If the British legal betting companies offer bets on the sport, it is because there is demand for bets on the sport -and if that demand were not offered in a regulated environment, it would be filled in an unregulated one (like what we see with TradeSports-InTrade and MatchBook in the US market).

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Mark Davies of BetFair (PDF file):

International Leaders in Sport conference, Auckland, New Zealand. April 3-4th 2008.
Keynote speech, April 4th. Mark Davies, Betfair.

“New Understandings in Sports Betting”

Minister, ladies and gentlemen…- Thank you very much for your kind invitation to speak to you today. I have once before been asked by sport to address it, as a member of the bookmaking industry, and it was apparent when I got there that they expected me to tell them that sport was their business, and making money out of it was ours. I can tell you that those who spoke to me afterwards said that they left the conference surprised to hear that a bookmaking operation could hold views so different from what they expected. I hope to be able to break down a few perceptions today.

A number of perceptions have grown in recent years in relation to betting and sport which I believe are completely false and misleading, the first of which is that sport suddenly has a new problem as a result of sports betting on the internet.

Betfair is at the forefront of this debate for one very good reason. When we launched the business back in 2000, we did so under the bold slogan “-revolutionizing betting”-. By that, we meant not just that we planned to revolutionise the experience for the customer, by allowing him better choice, better value, and – for the first time – control over what he did- but, crucially, that we were going to transform the way that betting worked with regulators, both in the sport and government sphere.

The basis of our model was the business that the founding team had come from, in the main, which was the business of finance. I used to trade bonds at JPMorgan, and I can tell you that what our customers do is exactly the same as what I used to do in my previous life, with the single exception that where I had to pore over balance sheets and income statements, they pore over form and team-sheets. It could be argued – indeed, it has been – that they will therefore know a great deal more about the underlying mechanics of their markets than I ever knew of mine- but the principles are exactly the same. You express a view of value about a given outcome or a given currently-traded market price about an outcome. The extent to which this is true was really brought home to me when I was asked to speak at the Swiss Futures and Options Association’-s annual gathering at Birkenstock – you can see I get all the good gigs – which was attended by all the leading exchanges of the world: The Chicago Board of Trade- the Swedish stock exchange, whose platform powers another eleven stock exchanges worldwide, the London Clearing House and representatives of the LSE, Nasdaq, and many more. My presence there was an irritation to many: what place had a sports betting exchange at such an event, people wanted to know. But by the end, they were so ready to accept that what happens in the sports betting world and what happens in their world is actually identical that they wanted to know why we weren’-t taxed on the same basis.

So we came to the sports betting market saying this: why is it so opaque? And by that, we didn’-t mean just, “-why is it not clear what the customer is charged?”- but “-why doesn’-t anyone know who is betting? The City had gone through the Big Bang in 1987: the sports betting market was continuing to exist as it had done for most of its legal history: with the power in the hands of a few, and everyone else ignorant of what was going on.

We sought to change that, and at first, people welcomed it. But the more successful we became as a company, the more people – led to a large extent by our commercial competitors – started to change their tune, for a very simple reason: that with transparency came issues which people had never been able to see clearly, and so had always wanted to believe didn’-t really exist.

Before I go on, I want to give you a couple of analogies.

The first is perhaps a little high-brow. In his philosophical work Being and Nothingness, the French author Jean-Paul Sartre debates whether anything actually happens if we aren’-t there to see it. The example he gives is of a tree falling in a forest. How can we know, he says, that the tree actually fell, unless we saw it happen? Just by virtue of seeing it lying down rather than standing up, he says, we assume it has fallen over. It is an absurdist argument which exists to enable philosophical theorising- but everyone would accept that in reality, you don’-t need to witness something to be able to acknowledge that it has happened.

The second analogy is rather closer to home. As I understand it, the speed limit in this country is 100km/h. I would imagine that it was long-suspected that people broke this limit, particularly on the main highway. People observing cars drive past would have had a perception of this, but no evidence for it. Then, one day, someone came up with the idea of a speed camera, and a number were installed. The following week, a number of cars would have been recorded as speeding. Would anyone seriously suggest that what caused the cars to speed was the camera? It is self-evident that the camera did nothing but produce the proof of an existing fact.

The reason for these analogies is this: in recent years, there has been a growing clamour from the media and from sport that there is more corruption today than there ever was, and the cause of it is betting. In same cases, they even claim that the cause of it is Betfair, on the grounds that you will find very few corruption stories in the last seven years that do not mention Betfair, which has led some to argue that if the words ‘-Betfair’- and ‘-corruption’- appear in the same paragraph, that must somehow be evidence of the fact that Betfair is the cause, and corruption the effect.

Betfair takes a very different view. Our view is that we are the speed camera, showing you something that you never knew was there. We are shining a light into the darkness, and people give us a hard time for having a torch.

Why do we think that? Because the level of transparency which Betfair has brought to the sports industry is unprecedented. Every single bet placed on Betfair is recorded, to the second. Every click of your mouse- every movement of funds in and out of your account – we know where it has come from, and we know where it is going. As I mentioned, we brought financial markets best practice to the sports betting market. We came into a world that was entirely opaque, and made it entirely transparent. If there was anything hiding in the murk, it can now be seen.

An interesting example of this came in August last year, when a match at the Poland Open in Sopot between Nikolai Davydenko and Martin Arguello-Vasallo raised eyebrows, when Arguello won by default after Davydenko withdrew while leading. You cannot fail to have read about this: not an article about tennis and the ATP now appears without mentioning it. It was all over the press not just for days, but for weeks- and it continues to be brought up, as the ATP’-s investigation into what happens continues.

Now, there are a number of things to note about this incident. The first is how it came to light. As I mentioned, we are fully aware of all the betting details on Betfair- but what I didn’-t mention is that everyone looking at the site can see bets betting placed, and can see the prices moving in a free market. The 40 or 50,000 pairs of our customers’- eyes that we have on our markets at any one time can all see exactly what is happening to the odds. And our forum allows sports punters to discuss what they can see.

Davydenko’-s lawyer criticised Betfair for having sought publicity from the incident but the reality is that we were called by the media, not the other way around- and the reason for that was that what was happening was in the public domain. Everyone on our site could see that the World Number 4 had started at $1.20 and moved out by the end of the first set to $2.28, even though he won it with no apparent difficulty, and was paying $3.75 after losing the opening game of the second set on his serve. And well before he actually pulled out through injury, hundreds of people on our forum were speculating that he must be about to pull out.

I cast no aspersions here: it is entirely possible that the player was carrying an injury and some group of people were aware of the fact. There is no consistent rule across sports, as things stand, against insider trading- the rights and wrongs of which can be debated later perhaps, but it might be worth me mentioning as an aside that we don’-t make the rules- we just help to enforce them once they have been made. So I am not suggesting that the match was corrupt. We, as a company, made a decision to void the bets on it, because we felt that the betting itself was not fair. It was clear to us that the betting was leading events, and not the other way around. But I would also mention here that another fallacy of this position was that it served us to do so. A number of people commented at the time that it is all very easy for a bookie to void bets when a result is going against him. But this misunderstands the whole business proposition we have: we are set up like a stock exchange, matching up supply and demand, and taking a cut in the middle. This means that we have no exposure to the result, or, to put it another way, we don’-t care who wins. We make money if the event happens, regardless of the outcome, and we make no money if the event is voided. It is also worth mentioning, as an aside, that while many were crying foul about the movement in prices, we also, of course, had full access to the information as to who was betting. The complete audit trail created by our systems and our Know Your Customer checks mean that we know exactly who was behind the bets.

So, we voided the market, at a cost to us. But what happened next is perhaps the most striking of all. One after another, big players around the world came out and said that they had been approached to throw matches. One after the other, they said that they knew of players who had, or had themselves, been offered money by people who wanted them to rig the result. In several instances, these offers were made before the advent of internet-based sports betting.

Now, for me, the big question is, Why did it take a company that stands for transparency to make a stand before anyone mentioned that there was a problem? If we had not voided the bets on the match, would tennis be better or worse off? Is it helpful to know if you have a problem, or would you rather remain ignorant of it until it kills you?

The answer, with some in sport, would appear to be the latter. One sporting body, unconnected with this case, which we approached with a view to signing an information-sharing agreement, actually told us directly that they didn’-t want information because they were frightened about the level of corruption it would reveal. Time and again, since the Poland Open, we have been told (although not by the ATP, I should add, who were among the first to embrace the information-sharing agreements we have pioneered) that we are causing sport a problem that didn’-t previously exist. And yet, the evidence is there for all to see: we made our stand after people had been approached. Once we made our stand, people started to come out and talk about things. And yet a sizeable number of people want to return to where we were before we blew the whistle.

The reality of this point of view is that it is childish. Corruption is something that no-one here wants to see, and every one of us wishes didn’-t exist. But it does exist. And, we cannot, like children confronted by a monster, hope that if we close our eyes, the monster will disappear. Even less can we credibly say that all the time we were sitting with our eyes shut, the monster that stood before us wasn’-t there, and that it was only the person that told us to open our eyes that put it there.

The nature of sport is that it produces clear-cut results, and where there are clear-cut results, there is money to be made speculating on the outcome. This, again, is a basic truth. You may not like the fact that for some people, this is the sport- and I accept that for many, in a perfect world we would simply have no betting at all. Some sports bodies still struggle to accept just how great the demand for betting is. For example, I went to talk to the IOC about betting about eighteen months ago, and they, in line with many others I have met (to be fair to them) were totally incredulous that anyone would want to bet on who would win the 100metres in Beijing. Again, I accept that this is not the Olympic ideal, but it is a fact that they do, and rather than close our eyes to the fact, we should work with it. Because the reality, strange as it may seem, is that for many people, having a bet on the 100metres final retains their interest. If that hundred metres final comprises six Americans, a Jamaican and a Cuban, there will be plenty of people won’-t give a monkey’-s who wins it, unless they have had a bet to make them feel involved.

Again, I accept that this is not what sports bodies might want in a perfect world. But we don’-t live in a perfect world. And if you want to live in the real world, you have to accept that there are plenty of people with strong opinions who want to express them through a bet. Plenty of people don’-t accept this. Just this week, the coach of the Brisbane Lions AFL team, Leigh Matthews, showed that he is among those who don’-t. Described as “-certainly neither a wowser nor a saint, and having no intention of ever becoming either”-, Matthews is a four-time premiership coach and was named Player of the 20th Century. He told a press conference just a few days ago that the Australian Football League should sever all ties with the bookmaking industry. Let me quote him: “-The one thing that really annoys me is any thought that whatever we do as a game has something to do with people betting on it. I hate that,”- he said. “-I would prefer that nobody bet on the AFL. Then all innuendo would not exist. It’-s one of the unfortunate progressions in the evolution of the world that betting agencies now bet on everything. I think that’-s really unhealthy, really unsavoury and really unfortunate.”-

As I say, I can understand this view in the ideal: he would rather no-one bet on the sport. But what I do not accept is that betting companies offering bets on the sport is what makes people bet on it. If the legal betting companies offer bets on the sport, it is because there is demand for bets on the sport – and if that demand were not offered in a regulated environment, it would be filled in an unregulated one. So while I do not argue with Matthews’- picture of the ideal, I struggle with the argument that he follows it up with. Again, let me quote him directly: “-I think [the AFL] should say to the betting companies `you want to bet on the footy, fine, but don’-t include us. Don’-t ask us to have rules and regulations that pander to people who might want to bet on a game.”-

For me, this view is absurd. It is essential that there are rules in place, and essential that there is a mechanism for those rules to be upheld. The AFL’-s own experience of having named information of who is betting on its sport has been that it has been able to help players with addictions, and drive out a problem which could, unchecked, lead to corruption. Having no rules or no means of enforcing them is precisely what leads to problems – not just here but in any walk of life. And yet Matthews’- criticism was taken up by the press. They argue that when people were caught breaking the AFL’-s rules preventing players betting as a direct result of the agreement the AFL signed, the sport was shown in a poor light. It wasn’-t the fact that rules were being broken that was troubling, but the fact that it had become apparent. It should, wrote one commentator, be all about perception, rather than reality. In other words, it would be better to sweep things under the carpet.

I think, in contrast, that we should accept that the demand of people to be able to bet on a clear-cut result is a fundamental reality, and in itself is not a problem. The trouble is that where there is money to be made, there are also people who would seek to corrupt. Sadly, this, too, is a basic reality of the world we live in. So we must protect against corruption, which means having rules and regulations in place, and a proper means of policing them.

The idea that corruption must be rooted out is uncontentious. The question is simply how we do it. In my view, agreement on this is hindered because many people think that betting causes corruption. But betting in itself is not corrupt. Corrupt betting is corrupt, but corrupt betting is not really betting at all, by definition: it is merely getting guaranteed financial reward through securing a fixed outcome, which isn’-t the same as backing your analysis of a given contest and speculating on the chances of a particular outcome at all. In other words, the key part of the phrase ‘-corrupt betting’- is not the betting part, but the adjective that precedes it: or to put it another way, corruption is corruption, through whatever channel it happens to manifest itself.

This is an important point, because the first thing that must be done if the battle against corruption is to be won is to work out who is on whose side here, and what tools we have to fight with. At the moment, the perception exists in sport that betting is the cause, rather than on occasions (and by no means on all occasions) a facilitator, and the inevitable next step in sport’-s logic is to blame the betting companies for their problems. And this means that we have a fundamental issue, because the betting companies – by which I mean the legal, regulated, and co-operative betting companies – are actually a tool in the fight.

You can accept that betting for betting’-s sake is not in itself the problem, and that 99% of people who make money out of the sporting result, through betting on it, would never consider affecting that result to suit. But that still leaves us with an issue: using the money being generated by that 99% of people to make money out of a corruptly fixed result clearly is a problem. But here we must consider what added ingredient is needed to allow someone to do that – to turn betting from a pastime into a facilitator for corruption. Put simply, “-How do you corrupt?”-

If you or I decide we want to rig the outcome of a horserace, or a rugby match, or any other sporting event, it isn’-t immediately apparent how we would do it sitting here. We can very easily have a bet right here, and right now, on almost any sporting event taking place in the world at the moment- but what we can’-t do, sitting here, by ourselves, is affect the outcome. For that, we need the collaboration of the people involved.

Now, there’-s a story about Winston Churchill which goes something like this. Winston Churchill, apparently a few the worse for wear – as was his wont – allegedly once approached a lady and asked her if she would be prepared to sleep with him for ?1million. She thought about it for a moment, and said she would. He then asked her if she would be prepared to sleep with him for a tenner, and she was horrified. “-What do you think I am?”- she exclaimed. “-Madam,”- he replied, “-we have established what you are. We are now just negotiating the price.”-

As was true of Winston and his target, so is true of sportsmen and corruptors. When I talk to people about corruption in sport, and protest at the idea that internet betting in particular has increased corruption just because the sums of money involved are that much greater, I think of that story about Winston Churchill. Because as far as I am concerned, either you can be corrupted, or you can’-t. If you can’-t bribe a sportsman or a group of sportsmen to rig a result, then you can’-t get a result fixed. And what that means is that the heart of the problem in the issue of corruption in sport is not betting, but is sportsmen willing to be bought.

I realise that pointing the finger at sport, from what appears to be the betting side of the fence, might seem somewhat inflammatory. But the most important point I want to make is that when we consider whose side of the fence is whose, we are currently getting it absolutely wrong. The betting industry doesn’-t want bad apples as customers any more than the sports industry wants bad apples participating- and just as more than 99% of your participants are clean, so are more than 99% of ours. Our less than 1% can do the buying- your less than 1% can deliver the goods. The challenge for us both is to rid ourselves of the 1%, and the best way to do that is to work together.

Put another way, the simple fact of the matter is this: if we are to draw a line – not to say dig a bloody great big trench – between sport and corruption, as obviously we must, then the first and most important thing is to understand that the legal betting industry is on the same side of that line as the sports industry. And I say this not just because it serves our purpose for sport to be clean, although it does: if people don’-t have confidence in the fairness of the result, they will not bet. I say it because we were set up as a business philosophically because we are lovers of sport. And, having set up something which was designed, in part, to bring complete transparency to the market- and then having set out our stall to share information with sports to help them deal with problems that exist, it has been extremely frustrating to find ourselves attacked as if we are the cause of the problems. If ever there was a case of shooting the messenger, this is it.

In fact, the finger pointing from sport to betting, and to Betfair in particular, has been so great that there are calls around the world for betting to pay sport, because sport now has to deal with integrity issues which betting has caused. Let me say straight up that Betfair has never been against paying sport on the basis of a commercial agreement which recognises that sport is putting on a show and Betfair is benefitting from that. This is not the same as saying that sport ‘-owns’- the product, but it simply recognises that there ought to be a symbiotic relationship between the two industries. And we are not suddenly coming to this party under pressure: I spoke at the Sport Accord conference in Madrid in 2003 and told the 80 or so delegates there from sports bodies all round the world that the two things they should expect from a bookmaker in the 21st century were information about what betting was taking place on their matches, to allow them to police their sport better- and a financial contribution to acknowledge that they were putting on the show. But I do have a fundamental problem with betting being asked to pay to ‘-clean up’- something that exists whether they are there are not. The integrity of sport is the domain of sport, whether Betfair, or Ladbrokes, or any other betting company in the world exists or not.

