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7/3/2003 edition

Betting Exchanges
Bettors' Bonanza

In his column, "Rails Run" in the Herald Sun, Monday, March 3, 2003, Rod Nicholson pointed out that "The racing industry and state and federal governments face an urgent problem with the emergence of punter-to-punter betting systems on the Internet" such as Bet Fair and TwoFlys.

Nicholson then listed some of the benefits to bettors, which he appears to see as a threat to the current vested interests:

1. Punters can bet directly with each other at their own desired odds.
2. If you want to back Northerly to win at $2 and someone else thinks it will not win and is prepared to lay the $2 then the two customers can bet with each other.
3. TwoFlys is currently taking a commission of only 3% which will be increased to 5% after three months. This compares with around 16% taken out by the TAB on win betting.
4. The TAB also offers no guarantees about the win price you get.
5. The TAB also offers no way of betting directly against Northerly.

Nicholson did not say how excellent this is for bettors, who as a group would only lose 5% on turnover compared with 16% plus on the TABs. Instead Nicholson added that this "would deprive the racing industry of income, the government of taxes and bookies of their livelihood."

Nicholson suggested that "Decisions must be made quickly" and said that the governments and racing officials must decide if they want to to legislate to operate their own betting exchanges. If they do not and "If the system (betting exchanges) is seen as illegal and unwanted, it must be outlawed."

Nicholson further added, "...the law would need to be imposed. Those found dealing with the operators of such systems would have to face a hefty fine."

From what we have seen of betting exchanges they are an exciting alternative where bettors do not have exhorbitant percentages of the betting pools taken out by the vested interests.

Maybe it is time we questioned the whole pricing structure of racing, which to a large degree is funded by huge amounts of money taken out of the betting turnover. In this uneven pyramid of wealth distribution, at the bottom of the pyramid are racing's big losers, the bettors. They are regularly given lip service, yet they just about finance the whole show. Without substantial betting turnover and a redirection of this money away from the bettors there would be no racing industry.

Maybe it's about time we questioned the need for multi million dollar races, multi million dollar breeding operations, multi million dollar yearlings, multi millionaire trainers and multi millionaire jockeys. So it goes on. Not just here, but around the world, with the average owner and bettors financing the whole show.

Instead of tote takeouts of 16% for win betting and even more for exotics betting, why not just a takeout of 3%-5% and return 95%-97% of the pool to bettors? Give bettors a genuine chance to use their skill to win. After all, casinos can make a nice profit on roulette taking out just 3%.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Betting exchanges - bettors' bonanza
Was Northerly's defeat such a betting shock?

Trifecta betting tips
Australian Cup prepost betting odds
Handicapping tips - weight and class
Money talks - Rosehill betting tips from the track
Money talks - Caulfield betting tips from the track
Brisbane bookmakers, tight betting odds
Money talks - Cheltenham betting tips from the track
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 28/2/2003
Punt to Win index

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Get these prices? Or these prices!! Extra Profit $100 bet
Touchy Subject 22.50 35.80 $1430
Silver Canon 30.90 39.90 $900
Sure Bet 15.50 23.90 $840
Starbucks 11.80 20.10 $830
Glefti 18.20 25.70 $750
Hammerbeam 27.30 24.20 $690
Hand Pass 21.10 27.60 $650



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