Posts Tagged ‘risk taking’

It is no surprise to me that Bet365 and no doubt many other sports bet agencies are doing everything they can to maximize their profits at the expense of a fair playing field.  A Bet365 insider has come forward and explained how they limit how much winning punters can win, as Bet365 is only interested in encouraging losing gamblers to lose more.

So if you think sports betting is a level playing field, compared to say the pokies where we know they are programmed in how much they payout, think again.  You are gambling against sophisticated algorithms that are designed to limit how much you can win and maximize how much you lose.

Beaner

 

In this sports betting company, the winners are called ‘problem customers’

On a hot Saturday afternoon in Darwin, James Poppleton is mopping the sweat from his brow.

It hasn’t rained for 160 days.

On this particular day, he’s got even more reason to perspire.

He’s about to speak out against his former employer — one of the world’s largest betting companies.

Mr Poppleton worked for 18 months as a customer account supervisor at bet365.

What he saw during his time at the company disturbed him so much he’s blowing the whistle on bet365’s practices — despite the personal risk.

The problem with winning

“Australians have an innate sense of fairness almost built-in, and what the bookies do, what bet365 does is not fair,” he said.

“You can’t win. Those that win are stopped. Those that lose are exploited and then they develop cheating techniques as well.”

Taking in a game of women’s AFL at Tracy Village Oval, there’s a palpable sense that a deluge of rain is about to break Darwin’s dry spell, and James is spilling what he knows about how parts of the sports betting industry operates.

“I’m speaking out about bet365 because the information I know is a burden on my conscience.”

For the first time, he’s revealing how bet365 uses backdoor algorithms, restrictions and alleged delaying tactics to skew the competition and drive up profits — all while the punter thinks they’re playing a fair game.

Punters are suspicious

It was a bet365 promotion on the Big Bash League that made the agency attractive to Daniel Laidlaw. He’s a punter who understands odds better than most.

A professional poker player by night, he treats sports betting as a hobby.

He noticed something unusual was happening with his bet365 account earlier this year.

“When I tried to place my usual-sized bets, it was apparent that I could only bet to win an amount in the range of $5-10 dollars when previously, I’d be able to bet to win amounts between $1,000 and $5,000.”

As a result, Mr Laidlaw now gambles with offshore betting sites that pay no tax in Australia.

Bet365 won’t tell Mr Laidlaw why it restricted the size of his bets.

ABC Investigations has obtained a screenshot of Mr Laidlaw’s account details from inside bet365. It reveals that he has been effectively banned from betting with the agency. The truth is revealed by a secret algorithm that classifies Daniel as a successful punter and therefore a risk to the company’s profits.

Daniel's risk rating is shown as 0.0025

It rates him at 0.0025. This means inside bet365 Mr Laidlaw is considered a threat to its bottom-line.

According to former bet365 employee James Poppleton, a risk rating of 0.0025 is one of the highest that can be assigned.

He explains how the system operates:

“Your data tells them how many bets you’ve placed, what sport you’ve put it on, your average bet, your total turnover and your win or loss ratio to the company,” he says.

“If you win, the algorithm kicks in and stops you from being able to bet any significant amount of money.”

Mr Laidlaw has not been able to obtain his risk rating from the company itself.

“I think it’s outrageous. It’s unfair. And there’s also just no transparency. If they’re profiling us in this way, then we should know as customers exactly what it means and have access to this information,” he says.

No one from bet365 would agree to an interview with the ABC. In a statement, it said its “service is provided in accordance with its published terms and conditions and all applicable laws and regulations.”

As part of those terms and conditions, it can close or suspend an account at any time for any reason.

Mr Poppleton claims these algorithms apply not just to winners, but those who lose as well.

“As soon as you start losing, they’ll open you up to lose more and more and more, you can bet bigger and bigger amounts,” he says.

“If you stop winning, you’re allowed to bet more and more and more. It’s the opposite of responsible gambling.”

Bet365 said it, “has a robust responsible gambling policy in place to monitor each customer’s gambling patterns and expenditure and ensure that their gambling behaviour is within responsible limits.”

A reclusive billionaire

From humble origins, bet365 has capitalised on an explosion in online gambling and now boasts over $5 billion in turnover for its global operations. The UK-based agency is privately owned by the Coates family and based in the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

At its centre is the reclusive mathematical and entrepreneurial genius Denise Coates, who is now by far Britain’s highest-paid chief executive officer; she took home a whopping $506 million pay packet last year.

Her father owned what she once described as a “small chain of pretty rubbish betting shops”. It has been reported she bought the domain name bet365.com on eBay and launched the business from a portable cabin in a car park near one of the family betting shops.

‘Ban or bankrupt’

Bet365 soon pioneered a new way of maximising profits.

The betting agency would entice punters to sign up with good odds, free bets and special offers and then ban or restrict the successful ones, sending them off to gamble with their competitors.

“The other companies didn’t know what to do,” says Brian Chappell, the founder of the UK consumer advocate group Justice for Punters.

“They were asking: ‘How do we get our losing customers back because all we’re ending up with is our winning customers?’ So, they had to join the game, didn’t they?”

The consumer advocate describes the business model that bet365 pioneered as “ban or bankrupt”.

“It’s this business model of being really, really ruthless with your customer base. You end up with a customer base that is virtually 100 per cent known losers.”

