Having been notified of a recent query relating to a significant increase in certain pool sizes, with particular reference being placed on the quartet bet for local racing over the last week to ten days, the tote can confirm that we have seen some pools with a growth over expectation and above the average pool size.
The Phumelela Team have addressed Sporting Post Readers in response to queries about bigger pool sizes in recent weeks.
SP reader and lifetime racing fan Philip Goldberg posted recently, observing that it was interesting how quartet pools have grown of late.
Whereas before, we battled to get R200 000 into a midweek quartet, yesterday, we saw a number of pools exceeding R500000. This has been noticed for about a week now. I would like to hear the operators take on this one (no assumptions been made).
The Phumelela Team write that this is not a new phenomenon and is most commonly as a result of either an increase in interest from a foreign territory/customer or an additional high turnover territory that is added to the group of countries commingling on that specific day or race.
These fluctuations in pool sizes can occasionally be on the back of increased local interest but are generally dictated by the fact that:
1) Foreign customers are selective in the events that they choose to bet on and do not play every race and
2) even though a high volume territory might be commingled into our pools, very often the race will still not get broadcast in that territory due to clashes, race delays, etc. and only the races that make it to broadcast will draw turnover.
However, we are always cognisant of the fact that, what might seem to be a “sudden” change or increase in betting volume, can be seen as a potential indicator of unscrupulous behaviour and, as such, we continue to monitor all events to ensure the validity and source of the turnover and, in addition, our partners in the Isle Of Man continually monitor all betting activity through the international commingling hub to ensure the integrity of all trading.
As the tote is based on a pari-mutuel or pool betting platform, how many customers win in each individual pool has no impact on the profitability or financial position of the TAB.
In the long run, the more turnover or players we have playing into our pools, and ultimately the more winners we have, the better it is for both the tote and our totalisator customers.
Any additional betting activity into our South African tote pools, whether from local or international customers, offers both increased liquidity and the opportunity for bigger dividends to all South African customers and, furthermore, all goes to help fund and sustain our local sport of horseracing and the stakes pot.
Therefore, the tote welcomes all additional betting turnover, audited and monitored as it is, into our pools and can confirm that (and in particular to the instances raised as a concern) we have no suspicion of any illegal or unscrupulous behaviour of any sort in this regard.
As TAB, our mission and goal remains the improvement of the tote product and the growth of turnover in all our pools, while maintaining the integrity of the product and brand to provide equal opportunity to all customers.