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24 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Hi Steve,

    I would be interested in your view on the SBC decision to close the “betting discussion” part of their forum. In case you are unaware, on 5th January they sent an email out to members stating –

    “To help us implement some of the improvements to the SBC service for 2015, we have also made the decision to remove the Betting Discussion section of the SBC Forum later today. Analysis has revealed that less than 3% of all active members are actually using this section of the forum and we feel the resources allocated to its moderation are best utilised elsewhere. It is not a decision we have arrived at lightly, but one which will allow us to spend more time working on projects that will benefit a much larger section of SBC members.”

    With less than 24 hours notice, literally thousands of postings were removed from the site, including some very interesting and useful discussion on bankroll, odds comparison & how to deal with losing runs. Valuable records of personal experiences with dozens of tipster services have been removed, along with everything else ever posted on the forum. Personally, I was an infrequent poster on the board, but a regular visitor, and access to that board was one of the primary reasons I paid my membership fee.

    It seems more than a little coincidental that this has occurred in the midst of a truly awful run from the SBC partner-tipster George Dempsey. Once again, I am not a member of that particular service so I am not in a position to know if that criticism was justified or not. However, I do know it was there, indeed it was very prominent, and I feel it must have had some impact on the decision to not only close the forum, but to delete all the previous posts as well.

    I do not feel that it is unfair to compare this to some of the “tipsters” we know who delete all negative feedback and in some cases conveniently forget to record losing selections. This is the exact type of service that the SBC was setup to help punters avoid.

    It seems to me that the SBC were only too happy to moderate the forum when George was the “Golden-Boy”. Now variance has come home to roost, they have realised that negative feedback on the service may adversely affect the sign-ups for future SBC-tipster partnerships and have conveniently removed any record of said feedback.

  2. Steve says:

    Hmm, this is very interesting, I didn’t receive any emails at all and I am a member. The forum was also the only valuable part of the service in my eyes.
    I’ll be happy to run a post on this if you would like to write it, as I have heard others mention other issues with SBC in the past.
    Personally I have had no (well only 1) issue with them in the past, but do not pay much attention to them to be honest.
    To delete all past comments does seem very dodgy. The most transparent thing to do would be to leave all past posts up, and just not allow new posts.

    Is there a page with George’s results anywhere on the site? It would be very sad if all this is true. But when an independent proofing site starts selling it’s own products, then issues are raised.

    I had the same concerns about running my own tipping site, but have made sure to be as transparent as possible about the results.

    Keep me updated. Do any others have thoughts about this?

  3. Galfondini says:

    I agree with Paul, this is a very strange decision. The forum was a place of very valuable information, now it is all gone. I will not renew my membership when the time comes for that. To be honest I would say that over all I think the SBC has been a huge disapointment over the years. It thrived not because it was particularily good at what it did, but rather because it was the only site that did what it did.

    As you said Steve, partnering up with tipsters is a strange business for a proofing sevice, to say the least.

  4. Paul says:

    Galfondini – I feel the same, the forum was very valuable, and I also will not be renewing my membership later this year. To close it with almost zero notice, and is bad enough, but to also remove all the posts with absolutely no justification given whatsoever is a truly bizarre decision.

    Steve – You may have got the email and not even realised – the notification was in the regular SBC news, sent on the 5th January. To be fair to SBC, they did mention “Forum Changes” in the subject title, although it would be more accurately described as “Forum removal”. I would be happy to write a forum post – but I really don’t have much to add to what I posted in the earlier comment. As I mentioned, I wasn’t a regular contributor, but I did find it very useful reading the insights of those who were. I would be interested to know what Matthew Trenhaile has made of it all – I know he has posted both on here and was a regular poster on SBC too.

  5. Mariano says:

    I was one of those that criticized George on that post and I couldn’t believe when they just removed that whole area of the forum with that ridiculous excuse.
    No resources to moderate??
    It also definitely made me think whether I’ll renew or not.
    If they do this to protect their business they obviously don’t care about their clients.

  6. Ben says:

    I’m also more than a little disappointed SBC decided to close the forum, and remove all previous posts. I can’t believe it was purely down to the thread on NBA George , especially as his results have improved somewhat recently.

