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Punters Must Unite

Every sector needs representation

A reader says that he notices that after many of our articles, comments follow claiming that punters are sidelined or ignored or are treated badly or unfairly.

Roy Kasseepersadh writes in the Sporting Post Mailbag that he was shocked with the contents of an article we published yesterday ‘about a dispute between two people’.

He writes:

You obviously know the value of the punter in this sport. Besides the money the punter is wagering, it should be noted that the punter is also a fan. And without fans, what is a sport?

I know that all the role players in the sport have their own Associations to protect and promote their interests.

But I think the punters, a major role player don’t have such a thing.

I don’t want to join the list of people complaining on your comments section. I would rather make a suggestion.

I think the punters need to form an association.

If you look at the article about the dispute, I have to inform you that it gives the sport a very smelly feeling. Its another reason why every roleplayer, even the punter, needs protection.

Perhaps the punters will unite so that their power can get recognized and respected.

Please don’t misunderstand me and think that I’m promoting militancy.

Have Your Say

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45 comments on “Punters Must Unite

  1. Leon Smuts says:

    The punter and specifically the humble R6 punter is completely undervalued in the feeding chain. It is time to realise that this group forms the foundation of every pool and contributes more in terms of visibility than any other group. As such their voices and interests should be recognised and appreciated. It is high time that products be introduced that recognise the value of this group and provide them with a better chance of an exotic win. All for a punters association to look after the interests of the core participants in the funding model of racing and stakes.

  2. Sipho says:

    I agree with you 100% in Bloemfontein we have a punters forum (of which Im Chairperson) and we use this platform to address issues that we have with Phumelela fro the tote, tellers, almost anything. We are still waiting for the top brass as promised to come to us to answer some sensitive questions we have regarding bettings, payouts objections etc. I suggest every Province must have a forum and we choose a. National committee to protect our interests, this is our hard earned money that keeps this game going

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Sipho
      Plse amend your name to include your surname
      Thanks

  3. Johan says:

    Hi first I would like to thank all role players for the wonderful day of racing today I really enjoyed it but I have one question why was it necessary to have delays at the start of races due to horses having problems with shoes surely after the long brake trainers should make sure that their horses is fine to race and don’t delay races thankx Johan

  4. Johan says:

    Hi does anyone know when the Tab will be available again also is it possible to have more outlets available in the area East of Pretoria thank you Johan

  5. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    I nominate Michael Jacobs to chair the committee

  6. Shanil says:

    I’m sure everyone agrees that punters don’t have a voice as all he is interested is betting and going home win or lose. Politics is not important for him as most punters are not aware that they deserve better in terms of products offered facilities to be improved and access to information to make better punting that only a selection of the game has access to. Approach a regular punter in the tote to explain this is no easy task. If Gold Circle or Phumela regarded the punter as an important stakeholder in the game then they should assist in forming one with all totes participating in getting punters on board with some incentives offered like points earned for your spend on bets similar casinos. So even though he lost his 500.00 rands he is not totally despondent cos he earned points. This will also attract new punters.

  7. Leo says:

    I fully agree with Roy. Yesterdays Pick Six pools shows up all the big time punters who condescendingly refer to the walk-in punter as so called R6-00 punters ? There are numerous calls to broaden the punter base but very few that actually agree that the coupling rule for the Pick Six and Jack Pot bets must be returned. Yes there are the smart Alec punters that say we must learn to study form/handicapping/merit ratings etc. and stop complaining ! But please will someone try to explain to us (and yes I’m proud to call myself a R6.00 punter. My introduction to the sport I highly enjoy started with a bet on Humdinger when he won the Gold Cup in 1972 ?) why three of our Top Trainers get it so wrong ? A person does not have to go too far back into the past race results ! Just before the ‘lockout’ there were winners from non counting couplings of three / four horses where the unfancied runner won and the favourites comes nowhere ? Now how can the Trainer, Stable Jockey, Forcast Betting and Seasoned Tipsters be wrong SO OFTEN ? How can it be ecpected that about 90% of the punters must be automatically disqualified before the pools even close ? Accept it or not without the support of the R6.00 punter the sport will slowly fade away ?