Part of bet365’s success in Australia is attributable to its relationship with the biggest sporting codes — it’s an official gold partner of Cricket Australia.

Its logo can be seen on the boundary rope during play, and the odds are regularly spruiked during pay-TV coverage.

‘Problem customers’

For bet365 the most lucrative area of sports betting globally is in-play betting, although the company claims it’s a minor part of its Australian business. In-play allows punters to bet while a match is live — the next goal in football, the next try in football, the next wicket in cricket.

Bullet points describing the problem customer.

A smart in-play punter will have a good knowledge of the sport, an understanding of how odds work and will then apply those skills to try and beat the bookmaker in fast-moving sports where odds can sometimes lag behind what’s unfolding in the game.

In Australia, you can only bet in-play over the phone thanks to laws dating back to 2001 which attempted to minimise the losses from online betting.

A secret internal bet365 document obtained by ABC Investigations suggests that mandatory phone betting for in-play was causing problems for the company.

The policy document, dated September 2016, is designed to deal with what bet365 calls “problem customers” and says:

“The nature of betting on the telephone as opposed to betting online lends itself to the possibility of being exploited in fast-changing markets … some customers are aware of this fact and use the pace of the sport to their advantage when placing bets.”

The leaked document shows that bet365 was concerned by customers stalling on the phone or placing what it calls late bets.

bet365 told the ABC it targets, “those who seek to gain an unfair advantage over other customers through deliberately deceptive and fraudulent means including by using delay tactics and other abuses of the system.”

Given the terms and conditions already allows the company to ban customers it suspects of fraud or reject any bet it sees fit, James Poppleton describes the problem customer policy in a different way.

“We were having lots of customers who were better than the trading department at betting at live in-play, so they would see where the odds were just that little bit better than what they believed they should be. And they were winning,” he says.

The so-called “problem customers” were put on a list and managed by a special team which would check their betting history, listen to their calls and potentially restrict them from betting.

According to Mr Poppleton, this policy wasn’t doing enough to prevent these “problem customers” from winning.

He claims the company came up with a new secret strategy to deal with them.

‘Delay testing’

An internal bet365 email from September 2017, obtained by ABC Investigations, announced that something called Quick Code Delay Testing was taking place.

Customers making Quick Code bets over the phone using 3- or 4-digit codes were having the length of their calls logged. According to the email, the testing was to see, “if there is any delay between placing the bets on Cricket as opposed to the other sports.”

Lawyers acting for the company told the ABC that the purpose of the testing was designed to reduce “naturally occurring” delays experienced by customers when placing bets over the phone.

Mr Poppleton had suspicions it was for something else entirely.

He claims the testing was to see whether customers would notice if there was a delay for in-play betting on certain sports.

“I asked one of the managers if the purpose of the testing was to see whether or not you could tell if there was a delay at the point of bet placement within the tele-bet software. And he said, yes.”

The ABC contacted the manager in question and asked him to confirm Mr Poppleton’s allegation. He did not respond.

Mr Poppleton claims at the time, there was a delay of 1-3 seconds between when a bet was submitted over the phone in certain sports and when it was accepted.

Seconds may not sound like much, but when betting on fast-moving sports involving elite athletes, even micro-seconds can count. Broadcast delays can mean the action on the TV is a few seconds behind the action at the ground.

He claims any delay would give more time for a bookmaker to reject a punter’s bet or reconsider the odds on offer.

The former bet365 employee says the testing stopped soon after he raised the issue with a manager.

Mr Poppleton concluded that it had solved the problem of sharp punters winning on in-play and it was no longer necessary to use the “problem customer” policy.

“The procedures we used to manage customers who were beating us in-play were no longer needed.”

He claims the alleged delay was big enough to make a difference but small enough for the punter not to notice and gave bet365 an unfair advantage.

Bet365 told the ABC, “it has never used any form of delay in its telephone in-play betting service in Australia,” and that its “telephone system does not have any such functionality”.

Delay ‘is cheating’: Punter

ABC Investigations has obtained four screenshots from computer terminals inside bet365. They show customer accounts which have the words “Delay Added” next to punters’ names.

Three of these accounts appear to belong to overseas punters.

“I’ve seen a complaint spreadsheet that a couple of international customers had asked if there was a delay within their accounts,” says James Poppleton.

He says if there’s a delay put on for overseas customers it’s unfair, especially if they’re not told about it:

“Putting a delay into people’s accounts or into individual sports and not informing the punter is cheating. They are only doing it to make more profit, to stop people who are smarter than the bookie and to win more money off them, to cheat them. Punters should know what the rules of betting are.”

One of the accounts with “Delay Added” next to the punter’s name appears to be Australian but also has the term “Aus BetCall” against it. This is a reference to an old bet365 system which allowed a punter to place bets using a phone or computer without having to have an actual human conversation.

Screenshot says "Picking off slow suspends (Aus BetCall) - delay added"

Several betting agencies had different versions of these systems but they are no longer in use after a government crackdown.

The regulator

The main regulator for sports betting is the Northern Territory Racing Commission.

The NT government introduced very low tax rates to attract corporate bookmakers ten years ago. More than 20 agencies subsequently set up their headquarters in Darwin, including bet365.

Alastair Shields has been the chair of the NT Racing Commission for just over 18 months.

He says he’s not heard of any allegations about delays in in-play betting.

