Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Morally irresponsible.

With a rare day off today, I opted to indulge in a favourite hobby of mine – taking advantage of free bet offers from bookmakers. You won’t get rich doing this, but with a little bit of effort, you can sure earn yourself a few pennies at no risk.

One major bookmaker, well their name suggests they are open every day of the year, has a tiered system with the opportunity to receive up to £200 in free bets. Approaching 75% of my way through the offer, they suddenly stopped accepting my bets.

Whilst this was annoying, and slightly humorous, I acknowledge that they are totally within their right as a business to do.

However, it is worth noting that at this point (although I had £100 in outstanding bets, both of which would lose) I had won in total £202.52 from them (Now £102.52). Whilst any business would be concerned if they were losing £202.52 per day from a customer, it isn’t really a significant amount to a company that must surely turn over that amount of money in mere seconds. Add in the fact that this was after just ten bets, by far too small a sample to gain an understanding of whether I had an “edge”, and that only three of my bets had been successful, (indeed I lost on the first four), and it appears an odd decision.

Maybe they just did not want to give me the third free bet that I would qualify for on completion of another bet, and again, that is not a problem, although why produce such an offer if you won’t honour it to anyone who is mildly successful is beyond me.

What personally aggravated me is there was no acknowledgement of this, no message informing me of this, just a random limit inserted, which strangely enough allows me to bet up to £40 on some markets, and allows winnings of £3 on others (I particularly enjoyed them offering me 13p on a Draw in tomorrow’s Rugby League match). This leaves me wondering whether I can still profit from the offer, and I will look to see how much I can place over the weekend, because that will allow a free bet of an identical amount.

However, if the company will close down the merest hint of a winning account, (which in itself seems odd given that the odds it sets would always allow for the bet to be laid off elsewhere, securing a guaranteed profit) then surely their only method of business is in those customers who are less successful, and who can go on to lose thousands of pounds per annum through an addiction.

Of course, over the Internet it is hard to qualify whether anyone has an addiction. Certainly, my twelve bets in one afternoon could well be seen to be an addiction to an untrained eye, although this is obviously not the case. I was rather just availing myself to what was essentially free money.

However, if you walk in any betting shop, then you will undoubtedly see and meet people who clearly have an addiction. Does this bookmaker, I wonder, ever refuse their money, or will it rely on a poster on the wall to claim that it is meeting its social responsibility?

Or rather, is it just a morally bankrupt company whose only method of profit is via taking advantage of those who cannot say no?

1 comment:

  1. I have personally found Bet365 to be an odious and, as you have succinctly noted, morally bankrupt operation. Check out Alistair's recent blog at Bet Your Life Sports Trading.