In fact, I would go further than that. Imagine a world where bookmaking is illegal. Take Betfair, and Ladbrokes, and William Hill, and everyone else you care to mention, and close them all down. What happens to sport’-s problem then? Does it go away, stay the same, or get bigger? Clearly, it gets bigger – and if you doubt that, let me give you two reasons why.

The first is best exemplified by Hansie Cronje. No-one in New Zealand will be unaware of the scandals that affected the world of cricket in the late 1990s – an era, incidentally, which preceded internet betting, and in which cricket was not alone in experiencing problems: floodlights went off in top-flight UK football matches for reasons which at first were not apparent. Talk to the ICC about those times in cricket and they will readily acknowledge that their problems came from the Indian sub-continent, where – no surprises – bookmaking is illegal. And the source of floodlight failures, too, was eventually traced to Far Eastern illegal betting syndicates, but only because someone was eventually caught red-handed with his hands more or less on the switch.

The second reason is this: tell me why betting was legalised and regulated in the first place, if it wasn’-t that it existed illegally and unregulated, and if, being illegal and unregulated, it was not seen to be causing problems which could not be dealt with? The whole basis of regulation is that regulating makes it more difficult to corrupt.

Betfair took the level of regulation a significant step further. I have already talked about our audit trail, but what I didn’-t mention was that any sports regulatory body in the world can have the information gathered by that audit trail from us, free of charge. In fact, we can deliver it, via our Bet Monitor technology, in real time – as Stewards not so very far away in Victoria will tell you. In other words, we are providing, without any obligation, information which would otherwise be unknown about betting that is taking place all over the world – information which makes it easier to know what is happening, not harder. And it seems to me that asking the legal, regulated betting market to pay to clean up problems of integrity in sport is like approaching a High Street pharmacy and asking it to pay for the fight against cocaine-smuggling on the grounds that their business is in drugs. The difference between the legal, regulated market and the illegal market is the difference between chalk and cheese. And asking Betfair, or any other well-regulated, well-run global brand, to pay for problems which are seen to originate in the murky world of unregulated, illegal, bookmaking seems to me to be entirely missing the point.

To illustrate my point a little further, here’-s the page from Wikipedia on match-fixing. You will see if you look at it more closely that it claims that cheating on sport started with the Ancient Olympics, and with battles between gladiators. When I once mentioned this on a radio interview, I was taken to task over it by a journalist from a British national newspaper, the Guardian, who accused me of being disingenuous. The amount of match-fixing today, he said, was of a completely different proportion, and the sums of money involved were much greater.

Even aside from my story about Winston Churchill, I would take issue with that. First of all, on what empirical grounds can anyone justifiably claim that there is more match-fixing today than there was before? Isn’-t the perception that there is simply born of the fact that we can see it better today than we could a decade ago? Are there more diseases these days, or do we just diagnose them better?

To go back to my earlier analogy, are there more speeding cars, or are we now in a position to clock them? Did people start taking drugs to improve their sporting performances the week after drugs testing came in, or were they taking them before we had tests, and just doing so undetected? Was Jacques Rogge, the President of the IOC, justified when he commented during the Athens Olympic that, “-Each positive test is a blessing for us because it’-s eliminating the cheats and protecting the clean athletes. The more we find, the better.”- I would say absolutely he was.

In truth, the basic fact is that it is simply not possible to make any judgment whatsoever on what the level of corruption in sport was before we had a means of tracking it, just as it is impossible to know how many athletes in the past used performance-enhancers to bring them medals. We might think that in a bye-gone era, the world was a nobler place- and on the whole, we might be right. But if the Chicago White Sox were throwing the World Series in 1919, and Liverpool and Manchester United were colluding over a result in 1915 – on that occasion, not for a betting return, incidentally, but to ensure survival in the top division at the expense of Chelsea, who consequently went down – and if these are scandals we happen to know about because someone happened to sing about them, then how can we possibly make a judgment about the bigger picture?

The challenge now is to take the attitude that Jacques Rogge has to drugs testing and apply it to betting, not being fearful of instances we find to occur, but to be confident that transparency is rooting out the corruption and tipping the risk/reward ratio dramatically in favour of the regulator and away from the corruptor. For that, we first need to draw on another of Mr. Rogge’-s pronouncements in Greece. “-You have 10,500 athletes in the Olympic village,”- he told the world’-s press. “-You do not have 10,500 saints. You will always have cheats.”- We have to acknowledge that the only people who can corrupt sport are the players, and we have to educate those players about how they will be caught and how they will lose their livelihoods and their reputations when they are. And to do that, we first need to educate sport about how they can do the catching: the only way to know whether players are corrupted is to have the names of the people behind the bets, and then use forensic analysis to make the often easy links between the bettors and the participants. Any attempts to look at the betting quantum and make judgments on it are absolutely doomed to failure, and the only people who will gain anything from doing so are the media. So sport needs to put itself in a position where it has access to named information, wherever it can get it. If it is not doing that, it is not using the tools available. I find it amazing that any sporting body would turn down named information from a betting operator willing to provide it with no strings attached, and yet, from the top down, there are plenty who do.

Don’-t get me wrong. I am not trying to suggest that sport is riddled with corruption. I am an optimist, and I hope and expect, like everyone here, that 99.9% of sport is played for the Corinthian ideal of winning. But it is clear that sports – perhaps because they are being told so by the media – now feel that they have a problem which they feel they didn’-t have before. The immediate reaction is to point the finger, rather than take steps to do something to tighten regulation in a manner which perhaps should have happened years ago, and it is not difficult to see why this has happened. It is easy enough to make what appears at first a logical jump: betting has increased- corruption has become apparent- therefore betting is causing corruption. It’-s like saying, “-it’-s raining, and I don’-t have an umbrella, therefore I will inevitably get wet”-.

But what if it’-s pointed out that there is no reason for you to go outside? Suddenly, the argument falls apart. And what if you understand that the increase in betting has moved in parallel with the increase in transparency? Suddenly, the logic doesn’-t hold there either. But that growth in transparency of betting has led people to believe that there has been a growth of corruption, and the result is that sport is setting itself against the very people it should be working with. Again, I can understand how this is happening. Many in sports regulation genuinely don’-t see that this problem is not new, like a patient diagnosed with cancer who insists that he felt fine yesterday and still feels fine today. But understanding why we are where we are doesn’-t mean we should continue to plough the same furrow. We have to get out of it before we dig it so deep that we’-ll never be able to do so. As a first step, that means understanding that transparency is not to be feared, and the people who bring it should not be resisted and looked at suspiciously. And second – away from words and onto concrete actions – it means sport starting to use the tools provided for them by betting operators who want to work in partnership, which would make it easier to combat the problems facing them than any other measure. Use the audit trail, link betting to names, and root corruption out of sport.

Understanding this, and acting on it, would allow sport to make the most of the commercial advantages that the betting market brings. I am not talking specifically about betting companies paying them directly for commercial agreements, although that is precisely what Betfair is doing voluntarily in Australia with the AFL, NRL, and cricket among others- we have done it with British greyhounds, and Irish horseracing- and we have committed to doing it elsewhere. I am also not talking about sponsorships coming from the betting companies, although it is interesting to note that just last week, Reinhard Rauball, the President of the Bundesliga in Germany, affirmed that the ban on foreign gambling advertisements would cost German football between €100 million and €300 million every year in lost revenues. I understand that even if we got to the point where regulators and betting operators were working in partnership to stop corruption, many sports would prefer to keep at arms length from betting companies in other areas, and I fully respect that. Rather, I am referring to the notion that betting plays a significant role in helping sports to internationalise their marketplaces, and ultimately, we now all compete in the global village.

In other words, although sports today recognize that they need to embrace a modern, global audience, they spend a lot of time working against the very sorts of organizations which might help it to achieve one.

Let me give you an example. There is a racing newsletter published in Australia called BetAngel. It is dedicated to a whole new audience who, since the arrival of Betfair, trade the sports markets as if they were the financial markets. Their March edition began with the words, “-Wind back nearly eight years ago, when Betfair started and I joined them, I had no idea what Cheltenham was all about”- – before going on, for eleven pages, to lay out the best strategies for punting on Britain’-s premier Jumps Racing festival. In a similar vein, Betfair this year had e-mails from all over the world eulogising about the up-to-the-minute coverage and ideas being distributed far and wide by Betfair Radio on that same Cheltenham Festival – from Cyprus, Belgium, India, Singapore and – yes – New Zealand. The extent to which we are broadening the appeal of British horseracing is incontestable if you look at our international audience and the 85 or so countries from which we list customers. By virtue of the mechanism by which we pay to British racing a percentage of the profits which we achieve on British racing, it is fair to say that today money is coming in from the four corners of the earth which just a few years ago was staying firmly put.

Betfair is committed to paying sports bodies a percentage of the profits achieved on betting on events run under their jurisdiction. But if the betting markets continue to be seen as a problem, then they cannot at the same time be seen as an opportunity, and sports worldwide cannot make the most of that commitment. In contrast, if we could get sports administrators to realise that we do not threaten their integrity in a regulated and open environment- if we could get them to work with us, on commercial terms, and not against us- if we could get them to understand that the utopian world of no betting on sport is exactly that – utopian – and that the sensible thing is to work with the regulated market to ensure maximum transparency and minimum outlets for those would corrupt- if we could do all these things, then it wouldn’-t be a question of sport putting on the show and the betting industry benefitting. It would be a question of sport broadening and maintaining its audience- of sharing in the first derivative market which stems from it – the betting market- and of the two industries working together to ensure that every tool is used to keep both the underlying commodity and the derivative market clean.

So I am here today to try to give you a new understanding of sports betting. I want you to understand that as far as we at Betfair are concerned, the regulated betting industry today is not some backwater of corruption in smoke-filled rooms, but a modern leisure industry which engages its customers and allows them to get involved on a participatory level that enhances their enjoyment- that it is an industry which harnesses those customers, and wants to do so in partnership with sport rather than at the expense of sport- that what sport today should expect from a modern bookmaking operator, as I told Sport Accord back in 2003, is a financial return which recognises that sport is putting on the show and seeks to demonstrate the good faith that leads to partnerships that leads to everyone growing the cake- and – entirely unconnected with any commercial agreement – they should expect information on what betting is taking place on their product, and – and I cannot over-emphasize this enough – by whom, in order to allow it to fulfil its role of policing the sport.

There are plenty of issues facing sport today, as there always will be. But feeling it has to fight betting should simply not be one of them. Sport has to fight corruption, using every tool it can- and the betting companies, who also, like the sports bodies, have brand names to defend- and, in a way that sports do not, more often than not have market values and share prices to protect, have to fight it too. So in conclusion, let me say it one more time: the legal and regulated betting companies around the world want to work with sport, not against it. But they need sports to recognise that it isn’-t betting that causes problems, but corruption. I hope we can fight it together.

Thank you.

Mark Davies of BetFair

-

Mark Davies (Managing Director of Corporate Affairs of BetFair)

-

The best text that I have ever read about sports betting.

It’-s that kind of speech that the US Congress should hear.

-

The Winston Churchill joke was lame.

-

Took me like one hour to read it in full, but every sentence was worth my effort.

All the issues he raised were known to me, but it was fine to see them all gathered in one place.

-

I’-m still persuaded that the Winston Churchill joke was lame.

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Related Posts

195 thoughts on “If the British legal betting companies offer bets on the sport, it is because there is demand for bets on the sport -and if that demand were not offered in a regulated environment, it would be filled in an unregulated one (like what we see with TradeSports-InTrade and MatchBook in the US market).

  1. Adonis said:

    It would be suitable “icing” on this particlular cake if Mr Davies were to provide assurance that following the recent “betfair skimming” incident, his company was given a clean bill of health by the Gambling Commission regarding betfair’s published  insistence that as a “zero risk bookmaker” it was licenced and fully entitled to  generate ( and keep) a profit from the process of it’s Customers’ attempts to secure matches for their bet offers.

     

    That process – with incumbent dynamic market forces – is certain to produce inefficiencies which can always be exploited. That, surely, is why the supervision of a  Referee of the very highest Integrity is usually deemed essential?

    The key point is that if at any stage in that matching process Time itself is “frozen” whilst bet offers are offset against their mathematical inverses (lays) then abstraction of funds becomes risk-free.

    In fact, unless done with stupidity, generation of such abstractions becomes inevitable! It can be fast and transparent (invisible!) to those not privvy to the activity.

    In betting exchange parlance, this means that the “matching pipeline” (to ensure risk freedom for its bookmaker operator) MUST be frozen whilst calculations and cross-matches are done ( and ensuing abstractions made) – ideally at high speed so that they pass by unnoticed.

    Betfair’s activities, it is said, conducted without prior disclosure to its Customers, was greeted with significant surprise, and a degree of disgust ( as heavily evidenced on betfair’s own General Betting forum threads).

    The Gambling Commission seemingly had to resort to a “standard letter” response to the complaints it received from the probably much smaller percentage of the total disgruntled who actually put pen to paper. Maybe the GC will tell the Public what it said and did (or didn’t) sometime in the next decade………or maybe it will take a little Westminster politicking at Question Time to prise out the detail?

     

  2. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Adonis: Thanks for your comment. Nothing smart to add at this point.

  3. medemi said:

    The reason for these analogies is this: in recent years, there has been a growing clamour from the media and from sport that there is more corruption today than there ever was, and the cause of it is betting. In same cases, they even claim that the cause of it is Betfair, on the grounds that you will find very few corruption stories in the last seven years that do not mention Betfair, which has led some to argue that if the words ‘Betfair’ and ‘corruption’ appear in the same paragraph, that must somehow be evidence of the fact that Betfair is the cause, and corruption the effect.

    -

    This is one of the reasons why I don’t want any children. Continually lowering myself to their level of thinking would be quite exhausting.

    I already told betfair that people tend to overreact/they will see causations where there aren’t any. This is not the problem though. Betfair’s policy, I should say betfair’s lack of policy in dealing with corruption, is what creates this perception. You reap what you sow. Now grow up and deal with it like an adult.

    -

    Betfair takes a very different view. Our view is that we are the speed camera, showing you something that you never knew was there. We are shining a light into the darkness, and people give us a hard time for having a torch. Why do we think that? Because the level of transparency which Betfair has brought to the sports industry is unprecedented.

    -

    We all know it’s there, but you’re not shining a light on it.

    It is the cheat with an average IQ below 75 who is, and that’s still a small percentage (although you would expect it to be the majority) of all cheats.

    Betfair’s clock is standing still, in fact it has been going backwards for quite a while.

    The cheats on the other hand will adapt, evolve. When there is sufficient liquidity, and we are getting towards that point, an insider can become a millionaire in a matter of hours without moving the markets.

    -

    Every single bet placed on Betfair is recorded, to the second. Every click of your mouse; every movement of funds in and out of your account – we know where it has come from, and we know where it is going. As I mentioned, we brought financial markets best practice to the sports betting market. We came into a world that was entirely opaque, and made it entirely transparent. If there was anything hiding in the murk, it can now be seen.

    -

    Then why not make the KYC mandatory for every person who wants to place a bet ?

    It’s the only way that guarantees you’ll be able to trace the cheats. (I know, the clock is slowly going forward here…) In stead, you’re planning to make the KYC mandatory for every person who wishes to post on your forum. We’re not the enemy (and you’ve got some nerve talking about who’s shooting the messenger) – you’re your own enemy.

     

  4. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi:

    QUOTE

    Sports bettors are closer to stock or commodities buyers than to people who buy lottery tickets. How much difference is there, after all, between betting on the future price of wheat (an activity banned in some states in the nineteenth century) and betting on the performance of a baseball team?

    UNQUOTE

    James Surowiecki

    http://www.newyorker.com/archi…..surowiecki

  5. medemi said:

    Chris, it’s a good article.

    -

    From that article:

    Furthermore, the ban on online betting is hindering the development of new markets that could predict far more important outcomes than that of the N.B.A. finals.

    -

    It can’t be stopped, just like any other crucial development in our existence.

    -

    Two reasons why WE (betting exchanges, its customers and the regulators) should get it right, before it all ends in tears. 

  6. Ed Murray said:

    If Mark Davies is reading this then I’m sorry if you find what I say offensive, but I do think that what happened on Hernandez v Brezezicki was totally out of order from Betfair.  You shouldn’t be paying that out and gambling nobody notices, in the face of overwhelming disgust both on the forum and on the phone. 

    -

    If Hernandez v Brezezicki had happened 8 months ago, and Arguello v Davydenko had happened today, it would have been the Hernandez match that was voided, with you appearing on UK tv stations talking about suspicious prices and fairness in betting, and Arguello v Davydenko would be paid out no questions asked. That really is current BF policy post-Arguello/Davydenko, and its just cretinous.

