When an edge is no longer an edge

disappearing edge

“If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backwards.”

These two quotes summed up how I was feeling about my horse racing bets.  What seemed like a great edge and was making great money to start with (so much that I got banned from nearly every bookmaker), gradually started to disappear.  All the great value horses I used to spot were still around but with not quite as much value as there once was.

Rather than adapting to maintain the edge, I was standing still.  As the saying goes, if you’re standing still you’re going backwards.  Before I know it, good profits were turning into mediocre profits and mediocre profits also added the occasional losing month.  It got to the point that the time and the effort to analyse the races was not producing the profits to make it worth while.  That was when I decided to take a much needed break from betting.

How were the profits?

All my bets were posted on Twitter beforehand so there is full transparency.  This is not me claiming magical winners out of this air.  Saying that I will caveat a couple of points.  All the results were posted based on the price at the time of posting.  While as some people will rightly point out that there will be a lot of rule 4 winners in there, on the flip side, I don’t inflate the profits when the SP is higher than the posted price.  The latter being a favourite trick of many a tipster.

So overall, 26 months of postings resulted in an overall profit of 714 points and 36% ROI.  Sounds pretty good right.  When I tell you the first 16 months equates 693 of these points and a 52% ROI, you can probably see where the problems start.  The last 10 months only returned 21 points and a 3% ROI.  Once I accounted for rule 4s it was an overall negative for me (some may have done better if anyone can still get BOG).

I decided that 10 months is enough of a period to decide the edge is no longer what it is.  The only problem or concern is I still don’t know if it is a temporary blip or it has fully disappeared.

Disappearing edge?

It is only an edge why the rest of the population has not cottoned onto it.  I did not share my edge, and any person who does is an idiot, as the more people that know about an edge it suddenly becomes not an edge as prices adjust accordingly.  My only guess is that with more and more information out there, the betting population and more importantly the bookies got wise to my edge and prices adjusted accordingly.  The only piece of advice I can give is, once you find an edge, milk it for as much as you can as quickly as you can as that edge can soon disappear.

Permanent break?

After spending large periods of time gambling for the past 5 years, taking 5 months off has been great in some ways but strange in others.  I’ve suddenly found I have a lot more spare time in the evenings.  While that is good some ways, more time to spend with the wife and friends, on the other hand there does feel something missing.  Due to that I’m going to gradually creep back into the sports analysis world but focussing on some areas that I enjoy to try and bring the fun back – my thinking is analysing football but focussing on the lower leagues.  I feel there is so much information and people analysing the EPL, there just isn’t the value in the odds.  I have a few angles that appear promising and have backtested well, but I’ll only start posting once I have proof in the pudding that it actually works going forward.

I’ll carry on enjoying my break, but when I say break I mean break from gambling.  I still work full time unfortunately but hopefully I’ll come back refreshed with a new edge that can be milked for some healthy profits.

All the results are belatedly on the blog and on twitter so feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

The highs and lows of gambling

top of the world

Most people start off gambling with small stakes to add a bit of enjoyment to sporting events.  As the adverts go, “sport’s more fun when you bet on it”.

Most people stick at that level and enjoy the high’s when they win and can deal with the lows as the amounts are not life changing.

The problem is there are a few people that take things to the next level.  Small bets turn to big bets.  Small losses turn to big losses.  The wins and almost wins push the urge for another bet.  Before they know it, they are betting more than they could ever afford.

I urge everyone to only bet within your limits, don’t hide your bets from family friends, and please watch this video (not made by me but sums everything up nicely).

Betting bank correlates to staking

Bet Size and Staking

This is a tricky one to write as everyone has an opinion on staking.  My view on bet sizes and staking works for me but again it may not be for everyone.  A few things to start us off:

Betting Bank

This is the money you have allocated to betting and are willing to lose i.e. not your rent payment, or your kids university fund.  I can’t stress this enough; you must be willing to lose this money.  Betting is high risk.  Even with the best strategies, planning and mental strength, there is still a high likelihood that you could lose your entire betting bank.

Size of betting bank

I’ll repeat what I said before.  This should be the amount you can afford and are willing to lose.  A good way to think about this – think back to some money you have wasted on a purchase you never used or a night out you didn’t enjoy.  When you realised how much money you had wasted how upset were you?  Your betting back should be big enough that you are upset when you lose it, but not so upset that you completely lose the plot.  When people are starting out, this amount is usually around the 1k to 2k mark.

For some people, losing a 1000 pounds could take them over the edge, for others it may be 10 thousand.  Again, your betting bank should be large enough that you care about it, but no so large that you start losing the plot when you lose most of it (e.g. resorting to anger, becoming emotionally unstable).  Another way to think about it is, what amount will your other half be ok with you losing? i.e. an amount they are upset about but not an amount where they will pack their bags and leave.

Now back to the staking and bet size

Some people make this very scientific but I try and keep it as simple as possible.  First, count how many different betting systems/strategies you are using.

Second, divide your betting bank by the number of strategies.  Let’s say you have 2k and have settled on 4 strategies that you believe to be profitable long term.  That will leave 500 pounds per strategy (2k divided by 4 for anyone struggling to keep up!).

