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Mug’s game?

Yesterday I had lunch with an analyst from one of the largest bookmakers. I asked him  for his view on the the lack of betting regulation. He replied that, although betting does not have the compliance of the stock exchange, the industry takes dishonesty seriously and had its own monitoring and surveillance. They know the source of every bet and note anything peculiar, e.g. the amount of betting on one match in the Scottish League, which was way beyond the normal on a player being sent off. He also said that if someone won consistently well, he would have difficulty in finding a bookmaker. The advent of the PC in the home and the proliferation of sport on TV have resulted in an ease in betting as you don’t need a private account, nor a walk to the bookmakers. Is this a good thing? Betting companies would say yes, for their sponsorship of horse racing and football for example .

I enjoy a flutter and this enhances the watching of my sport golf. Through the night I watched the inaugural Eurasia Cup, a sort of Ryder Cup between Europe and Asia. It was a controversial tourney as the European Golf Tour top brass offended the Ballesteros family, as Seve in his will had set up a similar one. After a 5-0 whitewash to the Europeans on the first day, the Asians got back into the reckoning and ended 3-7 down. On the singles played throughout last night in our time, as the tourney was held in Kuala Lumpur, the Asians got back to a 10-10 draw in a thrilling finish. Following the advice of the redoubtable Steve Palmer in the Racing Post, all of which was wrong this time, I backed Jaidee as top Asian and Mcdowell as top European. They were paired on the final day and the Thailander won comfortably 3-2. GMac did not have his customary accuracy but he only finished 1/2 a point behind leading European  Jamie Donaldson. Had I had a weighty punt, this might have caused me some anguish but it was £10 so when I got to sleep it was peaceful .

I am also reading Life is A Gamble by Andrew Peredes , a rip-roaring memoir of a poker-playing gambler and much more besides. He put £15,000 on Night Nurse at Cheltenham and was paid out in counterfeit money. When stopped in his car by the police for the wrong plates, he was arrested and subsequently gaoled jailed for possession of counterfeit money. He was recently quoted in the papers as the best friend of Mehmet Hassan, who was murdered in his flat after winning £3,000 at the Palm Beach casino. Thank you, I will stick to £10 and  a cup of cocoa with my missus in my own bed.  As the late Mickey Duff said “A bookmakers shop has three tills which take your money and one which gives it back.”

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About John Pargiter

John Pargiter’s biggest claim to fame is his first-ever work experience job, as ‘legs’ (or runner) for Henry Longhurst. For many years he worked in insurance at Lloyds. After retiring he has returned to his favourite sport of golf and is a keen recreational sailor and grandparent. More Posts