    -

    You yourself will have access to who was behind the thousands upon thousands trying to back Hernandez at odds on despite going a set, and then a further break down in the 2nd set.  I can’t say it was fixed obviously (if I, erm, did, erm, happen to, erm, think that) for legal reasons, but you will know deep down that if you had to bet your life on it being fixed or not being, I think I know which of the two outcomes both you and I would choose.

    -

    Why continue to offer Hernandez markets that week as well?  I really don’t understand.

  7. medemi said:

    When looking at solutions that deal with the insider problem effectively in exchange markets, I can see only one at the moment. Betting activity should be restricted based on a punter’s MO, and it would have to be enforced by the regulators.

    -

    I see an even bigger problem than you Ed. Somewhere down the road the insiders will not be moving the markets around. Another problem is that you can never be sure what moves a market, and I don’t see how a 24 hour delay in settling (in order to investigate) could be effective.

    -

    My solution sounds drastic, but we’ll get there eventually. As usual, a couple of ships have to sink first. Maybe it will be betfair. 

  8. medemi said:

    I’m not a fan of Mark Davies either, exactly because of his misleading statements (IMO). In fact I didn’t read beyond my previous quotations because he is wearing me out.

  9. medemi said:

    There’s a lot of pressure on CEO’s these days, so much that they sometimes have to cross the line of what we consider to be moral behaviour. Before you know it, it becomes a habit.

    It is his job to sell the company as best as possible, and it is our responsibility as good citizens to point out where we think he’s wrong. That’s the game.

    We really should be kicking the regulators actually, that’s where we can get things done, if we’re lucky.

  10. Ed Murray said:

    But its against BF’s own interests to allow “suspicious” (for want of a better word, and definitely not the word ‘fixed’) matches.

    -

    The culture at BF currently is so alien to betting fairly its ridiculous – why settle Hernandez v Brezezicki no questions asked in six minutes?  The forum was in total meltdown, and the BF staff member I spoke to assured me that (yet again) he’d been flooded with calls about this match. 

    -

    This is the Gamcare forum

    http://www.gamcare.org.uk/forum/index.php?f=19

    Davies should spend some time on there and thinking about whether his own “Iceberg?  What Iceberg?” routine on Radio 5, Channel 4 and SSN is as unethical as I think it is.  There are (a few) fires burning, and there really isn’t the need to fiddle, when he has the power to put them out.

    -

    If the British legal betting companies offer bets on the sport, it is because there is demand for bets on the sport —and if that demand were not offered in a regulated environment, it would be filled in an unregulated one

    -

    ,………. it is being filled in an unregulated one, on Betfair.  Also, I don’t understand this “British legal betting companies thing”.  There are plenty of legal British drugs firms, but that doesn’t mean they are allowed to supply cocaine?  Same with gambling, the companies are legal, but that doesn’t mean that with a minority of their markets they should be allowed to flout UK or US law.

  11. medemi said:

    Can’t argue with most of your comments. I watched a video the other day - Betfair is a young and dynamic, but foolish company. Combine that with a bit of arrogance and I’m afraid there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.

    -

    It started with “Caveat Emptor” when I first joined, and ended with silencing me.

    One of the things that bugs me most, is that they act as a role model for other exchanges.

  12. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: I personally agree with what Mark Davies says about sports betting, in this speech and elsewhere. That said, I accept other people’s perspectives.

  13. Ed Murray said:

    Chris F. Masse – I agree with most of what Davies is saying, as you yourself do.  What I don’t like, from first hand experience, is that his words, do not seem to match the reality.  I was in 100% agreement with him when he went on tv to say why BF voided Arguello/Davydenko, however, the reasons he gave (that the prices were wrong) applied equally to other markets, where BF seem to have taken an extremely cynical view now, post Arguello/Davydenko.  The words Davies uses are by and large absolutely fine.  Its just a shame, that as ever with Davies, there’s the “yes, but hold on a second,…….” factor with them.

  14. medemi said:

    Chris is looking at it from a different perspective. To him, the glass is half full, to me it’s half empty. Given time, and this is what matters… the glass will end up empty.

  15. Ed Murray said:

    It would make my year if Mark Davies came on here and gave an explanation of Hernandez v Brezezicki, and quite how exactly he thinks BF’s handling of that match in any way shape or form correlates with this speech.  I cannot see any conceivable way in which it does.

  16. John said:

    Tennis betting was pretty much a minority activity back in 2001-2002. It has only become the third most bet sport in the world because of Betfair. Mark Davies seems to forget this.

    Back in 2000-2002 if you wanted to win ?50k on the Davydenko Arguello match you would have had great great difficulty. As Ed has mentioned, traditional bookmakers have an incentive to be cautious with what bets they accept and they would never have accepted such large stakes on a very low profile match in some Polish backwater.  But Betfair being the so called facilitators who allow bettors to bet amongst themselves simply dont have that incentive. As far as theyre concerned the more commission the better. If that commission comes from some dodgy guy in Russia then so be it. So thats what led to Betfair allowing a Russia based account opened in a false name to oppose davydenko to the tune of $250k.

    Its this insistence from Davies that sport was corrupt before Betfair that really gets my goat. In the case of Tennis it simply wasnt. Betfair has undoubtedly helped the growth of Tennis betting by allowing virtually every match played these days to be bet on in-play. I can remember the days on Betfair where only televised matches were put in-play. These days every match is available as Betfair greedily chase commission revenues. After all they arent taking the risk in the markets so why should they care if punters dont have the up to date score or are getting hoovered on match points by people betting at the venue.

     

    So Betfair helped Tenis betting to grow and because its grown so big its now very attractive to try and fix a match. The reward in the Davydenko match was a potential ?750,000. 5 Years ago the potential reward from throwing a match at that level would be barely one tenth of that.

     

    Its up to the innocent punters who participate in these markets to flag up dodgy matches and cause a fuss. After all Betfair dont want the negative publicity, the ATP dont want the negative publicity and the fixers want to carry on fixing. The only people who are actually hurt by these fixed matches if theyre swept under the carpet are the innocent punters. Yet if Betfair flag up the match and a corruption investigation gets under way then all manner of people are going to be hurt. Its far better for Betfair to just sweep it under the carpet out of harms way and let their customers take the hit.

     

     

    I

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  17. Adonis said:

    No amount of huffing and puffing will convince an experienced punter that he can’t tell when cheating is present. It need not be confined to event competitors: it can be present in the apparently mundane, daily operation of  his betting process.

    Cheating does not require corrupt Event competitors.

    Punters can be fleeced on Events whose integrity is beyond reasonable question.

    When that happens, wise punters look to the process of their betting itself.

    It’s not rocket science to detect cheats: they win ultra-consistently.

    All it takes is for the likes of betfair to do something really productive (instead of incessantly telling us how impeccable they feel they are!) such as to provide the GC (or maybe soon, the FSA?) with a list of all accountholders + the account details, where more than say ?1,000 a week is taken out.

    Such accounts will be either expert punters (eg form experts) or cheats.

    It is CERTAIN (mathematically speaking) that all successful cheats will be IN THAT SMALL GROUP!

    The more money consistently taken out, the more likely they are to be a cheat.

    Then, start looking at their modus operandi.

    As I said IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!

    Talk is cheap for those who seek protect their insider knowledge of the extent of whatever is going on. Let’s see something other than studious attempts to silence and abase those who ask “awkward” questions of them….

     

  18. medemi said:

    Good post John, but it’s not just punters who’ll get hurt, even when betfair sweeps insider activity under the carpet.

    Sports will suffer in a major way, eventually. When sports suffers, so will society.

    Prediction markets in general will suffer, thus science will suffer (see Chris’ link).

    It’s about time someone entered betfair headquarters and gave some people a good spanking.

    I think we can move on now from the question whether betfair’s presence stimulates criminal activity, and come to some sort of solution.

    It should not be possible for someone to open an account, wager 250K, and take it back home a couple of hours later. An initial maximum bet (or liability) of say 1K (and mandatory KYC for bets above 1K) for starters. From there on, based on your betting history.

    If you want to open an account and bet heavily from the start, then bad luck… you’re a suspect already!

    -

    In the world of betting people are going to have to get used to earning the priveledge of betting with high stakes. There really is no other way, you don’t want to chase insiders all over the planet hoping that one day you could sue them.

    Insider activity should not be thought of lightly. Restrict them while you can.

    We need PREVENTIVE measures.

     

      

  19. medemi said:

    Why do you need to know, you want to send them this thread? :)

  20. medemi said:

    Why does someone like Ratner lose nearly all he built up, whereas someone like Black manages to actually inflate the price he sold shares off at? The world really isn’t a fair place.

    It is when we lose everything that we come close to the true meaning of life. All the money in the world cannot determine who I am, only I can. Those who chase the sun will get burned, he who walks around in the rain might discover the shine.

    According to Einstein we are not alone in this universe, we are all connected. The reward can be mind-blowing for those who get a taste of what lies beyond, before we cross over. It’s the toughest trick in the world, but hey who doesn’t need a challenge now and then.

    I do not envy Black or “his kind”. If anything, I feel sorry for them.

  21. medemi said:

    It’s not like there is a judge who decides who goes to heaven or not. There can’t be.

    There’s just a system IMO, call it God if you like. Those who live their lives in isolation, meaning those who only have attention for personal desires, will not enjoy the full benefits in the afterlife. We cannot take with us our personal possessions, only whom we have become. Multiply that by a massive number in a reciprocal way and you should get an idea of what heaven looks like. You’re ok Ed, and you will never have to feel lonely again (IMO). 

  22. medemi said:

    Interestingly…. when you try to visualise what I just said, you may be looking at the universe itself.

    Right, time for some shopping now. :)

  23. Ed Murray said:

    My website is being monitored by the Betfair secret police :-)

    -

    5.

    1 May

    21:08

    Google, Europe

     

    6.

    1 May

    21:13

    Road Runner, Tampa, Florida, United States

     

    7.

    1 May

    23:25

    Essent Kabelcom B.V. B.V., Panningen, Limburg, Netherlands, The

     

    8.

    2 May

    00:52

    Telewest Broadband, London, London, City of, United Kingdom

     

    9.

    2 May

    09:51

    The Sporting Exchange Ltd, London, London, City of, United Kingdom

     

    10.

    2 May

    11:49

    Turk Telekom, Aksaray, Nevsehir, Turkey

    -

    Good afternoon, Hammersmith ;-)

    -

    Please read what people have said on this thread, and ask Mark Davies to have a think about the morals of promoting this public line of “help us fight corruption”, and whether that actually tallies with BF’s current settle-suspicious-markets-immediately-no-questions-asked culture.  I don’t think the two match up, and I think everything Davies has said in this speech is meaningless as a result.

    -

    The olive branch is always there, if you want to operate within the framework of current law, and behave in professional manner.  It’ll take guts to reverse the current hear-no-evil-see-no-evil silliness.  Its not too late though.  I imagine though the usual answer is to appease sleazy money, settle things no questions asked, and attack people who all they want to do is to bet fairly.  I expect you’re already writing legal letters threatening Midas Oracle for allowing medemi, Adonis, me and others to speak honestly.  In the long run, its BF that suffers because of your actions.  I wish you would realise this. 

  24. medemi said:

    I expect you’re already writing legal letters threatening Midas Oracle for allowing medemi, Adonis, me and others to speak honestly.

    -

    hehe… this is not the UK. Should become interesting reading when Chris decides to put it on here, for all to read.

    -

    That was not me btw, from the Netherlands. You are famous here in Holland. ;)

  25. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: “writing legal letters threatening Midas Oracle for allowing medemi, Adonis, me and others to speak honestly”

    -

    We should avoid:

    - insults

    - defamation

    - exposing companies’ trade secrets

    -

    We should also:

    - check our facts

    - based them on rational arguments, or better, on science

    - give air time to the opponents

    - be positive, have a sense of progress, not destroy other people.

  26. Adonis said:

    Complementary to this discussion, we have noted that we (in the UK at least) are relying on the newly-established Gambling Commission (about 7 months old already) to search and destroy all aspects of corruption and damage to Betting Integrity. They repeatedly promise a statement on conncerns reported to them but up to and including today’s fortnightly newsletter, we see nothing.

    That said, there is one interesting item this time around!!!:

    “11. Director of Monitoring and Enforcement to leave Commission in July 2008

    Andrew Lyman, a Director at the Gambling Commission, will be leaving shortly to take up a senior executive role with the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB).

    “Having been involved in regulation for some years, I am looking forward to joining an organisation with a broad commercial focus. This new role will provide an opportunity to develop my legal, negotiating and other skill sets in a challenging environment.” said Lyman.

    Andrew will join the ABB in late July and his remaining time with the Commission will be spent on internal project work, distinct from his current regulatory role.

    Gambling Commission Chief-Executive Jenny Williams said: “We are very sorry to see Andrew go but with his expertise and understanding of the Commission’s work he will continue to contribute to the promotion of socially responsible gambling in his new role at the ABB.”

    So it appears that Regulatory service with the Gambling Commission is regarded by bookmakers’ club as an excellent training ground for entry into their commercial arena….

    “Monitoring and Enforcement” = Chief of the GC’s Police Force????

    Going over to the “other side”!??????

    Poacher/gamekeeper dilemma…… all over again!!!

    Gordon Brown got what was coming to him (IMHO) last night for complacently, even arrogantly ignoring public concerns.

    Is the Gambling Commission following the same course he set????

  27. Ed Murray said:

    Gordon Brown will be delighted with the expansion of gambling – its a low political cost/highly lucrative form of taxation. 

    -

    Its long term Betfair shareholders, and Betfair users, who are getting hurt by the cynicism of Davies and the management team’s new policy of settling suspicious matches immediately.  (As well as paying spectators at these events).

  28. medemi said:

    One has to wonder how this will end.

    -

    On one hand, we have Betfair, who are best served (in the short term) by covering up insider activity because they cannot endure the bad publicity.

    -

    On the other hand, we have the GC, very young and inexperienced. Simply no match for what is to come.

    -

    A timebomb ready to explode, I cannot see it any other way. Maybe not soon, but explode it will. And we’ve lost valuable time already.

  29. medemi said:

    Ed,

    I agree that your suggestion would be a good short-term solution, and buys us time.

    Betfair should not be afraid, and tell us what we already know.

    In my opening post I pointed out what will happen to the public opinion if betfair stay on this course. They should come forward now, do the right thing and be rewarded – every punter will suddenly be on their side, ready to defend them against possible attacks from the media, if they decide to come clean and acknowledge the problem.

    -

    Or are we really dependent, as has been suggested, on the short-term share price of this one shareholder ? Surely It can’t be…

     

  30. Adonis said:

    I think that only a determined, unblinkered effort by the GC will force betfair to lead the exchanges and change their ways. I won’t be holding my breath on current form.

    Problem is, right now betfair are saying (read their organ) that only UK Customers will be covered by GC Regulations. Everyone else by Malta!

    How arrogantly misguided (again!)

    And if a bet is matched between a UK Customer and an offshore Customer, betfair think that THEY will be allowed to nominate their choice of Regulatory Authority?

    Absolutely LAUGHABLE.

    Director assets and company trading rights might be frozen for lesser assumptions……or hasty transfer to an offshore location.

    It’s rather like Big Brother’s(Gordon Brown’s)  reckless assumption that overtaxing the poor (yep he’s a Socialist folks!) would be “OK”.

    And his assumption that – like fuel tax, betting (GPT) tax, cigarette tax and Road Fund “Licence” (Tax) – his revenue stream will grow compoundly forever……. That it’s “OK” to pump $30Billion (of OUR money) into Northern rock? Give ?50 Billion (of OUR money) to the banks to prop up their exhuberantly sloppy lending criteria?

    Get the theme? Tax, tax, spend, fritter, tax, tax, fritter, spend……

    Michael Foot must be turning in his grave to be relieved of the title of Hardest Slapped Labour Politician… Ever!

    It’s not a question of IF he will go. Just a matter of Time.

     

     

  31. medemi said:

    I didn’t know you were anti-Brown Adonis. I took one look at this guy, it was a picture, and I thought “Oh, my God…”. Seriously.

    -

    And as for dealing with (scientific or other) facts that should be the basis for my opinions… Fk science…

    I had to rip three pages out of my final university paper because the professor thought it was “uninteresting to the reader”. It did point out the exact conditions under which my experiment was performed, and was crucial IMO for those who want to study why seemingly similar studies reveal different outcomes, which was already a fact at the time. Science, as a profession, died that day for me.

    There… got it off my chest.

  32. medemi said:

    So… where’s the “opposition” ?

    Usually when it rains the worms come crawling to the surface.

  33. squash said:

    so did the russian fixers lose all the money they deposited with BF for the Davydenko match.

     

    where did the 250K go . Where they able to withdraw it ?

     

     

  34. medemi said:

    I’m not aware of the facts, but why should they not be allowed to keep it ?

    We’re innocent until proven guilty. And so the chasing game begins which will probably result in nothing. Which is one of the reasons why I have been focusing on long-term preventive, thus effective, measures in dealing with insider activity.