  8. Viv says:

    Yes, quite agreed. And the totalisator should ensure that this punters organisation is funded by them with the take out they get from betting.

    This will ensure the viability of such an operation.

    But, most important, I still strongly believe that there needs to be an organisation that will police the stipendiary stewards as they are sometimes rather inconsistent with their decisions.

  9. Rajiv Singh says:

    Good evening to all. A Punters forum is being created but the process was sadly sidelined due to the lockdown. Please feel free to contact me for further info

  10. Roy Sukdhev says:

    A PUNTERS FORUM is Long Overdue . Each province should have their own for starters. Gold Circle should embrace this idea in KZN and encourage the formation of such.

  11. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    I second Roderick’s nomination

  12. Pieta says:

    Ja looked like the farriers also needed a run…..

  13. PL.NEL says:

    The passion for this business/sport /entertainment is phenomenal and electrifying,, note illegitimate naming GAMING omission, a truly dirty and twisted referral. Public money is very important to racing and should be treated with due respect. Teletrack needs a massive review,, the onus of pushing quantity instead of quality is hurting racing badly. Racing property and product needs ownership and the ownership needs to make their product punter friendly and take all liability for clear and concise dialogue. Instead of 10 inappropriate staff members facing the public from behind the counters rather 5 competent operators with a manager ensuring clean and calm environment. Blah blah blah ,, boingg

  14. P.Balakisten says:

    I would like to join as a member

  15. Anand Chetty says:

    Repeated comments by myself for the authorities to know their customer failed to elicit a response from other commentators on this forum.
    After being starved of racing action the pick six pool yesterday was under R300000, today about R260000, and that too, with the casinos closed, hence reduced ‘competition’. It seems to me the ‘small’ punter who doesn’t have online or Tele betting is certainly significant.
    I have PERSONALLY offered input to the different departments within the industry, including the Tele betting and dissemination management.
    They continue on their merry inefficient way.
    In as much as I love this sport, the old guard continues ruling the roost, and I don’t see a turnaround in racing’s fortunes.
    Much like our government, there’s a lack of innovative ideas.
    The authorities need to wake up and smell the coffee, there is a huge database of Tele betting punters, at least for now, to engage with, to find out WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTS.

  16. Leon Smuts says:

    Fully agree with you Anand.

  17. b steele says:

    Resolution is carried,proposed and seconded by two heavy weight members .Please be advised Mr Jacobs has resigned from the fruit and vegetables section and is now chair of the Punters Association yet to formed..

  18. joao says:

    Punters will be hard to unite because they are invariably poles apart on many things. For me sorting racing out and doing things properly from the top down will have such an effect on punters that they won’t have half as many gripes as they currently have.

    The median gripes are the ones that can and must be tackled. Service and Correct Information disseminated on time. The extremities no one will ever agree on so they hardly worth fighting for. I can tell you as many want coupling back as those that don’t.

    The other thing I will say about a punters group is that credibility is vital. Recently I received a whastapp invite into a punters group. It had lots of promise and lots of members.

    2 days into the group’s existence a KZN bookmaker was held at gunpoint and robbed.
    Message on the group were saying he deserved it.

    I contacted one of the guys and asked him how he would feel if he was robbed…..” but this guy has been taking our money for years” was the answer. After a few minutes of me explaining to him the value of being taken seriously as an organisation when someone actually wishes someone to be a victim if crime he finally agreed and removed his chirp.

    So by all means form a group , learn though to play the ball and not the man and fight battles you can at least all agree on.

  19. Freddy Msibi says:

    Tabgold must stop this thing of looking for proof of residence and the rest, when one opens an account; because this is the reason why most of us R6 Punters are not able to hold telebet accounts. At the Tab I just do my selections and place my bets; no one needs to know where I stay, if I win Big I am able to produce my Identity Document and collect, Period!