“If there was some deliberate action taken to delay … that’s something we would have jurisdiction to look at, in particular, whether that, I guess, complies with their licence conditions, within the terms and conditions of their contract.”

When it comes to restrictions placed on successful punter’s accounts he says he has had complaints about that, but there’s little he could do about it.

“Essentially, it’s a contractual matter between a client and a sports bookmaker. That’s a bit the same as if I go into a shop and the shopkeeper decides they don’t want to serve me. They can decide not to do that.”

A fair bet?

Mr Poppleton had an acrimonious relationship with bet365 before he left and is worried about the cost of speaking out.

“They’ll either deny it and say I’m lying or that I’m a disgruntled employee.”

He says two disputes with management before he left the company were resolved but he began to question the culture of bet365.

Mr Poppleton says one was over staff being forced to take annual leave and another about employees being disciplined for taking sick leave.

“It motivated me to look further into the other activities of the company, and that led me to discover that the whole company is set up for screwing the punter.”

He says he’s ashamed about his time working for bet365 but hopes speaking out will help shed light on the secretive world of sports betting.

“I think punters, when they find out, will be angry. Aussie punters think they’re getting a fair go. Getting a fair game. A fair bet. And they’re not.”

By Steve Cannane and Kyle Taylor

Fri 6 Dec 2019, 11:52 AM AEDT

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-05/bet365-whistleblower-says-winners-given-delays/11768486

 

If you work on the idea that there are about 10 most likely outcomes for any soccer game, you will cover most results.  There will be a few outliers of more than 5 goals being scored in a game or the outsider winning by a few goals, and they will pay big odds, but very hard to pick.

EPL

Looking at the above odds, there are only 3 results that pay less than 10-1.  If you cover those bets, then you still have 7 bets that will pay 10-1 or more.  With 3 of the results you will lose money, but with all the other bets, you make money.  If the 7 come up more than the 3 over time, you will cover the small losses you will incur and make money.  You will also lose all the money if the result is outside the 10 results you picked.  If this happens you will have to make more money to cover that loss.  If you choose your games wisely, you should be able to avoid this happening.

Example

From the odds above, I’ll check the possible scenarios, betting $100.

Bet Score Odds Return
$10 Bournemouth 1-0 11 $110
$10 Draw 0-0 11 $110
$10 Draw 1-1 6.50 $65
$10 Draw 2-2 11 $110
$10 Chelsea 1-0 9 $90
$10 Chelsea 2-0 11 $110
$10 Chelsea 2-1 8.50 $85
$10 Chelsea 3-0 21 $210
$10 Chelsea 3-1 15 $150
$10 Chelsea 4-0 51 $510

1 of the outcomes you lose $35

1 of the outcomes you lose $15

1 of the outcomes you lose $10

4 of the outcomes you make $10

1 of the outcomes you win $50

1 of the outcomes you win $110

1 of the outcomes you win $410

I don’t know if you would make enough money over time to cover the losses, unless you were prepared to take more risk with the returns by choosing more unlikely results.

The other approach would be to use the lowest odds to determine how many bets you make.

In this case, 6.50, which means you place 6 bets and if any of those choices come up you make a profit, with the smallest winning return being $5 (bet $60 total and win $65).

The danger is that the result will too often be outside of the smaller number of results that you cover.  You could try and target games where the lowest correct score odds were higher, which will give you more scores you can cover. The highest I could see over this weekend in the EPL was 7.50, which would give you 7 options to bet on; maybe still not enough, but then the smaller total being bet is less money to make back if you incur a loss.

Beaner

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-22/social-media-games-potential-gateway-to-problem-gambling/7346018

By Norman Hermant

People who play simulated gambling games for free online are more likely to become problem gamblers in real life, according to a report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC).

Report’s key findings:

  • Children are more exposed to gambling than ever before
  • Online games are blurring the lines between simulated and real gambling
  • The games create unrealistic expectations about real-life gambling

The report also said the easy access to free gambling games on smart phones and tablets was a major concern.

The AGRC — part of Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies — said more and more people saw gambling as a part of everyday life and they were being exposed to gambling at younger ages than ever before.

“Young people today are growing up around these electronic games,” said Anna Thomas, one of the authors of the Is It Gambling Or A Game? report.

“This is introducing gambling to them at a much younger age than you’d normally expect.”

The report — a compilation of online gambling related research over the last 15 years — said the proliferation of gambling games raised a number of red flags:

  • Because the online games are so realistic, the lines between simulated gambling and real life “commercial” gambling are increasingly blurred.
  • Simulated gambling is accessed increasingly through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Players are heavily exposed to commercial gambling site advertising on these sites.
  • In simulated games, players are protected from the consequences of losing — they can just play again if their luck turns. That creates unrealistic expectations of gambling in real life.

“That’s the danger of these kinds of games,” said Jake Newstadt, who sought help for his gambling problems two years ago.

“They kind of plant potential messages inside of us that we’re not really aware of.”

 

‘It can become quite addictive’: reformed gambler

Mr Newstadt, 25, started gambling at age 12.

He now works as a project worker helping problem gamblers. He is not surprised by the popularity of simulated gambling games — everything from slot machines, to roulette, to online poker.

“On some level, these games do the same thing as real gambling,” he said.

“They trigger something in the brain where there’s this moment of anxiety about not knowing whether this result is going to go our way or not … and that pattern can become quite addictive.”

The AGRC report also raised concerns about online games that disguise their gambling components.

