[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you can remember back to the beginning of last year, there was a fair bit of media around corporate bookmakers denying bets on horse racing in Australia. The Australian Wagering Council (this still makes me laugh as they are 100% owned by the British) represents all the UK owned bookmakers working in Australia. They released the following statement back in November of 2013.


After a lot of effort from some very determined individuals, the NSW racing board finally stood up for the punter and introduced minimum bet limits on all races held in NSW. This will pave the way for other states in the coming years. It is a forgone conclusion that in 5 years time, Horse racing punters will be able to bet to win a certain amount on all races throughout Australia.

After listening to a great podcast on the issue of bookmaker restrictions, I thought I would see if this “1 in 10,000 bets is declined” comment was just a made up number. I posted a simple question on twitter. Have you ever been limited by a bookmaker or have you always been able to get you bets on? Now I understand the people who follow me might not be the ordinary punters, but they are in no way professional and most are losing punters.

The AWC has always said that bookmaker restrictions affect a tiny percent of punters. To me a tiny percent would be 1-2%. Let’s have a look at the tweet and the results.

We had 62 people respond to the question and 50 of them said they had been limited. That is a whopping 80.6%. 8 out of 10 people who try and place a bet are restricted in some way.

That is absolutely staggering, so staggering it needs to be repeated and on its on line.

8 out of 10 punters have been restricted from placing bets

Now the AWC is lobbying our government to stop us from betting with off shore bookmakers, the only bookmakers who will actually let us place the bets we want. It’s time to tackle this problem once again but with a view for all sports bets to have a minimum bet limit of $1,000.

From today, whenever a bookmaker restricts you, simple tweet at that bookmaker with the hashtag #letusbet.

It is up to all of us if we want things to change. To be honest, not being able to bet with Australian bookmakers is something I have dealt with ever since I started and I am more than happy betting with off shore bookmakers as I get better odds and am not treated with disdain. If the bookies get what they want (and they probably will as they have a lot of money to lobby these politicians) than the punter who likes to bet and does a bit of research and can make a small profit will be an endangered species.

Like with an hobby, over time if you commit yourself to learning the skills needed, you get better. If I took up painting, and over 5 years became really good at it, I could sell those paintings and make a nice profit. That applies for almost all hobbies. The one hobby where that doesn’t apply is punting. If you devote time and effort into learning about betting and get good at it, you will be told you can not do it anymore. Every bookmaker sells the dream of the winning punter in every marketing campaign, but the truth is they are selling a complete lie.

Bookmakers of Australia. #LETUSBET

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  • Tage Poulsen

    “I thought I would see if this “1 in 10,000 bets is declined” comment was just a made up number. ”

    You would never be able to say anything meaningful by this method!

    Try running this:
    “Retweet if you have ever told a lie”
    “Favourite if you have always told the truth”

  • Joe Dale

    Hi Steve,

    Firstly let me say I thoroughly enjoy your articles and various contributors. You’re clearly one of the sharper minds in the punting game and have a way with numbers.

    However this article and “research” have disappointed me somewhat. Surely you as a mathematically minded individual can see that the sample size is pretty flimsy and that’s probably being generous.

    I’d also imagine, and you can take this as a compliment, that your tweets and website would be monitored by a more elite punting clientele that work also skew the number.

    There’s an awful long way from 1-2% and 80% of bets. While it may not be as low as the figure quoted by the AWC, it’s impossible for it to be 80%. Your methodology here would see full round AFL or NRL multis regularly affected. You can’t tell me any corporate is doing that.

  • Hey Joe,
    The post and quote is there merely to point out how easy it is to “lie with statistics”. The 1 in 10,000 number is an absolute lie, and while my 8 in 10 is accurate if going off the numbers, as you say, the sample size is tiny, the demographic is skewed and the question forces the retweets to be re-shared whereas the favs are final. So the people who are limited re-tweet and they would likely have friends who are also limited.

    The point is that this is a very serious issue and not as small as the bookies like to make out. I would imagine it is close to 30-40% that have been limited (not banned) in some way.