Why pro-punter activists are fighting a losing battle

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Why pro-punter activists are fighting a losing battle

Post by cosmicway » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:28 am

I have been involved with this side of gambling affairs for more than twenty years now.
I always had some serious complaints with the betting companies -on pricing matters of course- but it was n't really my idea to become an activist.
Nevertheless I was talked into it.
But it failed.
If I could start this all over I would probably do it again.
I might have changed my role from senior member of the activists group to something else more suitable for me yet I would do it again.
But if I had the benefit of hindsight, I imagine I could improve things by only very little and the result was going to be fail again.

Why is that ?
I have identified some causes.

1) Politics

Gambling is about money. Money goes to the government in the form of taxes. So gambling is a political matter, maybe more important than the current goings on in the Korean peninsula, if you count the dollars/sterlings involved.
The political systems under which we live regard the gambler as a marginal person.
He is not a wealthy industrialist who pays lots of taxes.
He is not working for any company which could make him a tax contributor, by virtue of the name of the firm that employs him.
He is not a public employee who -by definition- provides essential services to the public.
The gambler works for himself and he is therefore regarded as an outcast.
In those political regimes that believe in the marxist ideology things are naturally a lot worse, but also in all other kinds of political regime things are bad (Goodlatte in the USA was an ultra conservative).
In this world the leftists want us to spend our days listening to Fidel Castro speeches.
The rightists want us to listen to Papadopoulos speeches.
About consumer rights they would n't even care less. If you board a train from London to Birmingham and all the suitcases fall on top of your head the rightist will say to you "it's free enterprise mate, go on foot if you don't like". The leftist will say "you imagined all this because you want to hurt the prestige of the peoples revolution".

2) Indifference

The indifference shown by the gamblers themselves is proverbial.
Also their ignorance.
In the year 2009 our government in Greece (conservative at the time) introduced a new betting tax.
The betting shops went on strike as a result for one day. There was nothing in it for them, so they did n't like it.
What did the punters do ?
We had races that day. The race course opened its gates and we were told that 4000 people went to those races, up from the usual 400 !
I did n't see that. I did n't go to the race course but besides the betting shops that were closed, there were two company franchise shops in the centre of Athens that were not part of the union and therefore did not close. So I went over there to see what happens. The crowds were huge and as it was midsummer if one mingled with those crowds he was going to choke from the heat !
But those idiots had the chance to kill the tax and they were also lucky to have the betting shops on their side !
As it turned out many of them did n't even know why the usual shops were striking. They knew there was a strike on so they had to go to those other places but they did n't know why.
For me any further discussion about gambler awareness was over and out after that day.

3) Gambling can be lossy

If our target-union members were builders they would probably make 20 quid a day.
That's 100 in a five day week.
Is it too little ? Is it enough ? I don't know, but it's 100 quid in a five day week.
The builders will then say "those good union men are trying to make it 110 quid for us, so let's pay some attention".
But the gambler may lose 100 in a week. He can go -20, -40, -60 ... -100.
Once they enter the fray to fight it's a possibility.
So it's psychological. He will say "forget everything".
Naturally our hypothetical gamblers union can do absolutely nothing about it. We 're trying to improve things percentage wise but we can do absolutely nothing for someone who had a bad week. It nevertheless creates a huge psychological barrier. Really huge.

4) Compulsive gambling

There are so many fools (see also (2)).
Millions of them.
They are fools in the way they manage their money but also when they are duped and gamble with machines.
Everyone with a modicum of education knows that.
The popular folklore is therefore anti-gambler.
If a tv channel sends a reporter to the streets to ask people at random they will say "ban everything" or "tax them to death", by 90%
You can't avoid this.

5) Media

The media are all sold to either the political parties (see item (1)) or to the bookmaker companies who naturally want to slash prices by as much as they can.
How can you buy the media ?
If you can then you already have that private yacht you always wanted and you are off to the Spanish coasts and you don't have to worry about betting matters.

As a small consolation I keep saying this:
You can fool everybody but you cannot fool the euros (sterling) in his pocket. Once those decide to fly, they will fly.
But it's only a small consolation.

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Re: Why pro-punter activists are fighting a losing battle

Post by cosmicway » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:07 am

I should add the shame factor.
Suppose there are ten of us and we want to introduce a new tax on the use of refrigerators. Everybody will pay 10 pounds if he owns a refrigerator.
Normally some other ten people will appear immediately who will say "no, this is daylight robbery" and yet another ten people who will say "it's logical, but it should be 5 pounds, not 10".
In our case nobody dares confront the lobby of the first 10 men, out of shame.
It may be delayed a little, to harmonize with the new five year plan tax policy, but 10 pounds you will pay for your fridge.

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