could be leading this up.
Verdict: Looks to be suited by the up in distance and isn’t the worst at the odds.. but even if improves probably does find one or two too good.

The Key Chances

In no particular order, I have moved all of the runners into one of four categories. Just to explain what it all means, just because a runner is in the Medium Chance pile doesn’t necessary mean they aren’t a good bet. It means they need a fair bit of luck and the right circumstances.

High Chance

Puissance De Lune
Long John
Happy Trails
It’s a Dundeel

Medium Chance

Shamus Award
Mull Of Killough

Low Chance

Side Glance
Super Cool

Minimal Chance

Green Moon
Rekindled Interest
Masked Marvel

Cox Plate 2013 Tips

Top Pick – Puissance De Lune

He has done nothing wrong all prep. The majority of the key chances will be sitting behind him in running and if they can out sprint him, then they are simply better horses. He maps well and has continued to rate better as the prep has gone along. If the form around Fawkner is to go off, then he comes into this ready to win.

Best Roughie – Happy Trails

The Turnbull win was brave and he was given a perfect ride. A repeat of that performance goes close here and the price is simply overs compared to the others in the race he beat home. Sure, I have a soft spot for him, but when you look at the ROI of this horse (who beat Fawkner in the Emirate’s last year), he keeps delivering.

Top 10

Puissance De Lune
It’s a Dundeel
Long John
Happy Trails
Mull of Killough
Shamus Award
Super Cool