These games have nothing to do with gambling as a central theme. But they have opportunities to gamble embedded in the game.

The wildly popular online game Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is largely a first person shooter.

But players quickly learn the action is also a platform for numerous gambling games.

“They don’t explicitly say it, but that’s definitely what it is,” said 19-year-old Ashley Walton, who has been playing CS:GO for three years.

In CS:GO, players can purchase keys for around $3. The keys open digital cases, which reveal “prizes” a player can win — mostly different kinds of weapons to use in the game.

In a display box on the screen, the potential prizes slide by until one stops in the prize window.

“That was probably the first time I actually dabbled in gambling with real money,” said Mr Walton.

There is no limit on how many keys a player can buy. The prizes vary in value in an off-site digital aftermarket, where buyers will pay up to $1,000 for very rare items.

But Mr Walton said most of the prizes were worth less than the $3 the keys cost.

“The appeal for me was I just wanted to make money from it, while getting the items I wanted,” he said.

“But that fell through.”

Most parents unaware of simulated gambling

Anna Thomas from The Australian Gambling Research Centre said most parents were not aware of the gambling features embedded in many games.

“It can be a game that overtly has nothing to do with gambling,” she said.

“You may have no idea that (your kids) are actually going into a room … and having that experience in another game that’s really something completely different to gambling.”

One of the report’s key recommendations is much more thorough regulation of these games.

Currently, computer games are regulated by the Commonwealth’s Classification Board.

“There’s a need for much more consistent and comprehensive information and advice,” Ms Thomas said.

“You might have the same game that on one platform is rated M, on another platform may have no rating at all, or 12 plus. Very little information to guide players or parents who are looking at the games that their children are playing.”

 

Is online sports betting the new frontier for problem gamblers?

March 26, 2016

It’s a turf war that transcends every major sporting event in the country, and anyone who watched Thursday’s AFL season opener between Richmond and Carlton would have caught a glimpse of how ubiquitous it has become.

We saw it shortly after the first bounce, when Hollywood veteran Samuel L. Jackson appeared on our TV screens, urging us to join him as a member of online gambling agency Bet365.

We saw it on Twitter throughout the game, with global giant William Hill encouraging us to have a wager through its controversial “in-play” service.

 

And chances are we’ll see it every week this season and beyond: cashed up bookmakers pumping millions into advertising and corporate sponsorship in the hope of securing a bigger foothold in the lucrative sports betting market.

But what impact is this having and how should authorities deal with it?

It’s a question Victorian Gaming Minister Jane Garrett has been asked several times before, and one that she’s been forced ponder as the mother of young children.

A few years ago, the Labor MP was holidaying in Queensland with her family when her daughter – then only aged around eight –called a friend in Melbourne and cited the odds of Buddy Franklin kicking the first goal. Garrett was shocked.

“I am concerned about the explosion of gambling advertising in our community, and I know from personal experience that children are talking odds instead of their sports idols,” she says.

“We do have to take a step back and admit there have been big changes in how these things are being marketed. There’s a pervasiveness about it and at every level of government we need to acknowledge it and deal with it.”

Within weeks, the Turnbull government is expected to unveil reforms designed to crack down on illegal offshore wagering. Among the changes, online betting on live sport – otherwise known as “in-play” – is expected to be banned at least until the federal election, and unlicensed offshore bookmakers will not be permitted to take bets from Australians.

But the issue of advertising is unlikely to be tackled in any significant way because it was taken out of the terms of reference following a backlash from media broadcasters.

“These bookies have very deep pockets and they’ve got a huge budget for advertising which is why the TVs and the sporting bodies love them so much,” says Monash University expert Charles Livingstone.

In Victoria, the Andrews government was deeply unimpressed when this year’s Australian Open became the first grand slam event to have a betting agency, William Hill, as its major sponsor (just as tennis was plagued by match-fixing claims). However, it won’t say what, if anything, it could do to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen next year.

In a bid to tackle betting ads more broadly, the state is considering restrictions on where billboards can appear, and has also flagged with Canberra the development of national regulations. But as Garrett admits: “there’s no easy fix”.

What is clear is that smart phone technology has helped reshape the industry dramatically in recent years, and companies are prepared to spend up big to target a new generation of gamblers. Standard Media Index figures show that in the first two months of this year, the gambling industry had spent $27.3 million on advertising – over 40 per cent more than the corresponding period. Turnover on sports betting has also increased: from $1.66 billion in 2004-05 to $5.89 billion in 2014-15.

But the impact on people is what worries Financial Counselling Australia policy manager Lauren Levin, who has seen more than a few lose their life savings, lured by incentives such as cash bonuses and credit. Her organisation suggests banning advertising links between payday lending sites; requiring customers to nominate a maximum bet when they set up an online account; and a national register for people who want to self-exclude.

In-play betting, however, remains the most contested issue within the industry and it seems the federal government is yet to decide whether it is for or against liberalising the practice. Traditional operators, pubs and clubs will be encouraged by Canberra’s decision to impose a short term ban until the election, but will want to see a permanent reform. Others, however, take a different view.

“In-play play wagering on sport is a product that already exists in Australia, within a well established regulatory framework, in many thousands of retail wagering and gaming venues,” says Sportsbet regulatory affairs director Ben Sleep. “It makes no sense that it is not allowed in an online environment.”

