Re: Gambling Commission

I am in agreement with Tom Kerr’s comments regarding the Gambling Commission recommendations.

What I would add is that the majority of the betting public have an acute lack of knowledge about the mechanics of betting-i.e. an understanding of the maths involved when placing a bet.

Obviously, the bookmakers heavily promote their online casinos and games because the profit margins on these products- which are high- are totally guaranteed.

These are fixed odds games where there can only be one winner.

Hence you are allowed to bet as much on these products as you wish.

The bookmakers continually shower punters with offers to entice them to bet on these products.

When it comes to sports betting, the relationship between bookmaker and punter can change drastically.

Predicting odds about a sporting outcome is subjective.

If a punter displays that he or she has an understanding of this, and bets accordingly, then it is quickly flagged and the punter will be heavily restricted from placing bets.

Hence anybody that does bet with knowledge and understanding is in general confined to the betting exchanges.

The bookmakers have to take full responsibility for the situation we are now in.

For many years they have just wanted to accommodate “mug punters” and block any punter that may not produce a profit for them.

I believe that a concerted effort by all the relevant parties-BHA, media and the bookmakers to educate the betting public on the mathematics involved when placing a bet would have significantly more effect than the present advertising that’s put out to help problem gambling.

From personal experience I appreciate that not all punters will want to listen and learn, but it is surely right that they are given an opportunity.

It must be a better solution than what is being suggested by the gambling commission, which will I believe will drive punters to illegal or non-regulated betting.

Education and knowledge have a far better chance of success than imposed restrictions.

Steve Lewis Hamilton

Professional backer – Horse Racing Advisory Service