  35. medemi said:

    btw, you do not even have class action lawsuits in the UK, so how will I ever receive the money that was taken from me.

  36. Adonis said:

    The interesting thing is that many betfair Customers ( at least at one time) believed the TV ads that betfair was a “person to person” betting medium. In that scenario, the exchange effectively acts as a Referee, charged with enforcing fairness and paying out on an Official Result, and then only when satisfied that  no skulldugggery had occurred. The idea of the ref is to PROTECT his Clients, for a pre-agreed fee. So that he can gain nothing from being partisan.

    Instead, they found that their Exchange was more concerned in “drawing a line” under any Event so that it could pay out and quickly collect its commission before anyone had time to blink. It transpired that ( covertly) it was ALSO skimming cash from inefficiencies in the process of punters making offers to each other!

     

  37. Adonis said:

    Medemi, you might try complaining to the Maltese Betting Regulator? The British one seems perfectly content to leave you stewing in your own juices!

    Downside is that betfair seem to prefer the Maltese Regulator as well……….

    Does experience suggest that they have determined which will do best for you, or which will do best for THEM?

     

  38. medemi said:

    Adonis,

    it’s not for me to complain to any regulator, I’ll leave that for others.

    I’m here to reflect on and discuss the effects of insider trading. As someone who has been hit 7 times (that I know of) in the stock market, I know what it’s like. Especially because there was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders as not all of that invested money was mine.

    -

    It is rather frustrating that those who can detect value will be hit hardest by insider trading. That sort of kills the essence of the “game”.

    -

    But there are many many more victims, and it’s a bit different with betting exchanges. Here we have a situation where every man, woman and child will be victimized (and perceive it that way!) because when he goes to see a match (that he paid for) he could be leaving with a feeling that someone has been playing with his willy for two hours. And so the public opinion can turn against betting exchanges very rapidly.

    -

    Not that I care much if betfair go down (or any of the other exchanges we’ve had the pleasure of engaging with), but it can be challenging to ones conscious to just sit back and watch all that damage being done by what appear to be a bunch of amateurs, just so we can boost the share price of one or two shareholders. 

     

     

       

  39. Ed Murray said:

    Can one of the BF staff (Roger Duncan/Plant/Homer J/bot/Loki Lab Rat etcetera) please come on here and defend Davies and the rest of BF management’s decision to pay out “suspicious” matches immediately?  There must be someone who can defend it, and put forward a reason why they do it, other than hiding the head in the sand and trying to pretend there’s no problem (which when it was BF’s policy to do this in 2007, led to ever worsening problems on Davydenko matches, and an eventual near ?1 million reported sting on BF customers on Arguello v Davydenko).

  40. medemi said:

    I miss bot, and he must have been silenced, like myself. Actually I saw it coming, I wonder whether he did too.

    As for the others, it would be best for your career to not come on here – life can be a bitch.

    -

    I checked out your website Mr. Sunset. You keep referring to yourself as a geek/nerd. Well, aren’t we all to some degree. The shitheads of our youth are now being bossed around. Power to the people. :)

  41. Adonis said:

    Spare a thought for poor Magician on the betfair organ! Soon he’ll have no one left worth talking to….

    Unless he gets gagged too?

     

  42. medemi said:

    … and you still think bot hasn’t been “silenced” ?

    Hopefully I’m wrong, but I’m willing to put money on that (50/50) even if you are a professional gambler. ;)

  43. medemi said:

    Who we want on here is Andrew Black, to make his case.

    No reason that I can see to put other people in harm’s way.

    It seems to me the usual people visiting his blog are only sucking up to him.

  44. medemi said:

    ok, there’s no point in sending him an invitation then.

    I didn’t think he would want to participate.

  45. Adonis said:

    The consistent aspect of all comment coming from betfair ( black, davies, whoever) is purely that: comment. They do not entertain cross-examination.

    Their organ follows the same regimen: publish comment and then watch for dissent. Bar the dissenters. Wait a while. Then claim that your comment is verified by the overwhelming support of your organ, and lack of dissenters, QED!

    In politics, it’s called spin merchandising.

    At betfair, it seems they really do believe that  Truth is merely whatever they choose to be Truth!

    Their “Emperor” ALWAYS has the finest clothes!!!

     

     

     

  46. medemi said:

    At least you were given notification when banned from the forum (without being given a reason).

    -

    With me they just cut the wire… :(

    Something they will not be able to repeat without causing a fuss, IMO.

    -

    As a reminder, here is the message you’ll get:

    ALERT

    You are not logged in. To post on the Forum you must log in to your Betfair account using the login area on the main site.

  47. medemi said:

    I don’t see how you could get to 80% Ed, but you must have your reasons why you think it’s a great company even when poorly run by “a few people”.

     

    I see it differently, let’s sum it up and I’ll do it in a timely fashion, reflecting my knowledge of the company as my experience with them grew over the years.

     

    -         First I sent them an email asking whether they are involved in their own markets in any way. They denied that, saying they were matching customers bets only and taking a commission from that. Which was a misleading statement (and I’m willing to go as far as calling that a lie) because we now know they operate as a bookmaker, hence my bet is being matched with them. Not getting into why that is crucial to me.

     

    -         It was “caveat emptor” all over the place when I joined the forum, confirmed and endorsed by many people, giving me the impression that betfair take zero responsibility in trying to protect their customers.

     

    -          The platform did not provide safeguards against people self-matching, thus market manipulation was a possibility.

     

    -         Market manipulation was pretty evident on the specials forum, as you had pointed out many times yourself.

     

    -         Clock-beating, betting after the event etc. I don’t even want to get into – they speak for themselves.

     

    -         I don’t agree with the 5-second delay, giving the bet offerers an edge over the bet takers. I’m aware of the dilemma, but I still believe there are alternatives which haven’t been given the proper attention.

     

    -         Misleading statements in adverts suggesting this is a P2P-betting company when in fact they operate as a bookmaker.

     

    -         Betfair becoming more and more involved in their own markets. Betfair games, the recruitment of traders. It’s beginning to stink now…

     

    -         The skimming bot on sports markets, not offering best-execution to their customers. This one really did it for me.

     

    -         Betfair rapid, designed to give one group of customers an edge (which they will soon have to pay for) and leaving the others with a 30-second refresh-time.

     

    -         What’s next ? I don’t know, but I cannot be positive.

     

    It does seem we’re lacking proper regulation, and it should be self-evident that betfair are not planning on taking any responsibility themselves as far as protecting their customers is concerned. You can forget about a level-playing field right now.

    If they cannot be trusted to offer protection for their customers, how can we entrust them with acting responsibly towards sports/society in general ? We can’t.

  48. Adonis said:

    Ed,

     

    My concern for your own assessment of what pertinence or relevance is contained in any of my posts amounts to a less than a (tiny) hill of beans.

    My collection of old posts from the betfair organ serves to remind me of the conclusions I made then, when you were “one of the regulars gang” and now, when you’re clearly not.

    Those conclusions are unchanged…….

     

  49. Adonis said:

    medemi,

    So one of us was hanged, and the other seduced by Madame Guillotine……

    The Executioner had his way with both.

    Or, at least, that was his intention…..

     

  50. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Adonis: Your comment applies to all commercial corporations —that’s why we have the (old and new) media… to get more space for all other dimensions of the truth.

  51. Adonis said:

    The Magician is on good form on the betfair organ today….

    He shows that legalities can be turned to Customer advantage in terms of compliance, and delivery of information to enforce compliance!

    “……..It is time every punter that backed this horse (Musnago) asked Betfair for the identity of the layer, and we peruse him via the gambling commission for the bets to be voided. I am happy to lead the Gambling Commission appeal, so get your requests in to find out if your bet matched by the suspect layer

    Musnago – 12:35 Play Golf @ Lingfield Park Selling Stakes (Class 6) (4yo+) 1m2f

    You can request the ID of the person that matched your bet via the following clauses in Betfairs Terms and conditions

    Clause 2.11

    You will at all times act in good faith in relation to the counterparties to your bets struck through the Exchange and such counterparties will be able to enforce this duty directly against you.

    Clause 3.3

    In order to facilitate the enforcement of your rights pursuant to clause 2.11 we may, at our sole and absolute discretion, provide you with details of the identity of the party or parties with whom your bet(s) have been matched if we are satisfied that such party or parties have acted in breach of clause 2.11 in relation to such bet(s).

    Clause 3.4

    For the purpose described in clause 3.3 above you explicitly consent to the release of your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and any other applicable laws.

    Clause 3.5

    You agree to indemnify us and hold us harmless in respect of the release of any personal (or other) data pursuant to the terms of this agreement.

    So post up here if you matched the suspect account and I will put ina group appeal to the gambling commission……..”

    If he keeps this up, he’ll be joining the “betfair expatriates”.

     

  52. Adonis said:

    @Chris,

    true.

    Propaganda (aka spin) is one of the few budgets that seems to grow unrestrained, and by definition ( maybe?), in inverse proportion to its truth content.

    Throughout history, propaganda mostly succeeds for a time – such is the purchasing power of its masters-  but ( thank Heavens) it unfailingly succumbs to truth. Unfortunately, people get hurt (or worse) with most episodes.

    There IS a sort of logic underpinning: “If we burn the books and silence dissent, there will be no dissent!”  The same sort of logic that assures those who rhythmically bang their heads into walls that relief comes, with certainty,  when they stop……

     

  53. Adonis said:

    @Ed,

    do give it a rest!

    I have no idea what makes you think that you are the arbiter of “comfort” or relevance here or anywhere else, or why you expect anyone to comply with any/all requests you make for explanation of their intent or content.

    I think you’re going to have to live with the fact that you burned all of your bridges with respect to my personal appraisal of your potential long ago.

    But hey, it’s not the End Of The World if Adonis isn’t impressed with your representations!

     

  54. medemi said:

    Well, this calls for an independent observer :) , and if Chris isn’t going to say anything, I will, even though I’m getting a bit fed up with this.

     

    1)      In the fight against corruption, Adonis is a valuable asset. Extremely valuable. For those who can’t see that, tough luck, I’m not going to explain to you why.

    2)      Ed, you decided to send this thread to SPARC and now feel responsible for it’s content. That’s fine, but you can’t expect others to play ball.

    3)      Ed, the arguments you use against Adonis can easily be used against you. I’m not inclined to do so, but since you’re going to ask – someone could say for instance that you should stop what seems to be evolving as a witch hunt against one or two people working for betfair. Again, this is not my opinion and I respect your views, just trying to make a point.

    4)      We should never forget that people look at certain issues/problems from a different perspective. Adonis for instance believes that the best course of action is to have the regulator force betfair into compliance. I respect Ed’s way too, they are just different that’s all. 

    5)      I’ve been living amongst people one does not want to be associated with when battling for a certain cause. What I’ve learned is, that every situation can be used to your advantage, when you are smart enough.

    6)      See my quote below.

     

    1. Intolerance is a personal failure to accept reality

    2. Intolerance is a failure of intelligence

    3. Intolerance is an error of judgment about Ultimate Truth

    4. Intolerance is an error which breeds psychological disorder

    5. Intolerance is an error which breeds social disorder

    6. Intolerance is an error which breeds political disorder

    7. Intolerance is a pragmatic failure: it doesn’t work

    If these characterizations of intolerance are accurate, it follows that intolerance in the name of religion is a deep betrayal and perversion of authentic religion. In short, intolerance is unacceptable and is a sign of weakness and not of strength.

  55. medemi said:

    I see someone has been active again on the WBX forum. LOL…

  56. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Hi, I can’t be an umpire on that, because I know less than you, guys.

  57. medemi said:

    That’s ok Chris. He who knows what he doesn’t know earns respect by definition.

    I’m thrilled, after being shoved around by nitwits for months, to have you as our umpire. And I don’t suck up to people. :)  

  58. Adonis said:

    Ed,

    it’s becoming as obvious to me, as it is clearly so obvious to you, that the only viable way to save betfair from themselves is for them to offer you a Directorship.

    Let me know when Hell freezes over.

     

     

     

     

  59. medemi said:

    I think betfair are on a very dangerous path. The media could choose to have their way with them even before the public opinion turns against them.

    -

    I thought the Ratner story was very interesting (and I read a lot about it). What it illustrates is (even though I don’t know a whole lot about the British media) is that at some point they will “claim” responsibility, and when they do they can be relentless.

    -

    Magician is saying that betfair are starting to look at integrity issues now. Does anyone know what he is referring to ?  

  60. medemi said:

    Maybe we should have a change of management. When betfair do, maybe they can give us back our posting rights and stick to the forum rules from now on. It should be clear to anyone that we are the good guys. :)

    -

    Yes… we bring you the bad news. But bad news will only be bad news when you choose to interpret it that way - when you stick your head in the sand and hope it will go away, in some magical way.

  61. Ed Murray said:

    Come on, there must be someone from BF who can at least make some argument towards why they think its a good idea to pay out every suspicious match immediately, no questions asked?  And explain how that is anything other than the complete opposite of Davies’ speech?  The silence really is deafening, and I don’t see why the BF staff that have posted on other threads can’t come on here and try to defend Davies.

  62. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: You’re right to ask. Maybe they are testing your patience. :-D

  63. Adonis said:

    Betfair appear to have pulled off a master stroke.

    In the face of lots of their own Customers getting annoyed and upset at their activities, and some (lots?) of them complaining to the Gambling Commission, betfair simply turn around and “take their football home”!

    Their website now assures all (but UK Customers) that their interests will now be regulated by a Maltese Regulator. And one presumes that non-UK account profits will now pay whatever Maltese taxation applies too? And the British chancellor can presumably “take a hike” if not now, soon.

    Resistance may be futile, because Malta is also an EU country!

    Unless……… the UK Parliament now realise that the GC is seriously out of its depth, and focus on the establishment of a EUROPEAN gambling regulator. Suitably empowered to punish any company, anywhere for trangressions within the EU.

    EVEN if the transgressor (a la Microsoft recently) is not headquartered in the EU.

    In the meantime, just put the “dogs” of the FSA in charge of regulation. Show them where the “red meat” is and let them rip……

    Whatever happens now, the marketplace is ripe for the set up of a new company determined to provide genuine refereeship of P2P Betting with an irrevocable promise that they will be an “idealised” exchange and ONLY make revenue from commission. And ensure that all Customers exist in a level playing field (spoofing, clock advantages/cheating etc are nullified).

    Overnight, this now looks like a substantial opportunity for a major public figure to jump into the fray with big bucks and “do it right”. And put The Customer First.

    Richard Branson…. are you listening? One of the smaller Exchange fry would be a good (and cheap) starting point. You may like to read Ed’s posts and see if he’s the sort of guy you want to head it up…..

     

  64. medemi said:

    Virgin Bets… hosted by DJ Sunset…

     Why not?

  65. medemi said:

    I don’t think the betfair management can be talked sense into. And then we have Black, who by your own words Ed, doesn’t seem to care about betting integrity issues at all.

    -

    We function as the early warning signs that a hurricane is coming. Betfair’s response is to shoot the messengers. So be it…

    -

    But, we have a lot of friends. Betfair shareholders, betfair customers, the media, ordinary folks on the street. The three of us represent the collective conscious, and that’s what scares the shit out of betfair, because we are still around… And there’s nothing they can do about it !

  66. medemi said:

    I don’t know why you’re focusing on BF shareholders so much Ed, maybe because you believe that’s where doors can be opened. Aside from that, I do believe shareholders are entitled to “the best of the best” a company can offer because it’s their money at risk. That includes a decent long-term policy which we are clearly lacking here.

    -

    What’s worse IMO, however, is the damage being done to the public. Not only are we looking at BF customers who generally believe it’s ok to rip each other off (thanks to betfair), we are now having to watch how betfair ruin integrity in sports worldwide. Who will go to see a match that involves a Russian tennis player 6 months from now ? And things will get a lot worse with betfair’s policy of “See no evil, hear no evil”.

    I know one thing for sure – Betfair are not getting away with this.

  67. Adonis said:

    When isa a betting exchange not a betting exchange?

    …. when its a lottery!

    The following notice appears on the betfair organ.

    Surprisingly, Customers are apparently NAMED????

    The following customers are each winners of ?1,000 after this morning’s draw:

    Gordon Garrity

    open race judge (chat name)

    Henry Wilmington

    Maurice Cohen

    Mr M Huda

    Ernest Benbow

    Maurizio Gelli

    Ian Kilpatrick

    Doug Drake

    Paul Day

     

     

     

  68. Adonis said:

    Hope yet for the Gambling Commission….. but will they realise it????

    If the GC find that any exchange has breached it’s Rules, it may elect to declare it ” unfit to trade”. With appropriate supporting evidence, any other EU Regulatory Authority would be hard pressed to allow it to trade from their territory pretty darned quickly…. embarrassing questions in Brussels etc etc etc.

    Question is, are the tie-and-blazer-would-be-bookie-club-recruits at the GC inclined or attuned to how to “get the job done”.