BETTING AND SPORT

Tennis: William Hill became the first betting partner of a grand slam when it sponsored the Australian Open this year.

AFL: CrownBet is a partner of the AFL. UBet sponsors Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide. Crown (which owns CrownBet) is a partner of West Coast

Cricket: Bet365 is a partner of Cricket Australia

NBL: Ladbrokes is the “Official Australian Sports Betting and Wagering Partner”

Soccer: TAB is the “Official Betting Partner of the FFA”. Crown Perth (which is part of the same company as CrownBet) is a partner of Perth Glory.

Rugby: William Hill sponsors Brisbane Broncos. TAB is a partner of Canberra Raiders. Crown Resorts is partners Melbourne Storm.

Racing: Ladbrokes is an official partner of the Melbourne Racing Club. William Hill is a major sponsor of the Cox Plate.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bookies-battle-for-a-bigger-share-of-sports-betting-market-but-at-what-cost-20160326-gnrhbj.html#ixzz445fo1ZKl

“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.

Beaner

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: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/australias-gambling-obsession-in-one-depressing-chart-20150902-gjd2w1.html

As my Bet365 a/c has been very quiet of late, they have generously offered me up to a $200 AUD bonus.

“Simply make a deposit of 20 AUD or more and you will be entitled to a 100% Deposit Bonus up to a maximum of 200 AUD.”

Sounds great, I can deposit $200 and Bet365 will give me an extra 200 bucks for free! But once you read the fine print, it becomes apparent very quickly that it will be difficult to actually see any of that money in my hand at the end of the day.

“To bet with your bonus, simply turn over the amount of your deposit once on the sports and markets of your choice. Please note, you must have settled bets to the value of three times your deposit and bonus prior to making a withdrawal.”

So first of all you need to bet the amount you deposited to access the bonus bet. So if I deposit the max $200, I need to then bet $200 to be able to bet the $200 bonus. No worries, I’ll just bet against myself on a market getting as close to 2-1 odds for either result.

But wait, there’s even finer print…

“Any single bets placed at odds of less than 1/2 (1.50) will not count towards any turnover requirement. In multiple bets at least one selection must have odds of 1/2 (1.50) or greater to count towards any turnover requirement.”

So no loading it all up on 1.08 favs until you meet the withdrawal requirements. And now it gets even more complicated.

“Only bets placed on the first selection in any market/fixture combination, both pre-match and In-Play, will count towards any turnover requirements. Any subsequent bets placed on other selections in the same market/fixture combination will not count towards the turnover requirements. This term is applied in conjunction with the other restrictions.

As an example, once you have qualified, a bet on Man Utd to beat Chelsea on the Full Time Result market at odds of 1/2 (1.50) or greater will count towards the turnover requirements, however a subsequent bet placed on Chelsea on the Full Time Result market in the same game either pre-match or In-Play will not count towards the turnover requirements.

Where your first bet on any market/fixture combination is less than 1/2 (1.50), this bet and any subsequent bets on this market/fixture combination will not count towards any turnover requirements.”

So to actually withdraw the bonus bet out of your a/c, you will first need to bet the amount of your deposit getting odds of 1.50 or more (straight up or for at least one leg of a multi). And then, if I’ve read this correctly, you will need to gamble three times your deposit and bonus to be able to make a withdrawal. So if you deposit $200, and get the bonus of $200, you will need to have settled bets to the value of $1200 before you can make a withdrawal. This will not be easy to do when you are restricted to at least one leg being 1.50 or more.

I’m glad they put the following advice at the bottom of the email, because by the time you have gambled your way to try and turn the deposit and bonus into cash in your hand, you may indeed need some help!

Don’t let the game play you. Stay in control. Gamble Responsibly. Bet365 is committed to responsible gambling, for more information go to http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au or call 1800 858 858.

Beaner

In line with previous posts, this story today reinforces what David Schwartz warned the AFL recently.  I think it is great that Guerra can be so open about his past problems, as there are many out there struggling with gambling addiction and to have a high profile ex-AFL player tell their story may encourage others to seek help if they feel their gambling is getting out of control.

Beaner

Hawthorn flag star was on top of the world… and in the grip of a vicious punting addiction

  • MARK ROBINSON
  • Herald Sun
  • June 23, 2015 9:00PM

IT’S Saturday, July 6, 2009, and Brent Guerra is spending the afternoon in a TAB on the Nepean Hwy.

He put on a Big 6, trying to land the big one, and got more excited with each race as winner after winner saluted. He didn’t drink, he didn’t really talk to any others punters. He just sat there and watched and waited. Race 3 became Race 4 and then finally, it’s Race 8. Guerra’s $50 has become $30,000.

He hadn’t felt like this before. Fifty bucks into 30k in less than four hours. He wondered, foolishly, did he have the knack of picking winners? Ticket in hand, he jumped in the car and drove straight to the MCG, where Hawthorn played Collingwood. The Hawks won and Guerra got a Brownlow Medal vote. The the next day he exchanged his ticket for $29,950 in cash.

It was the best weekend of his life and Guerra’s punting nightmare had begun.

“I ended up winning $30,000 and from that point I ended up giving every cent back, plus a hell of a lot more,” he said.

“I wasn’t a big punter, but that $50 turned into $100 and turned into $1000, and turned into $1500 on horses.”

