Head in hands man for all the fuss.
One of the main reasons I dont watch the news or read papers is because I like to live my own life, see things with my own eyes, not believe what people tell me (the press) and I dont give a monkeys what other people do in general you know, its their business, its nice to take the piss out of John Terry and stuff, but thats about it. Call me selfish, but myself and the people I know are number one, and nothing else matters. Jordan gets her baps out in a nightclub, I dont care - that sort of thing.
Unfortunately being a racing man I get suckered into reading the Racing Post and reading a few other things and notice all the nonsense over this 155% book.
Now, lets be realistic here for a minute and live in the real gambling world, not the made up one everyone has in their heads..
1) A bookmaker can price up whatever price they like - it is a free market. Like it or not, thats the way it is. Equally if they dont want to take a bet off you, they can say no. I agree - its fairly shite, but thats the rules. Take it or leave it.
2) It is down solely to the punter as to whether or not he/she places a bet with the bookmaker. Everyone bets to their own accord, it is never anyone elses fault, you hand the money over.
3) How many punters who would have placed a bet on the national have understood what an overround was? Very little. The once a year mob have trouble understanding the prices let alone an overround. They'll spend most of the day wondering is 7/4 bigger than 13/8, sounds stupid to people who gamble all the time, but thats one of the biggest problems to a novice in my experience.
4) I dont mean to offend anyone here - but people who bet at SP are dopes. Seriously, thats not taking gambling serious, thats not trying to win, thats not trying to find "value." How is it supposed to be "value" when you dont even know what price you'll get. The bookies have best price guaranteed these days, theres no reason to ever not take a price. And also, arent the people who bet at SP just purely doing it for that gambling rush, to back a winner, they dont care what price they get, they just want the rush, they dont care what overround it is (they probably dont even know either).
5) Coming back to the bookmakers being allowed to put whatever prices they like up, if someone puts up the wrong price on Betfair.. dont we all knock over the sandwich and spill the coffee trying to click the mouse fast enough to take it. We do, theres no doubt about it. So likewise, if bookmakers can take advantage of people who arent in the know, they will, and we'd all do it ourselves given the chance. People can take the moral high ground, but you know, the truth is we'd all click on Betfair.
6) Anyone with half a brain for punting would have wanted to take a price on the docket on Saturday morning, or they would have placed the bet on Betfair at 19 or whatever it was. Because in their mind, they are betting at what is a fair price to them. Gambling is fantastic like that - theres no ties to anything or anyone, you go to whoever has the best price. You go where it suits you, the bookmaker doesnt make you take the price, you take it because you want it.
7) The driving people away from the game issue, its arguable alright, but again coming back to the point about the once a year mob dont even know what an overround is, they would have never of even heard of it before they came to the track and after they leave. Its highly unlikely a person new to racing will leave remembering the overround, much higher on the list leaving the racecourse would be, the price in, the price of food/drink, did they back a winner, did they have a good time and was it good craic. Good craic tying in with the price of drink, I reckon, for most. Dont forget the once a year mob only bet in fivers also, most are there for the day out and to drink.
Most of those points are being incredibly harsh I know, but its the truth isnt it, everyone wants to fleece the unknowing, look at me, I'm honest enough to say I spent all day Saturday laying fallers in the national place market who people didnt know they had fallen because they werent watching the race closely enough. Thats their problem, not mine (being a tosser about it), but if you find a fiver on the street, you dont walk past it.
I take on board people think its a "disgrace" and "daylight robbery" betting to 155% BUT no one made them bet, no one made them hand their money over. They did it. And when someone bets, they should know what theyre doing. If you cant swim man, dont jump in the fooking river..
If racing wants to welcome new people into the sport, at least make more of an effort to educate them before throwing them into the lions den. Otherwise, its kill or be killed. You can call me a tosser, but everyone bets to their own accord, dont blame others if youve been shafted, because its 1.01 its youre own problem and not anyone elses.