Third, then divide the amount per strategy by 100 points i.e. 500 quid per strategy divided by 100 equals 5 pounds per bet.

This means that you can have 100 losing bets in a row before your bank for a particular strategy runs out.

I’ve assumed an even split of the bank across each strategy to start with, but please read the next 2 sections.

When should I increase my bet sizes

I suggest revisit every quarter as an absolute minimum.  The logical thing is to increase your staking/bet sizes for the systems that are doing well.  Makes sense but I will warn to make sure that one system does not have bet sizes far greater than any other system.  Before you know, you will lose your diversification, become fully reliant on one system, and you could soon wipe out the majority of your bank if the good system hits a bad run.

For example:

System 1: flat, bank size 500 (0 profit)

System 2: +200 points, bank size 1500 (1000 profit)

System 3: +10 point, bank size 550 (50 profit)

System 4: -60 point, bank size 200 (300 loss)

System 2 had a great quarter with the bank size tripling from 500 to 1500.  Dividing it by 100 points, you may be tempted to increase the bet sizes to 15 per bet.  While I’m not opposed to this, as a rule of thumb, I avoid having the bet size on any given system being greater than 2x the size of the lowest betting system.  In this case I would avoid increasing the bet size above 10 pounds per bet (5 pound being the lowest bet size). This will stop you becoming reliant on one system for your profits.

Reallocate your bank

Assuming 4 strategies, reallocate your new total bank (2350 in the example above) to the various strategies (with the bank size on one strategy never being greater than 2 times the size of the other strategies).  Then divide the bank for each strategy by 100 points and you’re off again.  I’d recommend doing this monthly in the early stages and then moving to quarterly as you get more experience.

Don’t be tempted to reduce your stakes on strategy 4.  You have allocated 100 points as you believe it is a profitable system, and the 100 points acts as a buffer to absorb the losing runs.

If system 4 continues to be unprofitable, assess why you think that is the case.  If the markets have changed or don’t behave as they previously did, then it may make sense to stop using it (lay the draw strategies being a prime example of this).  Only then should you decide to switch the system out with a different one.

When can I spend my winnings?

This all depends on what your end goal is.

If you’re looking for some supplementary income, then you could potentially take out some money relatively early.  Aim for a return of 5% per month.  If your starting bank is 2k, then you should take out 100 per month.  The expectation is that you will gradually build your bank up (get a return greater than 5%) and will gradually be able to take out more each month.

If you aim to be full time, you will want to reinvest all your profits back into your bank as this will see the bank increase a lot quicker.

For example, assuming an optimistic 10% increase in bank size per month, and then withdrawing 5% of the bank each month will see your bank grow from 2k to 3,093 at the end of year one and you will have spent 1,701 pounds (on going out or a new TV etc).

If you had the same 10% increase per month, but didn’t withdraw anything your bank will have increased to 6,277 pounds.  In simple terms, every pound you withdraw now and spend, you will no longer earn a return on.

Betting with profits

Another key point, betting with profits is far less stressful than betting with money out your bank account.

Some people like to retain all their profits until they’ve doubled their balance.   They then withdraw the original bank and you are back to square one in terms of bet size/staking.  The big difference now is you are betting with profits.  If things badly go against you, you are safe in the knowledge that you have a betting bank available to start all over again.  This is a lot easier to digest than doubling your bank only to lose the whole thing due to increased bet sizes and a bad run.

I read about lots of different staking strategies.  Should I use them?

There are lots of articles on a variety of staking techniques.  The key is to use strategies that suit your risk tolerance.  A word of caution; strategies where you increase you bet size to recover losses are not recommended as all you need is a bad run and your stakes become very large.  Before you know it you’ve blown your entire bank.  This is the most common way that people blow their entire bank.  You have been warned.

Tipster Abuse – do they deserve it?

Tipster abuse

Tipster abuse – anyone who has paid for tips will know this story well: A tipster claims to make lots of money (no losing months, 100+ points profit a month).  Marketer claims the Tipster will make you lots of money.  All you need to do is pay a small amount each month.  You buy into the hype and start placing your bets.

In the ideal world, you make steady profits.  What often happens is these tipsters will hit a losing run and before you know it a hate mob starts to build.

A whole range of abuse will start flowing at the tipster.  Everything from questioning his ability, the odd expletive, all the way to personal threats.

The tipster then gets all defensive, claiming all the people who are complaining are idiots and don’t understand betting.

The question is..

Do Tipsters deserve abuse when they hit a bad run?

Let’s think of it another way.  A restaurant has great reviews and you decide to go one night.  For one reason or another you end up getting bad service and overcooked food.  Obviously the restaurant did not live up to the hype.  Do you say “thank you for the awful service and product” or “do you complain”.  Obviously you complain, but the level of complaint will depend on the person.

The second aspect is what would you expect from the person providing the service.  “If they called you morons who don’t know about food” it will likely make things a lot worse.  “If they were very apologetic, explained that it was an anomaly, and offered some sort of compensation” you’d probably be a lot happier.

