Thiselton: Doubting Thomas

Regarding Basil Thomas’ letter I should point out that after writing an article about the open bet last year I had a meeting with the CEO of the KZN Bookmakers Sean Coleman together with Trevor Fourie and they stated their case.

I didn’t agree with their points, but as far as I remember they didn’t want to consider an offer to publish their point of view.

The operators have stated their point of view regarding the Gambling Review for all to see.

Furthermore the key points in the Levelling The Playing Fields article were all in quotes from the leaders of Gold Circle so there can surely be no question where the opinion came from.

The bookmakers have made no attempt to rebut despite having had plenty of opportunity to do so.

Mr Thomas’ claims “My problem is that I like transparency”, but I question which side is being more transparent here.

The public has remained in the dark for years regarding the bookmakers views on their returns to racing.

From past experience I doubt they would outline their own point of view in the Independent newspapers even if offered the space to do so.

I would like it known that personally I am not opposed to fixed odds betting and believe the punter should have the choice, but the dream situation would be to know that wherever you bet the same portion of that bet is guaranteed to be returned to horseracing.

The legendary Phil Bull, who made a fortune from betting on horses and through his publications that included Timeform, once said, “”George Wigg’s arrival at the Levy Board was the best thing to happen to racing in my lifetime.”

It was Wigg who increased the levy by getting bookmakers’ payments based on turnover rather than profits and he established criteria for the fixture list which maximised that turnover.

It is interesting to note that Bull’s chief concern throughout his life was for the deal the punter was getting as in his day, as it still is today, it was in reality the punter who made the biggest contribution to paying for racing.

In the end the health of the sport depends on the quality of the show and the quality of the show depends on the return to racing.

Lastly, I have written hundreds of articles for the Independent newspapers which have benefitted bookmakers in terms of providing insight for punters from the training tracks, jockeys etc.

In contrast I have attempted exactly three articles on my opinion of Tote versus bookmaker and those three are the only ones that have ever elicited published comment from bookmakers and/or their representatives.

click here to read more

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts

From Russia With Love

Cape racegoers of an older generation will remember the fine racemare Boland Pride, who counted what is now the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas amongst her eight victories

Read More »

Dream Summer For Royal Victory

In the run for home Royal Victory, having his first run over 2000m, built up from rear of midfield as he picked them off one by one and had Son Of Raj and Safe Passage firmly in his sights at the 200m

Read More »

Hollywoodbets Kenilworth – A Splendid History

In 1874,  the members of the South African Turf Club chose a site on the farm Kenilworth for the construction of a new racecourse – which means that next year the foundation of the oldest racetrack in South Africa will celebrate 150 years

Read More »