    1. Editor says:

      Freddy, these requirements are the law of the land – not Tabgold’s creation
      FICA?

  20. donald bradshaw says:

    Please see my comment under ” Kimberly Trainers ” that was in response to a comment made by a Gold Circle Executive Mr. Graham Hawkins !

    That comment covers everything in this article and the posts that flowed from the article but you will get and hear nothing from those in their comfortable seats , they do not know their customer and in fact the customer is TOTALLY ignored by the executives / managers that currently control the horse racing industry !

    Hopefully those in power are looking at the pathetic pools of the past few days and not only scratching their heads in shock but get to doing something about it ?

    All it takes is action and innovation to get the sport up and rolling but they will just continue doing the things that have been proved not to work in the past !

  21. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    I, in turn, as an overweight voter, nominate Mr. B Steele as co-chairman of the Punters Forum.

  22. Jay August says:

    As a punter I would want the following in order of pref:

    1 – Lowered takeout
    2- Lowered tax
    3 – Water tight deposit security
    4 – Fair accounting for breakage
    4 – Access to all race and horse data in an easily usable and manipulable format
    5 – Service

    A collective will have no impact unless its combined contribution to pools is substantial and it can use that as a bargaining chip. Without that the collective will be barking at the moon hoping for a response.

    The operators and bookmakers know that the urge to gamble in most is overwhelming and as each punter wagers individually against all other punters the probability a collective breaks rank is very high.

    A punters organisation will have less influence with an operator than would a collective wagering club of substantial monetary value which wagers often and which is seen as having a material influence on pool size.

  23. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    That has been a life long issue with Punters groups/forums/organizations, Joao.

    The diversity and game-plans of individuals are as widespread as The Outback down-under.

    Anyway, I’m happy to provide catering support @ a first meeting.

  24. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…
    I NOMINATE THE PICK 6 KING FROM THE CAPE☆WILLIAM MILKOVITCH☆along with 2 assistance… Michael Jacob…Pieta…I’ll love to be the one in charge of supplying the meds to the above names mentioned….Mr Ed why no surnames next to their names ?

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Frankie
      We are promoting and encouraging the surname inclusion – we’d prefer posters to do it themselves and dont want to bin comments from loyal supporters on the technicality – yet!
      We hope everybody attends to it soonest.

  25. Jay August says:

    Frankie’s meds will be a potent combination guaranteed to illicit incorrigible support for Hawwaam.

  26. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    That would be the prudent and a must kick-off point, Jay.

  27. Abduraghmaan says:

    You guys forget about the small punter that don’t have a online Betting account you people open halve of the racing industry but you forget about the other half why can’t you people open the totes make it like you going to pick and pay or checkers only 10 people aloud in at a time what about people that got telebet accounts that wants to put money in they account

    1. Editor says:

      Abduraghmaaan – plse add your surname for the record
      Many thanks

  28. Arthur Talbot says:

    The last thing we need is a punters forum .Next thing punters will be asked to pay for their representative to attend ‘important meetings’ with 5star hotels and air travel and expense account thrown in Its a daft suggedtion

  29. Sipho Linda says:

    HI! Everyone, Im sorry that I did not include my surname, My full names are Sipho Linda , lets get the ball rolling we really need this forum. The only time Phumelela and Gold circle will take us serious is when we speak in one voice.The sooner we do this the better

  30. WILLIAM MILKOVITCH says:

    Abdurahman Trump, what do you mean “You guys….” ?

  31. Hilton witz says:

    In gold circle country owners have zero official representation on the board despite many efforts by Mr Carlisle many years ago and lately Mr Burnard so punters have less than zero chance òf getting a say..I in my own personal capacity have spoken to gold.circle officials but once you walk out the door they forget everything you have said …Seriously Mr editor why not have a vote on here to see who agrees with the saddlecloth draw system that is only in operation in natal….On a lighter note and with nowhere else to post it due to the clamping down of threads open to posting when did anyone ever see every tote favourite arrive in a place accumalator and it pays 450 rand …happened today at Kenilworth

  32. Jay August says:

    Arthur Talbot’s comment is very insightful, although he may have meant it to be cynical, and is exactly what tends to happen with collectives born of good intentions.

