“Following another stunning day for my industry on Thursday; more fines (https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2018/Gambling-Commission-takes-widespread-regulatory-action-against-online-casinos.aspx) and those bookie-haters (not true BTW) ‘Justice for Punters’ discussing non-disclosure agreements being used to gag vulnerable people on the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001bpy) (from 25m 50s), what do I do next?
We bookmakers have always been thought of as ‘cheekie chappies’, but this wholesale media attack is getting too much. What we do is legal and all I’m trying to do is make a living by providing a good service.”
Billy the Bookie
This is a nightmare for Billy, but surely the question should be, “What have you done and what are you doing?” And more importantly what have the ‘big boys’ done and what are they doing?
During 2018 a good example of what the ‘big boys’ have done is bombard the UK population with gambling advertising using football despite warnings in a government consultation. Of course the right words are being said at conferences and in meetings, but the reality for the UK population is that Ray Winstone features in their memories more than the players on the field. By the way do gamble responsibly; thanks for that Ray, I did and got banned.
One of the other major difficulties seems to be the cheap and nasty technology used by the ‘big boys’. This technology fails to identify new customers who lose 10K in the first 4-hours or 20K in the first 5-days. However, the same ‘big boys’ have expensive and intelligent technology that ruthlessly identifies anybody who may show an ability to win. Does this seem a right balance to you Billy?
To be honest it’s not for J4P to comment on, “What do I do now?” All J4P can say is, carry on as you’ve done for years ignoring what the ‘big boys’ have done and the future is bleak for you Billy.
Despite the conciliatory nature of Brian Chappell’s interview with Starsports (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTbjihUp52s) only one of the ‘big boys’ is showing any signs of opening constructive discussions with those, not just J4P, who are generating much of the bad publicity about the corporate gambling industry. That’s a choice any CEO is entitled to take, but is it the right one?
The ‘big boys’ have used both fair and unfair competition to nearly destroy independent off and on-course bookmakers. Crucially, if the traditional route of denial or reputation management continues the ‘big boys’ will eventually do even more damage and no smaller fish will survive.
You know where J4P is if you prefer a more conciliatory approach.