It seems to me that the art of bookmaking is dying. The bookmaking industry is ran by computerised accountants who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Let me explain, bookmaking should be about taking a view on a event and placing you money where your opinion lies. However, the way the game is the price is only a reflection of public opinion. So the price fluctuates as to where the money goes. This produces an almost zero sum game except for the bookies cut which can be anything from 5 – 35%, sometimes even higher.
There are tales of bookmakers such as the late “Fearless” Freddie Williams who lost £1 million in one day and then was robbed of another £70,000 on the way home from Cheltenham, and, John Poulter the infamous greyhound and boxing bookmaker who laid massive bets at the Brighton and Hove greyhound racetrack. These types of bookmakers formed an opinion and backed their judgement to the max. These types of bookmakers dealt in numbers that would unnerve the ordinary punter and made their money by being smarter than the average person. They won a lot but also lost a lot.
The days of taking a position and risking all has gone and the days of safety first is well and truly in. To be honest this was probably the way it has always been and only became high profile with the dawn of betting exchanges. The only time when a bookmaker took a hard and fast position was when they had inside information that an event was going to end in one way no matter what happened. Basically bookmakers are acting like Totalisers or lottery organisers, they only make money when enough people playing and increase the turnover, thereby increase the bookmakers take.
Is this post just another moan about losing money to bookmakers? Probably! But in defence of the article it is hoped to highlight an issue that getting value seems to be getting harder as restriction of bets and the openness of information makes it harder for a gambler to get the price and the sum on to make a difference. Bookmaking is an art form the problem today is that it is an art form that resembles painting by numbers.