Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday evening drivel...

Following his impressive win in yesterday's Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, this evening Celestial Halo is as low as 6/1 with Betfred for the Champion Hurdle next March - William Hill go 9/1. Earlier today Big Zeb won with any amount in hand at Navan; Totesport now offer a miserly 4/1 about the horse for the Champion Chase, Ladbrokes 8/1.

This time of year I tend to wander into a bookmaker's shop during my lunch hour, not because I think I might be able to back a winner you understand, but because the chances are I can watch the odd jumps race. A couple of things I noticed last week - Ladbrokes are now displaying Timeform ratings in their shops while at William Hill's city centre outlet in Coventry the Press Association's Daily Form Guide was available on touchscreens sited around the office.

The small ads in Private Eye have always been a favourite on mine (those labelled Eye Bet used to be of particular interest). In a previous life I also regularly scoured the Eye Need column in the vain hope that it might provide a small spark of inspiration as to how to make an awful lot of money without expending too much energy... Of course, in those days I happened to be a lot younger. And whatever happened to Major Bonkers?

Finally, I know on occasions the tips may leave something to be desired, so I thought I'd try to do you a favour by pointing out that First Quench Retailing has gone into administration. This company owns the Threshers and Wine Rack off-licences. Quoting from Saturday's Times: 'The fuse was lit last night on the biggest high street firesale since since the collapse of Woolworths...' If you keep your eyes peeled, you may pick up the odd booze bargain with Christmas just around the corner...


Ben Aitken said...

Best way to spend your lunch hour PG! You dont have to bet to enjoy the racing. A favourite pastime of mine is taking a stroll to the local bookies to watch a couple of low grade jumps races. You can always pick up something, whether that be a future pointer or observing the mug punters on how not to bet!!

GeeDee said...

Couldn't get in to a Coral shop the other day for the crowds surrounding the roulette machines... ;)

Sandracer said...

Yip, the bookies have turned into virtual arcades, with some horses and greyhounds running in the background.

& the cartoon racing kills me. Like playing bingo with pretend horses instead of the hopper and the old girl calling out 2 fat ladies.

That said, even the bingo at the seaide arcades are all automaically done via a RNG. You don't even need to cver yournu mbers and call house. If you win, the caller tells you, rather than the other way round.

GeeDee said...

Good post, Sandracer.

The awful thing is... as I get older and the eyesight starts failing, I'm having a terrible job to tell the difference between the live racing and the cartoon stuff.
The other day I even tried to buy myself a couple of tickets for the Tatts enclosure at Steepledowns.

What's more, I've often suspected the bookies tot up their liabilities nationwide on the cartoon races and then program the horse to win that gives them the best result.

Of course, I could be mistaken... ;)

Tell me, just where did it all go wrong?

Ben Aitkenww said...

From the bookies perspective its more like "where did it all go right!!"

Virtual racing is a no-brainer for them, nobody makes a profit from it yet they keep throwing money at it!!

A nice easy cash cow for Mr bookie!

GeeDee said...

This thread led me to a little bit of digging - thanks to a colleague for her work helping with the Mintel report on Betting Shops - UK - August 2009. Here are some selected points taken from that report...

In some shops fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) generate around half of all profit

Horse racing's share of betting shop turnover has halved in a little over a decade

'It is increasingly said that if you have an average OTC trade and good machine income, then you have a business; but if you have good OTC trade and average machine income, then you do not.'

'Ladbrokes reported its machine win in 2008 averaging £676 per cabinet per week, up 16% on 2007's £583 figure.'

'In the mid-1990s, racing typically accounted for 80% of an average shop’s turnover. Today, trade sources put that figure as down in the 40s.'

'In 2008, FOBTs became the first product to earn more for Ladbrokes than horse racing in the company’s entire 122-year existence.'

Ben Aitken said...

Those figures say it all GeeDee. You can’t really blame the bookies, if punters want to waste their hard earned in a machine then who are they to deny their customers that opportunity. I guess the bookies need something to encourage their dwindling customers considering more and more are now moving towards on-line betting.