He would be smart that first day. He kept $10,000 and paid $20,000 off his home loan. But soon enough, he had burned the $10,000 on the punt and began a horrible cycle of withdrawing from the home loan. He took back $20,000 and lost it. And then it was 50K. It didn’t stop.

A journeyman footballer at his third club, Guerra was on a contract worth about $200,000 at the Hawks.

It wasn’t a lot in relative terms, but it fed his addiction. And he was rapt to get a premiership bonus in 2013 because it meant he had more money to punt.

At the Hawks, he was paid on the 15th of every month and often his wage would be gone by the 17th.

He was a in cycle of winning and chasing. Win big. Lose more. Go again. On one end-of-season trip to Las Vegas, Guerra lost $20,000. At the end, he estimated he had lost $400,000 in four years.

His punting problems began when he arrived at Hawthorn for the 2006 season from St Kilda (his first club was Port Adelaide).

“When I got to Hawthorn it had a betting culture,” he said.

“There were a lot of guys in horses who didn’t mind having a bet. It became a thing where it was once a month, once a fortnight, to once a week to, in the end, I was punting every day.

“It was mainly horses, the greyhounds, the trots. If I could bet if it was going to rain the next day I would. It got to a point where I would drop three or four thousand on a weekend.

“I knew I had a problem and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I was embarrassed to speak to my family, my girlfriend and now my wife Rachel, and my best mates.”

He recalls vividly, heart-breakingly, his life of deceit and lies, of self-loathing and anger.

Throughout, his best friends were the TABs and Channel 519 on Foxtel, Sky Racing. He would visit the TABs alone. Often he would be recognised so he concocted a plan to spread himself around.

“I could probably name every TAB from here in Richmond to Cheltenham,” he said.

“That’s the sad thing. If I had a spare half an hour to kill, that’s where I would kill it, in a TAB or a pub or even on my phone in the car waiting.”

Rachel was living with him while he was a gambling addict, but she never knew. Rachel is a midwife, working different shifts, so Guerra lived his secret world around her working hours.

“If she worked in the afternoon, it would be from 2pm to 9pm and I’d get home from training at 3pm or 4pm and I’d sit there punting until she walked in the door.”

Just before Rachel got home, he’d switch channels and turn off the TV, so when Rachel turned it on, it would be on the movie channel or a gardening channel.

“It’s sad. You don’t get out and about. You sit in your house and all you think about is winning money and before you know it, you’ve dropped three or four thousand dollars.”

He tried to stop himself by changing the PIN number to access Sky Channel. He’d cover his eyes and push any four numbers so he couldn’t log back in.

But the need to bet was greater than his conviction and he would ring Foxtel asking them to reset his PIN number. At these times, he would argue with himself.

“I’d always talk to myself, it’s amazing how much you talk to yourself as a gambler.”

He also put a restriction on how much he could withdraw from the bank — $1000. That didn’t work, either.

“I can remember nights at the casino — I also bet at the casino — and I’d be sitting there at the ATM at 11.50pm waiting for 12 midnight to arrive, so I could get another $1000 out.

“There was one month I probably lost $30,000. Every day was $1000 a day.”

He would bet on anything: Cards, roulette, horses, dogs, trots, rugby league, soccer and even badminton.

“I may have lost $2000 that day and I wanted a quick fix, so I’d bet on the next sport available and it was badminton … I couldn’t even tell you who was playing.”

Often, he’d be up until 2am in front of Sky Channel at home.

“I’d watch the races, betting on South African races, European races, Swedish trots, Perth races normally finish about midnight, Mandurah greyhounds … I was on all of them.’’

It was a hideous life. He would even bet when his was car was stopped at red lights.

Credit betting enticed and tormented Guerra. At times he had half a dozen accounts with online bookmakers and owed the lot of them.

“I would lie in bed and have the sweats,” he said. “I’d have accounts open with bookies and you owed them $5000 or $10,000 or $20,000, or whatever it was.

“More often than not the night before the game I was so exhausted because I hadn’t slept during the week. I’d normally get a good night sleep because I knew the next day I got to play footy.

“It was the one time, other than drinking three bottles of red, and that’s what I did sometimes to forget about it … football was the release. It was only time I didn’t think about having a bet.”

The punting eventually took hold in the bedroom. After Rachel would fall asleep, Guerra would get on his iPhone.

“I’d have my phone laying on the floor and I’d be halfway hanging out of the bed betting, trying to hide it, the phone on silent,.

“She never knew. There’d be times I would be sitting on the couch, I’d get a tip, and I’d say: ‘I’m going to the toilet or going out the front to do the gardening’, and I’d listen to a race or watch it.’’

Gamblers are liars. They look you in the eye and lie through their teeth.

Guerra was lying to Rachel and to his parents. Because he’d be broke, he would ask them for money. He’d tell them his money had gone off the home loan and he’d use their money to punt. Lies and losses dictated his life.

Guerra spiralled into depression.

“I had some demons in my head, to be thinking some of things I was thinking. You feel worthless,” he said.

Thoughts of self-harm?

“Yeah, I thought about it. It’s making me cry thinking about it. I actually thought: `What is the easiest way to do it?’ I was never going to, but I thought: ‘I wish I was dead, it would be easier.’

“I don’t want others to have those same thoughts. This is not just for AFL footballers, this is everyone.

“There will be people thinking about it right now. They’ve probably done their dough just today.