    To those who think that poor behaviour by a licenceholder is merely an issue to be corrected by management change or shareholder pressure: IT ISN’T!

    Just because a company happens to hold a virtual; monopoly doesn’t mean that it is beyond the Rules, or even the Law. IT ISN’T.

    Just because a company head decides to maybe (and laughably) nominate his own choice of Regulatory Authority doesn’t mean that the company can have its own way with impunity. IT CAN’T, and the GC need to ensure that IT WON’T.

    The issues for the GC’s “flagship” of the highest standards of Betting Integrity are under close Public scrutiny.

    It may be that the GC complacently believe that the majority of the Public don’t really care what the GC do (or don’t do!).

    It could be that the GC are about to become the SECOND biggest joke of 2008.

    (Big Brother is the clear leader in that competition, of course).

     

     

     

     

  69. medemi said:

    Some may have noticed that I have paid a lot of attention to people’s age over the past few years. There’s a reason for that, as there is a striking correlation between age and selfishness/greed. Some believed Adonis had to be in his early twenties but I knew that could never be the case. Adonis, btw, still hasn’t told me how old he is despite repeated efforts ! :)

    It would take an extremely intelligent individual with lightning speed learning capacities to overcome his prejudices before age 30. Or, God’s Grace… Or in your case Ed, a combination, sort of. When I look at the Betfair management however, I see a company too young to be able to act responsibly. And this is one of those companies that has huge responsibilities to society. My message is this – Fuck it up, and you WILL pay the price, later, when money doesn’t seem that important anymore.

    -

    Incidentally, I learned that India has outlawed more prediction markets recently. Also, people are beginning to start asking questions as to the effect of trading Oil on its price.

    I can’t imagine some of the folks on here will be happy to learn that the leading exchange in sports prediction markets is being handled by a bunch of spoiled children who need babysitting all the time. 

  70. Adonis said:

    Adonis is at least 45 years old. She is very unselfish, but resolute in her abhorrence of spivs and cheats. Even more, she despises those who give succour to them.

    Oh yes, she’s bald, black, and Jewish too……

    Maybe that explains her a bit more?

    Even if not, it provides a bit of useful ammo for those wishing to take a poke at her!

    Truly… She doesn’t care one iota what those she despises think.

    Even less, what those who despise her think.

     

  71. medemi said:

    Ed,

     

    I wasn’t trying to curb greediness. My observation is that I see a lot of young people at work at betfair, and given what has already been pointed out many times, I don’t put a lot of faith in them being able to turn the tide and suddenly act responsibly. That was my point.

    Personally I’ve had the priviledge of working with elderly people during my first 5 years. You don’t complain when that happens, you listen and hope it lasts a little longer.

    -

    Shareholders can be very influential, and although you usually don’t want them interfering with the company policy too much, in this instance we should all welcome it. I don’t know how the Lorenz curves fit in with this company, but then I’m beyond collecting evidence to confirm my belief that this management is unfit to do the job.

    -

    I agree with your earlier point about the commission structure, which is one of the things they got right, and I made that clear on the forum. Their latest change however has disrupted the incentive for some punters to collect more points in order to reduce the commission rate.

    -

    Educating the board is not a viable option to me. I’ve been debating betfair’s policies for three years on the forum, taking into account that it is their job to make money, but not a lot of good has come from that. In stead, they’ve entered their own markets and terms like front-running are now being used asif it’s an essential part of any trading platform.

    -

    Betfair should have lost their license IMO when they introduced the skimming bot, not offering best execution to their customers, and not informing them about the change. But I’m not a hateful guy and will settle for a big fine.

    -

    Russian athletes being threatened by the mafia is a real problem today. I do not want to live in Russia, and if I did I would seriously consider changing my occupation.

  72. medemi said:

    Adonis,

    I do not need you to tell me when I’m discriminating on the basis of sex, age, religion or any of the other traits “that don’t matter”. It’s an interesting discussion which you don’t want to get involved in with me, because I will blow you off your socks… :)

  73. Adonis said:

    medemi,

    read my post again. You’ve got the wrong end of this particular “stick”!

    My post was a virtual repeat of one I made on the betfair organ 4 years ago to illustrate the distractive tactics frequently used against those who post what others don’t want posted. (I was being chided for being a blonde, bronzed, youth who spent all of his time – Time – admiring himself in a mirror)…. I’m not a youth, blond or bronzed! But such labels suit the cause of Propagandists. As do black, female, gay, Jewish etc etc.

    Their relevance to logical discussion (whether accurate as labels or not) is ABSOLUTELY ZERO.

    If only you had the backup copies to see the sheer EXTENT of “mobbing” that the then-incumbent “gang” used, and still use, to try to silence dissent and opposition……!

    (For the interest of all Readers, I chose the name “Adonis” NOT because I am, or aspire to be  youthful, bronzed, or vain……. but for a much simpler, logical reason connected with the name itself. That reason is unobvious and will remain undisclosed).

    I was unfazed then, and remain unfazed now. Most of the posters at that Time showed their true colours, and I know what those colours are, and who owns them…… they are predictable, and insignificant adversaries, purely, of course, IMHO.

    Enjoy the week-end old friend.

    It’s what churns around in the grey matter and is delivered by the pen that interests me…..

    except that I abhor left-handers… don’t know why, I just HATE them.

    (Sorry, I can’t resist mocking prejudice.)

     

     

     

  74. medemi said:

    The GC in a symbiotic relationship with Betfair ?

    -

    INTEGRITY IN SPORTS BETTING ISSUES PAPER – BETFAIR RESPONSE

     http://www.gamblingcommission……etfair.pdf

    -

    The evidence suggests that incidents giving rise to concern about the integrity of sports betting in Great Britain are few and far between. This is perhaps contrary to the perception created by the media and skewed somewhat by the ‘purge’ that is taking place in British horseracing.

    -

    Hehe… doesn’t that sound familiar ?

    -

    A risk assessment of each bet type is something which any betting operator would carry out as a matter of course. A betting exchange is reliant on the confidence of its customers that the markets it offers are fair, so will not want to offer a market which is perceived as open to corruption.

    -

    Hahahaha…

    -

    Restrictions imposed on betting operators in this area by the Commission (or any veto given to the sporting regulators) would obviously put UK licensed operators at a competitive disadvantage against operators not licensed by the Commission.

    -

    -

    -

    GC POLICY POSITION PAPER

    http://www.gamblingcommission……0paper.pdf

    -

    2.1 After considering the responses to the issues paper consultation and the discussion at the workshop held in July 2007, the Commission has decided its policy on integrity in sports betting.

    -

    2.2 The Commission understands the importance of upholding integrity to both the sports bodies and the betting industry. However, the evidence points to the number of incidents giving cause for concern about integrity in sports betting being low.

    -

    2.3 There is no evidence to suggest that taking steps to limit the existing types of bet offered by British betting operators or making them pay a levy to sports bodies will impact on upholding integrity in sports betting. Extra regulation may encourage sports betting operations to relocate offshore. The possible measures considered were potentially burdensome and expensive, while not offering definite improvements to the risk to integrity in sports betting.

    -

    OK, let’s have lunch then.

  75. medemi said:

    Adonis,

    I remember that post from a couple of years ago. I don’t see it’s relevance here, or more importantly, the readers on here wouldn’t be able to understand where you are coming from, other than that your post must be a response to my question how old you are. I deliberately “chose” to pick their “side” in order to (hopefully) clear things up, which you have done. Hope that makes sense – you’re not the only person laying “traps” or confronting people. :)

  76. medemi said:

    (Sorry, I can’t resist mocking prejudice.)

    And I can’t resist doing whatever is necessary to prevent people from digging their own grave.

    I think that explains it better.

  77. medemi said:

    Back to the GC.

    Suppose they do want to sustain a friendly relationship with betfair, who can blame them ???

    The simple fact of the matter is, PEOPLE DON’T CARE.

    Look at the average punter on the betfair forums… and don’t forget to include the soccer forum and chit chat.

    Look at the people on here…. these people are IN LOVE with prediction markets, yet no-one has even come close to paying attention to betting integrity issues.

    -

    So, once again, complacency rules and we’ll get what we deserve.

    -

    Maybe we should just end this debate, is there any point in continuing, at all ?

  78. Adonis said:

    Yoda say: Never cross road with lame duck. If the trucks don’t hit you because you walk so slowly, you slip on the duck poop and break something anyway.

     

  79. Adonis said:

    hehehe, and medemi, I’m talking about the GC, no-one else…..

    hehehe

    Wikkid ain’t I?>

     

  80. medemi said:

    Darn Adonis… betfair are wearing me out.

    I need to drink from that pool and recharge my batteries.

    And where the hell is all the support ? We are only human, are we not. 

  81. Adonis said:

    This War will not be over by Christmas………

     

  82. medemi said:

    This War will not be over by Christmas………

    If it is going to be as tough as setting up a secure wireless connection, I might as well give up.

    After having it set up automatically, I was left with an insecure network. So I did it manually and now seem to have 2 SSID’s. Can’t remove the first one. I’m starting to get the impression that the first (insecure network) isn’t mine, just an unfortunate coincidence we had the same default name attached.

    -

    Maybe, come Christmas, I’ll be an expert on networking and wireless connections, and we’ll have betfair on their knees. Who knows. :)

  83. Chris F. Masse said:

    Folks,

    -

    I said many times that you should not publish something insulting or defamatory —or publish any company’s trade secrets.

    -

    I’ve received a detailed complaint about some comments on this page.

    - I will have to delete the defamatory comments;

    - I will make a judgment on the people who made those comments, and whether they will be allowed to publish further comments here.

    -

  84. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Chris F. Masse: I have “unapproved” each last comment from Medemi, Ed Murray, and Adonis. The comments were not deleted, but put on hold —and these 3 commenters’ further comments as well.

    -

    Tomorrow, I will see what do with the complaint I have received.

    -

    Sorry for that, but I did warn you.

    -

    Anyway, have a good Saturday’s night,

    Chris Masse

  85. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Chris F. Masse:

    -

    Here are the 2 instances where I warned commenters about not insulting and not defaming:

    http://www.midasoracle.org/200…..ment-18278

    http://www.midasoracle.org/200…..ment-17464

    -

    To which I was replied by Ed Murray that:

    “Thanks for that Chris. Hopefully I and others have kept within those boundaries.”

    http://www.midasoracle.org/200…..ment-18280

    -

    As I said, I have received a detailed complaint that those “boundaries” were indeed crossed here, on Midas Oracle, in the comments.

    -

    The problem is that I don’t have time to read and checked the accuracy of all the comments. What I do is that I check the first ever comment published by someone, and if that somebody seems to be a good chap, then I give him/her the right to publish further comments freely on Midas Oracle.

    -

    I would never have the time nor the willingness to check carefully every comment. I need to trust the commenters so they make sure that they stay within those “boundaries”. If I receive notice that those boundaries were crossed, that means that the trust I put in that commenter has been broken.

    -

    The digital democracy on Midas Oracle can only work if people are autonomously responsible. It’s up to them to speak in a way where the facts and the people (or organizations) are respected.

    -

    I have many times trashed BetFair on Midas Oracle. And I have still good contact with some of their people. That means being critical of Betfair can be done. But there is a good way and a bad way. The bad way is to stay away from the truth.

    -

    So, now, the next step, and I’m all sad about that, is that I’ll receive the list of the comments that are not acceptable, I will review them, and maybe delete some or all of them.

    -

  86. Ed Murray said:

    Chris F. Masse – that is a shame, but was predictable. 

    -

    It would be fascinating to learn what the current BF team claim that they find to be inaccurate on here.  They don’t engage in constructive dialogue, which seems like a real loss for BF. 

    -

    MidasOracle comes first, and hopefully fair running of prediction markets come 2nd. 

  87. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Chris F. Masse: I re-approved the last comment from Medemi and Adonis. I am just warning them to be careful in the future.

  88. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: I was sent details about facts against your statements. Let me examine all this now.

  89. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: Hernandez v Brezezicki match:

    If suspicious betting is detected on BetFair, then the winnings of the specific accounts in question are frozen until such time as BetFair have had the chance to investigate and determine one way or the other. That has no effect on BetFair’s ability to settle the market for every other customer. If you have placed a bet on a match in good faith, your bet wins, and there’s a subsequent investigation, there is no reason whatsoever to disadvantage you by withholding settlement, particularly as a full investigation could take weeks.

  90. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: BetFair was named Socially Responsible Operator of the year by the eGaming review for both 2005 and 2006.

  91. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: People don’t get banned from Betfair’s forum for no reason:

    - posting of defamatory comments,

    - being offensive and insulting,

    - or posting deliberately false and misleading information.

  92. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: BetFair resettled the Grand National market in order to give the bettors a good experience. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers —a decision taken shortly after the race.

  93. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: BetFair didn’t provide details of its biggest 20 accounts to a “City firm”. This would be illegal (under the Data Protection Act 1984).

  94. Chris F. Masse said:

    OK, so I looked into the claims. Each time that a comment from Ed Murray was rated as “defamatory”, I have pruned it.

    -

    More comments from Ed Murray could be pruned, in the future, if information is given to me.

    -

    Now, the next decision is whether to ban Ed Murray from commenting on Midas Oracle.

    -

    I haven’t decided yet. It all depends on whether Ed Murray wants to reform. :-D

    -

  95. Chris F. Masse said:

    If suspicious betting is detected on BetFair, then the winnings of the specific accounts in question are frozen until such time as BetFair have had the chance to investigate and determine one way or the other. That has no effect on BetFair’s ability to settle the market for every other customer. If a trader has placed a bet on a match in good faith, his/her bet wins, and there’s a subsequent investigation, there is no reason whatsoever to disadvantage that trader by withholding settlement, particularly as a full investigation could take weeks.

  96. Chris F. Masse said:

    “They don’t engage in constructive dialogue”

    -

    I have had evidence that they do.

    -

  97. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Chris F. Masse: So to wrap up things:

    -

    Medemi and Adonis are OK, provided they are very careful in the future about not insulting, not defaming, and not publishing trade secrets.

    -

    Ed Murray is a problem, because many of his comments here were “defamatory”. If he continues that way, clearly, I would have no other option than to ban him for life. If he reforms, and quits defaming that B company operating from H, on Midas Oracle, then I could accept his presence here in the future. I have not yet made a decision on Ed Murray’s status… I will make up my mind in the near future… It all depends on what I’ll sense from him…

    -

  98. medemi said:

    My thoughts.

    -

    First of all, I don’t know any company secrets, so it would be impossible for me to publish any. I’ve never worked for betfair or been on the inside in any way.

    -

    As for being insulting, I suppose I could tone it down here and there and I try to do that all the time, but this is a 100 page thread, and sometimes one slips through. As for being disrespectful (usually towards the betfair management), people are just going to have to learn to live with that. Respect has to be earned. I would be the last person to disrespect anyone (I’ve even been receptive and generous towards my stalkers on betfair), so it kind of shows you what I think of betfair as a company.

    Everyone has the right to be disrespectful or insulting to me, as long as they are honest about their beliefs. I love feedback, even when it rains, especially when it rains, because that’s when I might learn something new.

    Furthermore, I believe that disrespect as well as respect are both elements of free speech. It shouldn’t have to be in a perfect world, but we do not live in a perfect world. Honesty should prevail though, and I can’t remember being dishonest in the three years I have been posting, except once (not here), when I thought it was the right thing to do. If anyone can think of another instance I will bake him a cake and deliver it to him personally.

    -

    It is good to know we have betfair’s attention because I was beginning to think we were talking to thin air, here. Thanks for reviving the discussion and for recharching my batteries.

    I still don’t know why a complaint about me was filed, but it is crystal clear to me that BF have been hunting me down like a dog wherever I go, for the past two months or so. And for what ? I’m nobody, just another poster. The “creature” that you’re chasing is what you’ve created yourselves. And it becomes more powerful and effective everytime you try to kill it, as will be the case this time.

  99. medemi said:

    Ed Murray,

    maybe it is time to stop naming people, that’s where it tends to get dangerous, and by that I mean unethical. Then I won’t have to mention them either. :)

    How about it ? You’ve told this story, and we would hate to see you leave.

  100. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: It’s not “naming people” that is the problem. The problem is publishing facts about BetFair that turn out to be totally inaccurate. There are laws for that.

  101. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: “I still don’t know why a complaint about me was filed”

    -

    The whole conversation with Ed Murray posed problems I have described.

    -

    I hope you understand. Thanks. Have a great Sunday night.

    -

  102. medemi said:

    Chris,

    -

    I disagree. “Facts about a company” ? There’s no such thing, only opinions, unless Ed has been a bf employee, which I don’t think he has been.

    -

    With regard to opinions about a person :

    “A” definition of libelous : “Written in a manner to harm a person’s reputation unfairly.”

    -

    Like I said before, I do not expect betfair to know/understand what they are doing, and that includes filing a complaint.

    -

    Just my opinion.

  103. Ed Murray said:

    Apologies to Midas Oracle for the comments which overstepped the mark.