    Their excuse was that only 3% of the members were using it – I don’t know if they meant actively posting or simply logging on – but that seems hard to believe. I wasn’t the most active poster but I did post from time to time and I certainly visited at least once week to read the views of fellow bettors

    Unless the situation changes, I can’t see myself re-subscribing which is a pity as there is nothing else like it (that I know of)

  7. Mariano says:

    Close all the threads and say that they will stay like that until you find the resources to moderate it.
    It would still be a lame excuse but much better than just deleting everything…

  8. Ben says:

    Exactly, seems a bit strange. i’ve emailed Pete at SBC with my thoughts and will let you know what he says

  9. Mariano says:

    If only 3% of your subscribers use that forum, then I guess you don’t need that many resources to moderate it, right ?

  10. Andrew says:

    It is annoying but the complaints went too far. I get the impression that Pete runs SBC pretty much on his own and some subscribers of George Dempsey seemed to be questioning Pete’s character, which was grossly unfair.

    The exact same thing happened when people started moaning about SBC’s apparent “censorship” because we – and rightly so – were not allowed to discuss the use of bet brokers in the UK.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Pete just got a bit sick of it all. There are a few guys on there just waiting to shoot others down and I think the tone on SBC was becoming quite sinister.

    When I first joined it was a pleasure to talk to guys like Bside, but now I have no desire to engage in discussion, through fear of being shot down by the know-it-alls.

    My criticisms are not of any of you guys, though! I just think SBC is losing the friendliness and helpfulness we should be sharing on sites like this.

  11. 7tin says:

    Hi Steve,

    Why are you quiting PCG? According to SBC reports he should be quite profitable and also odds should be easily attainable. Yet your showing red numbers and are ready to quit his service. Im actually thinking about siging up so i’d really like to know whats keeping your from making profit with his systems.

    Also according to Sportpunter’s historic data they only have about 1-2 percent ROI over there H2H and line Betting. And 3% ROI over there o/U betting over the past seasons. Is this enough to achieve a steady profit for you? WHat ROI do you aim to get with them?

    To my untrained eye PCG looks more appealing, but hopefully you can enlight me with some new insights. As im really struggling to find a good steady US sports tipper.

    Thanks in advance!

  12. Rowan Day says:

    Sorry – but I feel compelled to write something on this.

    Let me lay my cards on the table, in the interests of being completely upfront. I do some work for the SBC. I edit the US Sports magazine and write some reviews and articles for the “Main” magazine too. So, full disclosure.

    I understand people are disappointed in the closure of the forum. Fair enough. An email to the SBC expressing disappointment, will, I’m sure, have gained a response.

    However, to come onto a public site and throw accusations and insinuations, without having any sort of evidence to back them up, is quite frankly, the sort of attitude that probably contributed to the closing of the forum in the first place.

    To suggest that forum closure is due to George Dempsey’s poor run, conveniently ignores the fact that the forum has been closed at a time when George is making a positive impact in terms of recovering from the drawdown, and that another SBC “partner” NBA tipster, Andre Gomes, has been producing huge profits. So we can see that such an accusation is just daft. But of course someone not familiar with the SBC, will read this accusation on here, not know the other side of the story, and draw the wrong conclusions.

    As for resources to moderate the forum – can anyone say exactly what resources are available to the SBC, or are they just making guesses about how resource-intensive running the forum might be to suit their own argument?

    I’m all for “outing” conmen and encouraging high standards in the tipping industry, and believe that constructive (and well thought through) criticism of any business should be encouraged for it is this that helps maintain and increase standards, but shooting from the hip does nobody any favours.

    There. I’ve had my say. Thanks for having me. 🙂

  13. Steve says:

    No need to apologise, the site is here for everyone to have their say. Pete has emailed me and tried to reply on this thread but is having issues posting.

    I am off course in contact with Pete. He has sent me his thoughts and reasons and once he figures out how to post, I’m sure it will be up. If not then I will post them myself if that is OK with Pete.

    Being extremely busy the last few months, I have barely had time to visit the SBC or the forum, but I did like to pop in once a month and check on the new posts. I found it a very valuable resource. It is Pete’s site and he can choose to run the site however he sees fit.

    My main concern when I heard about this was the fact that an entire section of a forum was deleted, and in that section were disparaging comments about a service owned?? run?? (I am not sure as I am not up to date with SBC), by the SBC. There are always going to be issues with transparency once a proofing site jumps to the other side of the fence and in essence becomes the very thing it is proofing. Much like when the police decide to police themselves, or when the health and safety board for restaurants decides to create its own restaurant (I’m sure you get the point).