    Always expect the worst from your fellow man and construct your collective on the assumption that someone of dubious character will at some point run the entity for their own benefit. Which is why I find the notion that we should now all work together for the common good so terribly unexciting.

    Greed is a natural factor in human interaction and has both positive and negative outcomes. The negative can be dissuaded by ensuring that every new venture has enough checks and balances to create a high enough hurdle for those who would want to consume the whole.

    Those in any doubt should read Brett Maselle’s letter of a few days ago.

  33. Anand Chetty says:

    Three days, and pick 6 net pools barely averaging R250000.
    Has any attempt been made to get the small punter to register for online betting? We had 2 months.
    And are authorities aware, treat punters badly, and the game is doomed

    1. Editor says:

      There have been promotions and awareness Anand
      Not a practical option for everybody, sadly

  34. Sipho says:

    I subscribe to the thought” if you dont know ask” and I believe everyone is entitled to his / her own opinion. In my hometown Bloemfontein, no punter pays for our telephone, data or time when we have meetings with the Phumelela management, wr engage them on issues relating to the day to day runnibg of the tote, scratching, payouts suggestuons on improving the sport, bensfits etc. Wr ecen took it further to have a way of contributing if one of our punters die. In the history of all our branches we never had fights or roberries because we are like family. Im not suggesting all provincws should so that because every Province has got its own dynamics, but on conmon issues we should unite and speak in one voice. For instance let me ask you a question, who keeps record of all the carry overs be they of quartertets or Exotics, and who decides where are they to be carried forward to?

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Sipho
      Plse add your surname to you user name
      Thanks

  35. Michael Jacobs says:

    Lol, thanks for the vote of confidence, but I have a day job selling fruit and veg ( and roast chicken, at the whims of the government!). But a start has to be made. In each racing centre, for now it will have to be via social media/ Sporting Post/ Facebook or WhatsApp. After the lockdown a meeting with all interested parties.

  36. Roy Kasseepersadh says:

    Good Morning. I wrote to the Editor making a suggestion in good faith. Your comments are once again thouht provoking. For example, someone pointed out that GREED may attract the undesirable people into the leadership. I think that once money is involved, the bus will most certainly get hijacked. What I had in mind was something you all are familiar with. An Association similar to a Civic Association or a Community Policing Forum. There are no membership fees and EXCOM members serve on a voluntary basis, no salary. Fundraising is done as and when required. So the whole idea was to unite a group of possibly lost, abused and disgruntled people who have a common interest, Not to create a public company. I would have been happy to serve in such an Association but unfortunately I am not skilled enough in horse racing to handle this responsibility. However, if you share my thoughts and want me to coordinate I will be glad to assist. But on condition that this Association remains a non profit organization. I can create a Whatsapp group PUNTERS ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA. I can draft a Code of Conduct and remove any offensive member. In time, we will have a pool from which we can elect an EXCOM based on expertise. My cell phone number is 079 955 0099. Whatsapp only please.

  37. Pointer says:

    A punters association. Membership R6 plus a full name (apparently very hard to do), Province, and email address. What, for example, would the voice say typically. Is it what you would find in the ordinary Complaints and Suggestion Box?

    1. Editor says:

      Pointer, please use your name and surname
      Thanks

  38. DavidSafi says:

    With proper legal assistance the South African Racegoers Association known as SARGA which was prominent in horse racing during the late 80’s has once again been constituted and it is registered as a non profit association, our first goal is to keep an eye on events and if need be to secure funds belonging to racegoers from being claimed by anyone else, I am doing this purely to get the association started and up and running, we have several interested people who are assisting, I will not be in office of the association for a long period and hopefully will hand over soonest to someone who has drive and passion to maintain the association. My number is 0832762749 and my email is [email protected], I will try take short calls and answer emails as I can.

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