    -

    -I wrote a detailed reply to each of the points, but sadly (or not as the case maybe), my IE crashed. Ah well :-) . Here are replies to two of the points.

    -

    Best wishes to all.

    -

    “They don’t engage in constructive dialogue”

    -

    Apologies, I should have added “with me” :-)

    -

    -

    Betfair’s initial statement after the Grand National was this

    -

    5th April

    “As a result of unreconciling bets after the race, some matched bets (which would have been winning bets for customers) became unmatched bets. In addition, some customers may have traded in-play based on bets they believed had been matched.

    If you believe that you have been disadvantaged as a result of this, please contact us at bets@betfair.com. We will look at our records to determine the amount you should be due and provide compensation accordingly. Please be aware that this may take some time and it is unlikely that we will be able to address all enquiries until next week.”“

    -

    This translates as “we weren’t happy with the price our SP system returned, so we voided a lot of winning bets to try and get back an SP we were happy with, if you have realised you are one of the people whose winning bets were voided, then please write in”. It put the onus on affected customers to write in, if they indeed even read the forum (which many users don’t).

    -

    I thought it was fair to criticise this, as did pretty much everyone on the BF forum – thread here

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1458845

    -

    The subsequent reversal came some time later. I am very disappointed with the text given to Chris F. Masse seemingly by someone criticising me from Betfair. My criticism of their decision to void bets was one of many voices, for example this one

    -

    -“Tony Cheeseburger 07 Apr 00:33

    Magic Man – will they pay out everyone or only those that have noticed their bets have disappeared?

    -

    Let’s be clear what has happened here. Punters have placed bets, which are legally binding contracts these days. Layers have had their matched bets disappear, no attempts have been made by BF to alert them to this fact and these bets do not appear as voided in the account statement. In short there is no way anyone would know that their bet has been voided unless they checked and noted down their matched bets and now realise that they aren’t there. These bets now appear as ‘lapsed’ in the account statement.

    -

    Meanwhile the original counterparty to those bets, the backers, are presumably held to their side of the bet and lose their stake. Betfair have basically taken losing lays off the layers after the result was known and said that they will look sympathetically on compensating for these appropriated lays anyone who was

    -

    a) on the ball enough to notice in a 40 runner race that these bets have gone missing.

    b) reads the forum

    c) goes to the trouble of e-mailling them to beg for their due“

    -

    -

    -

    Chris – if Betfair have emailed you with “BetFair resettled the Grand National market in order to give the bettors a good experience. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers —a decision taken shortly after the race.”, that just is history being rewritten. The fact is they backed down, and only looked after their customers once there was a huge outcry against their original decision.

    -

    To the Betfair person who is emailing Chris, there are many fair reasons to criticise me (and some unfair ones), but you simply cannot present your U-turn on the Grand National, forced on you by huge protest, as an example of looking after your customers. I only ever criticised the original decision, as did dozens of other people, and I notice you have left up nearly all your announcements on the BF forum apart from the original Grand National announcement, and the subsequent U-turn announcement. Please do not email Chris with rosy pictures, that just are not true. You know that this thread

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1458845

    was just one of many where people were astonished you voided winning bets, and as you yourselves conceded with your U-turn, the original decision was one which I, dozens of others, and you yourselves, all thought was the wrong one.

    -

    -

    -

    -

    -For the person at Betfair who has emailed Chris with “BetFair resettled the Grand National market in order to give the bettors a good experience. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers —a decision taken shortly after the race.”

    -

    pablo 07 Apr 03:24

    It simply beggars belief that people can have had matched bets removed from their account when nothing has gone wrong.

    Will there be a new department to judge the fairness of the sp returned in every race every day ?

    What is unfair ? Under the official SP ? Or 20 % under ? or 30 ,40,50 % under ?

    Surely a bet that is matched is sacrosanct unless something has gone wrong,like a late suspension.

    Why do people have to email in to have their accounts adjusted back to the right amount ?

    Surely it should be automatic.

    -

    grafec 07 Apr 10:56

    -

    Frankly, the lack of an appropriate comment from the Racing Post on this is the most extraordinary deriliction of journalistic duty this year (so far).

    -

    The SP system working correctly but the PR department getting involved to skew the price to a more acceptable one; and in doing so instead of gifting people cash, simply reversing 1000’s of pounds of matched bets in the main market after the event and asking users to request “compensation” (or more correctly, their actual winnings) by email if (and only if) you read the forum…

    -

    It’s the bookmaking equivalent of the T5 fiasco and no one at RP Towers says anything because Betfair are a significant advertiser.

    -

    China exhibits more freedom of the press at the moment.

    -

    -

    IanP 07 Apr 11:17

    -

    The reason is that they hope to get away with not compensating a significant number of customers who won’t know or can’t be bothered to claim.

    -

    -

    -

    The subsequent U-turn announcement by Betfair took two days to come, and this was it on the 7th April, 2 days after the first announcement.

    07 Apr 12:15

    -

    -

    Betfair Customer Services 07 Apr 12:05

    -

    -

    Following our decision to roll-back the initial Betfair SP reconciliation for the Grand National win market, some customers were left in a worse position than had that initial SP stood. We are in the process of assessing which customers were disadvantaged by the roll-back and by how much. All affected customers will receive payments from Betfair to reflect this. In other words, if a customer would have been in a better position had the initial SP reconciliation stood, then a payment will be made by Betfair to the customer to reflect this, irrespective of whether the customer has contacted Betfair. No customer will be left in a worse position following the roll-back than would otherwise have been the case.

    -

    Thank you to those customers who have already emailed the bets@betfair.com address with details of circumstances in which they believe they have been disadvantaged. This has helped us to confirm that our calculations match the expectations of those customers and we will look to respond individually to relevant customers.

    -

    The decision to roll-back the initial SP reconciliation was taken following extremely high level of demand from Betfair SP backers in the Grand National win market. Had the initial SP stood, the prices returned on several horses for those backers would have been much reduced from what they could reasonably have expected. As a result, Betfair made the decision to roll-back after the race, to reflect an SP overround as close as possible to 100%, which is typical of the Betfair SP in the normal course. We believe that this was an exceptional case and don’t anticipate a reoccurrence, but obviously the result of the roll-back was that some other customers were left in a worse position than had the initial SP reconciliation stood.

    -

    We will begin to make account credits today and expect all payments to be made to affected customers within the next 48 hours.

    -

    -

    There is a scrapping of the earlier insistence it was up to customers to try to claim their winnings, and the second decision was great news. I am shocked and hurt that someone from Betfair seems to have emailed Chris with “BetFair resettled the Grand National market in order to give the bettors a good experience. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers —a decision taken shortly after the race.” It took 2 days, and a firestorm of protest, for the original announcement to be scrapped, and if someone has emailed Chris with that suggestion about bettors getting a good experience etcetera, well, if someone posted that text on the BF gen betting forum, it would be greeted with wide derision as just not being true. Very sad to see.

  104. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Opinions are free to publish. Facts should be checked carefully. If you repeat an inaccurate fact many times over, you harm a company.

  105. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: “For the person at Betfair who has emailed Chris with”

    -

    I published what I thought was the truth, knowing what I knew, under my own phrasing.

  106. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: “The subsequent reversal came some time later.”

    -

    I think that’s one example where the opposite party has a strong case that your statement is untrue.

    -

  107. Ed Murray said:

    “For the person at Betfair who has emailed Chris with” I published what I thought was the truth, knowing what I knew, under my own phrasing.

    -

    Thanks Chris, if that was the text they directly supplied you with, I would be genuinely horrified.  It was imo the blackest day in the modern betting era, the day when losing bets stood, but the winning side of those bets were uncoupled/voided.  It was painfully obvious it was a monumental disaster, and the worst thing I have ever seen in the betting industry.  The links to the comment on the BF forum match my comments, and I only ever criticised the original decision, not the U-turn 2 days later.  The U-turn was the right decision.  I would like to add that I would like to criticise anyone who presents the 2 days where the winning side of bets were voided, and the erasing of the firestorm of protest against it, as being ‘in the interests of punters’.  It was horrifying, and like everyone else, I am glad that the original decision was scrapped. 

  108. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: “the text given to Chris F. Masse”

    -

    I’m informed tru multiple channels, and I try to sum up things to my readers —using a simplified but precise language.

    -

  109. medemi said:

    I know Chris. But when you’re assessing whether something is someone’s opinion, or “fact”, things tend to get “awkward”. Which is what Ed pointed out by adding “with me”, or when I add “IMO” to a sentence.

    It’s different when you’re damaging a person. As you pointed out, there are laws for that, and the damage done to a person can be quantified.

    -

    You could be right and I could be wrong, but I can see many misrepresentations of a company (usually by the media, which are damaging). What usually happens is, the company comes out with a statement to rectify what has been said. Personally I never heard of any lawsuit following such instances.

    -

    But the real issue, here, IMO, is that Ed is very knowledgeble, a good debater, and checks his facts. That makes him “dangerous” to betfair in some sense, and I get the impression that that’s what this is all about.

  110. Ed Murray said:

    @Ed Murray: “The subsequent reversal came some time later.”

    -

    I think that’s one example where the opposite party has a strong case that your statement is untrue.

    -

    Ok.  I believe that leaving the winning side of bets voided for two days, with an announcement on the BF forum that the onus is on the customer to claim if they have been disadvantaged, is a very, very, very long time.  As someone who has regularly wagered 5 figure sums on the sports markets, it would be hugely stressful to have winning bets voided for 48 hours, but the losing bets standing.  I can see that if people aren’t involved in the markets, that 2 days is perhaps not a long period of time, but not knowing for 2 days that the BF statement was going to be scrapped, would have been incredibly stressful.  I waited for one day when I had about $12,000 riding on England v Pakistan (a match Pakistan famously conceded defeat in after refusing to play), which was a long time.   We had no idea how BF would settle the market. I think two days for the reversal of the Grand National original announcement was a long time, and that would be my definition of a (very) long time in the betting world.  I think that is reasonable, but can see that people have different definitions of what is a long time.  If my definition of 2 days as a long time is fair, then clearly my statements are true.  If my definition of 2 days waiting for the u-turn is not a long time, then it is the description of the length of time which needs to be changed, not the remaining content.

    -

    If you placed trades on the stock market where losing ones that went against you were honoured, but winning moves were voided, then had to wait for 2 days after the decision was made to void the profitable trades (with only a chance you might be compensated, if you happened to read the BF forum, and if BF decided to pay out the winning side of the trade), that would seem to be quite a long 48 hours in my book.

  111. Ed Murray said:

    medemi – thanks for the kind words, but I am actually a poor debater.  I cannot play devils advocate, and put forward arguments I don’t believe in.

    -

    When I met Mark Davies, and The Magician/getting better and a few others at the house of lords, I was the first to speak up when the Lords opened up questions to the floor, and spoke massively in favour of Betfair :-) .  Oh to have a videotape ;-) . My opening bit was “I thought you lot were really corrupt, but I’m actually really surprised that you’ve come out with some sensible judgements”. :-D . (There had been a small storm in the media in the week leading up to it about the financial interests of certain members of the panel, and whether they would come up with a fair judgement as a result of this). I had a chat afterwards with Lord Faulkner, and a Dame whose title I cannot remember offhand, and said they’d actually done ok, in not shackling Betfair as it then was. I think they thought “who invited the village idiot” :-)

    -

    Betfair is a brilliant IT company, with many real achievements (in the IT field).  I don’t agree with a lot of their current decision making or ethos, but I have managed to change a huge number of things, which have been to BF users and BF shareholders interests. 

  112. medemi said:

    Ed,

    I don’t care what you think :) I think you’re a good debater, in writing at least.

  113. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: “checks his facts”

    -

    I was given a list (as long as the list of the 9/11 victims) of instances where Ed’s “facts” were damned wrong. Thus, I had to delete many of his comments, here.

  114. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray:

    -

    BetFair did pay the backers at better prices than the reconciliation threw out. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers, a decision taken shortly after the race. (within 30 minutes of the race being settled)

    -

    The statement above is what I accept as the truth.

    -

    If you don’t accept the truth, which I got directly from reliable source(s), and make up something out of thin air, then I begin to worry about whether I should let you publish comments here on Midas Oracle.

    -

    I thought we agreed that you should check the facts.

    -

  115. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Facts should be checked. Opinions are free. But sound opinions should be based on checked facts.

  116. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Is it true that Medemi, Adonis and Ed Murray have been booted from every other prominent web forums, including Ultimate Betting Forum, Punters Lounge, 121sports/WBX , moneysavingexpert?

  117. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Chris F. Masse: A high executive at BetFair did take the decision to have BetFair (not the layers) pay the price for the failure of their SP system on Grand National day. There is evidence of that. That evidence could be shown to the Court of Justice against Ed Murray, and against Midas Oracle, if Midas Oracle if we let published defamatory material from Ed Murray.

    -

    That is one thing that would convince to ban Ed Murray from publishing on Midas Oracle. I haven’t made my decision, yet.

  118. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: BetFair did pay the backers at better prices than the reconciliation threw out. The UK’s Grand National is the one race in the year where non-regular bettors bet, and BetFair couldn’t give them a poor experience. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers (the short-sellers), a decision taken shortly after the race. (I got it that one high senior executive took this decision within 30 minutes of the race being settled.)

  119. medemi said:

    “I was given a list (as long as the list of the 9/11 victims) of instances where Ed’s “facts” were damned wrong. Thus, I had to delete many of his comments, here.”

    -

    @medemi: “checks his facts”

    -

    Those were actually your words that I used Chris. I’d prefer to say that there is sufficient valid reasoning behind his thoughts/comments which form his opinion on these matters. In other words, he is not intentionally misleading anyone or making betfair look bad. What he says, in general, makes sense to me, from my perspective.

    -

    This can’t be about who is right or wrong, we have debate to find that out, and that’s what we are trying to do here. Everyone is free to enter the debate, on here, and make his case.

    -

    I could write a 20 page book by now, when I collect all positive and/or constructive comments from Ed.

    -

    “facts” become facts when a judge decides what is fact. Not any sooner. Even then he could be wrong.

    -

    You say information was received thru different channels. So what are we talking about here ? Is this a formal (legal) complaint or just Betfair making their case ? If it’s the latter I suggest we get on with the discussion, and are hopefully joined by someone representing Betfair to make their case.

    -

    Ed is not representing anyone, the least of all betfair. He is just another independent poster presenting his views. Even if he is wrong (and I think he already pointed out he is right about the Grand National fiasco) why should that matter ?, see my 1st and 2nd point.

    -

    Betfair know who we are. This is medemi from the BF general forum, betfair have my personal details through the KYC procedure. The same applies to Ed and Adonis. They can charge us at any time. I don’t see why they have to bust your ass because Midas Oracle is not responsible for what people post on here.

    -

    You remember the Ratner story. How is it fair that the media can hunt down a company, making false statements repeatedly, resulting in it’s destruction, and one indepent poster, who honestly and courageously presents his view, should be banned for life ?

    -

    I don’t have a clue what you should do with that list Chris, I haven’t seen it. I don’t know how it was presented to you. It sounds to me as if betfair are trying to make their case. They should do that on here or not at all.

    -

    You are the umpire. I’m only presenting my views, as long as I have the chance. Personally I don’t react to statements being presented to you in this fashion, and I don’t think Ed wants to either, but he is now forced to do so. If you really believe that betfair are presenting facts, and Ed is misleading us with the intent to harm Betfair, then you do what you have to do.

  120. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: How BetFair markets are settled in the situation where their integrity team are unhappy about some aspect of the betting on that event

    If suspicious betting is detected then the winnings of the specific accounts in question are frozen until such time as BetFair have had the chance to investigate and determine one way or the other. That has no effect on BetFair’s ability to settle the market for every other customer. If one trader has placed a bet on a match in good faith, that trader’s bet wins, and there’s a subsequent investigation, there is no reason whatsoever to disadvantage that trader by withholding settlement, particularly as a full investigation could take weeks.

    That applied for the Hernandez v Brezezicki match.

  121. medemi said:

    @medemi: Is it true that Medemi, Adonis and Ed Murray have been booted from every other prominent web forums, including Ultimate Betting Forum, Punters Lounge, 121sports/WBX , moneysavingexpert?

    -

    This is starting to reflect really bad on betfair now…..

    Like I said, I do not communicate this way !!!

    -

    Everyone on here can ask me a question, and I wll respond to that as honestly as possible.

  122. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Is it true that you were banned from these forums?

  123. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi:

    1. “constructive comments from Ed”. Yes, Ed has some constructive comments… but, as I said, he also presents things as facts, but they are not accurate facts. One example is how much time it took to BetFair to undue the SP debacle. I have evidence it took something like 30 minutes —not 2 days as Ed Murray says.

    -

    2. I can have one direct source, and I can check that with all what I know from other info sources. My strong sentiment is that what comes out of BetFair, officially or informally, is sound and very close to the truth.

    -

    3. It’s not much a legal question (at this point). The problem is that Midas Oracle should publish the truth —not falsified facts. As I explain, the principle is that I give a white card to people to write on Midas Oracle. I trust them, provided that they respect our terms of service and code of conduct (no insults, no defamation).

