What will really happen with the Waterhouse More Joyous scandal?
Over the past 3 years of writing this blog, all the posts have just been my weekly profit and loss statements. But over the past few years the state of the Australian bookmaking industry has really made me cringe. Like every other blogger, I feel I have some very strong opinions and they are worthy of your valuable time. I have held back from writing any posts like these as I didn’t think it was my place. The major goal of this blog was to show people that by using a proper investors mindset, you could create a portfolio of services and with no discernible skill set apart from a bit of bank management, some long term thinking and a willingness to accept the fluctuations in profit and loss, that over the long term a profit could be made. Over the past 3 years (and many years before this blog), I feel that has been demonstrated. I spend much less time on this then any sensible person would spend on their own Self managed super fund, but my returns year after year make a shambles of the returns given by stock markets or any other well used investment vehicles. So from this very high horse of mine, let’s begin my ranting.
The big news the last few weeks has been about the More Joyous furor. To put it simply, the horse wasn’t well and it’s trainer decided to not tell anyone. Her son, a bookmaker stupidly told friends not to back it, which got back to the horse’s owner who likes to shout his mouth off and who was rightly pissed that he was not told, decided to make it public knowledge. It came second last and now people are acting shocked that this sort of thing happens.
I know very little about racing. I have followed a few UK horse racing tipsters, one who was ranked the best ever, and they did quite well, so well in fact that I could not place anymore bets as all the bookmakers stopped allowing me to bet on any races with fixed odds. What I do know about Horse racing, is that your average punter is never ever going to win long term. This is a sport where insider information is the only way you will make a profit year on year. Now I am going to sound pretty smart here as I reference Karl Marx’s thoughts on the law of increasing poverty, in a nutshell it’s “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. The poor being the average guy who likes to place a few small bets on the weekend for a bit of excitement. The rich being the bookmakers, trainers, media outlets, the racing administrators and even the dodgy tipsters who promise outrageous fortunes. Sadly the majority of these punters believe that they have all the information they need in the little lift-out from their local paper which tells them how the horse went in its last few races and has a twitter length comment next to each horse. WAKE UP PEOPLE. The only people outside of the rich mentioned above are the professionals who hire others to watch every single race numerous times, have maths prodigies creating algorithms and who also bet with cash back and affiliate payments in mind. If you are shocked at hearing any of this then you and your money shall be parted very quickly. If you are betting with the full knowledge that you will lose money and what you are partaking in is payment for entertainment then your going about things the right way. But if you really believe your betting style or system can compete against the typhoon that is the racing system, then I laugh in your ugly troll-like face.
Ok, so after some background info of the racing industry that most of my readers really already know, lets get onto the scandal of the moment and what’s in stall for the 3 parties involved. I’ll start with the owner of the horse, John Singleton. He has done nothing wrong in my opinion, as the owner he should have been told about any issues with the horse and was rightly upset to have to hear about it from the sources he did. You would think in a sane world that that means he has nothing to worry about. But NSW racing and most of the other state administrative bodies are always looking out for themselves. This means that they will slap John with a big fine for bringing the sport into disrepute or something along those lines. The amount will be meaningless to Singleton, but I think it will be more then what is given to Gai Waterhouse. She broke a number of rules by not telling anyone, but she will get a small fine and a talking to, which is even less then a slap on the wrist.
In my opinion the massive issue is with Tom Waterhouse, when you are a bookmaker and your mum is a trainer then you have to make sure that there is no link between the two. It sounds dodgy enough as it is, but then he actually advertisers this by saying if you back one of his mum’s horses and it comes 2nd or 3rd then you get your money back. Sure he wants to play of his famous family name, but the fact that he can’t see how stupid this is is beyond me. When your dad is known as a dodgy bookmaker and has a massive stake in your company, you don’t want to do anything that could cause an issue. I believe he did know about the issues with More Joyous and did tell others not to back it, which for someone who seems intelligent is pretty retarded. He should lose his license for passing on insider information. If something like this happened in regards to stocks then he would be going to jail for insider trading. He says he placed a $300,000 bet on the horse, off course he did, only after getting about $1,000,000 in bets on it from the unsuspecting punters on his site. His companies catchphrase is “I know what punters want”, maybe it’s just me but I don’t think they want to be betting with someone who knows the horse they are betting their hard earned money on has no chance of winning.
Now here is the kicker, this is what is going to happen to Tom Waterhouse. Sweet fuck all. A big show will be put on by NSW Racing to assure the Australian betting public that they are not idiots for betting on racing and that it is clean sport and blah blah blah. Small fines will be handed out and the news coverage will move onto whatever new scandal pops up in the world of sport. Tom will continue to advertise non stop and get more and more customers and continue to make enormous amounts of money and live an awesome life with all the perks of being very very very rich. Is that a surprise? were you expecting anything else?
Every state Gambling commission is a joke. We have seen how good they are at their jobs time and time again. The last one being the Sports Alive debacle. Nothing will change unless people are willing to stop using these services. But that requires them to stop betting, which isn’t going to happen. My goal over the coming years is to make sure that the regular punters are made aware of their very vulnerable position and that the bookmakers are held responsible for any misdemeanors that they enact on a daily basis. As I am very lazy, a manifesto will be created in the next few weeks/months that will spell out what I hope to achieve over the next few years in helping the average punter make back some money from the bookmakers and also to assess what they have already lost. It will start with a simple program that once given permission can grab all your bets from any bookmakers you bet at and actually show you where you are losing money and where you might actually have an edge. A simple first step that the bookmakers themselves would hate you to have. I will continue to release articles and other documents that will hopefully open your eyes to how bookmakers really treat their customers and how you can become one of the few who make a profit from them.
That’s my rant over, as mentioned before, I have no real interest in racing and these are just my opinions and will probably be proved wrong in the coming days, I really hope they are. But the industry is in a sorry state and it feels like a mafia run affair at times. Entertaining punting everyone.
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments and if you want me to keep writing these types of articles, or if you want me to shut my trap and just report my profits/losses.