Phumelela have come out strongly to defend the integrity of their betting products after large swings in payouts over the past few days. A press release issued as the Sporting Post went to print states that an overseas punter has wagered several huge Win and Place bets with TAB in the last few days, resulting in bonanza payouts in several of the races concerned.
While TAB welcomes international participation in its pools, the integrity of the pools is paramount and the punter’s betting activities are being closely monitored to ensure that all bets are in no way an attempt to manipulate dividends.
TAB has also instructed the overseas commingling partner concerned that the punter’s bets must be placed at least two minutes before the start of a race in order to give local TAB customers the opportunity to assess their impact on payouts.
The punter bet more than R200,000 on each of three races at Scottsville last Sunday and his wagers resulted in dividends on the winners of the three races being significantly more than many would have expected. In Race 5 at Scottsville, the punter took a R210,000 Win bet on Ravishing Star and a R26,000 Win bet on Mamzelle.
This resulted in a huge Win pool of some R300,000 and a R16 Win payout on Chase The Cherry, who was tipped to win or place by several form experts.
The punter also had massive Win and Place bets on Race 2 at Flamingo Park yesterday, which resulted in well-fancied Gee I Jane paying R7 for a TAB Win and R5.90 for a Place. “Such bets from international clients are part and parcel of horseracing in this era of globalisation and must be welcomed because generally the bigger the pools the better.
And much of the time the average TAB client will benefit from such overseas wagers, although obviously that will not always be the case,” said Phumelela’s Executive Director Sports Betting Vee Moodley. “But that said we will not allow international participation to compromise the integrity of our pools or to disadvantage local customers. We monitor the betting patterns of such big players to ensure that they are betting to win and not attempting to distort dividends. And because we are well aware that such bets create significant distortions, they must be taken early enough to give local customers a chance to capitalise on any value that may arise with certain runners,” Moodley added. Some punters who took “open” Win and Place bets on Race 2 at Flamingo Park on Monday with a bookmaking chain have complained that they were not paid the full TAB dividend.
“Open” bets (so called because the odds are not fixed at the time of taking the bet) are tote bets placed with a bookmaker or fixed-odds operator but which the bookmaker does not actually place on the tote. Instead the bookmaker holds the bets and in order to lessen their risk many fixed-odds operators impose payout limits, particularly on high-dividend bets like the Pick 6. TAB has urged punters taking such “open” bets to ascertain beforehand what limits if any the bookmaker in question may apply.