    Without knowing the full story, from an outsiders (which I am as I had no idea SBC even started selling tips) point of view, it can come across as a little dodgy. Off course I have only heard parts of the story and am happy to hear all of it, but Pete will need to walk a very tight rope between two opposing sides of the coin.

    In regards to forums, I know how hard they are too run, and most larger sites usually tap some long term members on the shoulder and ask if they would like to be moderators. Again, Pete can choose to run his site however he likes and decide to close down any or all parts of the forum. But to delete a pretty valuable resource for members is a little strange, I do remember some really good discussions that are now gone for good.

    As I told Pete, really none of my business and as I rarely visit the site it wont impact me, but I do feel a few questions should be answered. I wish I had the time to look into it, but sadly I don’t. Too busy trying to run my own service (Talk about double standards right 🙂 )

  14. Andrew says:

    I agree. I posted my views below and they could well be totally wrong, but I wouldn’t have put up with the accusations Pete was receiving on SBC.

  15. Paul says:

    Rowan – I would have gladly posted this on the SBC forum, but the entire “betting discussion” section was was deleted with around 5 hours worth of notice. Therefore I do not feel I am “shooting from the hip” by posting here, as I know a lot of members actively read both sites.

    I also do not feel it was daft to insinuate that the GD thread had contributed to the closing of the forum and removal of all forum messages. I do not agree with any of the accusations or mud-slinging in the thread (against, George, Pete or whomever), but I think it is clear that this particular thread must have had some bearing on the decision to close the forum entirely.

    Perhaps we don’t understand the resources that are needed to moderate a sub-forum, but as paying members of the SBC we have the right to a better explanation than “our research found only 3% of members used it”. Why was a “consultation with members” thread not started? If moderation truly was the issue then why not ask if any members would be willing to step-up and help out? Why was it necessary to not only remove the forum but to remove all previous posts too?

    My frustration boils down to this – every single person who used that forum (whether that be contributing to the thousands of posts, or simply reading the wealth of information available on there) was a paying member of the SBC. The forum was removed with almost zero notice and with seemingly no consultation with the paying members of the site.

  16. Rowan Day says:

    Hi Paul. I don’t want to fall out with anyone over this I simply think you might be missing my point a little.

    You have insinuated that the SBC removed the forum because of a bad run that an SBC-organised service endured and received a lot of criticism for. If that were true, then you’re quite right in asserting that it would be the equivalent of a dodgy tipster not recording losing bets. In other words, it’s a hell of an accusation to make publically without actually knowing for a fact that it’s true (let’s hope there are no libel lawyers reading this – they may sense a fee! lol!).

    My point is that this is an argument that has absolutely no logic to it. Like I said, what the SBC would “gain” on the one hand from withdrawing from public view negative comments about one of it’s services, it would lose on the other from the withdrawal of the positive comments in the forum attributed to another SBC-organised service (Andre Gomes) which has been through a superb run. Where is the business sense if that was the decision? And also, why make such a radical move at a time when the George Dempsey service has experienced something of a recovery, and not when things were going badly? To a large extent, the criticism on the thread of this service had largely stopped.

    As for your other questions – absolutely fair enough. They are all valid questions. But surely at first hand they are better off directed in an email to the SBC, as opposed to making insinuations of dishonesty and fraud on a public forum where readers are quite possibly not going to hear both sides of the story? Which is why I posted. 🙂

    Anyway, I believe from what Steve has said that we’ll get a viewpoint from Pete soon, so I’ll shut up now…

  17. No 8 says:

    I am shocked to see how people lash out at betting services as soon as there is a bad run. I do think people should educate themselves a bit on variance in sports betting. I have been betting on sports for several years, and I do beat the toughest soccer markets. That said; the swings are painful. On 500 bets I do have swings of +/- 50 bets easily. In the long run (over say 20-25k bets), the profit is there. To look at the last 50, 500, 1000 or even 2500 bets is meaningless from a statistical point of view. Argue with that and you probably need a lobotomy 🙂 or at the very least a robust reality check.

    What can you do about it? Not much! I will tell you this though: If you will keep chasing momentum you will more often than not end up losing.

    Find tipsters you believe in. Tipsters that have good reasoning and solid analytical skills. People that do not go on tilt, people that keep their calm when there is a storm. Then do not leave just because the sea gets rough. It will from time to time.

