Golf Editorial

20181109 Dumb Accountants and the Incognito Gambler Threat

I believe the influence of accountants and risk managers on modern bookmaking is sadly hilarious; read on and see whether you agree.

To avoid quickly coming to the attention of bookmaking companies which, these days, are super-quick to limit or ban winners, a lot of ‘smarts’ and ‘professionals’ bet in small stakes across several or many bookmakers and hide their identities by using non-personal betting accounts (friends, syndicates, family members, agents…). It’s time-consuming, but what’s the alternative?

Bookmaking organisations have generated this undercover tactic (punters trying to stay under the radar) because they are now fundamentally incapable of accepting that winning gamblers should exist; so they seek to make them go away.

I don’t blame the actual bookmakers themselves; this modern, accountant-driven, approach to risk management is the causative factor of gambler chicanery and is, sadly, founded in ignorance of the art / science of bookmaking. Here’s why:

If I’m a smart bookmaker I know my clients; specifically I know those (very) few who I respect. I permit those clients to bet, in their own names, with my company but, by mutual agreement, I limit them to win an acceptable amount per bet; acceptable to both parties. I have a stop-loss and he knows he can get his bets on; win-win. He’s not as incentivised to bet with me anonymously and, anyway, I’ll soon notice if he does. It’s a professional and respectful business arrangement.

As a bookmaker, I can then use his expertise to influence my pricing strategy. He’s put in a lot more research than I have and he is probably better than me, but I am a recipient of all of his expertise – in the form of bets.

For example, if two of my smart golf bettors are on Brooks Koepka this week at my opening price, I might take their bets then reduce that price and go best price in the world on: Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson & Tiger Woods, enabling me to get a lot more stake money in from (the vast majority of) my other golf clients.

My turnover / action is significantly increased so I have a more vibrant book for my staff to manage and my top prices on some of the favourites might even attract some new clients. I’m differentiating my prices and my company from the rest of the (uniform) golf betting marketplace. All good, right?

But those grey, colourless, accountants won’t allow any of this to occur because, as a golf bookmaker, if I have a losing week and my prices relating to those losses were out of line with the market, I can’t defend my actions to an ignorant but dangerous drone who could ultimately get me fired and who may be expert in reading profit & loss accounts but exits in a vacuum that does not include: the art of bookmaking, growing a client base or invigorating a business!

So, what we largely now observe is bookmakers who have to copy ‘the market’ in order to keep their jobs while engaged in daily battle with ‘sharps’ betting incognito.

It’s hilarious!

I say hilarious because:

  • The successful gamblers are still winning money;
  • The powerless bookmakers copy market prices and lines because they have to, guaranteeing they’ll receive anonymous ‘smart money’ on any copied markets that are wrong;
  • The bookmaking companies often don’t know who is actually funding winning bets and;
  • It’s all been orchestrated by those dreary accountants or risk managers who think they can engineer a betting business consisting only of losing punters. Dream on, dweebs!

Despite what the number-crunching suits might believe, all the: IP tracking, kyc (know-your-customer), subsersive cookie-placement, bet pattern analysis and so on will not eliminate the ‘incognito gambler’ threat.

If we project this scenario into the future the grey suits will eventually decide they don’t need bookmakers and can cut HR costs; in fact, many have already. We know who you are.

They believe they can merely get some software written that routinely steals prices and lines from somewhere; in fact, many have already. We know who you are.

This will lead to a reduction in bookmaker numbers, expertise and motivation and that’ll lead to more incorrect betting markets at bookmaking companies. And that’ll lead to reduced revenues for those grey colourless suits to suck on!

As I said, hilarious!

Cheers and good luck with your golf betting!


© Copyright Mike J Miller: 9 November 2018