Brent Guerra says he has not gambled since January as he continues his recovery

“So, by me telling my story, if I can help anyone not have those thoughts in their head, then that is a positive. Just speak to someone. I found it easier telling someone first, then telling my family. They will support you.

“I may help one or two people. I may help many people.’’

Guerra eventually helped himself.

“I was lying in bed and I was crying,’’ he said. “Rach was asleep, she didn’t wake up. I was crying, thinking about what I had done. The stress I had put my body under, the pain I must have caused other people. So, the very next day I called Paul Connors, my manager. I couldn’t keep it going. I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing to myself, my family, the people who are very close to me. To look back now, it’s hard to know that’s what I was doing.”

After retiring in 2013, Guerra stayed at the Hawks as a part-time development coach.

He spoke to Connors at the end of 2013 and to the Hawks in early 2014, who put him in contact with Jan Beames, the woman who helped David Schwarz stop his gambling.

That was the professional help, his first step. His second step was to tell Rachel, his mum and dad and his best friends, Luke Livingstone and Luke Hodge.

How was Rachel? “Upset. She was very disappointed with herself she didn’t pick it up earlier.”

And Hodgey? “I found it hard because I was so embarrassed. You hear about people being problem gamblers, but you never think you’re one yourself until you need to face the facts. Telling your best mates is one of the hardest and then worse was telling your family.”

He credits Rachel and son Jack, who was born in March, for providing the strength to fight on. “I would’ve gone back to punting and lying,” he said. “I owe everything to Rachel, to all of them, for the support they gave me.”

Guerra weaned himself off gambling and has not had a bet, he says, since January. Rachel is in charge of the finances and she allows him $250 a week to live.

Now playing coach at Chelsea in the Mornington Peninsula League, Guerra will soon join the AFL’s overhauled responsible gambling program, which will be headed by Schwarz.

He wants to help footballers — some of whom he knows to have problems — and the TAC Cup kids.

“I want to help people, I see it as a problem across the whole of the AFL,” Guerra said.

“I’ve got no one to blame but myself and I’m not looking for sympathy. I just want to tell people there are dark days, very dark days, and make them think twice about having a bet.’’

For anyone requiring help, contact Gambler’s Helpline on 1800 858 858 or LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

This year I’m going to try a Martingale Sports Betting system.  The post from January 19, 2014 explains how it works.

With this system in mind, I am going to use a base bet of $20.  So each time I win a bet I will make at least a $20 return depending on the odds I get for my 2-leg multi, where I will be aiming for a minimum of a 2-1 return.  As I bet every second week with Kenny, I will be making around 26 bets for the year, and if I win every one of them, I will get a minimum profit of $520.  Even if I only win 10 of them altogether, I will still make a $200 profit, which will be fine as any profit is a good profit.

Now if I endure a losing streak it is worthwhile knowing how many times I can lose in a row.  At my disposal for the year is 26 x $60 = $1560.

Bet 1 = $20

Bet 2 = $40

Bet 3 = $80

Bet 4 = $160

Bet 5 = $320

Bet 6 = $640

Total bet = $1260

For the 7th bet, it would cost me $1280 but I wouldn’t be able to afford that, so if I happen to lose 6 of the bets in a row, I will essentially be bust.

So that is the risk I am taking; if I can get a winning bet on or before bet 6 in a losing streak throughout the year, I will make a profit.

The other bonus with this system is that once you get some money behind you, you can either increase your base bet, or have more money in the bank to be able to cover an extra loss.  I’d be more inclined to increase the base bet, as betting $1280 to win $20 profit isn’t my idea of a good time.

So that is the plan, and all going well, I will survive going bust and be canny and lucky enough to get my 2-1 winner more often than not.

Beaner

My mate Mikey nailed a nice return on the AFL this week, where he bet $25 @ 41-1 on the Richmond Tigers making the 8 back on the 22nd July 2014.  At the time Mikey laid the bet the Tiges were 12th on the AFL ladder and 3 games behind the team in 8th spot, and only 2 weeks before that they were equal last with only 3 wins from 13 matches.  But they had just beaten Port Adelaide comfortably who were 3rd on  the ladder which meant they had now won 3 games in a row.  The other factor against the bet was that no team in the history of the AFL had ever made finals after a 3 and 10 start to the season.  So in reality the odds should have been much higher!

When Mikey texted through his bet to me, which we’d been joking about putting on, I thought he was being ambitious, but it wasn’t impossible to win, and to bet $25 with a possible return of $1025 seemed reasonable given Richmond’s position (I’m also a mad Tiges supporter). Some of our friends weren’t so favourable though when I mentioned Mikey’s bet, where everyone basically said he was crazy and there was absolutely no chance the Tigers could make the 8, that we were dreaming, and most said so using much more colourful language.

Well the Tigers continued to win game after game, while teams above us lost crucial games and couldn’t handle the pressure, and on Saturday in the last game of the home and away season, they pulled off a mighty victory over the competition leaders the Sydney Swans by 3 points to make it 9 wins in a row and with it they secured 8th spot on the ladder.  We were watching it live at The Rose in Fitzroy in a packed house of Richmond fans, and Mikey felt sick from about the first bounce onwards, but the Tigers didn’t let us down and neither did Sportsbet, who dutifully paid out on the bet soon after the game ended.