    I had for long thought about selling my own tips, but after seeing you lot attack Gowi and now SBC I think I’ll rather keep all my winnings to myself.

    Good Luck (to those of you who at least bother to educate yourself a tad on sports betting before whining like little girls)

  18. Galfondini says:

    No 8, I think you have totally missed the point in this discussion.

    I and others have voiced critique against the SBC for shutting down and effectively deleting one of the best features of the service; the forum. As Steve has said, the SBC can do whatever the f*** it want´s with it´s site. But to remove one of the few really good things with the service is in my opinion a rash and stupid move.

    I have no Idea why they would do such a thing. In contrast to some here I do not think it has much to do with George Dempseys bad run, a more deciding factor is probably the many discussions about circumventing some sites prohibited to UK citizens via betbrookers and the legal grey are that constitutes in the UK. But thats just a suspicion of mine.

    However I, and others, consider it deeply problematic for a proofing service to jump in bed with the very people they proof. IMO this probably has nothing to do with shutting down the forums, but it is still a problem in it´s own right.

    As for “lashing out against” tipsters, I am very curious what you mean about that. I have seen absolutely no “lashing out” on this site, and I have read every post. What I and others get winded up about is tipsters, like Gowi, that qoute fairytale results for his service.

    A proffesional service should be catered towards ensuring it´s customers receive the highest possible return of interest. I could not care less that Gowi ends up ending 2014 with a ROI of 15% if I as a follower has no possible way of getting even close to those stats.

  19. No 8 says:

    Understood! At the end of the day; forums in these grey areas might have to close shop like they did. I can see where they are coming from. You do not want to promote unregulated services if your ass can fry (and you are over 30 years old usually).

    About the GOWI 15%. Agreed on that! It is near impossible to get those margins. 2-3% is what you will be looking at over a very long period of time. If you know what you’re doing and bet in-play you should do better though.

    About lashing out; check the article for the previous period. GOWI is taking a beating 🙂

  20. Galfondini says:

    Yeah, well I agree with you in that Gowi has taken quite a beating here, IMO opinion though it has been totally correct. Maybe I just put a meaning into the term “lashing out” that isn´t there, but to me that would mean more of an unjustified critique down to knee jerk reactions after a losing run or some such. I interpreted your comment in that light.

  21. 7tin says:

    ? Dont mean to be unpatient, but thought u might have missed this one with all the heat on the SBC topic.

  22. Andrew says:

    I know people who have followed GOWI for years and have never shown a return below 5% before last year. This is obviously still much lower than the official results, but 5% on GOWI’s WORST season is an amazing return.

    I can fully understand why people are worrying about GOWI, as last season was pretty dire in comparison. The lack of clear results is fine when everything is going well, but results are not great right now, and, as Steve has pointed out in the past, clearer results would help us identufy GOWI’s strengths.

    We could be wasting out time betting on his Premier League selections, for example, but we have no way of knowing this.

    I think a combination of superb results in the past, poor results last year, a lack of clear results and a completely unachievable ROI has led to GOWI being criticised in many areas, which makes the criticism look worse than it is.

    I signed up to GOWI in December last year (almost the same time as Steve) and have endured the two worst losing runs in the service’s history. GOWI was the king of tipsters before last season and it has been a bit disappointing.

    It might seem unfair that Keith has almost become a victim of his own success, but the percentage of his followers who publicly criticise him must be very, very small.

  23. Steve says:

    Hi 7tin,
    Not every service works for everyone. My location was a bit of a factor in this one. I was asleep when the picks came out and could not get the odds, I can only assume the odds are available at time of release.

    The official plays that are sent in emails from PCG were losing over the time I followed, but the raw numbers (which I had never used) apparently made a good profit.I joined off the good results on the official email results.

    I have a few other issues with the odds recording and so do others. But at such a cheap price, you should at least give it a month, maybe it will work for you.. If you can match the odds and get your bets on it should be fine.

    If you look at my results, after 4 and a half years, im sitting on just over 2.2% ROI, If any tipster can almost guarantee me that return, I will jump on with no hesitation. I only bet totals for most SP picks (although bet smaller on some H2H’s)

  1. January 14, 2015

    […] last weeks post there were a number of comments about the SBC (Secret Betting Club), deleting all the posts from […]

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