    -

    4. I have already acted. I have deleted many of Ed Murray’s comments.

    -

    5. If Ed Murray is going to continue to publish pseudo facts, then I’ll have to ban him for life. But I would like not to do that. Which is why I’m talking to you honestly, explaining to you what the problem with Ed is.

    -

    6. Well, a close look at the recent past behavior of Ed has convinced me that he has no respect to the integrity of the hard facts. That is why I would like him to change radically his behavior.

  124. medemi said:

    Chris,

    I haven’t been banned from moneysavingexpert.

    The moderator at a certain point in time closed (the only thread I was on) because he thought the discussion had run its course.

    -

    I’ve never heard about “Ultimate betting forum” before.

    -

    On punter’s lounge I was banned within two hours, after quoting a discussion from the betfair forum. Reason given : “Apologise to your friend”

    -

    On WBX I was banned. No reason given. I always expected they would receive a complaint from betfair (like you are receiving now), and I warned them about that beforehand, saying they should value the few customers they have.

    -

    On betfair I’ve never officially been banned, it’s just impossible for me to post there.

    -

    -

    I’ve talked about some of these things on here. Now let me ask you a question, why is this relevant to you ? 

  125. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: “Betfair know who we are. This is medemi from the BF general forum, betfair have my personal details through the KYC procedure. ”

    -

    Are you still allowed to post on the BetFair forum?

    -

  126. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Thanks for the info.

    -

    “why is this relevant to you ? ”

    -

    Well, it’s interesting to me to know whether you previously broke either forum rules or the English laws.

    -

    Why is it “impossible” for you to comment on the BetFair forum?

  127. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: “he is not intentionally misleading anyone or making betfair look bad”

    -

    Repeating pseudo facts, which are not accurate facts, is indeed misleading and harmful for that company.

  128. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: ““why is this relevant to you ? ””

    -

    Because on the Web, what is important is “reputation”.

  129. medemi said:

    My reputation on betfair is good. Adonis would say “impeccable”.

    I have a lot of friends. I should say, I had a lot of friends.

    I can prove it to you, but I won’t. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, especially after comments from betfair. You’ll just have to make that evaluation based on my comments here.

    -

    I’m done commenting on Ed, and I don’t have the heart to read your link.

    Maybe other commenters will come along presenting their views.

    -

    I can’t post on betfair because I receive the following message, even when logged in :

    -

    ALERT

    You are not logged in. To post on the Forum you must log in to your Betfair account using the login area on the main site.

    -

    Have a nice day.

  130. Ed Murray said:

    Chris, I find your thoughts that there is “evidence” that the U-turn came earlier than 7th of April to be a surprise.

    -

    You can see from this link

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1458845

    that everyone was kept in the dark, to huge anger, over the original announcement by Betfair.  It is a fact that there is huge anger from a large number of people on that thread and many others, at Betfair’s original 5th April decision to void winning bets, and to let the losing side of those bets stand, and you can see from the post by Plant on 7th April on that thread, that it was only two days later when the original decision to void the winning side of bets was reversed.

    -

    By all means, perhaps they did have the intention of paying out all bets (that had all been placed fairly).  However, this was categorically not announced until 2 days after the grand national, and their 2nd announcement was the complete opposite to their first one. 

  131. Ed Murray said:

    @medemi:

    1. “constructive comments from Ed”. Yes, Ed has some constructive comments… but, as I said, he also presents things as facts, but they are not accurate facts. One example is how much time it took to BetFair to undue the SP debacle. I have evidence it took something like 30 minutes —not 2 days as Ed Murray says.

    -

    Chris, you can see it was two days from the BF forum thread

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1458845

    -

    I think that is concrete fact.  If you yourself post on the BF forum asking people how long it took between the original announcement that the winning side of bets was being voided, and the losing side was standing, you will get the same answer from dozens of people – 2 days.  There isn’t any dispute at all, and you can see that from that thread.

  132. Ed Murray said:

    @Ed Murray: BetFair did pay the backers at better prices than the reconciliation threw out. The UK’s Grand National is the one race in the year where non-regular bettors bet, and BetFair couldn’t give them a poor experience. The cost was borne by BetFair, not by the layers (the short-sellers), a decision taken shortly after the race. (I got it that one high senior executive took this decision within 30 minutes of the race being settled.)

    -

    If you make a formal announcement that you are voiding the winning side of bets, and letting the losing side stand, and then wait two days before releasing a statement saying you are going to honour bets, your customers are in the dark for two days.  Does it matter if someone had actually decided to pay out all bets, two days before you reverse your announcement that bets placed fairly are going to be voided?  What matters is that they made an official announcement that the winning side of bets was being voided, on the 5th of April, and BF users only discovered this was not true on the 7th of April. 

    -

    -

    -

    -

    Any court would look at quotes like these from the 6th of April, and come to the firm conclusion that whether or not BF reversed their decision to announce that they weren’t paying out the winning side of bets, the fact is they didn’t tell anyone till the 7th of April that all bets (all of which had been placed fairly) stood.

    -

    cunnybobbler 06 Apr 14:01

    -

    it should be illegal imo, at the very least its a disgrace. how the hell can you change the odds after the race just so your odds dont look pathetic? i didnt even have a bet on here, so im not talking as a bad loser.

    -

    if they were that desperate to do it they should of left every bet to stand and just paid out more on the winner out of their own pockets, they can certainly afford too. its their system that obviously doesnt work so its disgusting that customers can lose out because of it. theyve lost any credibility they had left now imo

    -

    -

    -

    MoneyBagger 06 Apr 14:05

    -

    It’s also disgraceful that they don’t make up the difference in the SP from their own account – instead they cancel bets matched in-play, which were placed in good faith, and use them to balance up the SP book.

    -

  133. Ed Murray said:

    I would be delighted if you asked BF

    -

    (1) Why are months (/years) of announcements left up on the BF forum, but the 5th April and 7th April announcements with regards to the Grand National have both been removed?

    -

    and secondly, I would be delighted if someone posted up a question on the BF forum asking “how much time elapsed between the original announcement from BF that they were voiding the winning side of bets, and it was up to customers to try to claim compensation, and the second announcement, where BF made a U-turn and announced that they were paying out all bets?”. 

    -

    -

    Chris, look at the date on the 2nd BF announcement. The Grand National was on the 5th of April.

    -

    Betfair Customer Services 07 Apr 12:05

    Following our decision to roll-back the initial Betfair SP reconciliation for the Grand National win market, some customers were left in a worse position than had that initial SP stood. We are in the process of assessing which customers were disadvantaged by the roll-back and by how much. All affected customers will receive payments from Betfair to reflect this. In other words, if a customer would have been in a better position had the initial SP reconciliation stood, then a payment will be made by Betfair to the customer to reflect this, irrespective of whether the customer has contacted Betfair. No customer will be left in a worse position following the roll-back than would otherwise have been the case.

    Thank you to those customers who have already emailed the bets@betfair.com address with details of circumstances in which they believe they have been disadvantaged. This has helped us to confirm that our calculations match the expectations of those customers and we will look to respond individually to relevant customers.

    The decision to roll-back the initial SP reconciliation was taken following extremely high level of demand from Betfair SP backers in the Grand National win market. Had the initial SP stood, the prices returned on several horses for those backers would have been much reduced from what they could reasonably have expected. As a result, Betfair made the decision to roll-back after the race, to reflect an SP overround as close as possible to 100%, which is typical of the Betfair SP in the normal course. We believe that this was an exceptional case and don’t anticipate a reoccurrence, but obviously the result of the roll-back was that some other customers were left in a worse position than had the initial SP reconciliation stood.

    We will begin to make account credits today and expect all payments to be made to affected customers within the next 48 hours.

    -

    -

    -

    This was their 5th April announcement.

    -

    As a result of unreconciling bets after the race, some matched bets (which would have been winning bets for customers) became unmatched bets. In addition, some customers may have traded in-play based on bets they believed had been matched.

    -

    If you believe that you have been disadvantaged as a result of this, please contact us at bets@betfair.com. We will look at our records to determine the amount you should be due and provide compensation accordingly. Please be aware that this may take some time and it is unlikely that we will be able to address all enquiries until next week.

    -

    You can see the original statement placed the onus on customers to claim “If you believe that you have been disadvantaged as a result of this, please contact us at bets@betfair.com“. Many customers don’t read the forum, and would never have known that BF had voided the winning side of many bets. You can see there is a material difference between the 5th April/7th April statements, the first placing the onus on the customer, and then suggesting that BF may (or may not) pay out, and the 2nd one where people who had placed winning bets were automatically paid out.

  134. medemi said:

    Chris,

    are you sure you’re not starting to feel a bit uncomfortable ?

    I wouldn’t blame you if you simply got rid of the three of us.

    You’ve been an excellent host so far.

  135. Ed Murray said:

    medemi – someone at BF has led Chris to believe that the decision was made to pay out all bets on the Grand National within 30 minutes of the race finishing.  I find this a real shame that someone at BF has said that to Chris.

    -

    The debate though can be settled.  I know Bf forumite jules101 reads Midas Oracle from this thread

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1493394

    where he has linked to Midas Oracle.

    -

    jules101 (or any other BF forumite), please could you put up a thread on General betting asking forumites how long it took for BF to reverse their announcement that they were voiding the winning side of a large number of bets on the Grand National.  It simply isn’t fair that someone at BF is trying to give Chris the 30 minutes figure, when BF have deleted both the 5th and 7th April announcements (for whatever reason, they seem not to have been comfortable with leaving either of them up on the forum, whilst they have left acres of previous announcements up there).  If the BF forum agree that I have created a “falsified fact” by stating it was two days, then so be it.  If in reality, it was two days, hopefully that will show the reliability of the advice being given to Chris by someone at BF, and that person should give Chris an apology.

  136. medemi said:

    medemi – someone at BF has led Chris to believe that the decision was made to pay out all bets on the Grand National within 30 minutes of the race finishing.  I find this a real shame that someone at BF has said that to Chris.

    -

    I know Ed, the way you’ve presented it is the way I remember it. But all of this doesn’t matter much to me – they’re only opinions IMO. Facts have many different “dimensions of the truth”. And then, we (especially we) know that eventually the truth, in a lot of cases, doesn’t matter. But maybe that’s too philosophical. :)

  137. medemi said:

    I really think it would be best for betfair, actually all parties involved, to just let go….

    -

    I heard something on the telly about freedom of speech in the US, a few weeks ago.

    You can say for instance “Bush is a murderer”, and someone else might response “In some way, that’s true”. They would leave it at that. There’s something we can learn from them. 

    Look at us here, now. Nobody really needs all the attention….

  138. Ed Murray said:

    medemi – if you would like to (and no wories if not), feel free to drop me an email some time.

    -

    I am horrified at what Chris’s contact at BF has claimed to Chris.  If you make a formal announcement that many winning bets are void, then wait two days before making a second announcement that bets stand after all, that just isn’t reconcilable with the benevolent fairytale picture being given to Chris with the “senior figure at BF deciding within 30 minutes that bets would be paid out”.  The fierce debate over the Betfair skimming robot took several days before BF switched it off on inrunning markets, and these Grand National decisions were published two days apart. 

    -

    I cannot believe that someone at BF is trying to use my description of the separate announcements, as an example where I have “falsified a fact”.  My account could not have been more accurate, and it is shocking that they are using the Grand national, of all things, to try to discredit me.  Really sad to see.

    -

    I think back to the “Eastasia is the enemy, and we have always been at war with Eastasia, Eurasia is our friend” stuff.

    -

    To the person at BF who has deleted the 5th April and 7th April announcements, and is now citing the 48 hour period where it was up to customers to write in “if they feel they had been disadvantaged”, well, there are plenty of valid things to criticise me for, but you simply cannot present those 2 days where you left everyone in the dark as the rosy “we paid for all punters to get good value, out of our own pockets”.  You are held in high esteem by Chris & Midas Oracle, and if you posted what you have said to chris about a 30 minute decision after the race on the BF forum, from BF customer services, you would be totally ridiculed (which you are well aware of).  Whatever your motives in trying to persuade Chris that this was the reality of the situation, it just wasn’t, you know it, I know it, everyone on the BF forum knows it, and hopefully if Chris reads that thread I have linked to from the BF forum, he will know it too.  Can you not see why you are wrong to do this?  You are gambling that Chris believes you, and tbh, there is overwhelming evidence that what I have said is completely fair and correct.

  139. medemi said:

    Hey Ed… you probably haven’t noticed, but some of the “evidence” put forward against you are actually two seperate “pages”, here on Midas Oracle.

    -

    Just click “home”.

    -

    Happy hunting if you feel like it, I’m going out for some sunshine. :-D

  140. medemi said:

    and it is shocking that they are using the Grand national, of all things, to try to discredit me.  Really sad to see.

    -

    How about making sure medemi don’t talk no more (IMO), then tell Chris I’ve been banned on every major forum ? They do know an awful lot about me…..

  141. medemi said:

    jules101 (or any other BF forumite), please could you put up a thread on General betting asking forumites….

    -

    I wouldn’t hold my breath, Ed. You can just sense the fear that has taken over the GB forum. I believe “jules101″ is a name that was already sacrificed. I had a nice chat with him a while ago.

    -

    Soon, when it’s safe, people can come on here when they want to speak freely.

  142. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: “the U-turn”

    -

    Ed, I don’t take the BetFair forum as my primary source. My primary source is the people who take decisions. I ask them, first.

  143. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: “You’ve been an excellent host so far.”

    -

    I didn’t do my work as a host. I let you say defamatory things.

    -

  144. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: “someone at BF has led Chris to believe that the decision was made to pay out all bets on the Grand National within 30 minutes of the race finishing”

    -

    Ed, I don’t swallow everything that is said to me.

    -

    In this instance, evidence was put under my very nose.

    -

  145. Chris F. Masse said:

    For your information, I have yet again deleted some defamatory posts, on this page.

    -

    I can’t spend my life overseeing what Ed Murray is saying.

    -

    So, here’s my decision.

    1. I am asking Ed Murray to stop defaming BetFair on Midas Oracle.

    2. I don’t ban Ed Murray right now.

    3. I am asking Ed Murray to publish his anti-BetFair elsewhere —at edmurray.com.

    4. I invite Ed Murray, Medemi and Adamis, and others, to publish things about prediction markets (including BetFair) on Midas Oracle —other than the anti-BetFair defamatory material.

    5. If Ed Murray doesn’t abide, then I’ll ban him from commenting on Midas Oracle.

    -

    I think that my position is reasonable. You’re welcome on Midas Oracle, provided that you stop defaming BetFair.

    -

    I can’t spend thousands of hours of my life sorting out Ed Murray’s material. He is a good chap, he has good arguments sometimes, but he stuffs his comments with pseudo facts that harm BetFair because they are simply untrue.

    -

  146. Ed Murray said:

    Chris, there are dozens of posts, over a 2 day period, on this thread

    -

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1458845

    -

    all of which are the opposite of what Betfair have claimed to you. 

    -

    The only thing I can say is that none of them have been removed, and I am astonished at what BF have told you.

  147. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: I am well aware of this.

    -

    I am well informed about all this, and I came to the conclusion that there is no reason to publish anything about BetFair being late to respond to the SP disaster of their own making —they did respond well to that disaster, as far as I know.

  148. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: Ed, if you put your material on edmurray.com, then you’d receive details from them or their lawyers… and then you’ll be better informed about what’s untrue in the pseudo facts you publish… Do it, and you will see by yourself.

  149. Ed Murray said:

    OK cool – will do.  I do agree with you that the decision to pay out all bets was the correct one, and the fairest way of doing that, making up the difference out of Betfair’s own cash reserves, was the correct one.  The benefits of a long run successful SP system will outweigh the costs of teething problems, which include a freak race where 9 times as much backing money was wagered than on any previous race. 

    -

    I have no disagreement whatsoever that the right decision was reached at some stage, either 30 minutes after the race with the evidence you say you have seen, or at some point leading up to the announcment on 7th April that BF had decided to honour all bets struck.

    -

    If you or I were running Betfair, I think both of us, had we come to the conclusion that all bets should stand, and the cost be borne by Betfair, would have made sure that that benevolent decision was communicated a.s.a.p. to customers.   It was the right decision, but it is clear from that link to the BF forum, that whenever the decision was made, perhaps leaving most (if not all?) BF customers in the dark for two days, as is in evidence from that thread I linked to, was perhaps regrettable with hindsight.  They made absolutely the right decision, but they also did not announce it for two days.  I’m sure they wish now they had released their decision to pay out all bets on the 5th of April, and not waited till the 7th to let everyone know.

  150. medemi said:

    Don’t have much to say today, but got a lot cooking beneath the surface. hehehe….

  151. medemi said:

    @medemi: Is it true that Medemi, Adonis and Ed Murray have been booted from every other prominent web forums, including Ultimate Betting Forum, Punters Lounge, 121sports/WBX , moneysavingexpert?

