Sportingbet pay the King of Spin, Shane Warne $1 million a year to be their brand ambassador. Their adversaries, Sportsbet have saved a million by having their own in house King of Spin, Cormac Barry.
Most of you would have heard the almighty load of self-interest inspired spin that Cormac Barry and Mary Collier of the Australian (European) Wagering Council served up to racing’s most informed and relevant voice Shane Anderson earlier in the week.
They shit they spun troubled me so I felt a need to debunk it.
Let’s start with Mr Barry who took over Sportsbet 2-3 years ago after the Paddy Power buyout.
Cormac told us what innovators he and all the other corporates are, and how much they do for the punter. Shane asked him are punters really getting great service if a lot are getting barred?
Cormac’s response was – “The genesis of customers being banned came into place with the advent of turnover based tax”. Ahhh, no, mate – Sportsbet and Sportingbet ferociously barred punters all the way through the early 2000’s as they were paying no tax at all to RVL, Racing NSW etc.. So that’s that one out of the way – moving on.
Cormac suggested that corporates could service low margin or “winning punters” if a gross profit based turnover model was introduced for low margin clients. Claiming “we lose to the punter and then lose to RVL as well with the present system”.
Seems a pretty stupid idea to me – if I win off Sportsbet they pay me but nothing gets returned to the industry? Further, you promote yourselves as the “fixed odds specialist”. Fixed odds come with risk management – you’re a bookie – if you lose, that’s your problem, not RVL’s. Okay, taken care of that – moving on to Cormac’s corker!
Unprovoked, Cormac went on to claim that the main reason winning clients are barred is because –
“There’s an assumption there is perfect information in the market”
“We can’t be sure if a punter is continuously getting good information, that that information isn’t questionable”.
“In a perfect world where if there was no integrity issue I would have no problem taking bets off all punters”
Luckliy Ralph Horiwitz, Shane’s co-host, reined him in on this one. It was a baseless, deeply unqualified statement. Cormac should have retracted it and apologised immediately – but he didn’t.
I was offended. I’ve been barred by just about everyone – does that mean I’m a hot worker?
Cormac insulted all punters and the industry at large. Not to mention Australian stewards who are proven to be the best in the world.
Where there is money there will always be corruption and bookmakers must protect themselves and sports from corruption, but to claim that’s why punters are barred was disgusting.
I didn’t agree with one word Cormac said. I feel he missed the biggest point of all for corporates in the new tax structure – the per meeting charging of the new tax. He and Mary never mentioned it, maybe because their businesses are so fat they win every day so they need not worry about the unfairness of paying turnover tax on losing days and gross profit tax on winning days.
Mary Collier trotted out the “we reject 1 in 10,000 bets” line when pressed by Shane about account closures.
What is this stupid line? It made no sense when they produced it 8 months ago and it’s still just as irrelevant. All the bookies she represents except for Unibet don’t reject bets, they either accept your bets or shut you down. Unibet who are respected as being one of the fairest bookies in Australia might reject 1 in 10,000 bets – is she referring to them?
None of the “vocal minority” as she labelled us are complaining about rejected bets – we’re sick of being straight up shut down.
And this is the genesis of my problem with Cormac and the Australian (European) Wagering Council – if they want the respect of the horseracing industry and the community at large they need to stop the groundless spin and start telling the truth about their business models. At present the Govt. are allowing their business model so what’s there to hide?