The fairytale ride for Richmond fans isn’t over yet with the first week of the finals seeing the mighty Tigers play Port Adelaide over there in SA, but the icing has already been put on the cake with Mikey landing a nice return on his speculative bet.  I can only hope that other Tiger fans loaded up on them back in June or July and were also celebrating Tiger-styles Saturday evening, and it has given me renewed confidence that my Dusty/ Jack/ Tigers – Brownlow/ Coleman/ Flag – treble will become a reality in 2015.

Beaner

The Martingale betting system has been around since the 18th Century where it originated in France, and is a simple one in principal.  You place a bet on a 2-1 outcome.  If you win, you double what you bet.  If you lose, you double your bet, and you keep doing this until you win, where you will win back all your losses plus make a profit of your initial bet.  After the win you reset and start again.  The Martingale system also assumes that you have an infinite bank roll and that there is no table limit or a limit to how much you can bet.  Let’s take a look at an example:

You bet $10 at 2-1 to win $20 – a $10 profit.

Bet $10 – lose

Bet $20 – lose

Bet $40 – lose

Bet $80 – lose

Bet $160 – win $320

Now if you look at the bet amounts, they are $10 more than the sum of all previous bets, which is how much profit you are going to make when you finally breakthrough for the win. $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 = $150 (lost), plus the $160 you bet = $310, and you win $320 for a $10 profit.

This system was commonly used to play roulette betting on either black or red, but you don’t get a pure 2-1 return as there is a zero or double zero on the wheel which yields no win for either red or black.  This is the house edge imbedded in the odds, so you also have to overcome that when chasing your profit.  You may also find that if you suffer a losing streak you will quickly reach the table limit for how much you are allowed to bet.  Say you happen to lose 10 bets in a row; with the 11th bet you will be wagering $10240 to make a $10 profit.  And losing streaks happen! So if you can find me a gambler who is willing to bet $10240 to be $10 up, you’re finding me a fool.

$10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640, $1280, $2560, $5120, $10240 for the 11th bet.

Sports Betting Variation

This system can easily be applied to sports betting, using the multi-bet with favourites with a win/loss result to get to your 2-1 or more odds for each bet.  There is some merit in this if you think you can tip winners consistently, and you may also feel that you have some control over the result as you can pick the teams you want in your multi-bet.

Let’s look at the simplest ways to get to 2-1.  These are some of the variations you could use for a 2-leg multi if you wanted to cap the fav at 1.7 to get just over the 2-1 odds:

1.7 x 1.2 = 2.04

1.65 x 1.25 = 2.06

1.6 x 1.3 = 2.08

1.55 x 1.35 = 2.09

1.55 x 1.3 = 2.02

1.5 x 1.4 = 2.1

1.5 x 1.35 = 2.03

1.45 x 1.45 = 2.1

1.45 x 1.4 = 2.03

Of course you could back 1.7 x 1.7 to get odds of 2.89, or back just the one outsider at 2.2 if you thought it had a good chance of winning, but basically you’d want to ensure that you’re 2-leg multi yields more than 2-1 each and every bet.  Why only 2-legs?  Well there are 4 possible outcomes for 2 head to head matches, but 8 possible outcomes for 3 head to head matches.  To get a return of 2-1 on a 3-leg multi which has 8 possible results is increasing your risk of losing dramatically.

Another approach is to bet on a single soccer match, with the fav at about 2-1.  Now this may seem more difficult as there are 3 outcomes for a soccer game (home win/ draw/ away win), but as mentioned there are 4 outcomes for a 2-leg multi, so you are actually reducing your possible outcomes by one by betting on a lone soccer match.  Now a 2-1 fav in the soccer isn’t guaranteed to win, but you know what, how many short priced favs in the soccer have cost you a multi-bet when the match has ended in a frustrating draw or even an upset loss.  Never forget there are no certainties and you are gambling with every bet, so you may as well risk a good return on your wager.

From here it is simply a matter of choosing your starting stake, and being disciplined in your betting to stick to the system.  To lose money, you’d have to endure a losing streak where one of the two favs loses for a prolonged period of time in the 2-leg multi approach, or your 2-1 soccer fav keeps getting rolled.  If you know your sport and have a good strike rate as a tipster, then this system could be for you.  But buyer beware; it doesn’t take long in a losing streak to be betting large amounts of money, and if your bankroll isn’t very deep, you could find yourself in a hole very quickly.  You’d also want to find out what the max bet is with your sports bet agency to know how many losses you could endure based on your starting amount.

Let’s say you had a bank roll of $2000 and decided to start with a base bet of $50.  Now assuming the worst and you have a horror run with 5 losing bets, you won’t be able to place the 6th bet to try and recoup your losses thus far, as you would be required to bet $1600 but only have $450 left.

$50, $100, $200, $400, $800 = $1550 down after 5 losing bets.

This is assuming a minimum of one upset a week for 5 consecutive weeks, but if you’ve read the blog or have any experience in sports betting, there is absolutely no guarantee that a favourite will win, no matter how short the odds are.  UPSETS HAPPEN!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be starting to crack after only 3 consecutive losses starting with $50, where I’d have to be betting $400 just to make a $50 profit.

So if you are a gun tipster and think you can avoid the upset regularly, then the Martingale approach to sports betting will make you money over time.  My personal belief though is that you are still gambling, and it only takes the one seemingly impossible losing streak to wipe out all your gains and more when you either exceed your bank roll or you reach the max bet the bookie will take.

Beaner