    -

    Chris,

    -

    would it be possible for you to send me a copy of the original statement, including the source where it came from ?

    -

    Thanks in advance.

  152. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: That was my question.

  153. medemi said:

    Chris,

    -

    I know it was your question. I’m trying to establish how much damage has been done to my reputation. In order to answer that question I need to get a full understanding of the truth and the facts behind them.

    -

    I’m asking you whether some of the information was brought to your attention, or whether it was a “lucky guess” on your part.

    -

    If it was brought to your attention, I would like to know how, how many different channels, and by whom. Basically as many facts as possible.

    -

    By that information I’m referring to the following elements :

    - Is it true that Medemi…have been booted from …Ultimate Betting Forum…?

    - Is it true that Medemi…have been booted from …Punters Lounge…?

    - Is it true that Medemi…have been booted from …121sports/WBX…?

    - Is it true that Medemi…have been booted from … moneysavingexpert?

    - Any other forum mentioned which included my chatname.

    - Any other statement made about me that could harm my reputation, or affect my life expectancy on Midas Oracle in a negative way.

    Thanks.

  154. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: Why would a simple question damage your reputation?

  155. medemi said:

    Chris,

    I’m not saying your question damaged my reputation. If anything, your behaviour towards me has increased my reputation and provided me with certain opportunities.

    I respect you very much.

    -

    However… that information is extremely valuable to me, and I don’t intend to tell you why. Nothing mysterious about this, I just prefer to keep that away from the public domain.

    -

    I’ll respect your position even when you decide not to hand over the requested information. Whatever comes out of this, I’ll have a point to make….. on here.

     

  156. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi: I don’t know what you are referring to. But the policy that anybody in journalism has is not to publish anything about the insiders who tell us confidential information.

    -

    That goes both way. If somebody sends me a secret e-mail containing alleged evidence that BetFair is rotten, I won’t forward a copy to the BetFair people.

    -

  157. medemi said:

    Thanks Chris.

    -

    Just to make sure, so people understand – I’ve never made any statement about betfair to Chris personally or Midas Oracle outside the public domain, in any way shape or form. What I have to say about betfair, I do it in public.

  158. Ed Murray said:

    I would like to thank the News of the World for their help in protecting Betfair customers on reality tv and tennis markets. :-) . The changes introduced to protect Betfair customers are still in place to this day on tennis/snooker/darts game/frame/leg betting were vital to protect Betfair’s churn rate, and credit is due to Betfair management for listening to me and the NOTW and making the right decision, which to be fair, they did :-) . I am also grateful to Betfair management for introducing the other changes on reality tv markets I put forward to close markets at the time phone lines closed. This was also the right decision, and I am glad the changes remain in place to this day. Well done Betfair management :-)

    -

    Following on from medemi’s statements, I would like to make it clear I have made statements about betfair to Chris through private correspondence (as betfair have done themselves).

    -

    I would also like to wish whoever from Betfair is on my website this morning in Hammersmith my best wishes, and I hope they are enjoying my site.

    -

    10. 15 May 10:44 The Sporting Exchange Ltd, London, London, City of, United Kingdom

    -

    Cheers :-)

  159. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: Many people talk to me privately, and I don’t forward what these people say to me to other people.

    -

    And there is nothing nuclear in what was said.

    -

    Banal conversations.

    -

  160. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: You’re a cutie, on those pictures.

    -

    Do you play sounds from the 80s? That’s my era. :-D -

    Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, etc.

    -

  161. Ed Murray said:

    I actually found a 12″ copy of Betty Boo :-) (”where are you baby?”, which I played out at the end of the night a couple of nights ago to some bemused pishheads :-) .  I only started buying records when I was 12, in 1990, so I missed out all the 80s stuff :-) .

    -

    Thanks for calling me a cutie (LOL), but i’m off the market at the mo after being boned too many times recently by Betfair. (JOKE :-D ).

    -

    Got to love Betty Boo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O26snSXNKLQ

    -

     

  162. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: Betty Boo, never heard, will check that.

    -

    Do you like James Quarantino’s soundtracks? It’s great music.

    -

  163. Adonis said:

    The GC have published their paper on in-running betting today. It invites both input (opinion) and evidence on the issue. It’s concerns are laid out pretty well.

    http://www.gamblingcommission……0Paper.pdf

    First reaction: Much better than I’d feared.

    I think there will be some pretty substantial, informed input.

    It can be public if some of the input is copied here (under maybe the proviso that anything posted is attested by the poster as a copy of an input to the GC’s request, Chris?)

    Adonis

     

  164. Ed Murray said:

    Chris – I will have a peek at some James Quarantino.

    -

    this is from two nights ago, its pretty random, and i’ve forgotten about two thirds of it :-)

    Chicane – Sunstroke (remix)

    Faithless – Reverence

    Dido – Hunter (remix)

    Robbie Craig & Craig David – Woman Trouble

    Prodigy – Charlie CNM remix

    PPK – Resurrection (robot outro)

    Blank & Jones – Beyond Time (ambient remix)

    Energy 52 – Cafe del Mar (hybrid remix)

    Chicane – Offshore ‘95

    50 Cent Sneakers – In the club (remix)

    Dub Tropicana – Tony pike cocktail shakers mix (yes it is wham in disguise :-) )

    Rebel MC – Street Tuff

    Betty Boo – Where are you baby?

    U2 – Discotheque

    Omar – There’s nothing like this

    -

    -

    Adonis – I will make a submission to the Gambling Commission as well. Hopefully we can change things for the better for BF shareholders and customers.

    -

    One more point, I had a troll going berserk on the BF forum making several posts for hours attacking me (don’t people have better things to do? :-) ), but I asked later that day if that person had been banned from the forum. Key accounts said it would be a breach of customer confidentiality to tell me the status of anyone’s forum posting rights, and completely illegal for them to do so.

    -

    [CENSORED BY EDITOR] – I haven’t even heard of some of those sites. I am banned from the BF forum for posting on a thread where three BF users outed each other as having been placing bets from New York. I said absolutely nothing wrong, but obviously, with the law as it stands, Betfair do have the official rule on their own forum that “users can be banned at any time, and at BF’s discretion for any reason whatsoever”, which includes whether or not someone has said anything wrong. After about 12,000 posts on the BF forum, there was something they didn’t like about my contribution to a thread where they banned numerous people, and refused to release a copy of the thread to me or anyone else, for “legal reasons” (lol :-D ). The truth is I said nothing wrong whatsoever. I would be absolutely delighted if that thread was released/published, because it would show what a farcically ridiculous and unfair ban it was from Betfair. . They won’t ever release, but it seems like they will keep emailing MO etcetera saying “this person has been BANNED!” (shock, horror, gadzooks batman etcetera :-) ). Why won’t you publish it Betfair? Its not unreasonable to ask you to publish it ;-) .

    -

    -

    I was banned from bettingforum.co.uk , after describing a member of BF staff’s behaviour as “acting like a spoilt brat”. This would be offensive in theory, but the forum is riddled with swear words, and robust opinions, and the quote was mild to say the least in comparison to most on the site. Andrew Black asked repeatedly for me to be banned from that forum, its somewhere he enjoys posting fairly frequently, and obviously he wasn’t comfortable with my anti-corruption campaign, much of which he doesn’t agree with (on the basis that some of the things I think are unacceptable, he does not). It is fair enough, and the people who run that forum have a heavy financial vested interest to Betfair, and after a while gave in to his demands. It was a more than fair swap, my campaign led to huge changes on reality tv markets, snooker, tennis and darts, plus more indirect changes on football markets, whereas in return it cost me the chance to post on an internet forum. Its a no-brainer, I got the good deal :-) . Ironically, Betfair’s reputation is now in tatters on there after the various skimming etcetera episodes, and I suppose he can’t ask for everyone to be banned. :-D

    -

    [DELETED BY EDITOR]

    -

    Best wishes to all, hopefully that’s my final contribution to this thread :-) cheers

  165. medemi said:

    From Chris’s post above, can it be inferred that someone at [DELETED BY EDITOR] has emailed Chris to say that medemi, adonis, and I have beeen banned from all these forums, some of which I have never heard of?

    Ed, people can draw their own conclusions.

    The fact that the betfair forum wasn’t mentioned in that question (which would have been an obvious starting point) suggests to me that “smart men” were behind this.

    As for the other forums that were mentioned, it teaches people something about the quality of the facts delivered by the messenger. It also reveals, to some extend, their purpose.

  166. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Adonis: Thanks for the link. I don’t get your question.

  167. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Ed Murray: James Tarantino, sorry for the typo.

  168. Chris F. Masse said:

    I have deleted in Medemi and Ed’s comments the mention of somebody e-mailing me —fabrication of you, without any hard evidence.

  169. Chris F. Masse said:

    Ed, don’t put up further anti-BetFair comments here, because I sense that you’ll cross the Rubicon, next time.

    -

    This time, I let you speak, so you can defend yourself… but as I noticed in the past, you have the tendency to mix up genuine facts and opinions with… fabricated, pseudo facts. You don’t have any evidence of whom I e-mail or who e-mails me, and, even so, you publish names here, as if it were hard facts you have checked for yourself… —remember, that’s defamation.

    -

    I thought we had an agreement.

    -

  170. The UK's Gambling Commission is after BetFair and Betdaq for in-running (in-play) betting | Midas Oracle .ORG said:

    [...] Via Adonis [...]

  171. medemi said:

    Chris,

    you are spending a lot of time on us, so let me waste some more  :-D

    -

    1) how about adding a section “feedback” to the main menu.

    2) how about adding a section “donations” to the main menu. Some of us know free speech doesn’t come cheap, especially in the UK. And I don’t know if you have the time for all of this.

    3) I haven’t studied your blog well but I’m still finding it hard to navigate, maybe another option to the menu, called “latest” with the latest 30 pages announced (whether new or responded to ) would be an option. Lots of interesting features could be added to that btw.

    4) did you get my e-mail I sent this afternoon ?

  172. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi:

    1. People who are used to “blogs” know that there are comments below the posts.

    2. Nobody gives $$$ to bloggers.

    3. Click on “Archives”.

    4. Did you sent it to chris-masse@betfair.com? No, I haven’t received anything. What could happened is that you didn’t specify an original title. I don’t read the e-mails that WordPress sends me each time someone posts a comment, because I read them online. So, if you sent me an e-mail replying to a WordPress e-mail without changing the title, then I don’t see it.

  173. medemi said:

    Chris,

    1) I meant feedback about your blog, as to not clutter up your pages.

    Never mind, you’ll probably not receive that many.

    2) I don’t understand

    3) yes, but last 100 comments doesn’t work, and last 200 posts doesn’t tell me about the latest activity. Maybe they should be combined.

    4) I sent it to chrisfmasse yahoo.com and included a title, doesn’t it work ?

  174. Chris F. Masse said:

    @medemi:

    1. There’s the “contact” page for feedback. Some sites have a “guestbook” page… I could make one… not sure people will use it.

    2. Sorry. I meant nobody gives $$$ to bloggers.

    3. You could check the frontpage daily and spot where the comments are. The best thing, though, is to read your blogs and sites in Google Reader, and to subscribe to the Midas Oracle comment feed. That way, you will receive all the comments.

    -

    I will check what does not work. Thanks.

    -

    From time to time, I would look into ways to have a web forum, or a combined forum+blog, but I haven’t found something satisfying.

    -

    Midas Oracle is basically a blog with comments at the bottom of posts. That may evolve in the future… All depends on whether I find the right technology…

    -

    4. I check Yahoo! once a month. I will do now. Most people send me e-mail at cfm at midasoracle.com or my Gmail address.

  175. Medemi said:

    From time to time, I would look into ways to have a web forum, or a combined forum+blog, but I haven’t found something satisfying.

    -

    I think that’s an excellent idea, and sort of what I had in mind.

    -

    Seems to be working here too now. Thanks for all your efforts.

  176. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Medemi: I looked into bbPress, plugins that would mix WordPress and bbPress, and web forum plugins.

  177. In Favor Of Sports Betting | Midas Oracle .ORG said:

    [...] Sport is good for one’s health; sports betting is good for sports. [...]

  178. Medemi said:

    What a bunch of selfish and nonsensical arguments these days on the Betfair GB forum. I’m not coming back. :-)

    -

    I know… people are in it for the money, even though 97% loses. :-)

    -

    Chris is working hard to make you feel at home, here. But with that attitude, you better stay away.

    -

    Chris, I think we need new rules.

    No more misrepresentations of the collective consciousness. :-D  

  179. Has BetFair a little part of responsibility in the collapse of the Kieren Fallon trial? | Midas Oracle .ORG said:

    [...] actively report betting that appears to them out of the ordinary. And, if any sport regulator has concerns, then BetFair provide them with additional information. BetFair, of course, has no say in whether a criminal offense has been committed, and no input into [...]

  180. Medemi said:

    I would just like to point out that it is not me who is currently posting under the name of “Scrooge” on WBX.

    -

    http://forum.wbx.com/viewtopic.php?t=32936

    -

    So everyone relax… and holster your guns.

    And as far as WBX is concerned, you can kiss my ass…

    What the hell is going on there anyway ? Since it is now the PR manager himself who is responding to what appears to be one of my posts. Maybe someone made a mistake ?

  181. BetFair makes the frontpage of the New York Times -as the White Knight of sports. - Note that the term "prediction markets" is never pronounced. - TradeSports is not mentioned, but the last paragraph of the article suggests t said:

    [...] Previously: BetFair’s Mark Davies on sports betting and the fight against corruption [...]

  182. Did Patri Friedman misread BetFair? | Midas Oracle .ORG said:

    [...] BetFair is the only betting company in the world that has systematized a cooperation program with sp…. [...]

  183. We could use a US Gambling And Betting Commission, but the best would be to have prediction exchanges (modeled after BetFair) that alert the sports bodies about any suspicions. | Midas Oracle .ORG said:

    [...] Previously: BetFair’s Mark Davies on sports betting and the fight against corruption [...]

  184. Adonis said:

    The betfair forum’s stalwart (Magician) seems to be putting another “phenomeneon” under scrutiny.

    Muqbil has reported strange happenings,

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1538918

    Incidentally, readers here may find it amusing also to see how the original topic gets sidetracked for quite a while……

    My interim deductions?

    Looks like someone, some body or some “bot” is managing to take advantage of a Time loophole, yet again; and yet again undermining perceived (if not actual) Betting Integrity, IMHO.

    Magician sums up the general options pretty well. Until elucidated, exchange, punters, traders and bot operators are necessarily all under suspicion. Some more than others!!!!!

    I particularly like the posting name “Spiv“, seen on the cited thread….

    Medemi and other readers here will remember the general hue and cry ” the pack” focussed on me when I (4 years ago now) dared to suggest that certain types of “trader” were akin to ticket touts and Spivs…….

    there was not one single dissenting posting from any BF “punter”…….

    (FAO Chris: in Wartime Britain, a “spiv” was the archetypical black-marketeer, always keen to make a fast buck at the expense of anyone else – his own grandmother included, if necessary! Later, the same degree of disdain was levelled at ( for example) Used Car Dealers. Later still, ticket touts……)

  185. Medemi said:

    Very strange indeed Adonis. The most likely explanation was provided early on in that thread, but even I could not justify so much suspicion on the way betfair operate.

    One should have a look at the stock market, and the safeguards they have in place. Also, the problems they may have encountered in the past. 

  186. Adonis said:

    @Chris:

    Please read up on anything you can find from “The Magician”, a regular poster on the betfair forum. He may be joining us over here very soon!

    He has made detailed statements

    http://site.forum.betfair.com/…..ID=1530037

    regarding his reportage to the Gambling Commission ( and a couple of responders include theirs too).

    Once again, you will find it difficult not to recognise the “thread spoiler” crowd and their tactics.

    They don’t seem at all worried by BF’s so-called “rules” on defamation. As long as they cite what (IMHO) might be the “party line, they can clearly post almost anything!

    Don’t take the simplistic route and assume that some of them are just numbskulls. Over Time, most bf Customers can detect a strong degree of vitriolic intelligence………

    MORE POWER TO MAGICIAN’S ELBOW!!!!

  187. Chris F. Masse said:

    @Adonis: “Please read up on anything you can find from “The Magician””

    -

    Any BetFair trader is welcome on Midas Oracle, provided that he / she doesnot defame BetFair.

    -

    Simple rule.

  188. klaas said:

    ”we are set up like a stock exchange, matching up supply and demand, and taking a cut in the middle. This means that we have no exposure to the result, or, to put it another way, we don’t care who wins. We make money if the event happens, regardless of the outcome,” 

    I fink this is not true that you cant lose when all people bet on the highest payout and the win .

    Than you lose money ofcours.

    I know on the long run you make always money.

    If your supply and demand, is correct

    When you sell your stock to low you going to lose money.

    So i fink when there is alot money with the game on 1 site more

    i fink you  care than.

  189. The Best Resources On Prediction Markets | Midas Oracle .NET said:

    [...] New Understandings in Sports Betting – (PDF file) – by BetFair’s Mark Davies – [...]

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