I think a tipster should be no different.  The tipsters are providing a service.  People pay money to access this service.  If they are providing a bad service than you have to expect that people are not going to be happy.  Fighting fire with fire is only going to make things a lot worse.

In summary, if you are charging for a service which is targeted at uneducated betters, you have to expect abuse when you hit a bad run.  Obviously I don’t condone threats of violence, or personal attacks, but a little bit of frustrations has to be expected.

And before you ask, I sit on both sides.  I pay for tips and provide tips.  When things go bad I have to expect the inevitable abuse.

Diversification – have eggs in multiple baskets

Eggs in one basket

What is diversification?

You’ve probably heard ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’.  Diversification is the opposite – ‘have your eggs spread across multiple baskets’.  You drop one basket and there are still plenty of baskets remaining.  To think of it in the financial world, you would not put your entire share portfolio into one stock/company.  If that company goes bankrupt you are left with nothing.  Similar you should not put all your money into one country or sector e.g. people made a fortune betting on tech companies, but when that bubble burst you were left with nothing.

The best way to make steady profits is have a diversified portfolio i.e. a mix of low risk, medium risk and high risk strategies that are all expected to be profitable long term.  When one strategy turns out not to be profitable, the losses will be absorbed by the other profitable strategies.

Would you put your entire betting bank on one bet? 

That should be an easy one.  The answer is ‘no’ in case anyone is still struggling.

Even if you are 99% sure it will win and the odd are amazing, there is still that 1% chance you will lose everything.  If you are comfortable with that sort of risk, then your risk tolerance levels are way higher than mine.  Sure, put a large chunk of money on it, just don’t bet the mortgage on it.

Should you use one profitable system only?

For some people the answer to this is yes.  They know a system is profitable (e.g. pre-race trading), and even though they may go through a few bad runs, overall they make money long term.

However, by having multiple profitable systems you will have steadier profits in the long term.  If one system has a bad run, the expectation is the losses will be offset by the other systems.  Obviously, the key here is that each system needs to be profitable in the long term.

Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut

When I say you need some higher risk systems, they still need to make profit in the long term.  Just because a system occasionally finds a long odds winner, it doesn’t mean it is a good system to add to your portfolio.  To the previous point, only include systems that are profitable over the long term…..emphasis on the long term!

Should you only bet on one type of sport?

Having all your systems based on one type of sport may be fine if that is where your expertise is.  The key to making money from sports betting is by having an edge over the bookies and everyone else.  The best way to do that is to be an expert in a particular field i.e. have better knowledge than everyone else.  Being a jack of all trades is not going to help you be an expert on any given sport.

By betting on different sports, this will further diversify your portfolio but may not increase your overall profitability.  I would recommend focussing on one type of sport e.g. football or horse racing, but potentially having one or two systems from other sports.

Are your systems correlated?

To add some caution, ensure all your systems for any given sport are not heavily correlated.  By this I mean, if all your systems are based on similar criteria there is always a risk that as one system starts to fail all the systems start to fail. The more diversified you are across different sports, different markets, different strategies, the less correlated you will be.

When you talk about systems/strategies, what do you mean?

I do not mean the systems that marketers push in your direction and say are profitable.  As you will have no idea how these picks are made, you will have no idea how diversified you are.  Systems are betting methods or techniques that make money in the long term.  For example, a split may be:

  • Back to Lay trend bets (bet on odds early morning that you predict will shorten)
  • Pre-racing trading (scalping the markets based on short term moves)
  • In-play trading (automated dobbing)
  • Straight backing systems (some focussing on low odds, some on mid-range odds, and some on long shots).

How diversified should I be?

That is the million-dollar question that will depend on your risk tolerance level.  Due to time constraints I limit myself to the above 4 strategies (pre-race trading being the most time consuming).  The other best can be automated and set-up in the morning/evening, leaving me free to concentrate on scalping the markets during the day (when I’m not working!).

Psychology is the key to successful betting

Psychology is key

Psychology is the key to successful betting.  I’ll emphasis this again; Psychology is key.  You can have the best strategy or system in the world, but if your mindset is not there you’ll soon find yourself turning winning months into losing months and small losses into bank breaking losses.

There are numerous articles, and books on the subject.  As most people have no time to read a full book I’ve tried to summarise some of the important topics into one article.

Below are the basic psychological rules that everyone should follow.  I’ll state upfront, there will always be the occasional bet that slips through the net (we’ll call these emotional bets) but if you follow these rules for the majority of your betting then you should be fine in the long-run.

Avoid random bets

Sounds simple but it is usually the biggest mistake most punters make.  In simple terms, ‘always bet with a purpose’.  Key points to note:

  • Ensure the odds make sense. Don’t just bet because you think something will win, ensure the odds are greater than their chance of winning (e.g. the toss of a coin, you would want odds greater than evens to make long term profit).
  • Have a plan. Know your exit points from the start.  Work out a variety of scenarios prior to placing the bet.  This way, when the bet starts unfolding you will know whether you want to stay in or exit.
  • Backtest your sure fire system. You may think you have a great system.  If so, test it out over as long a period as possible to ensure it is profitable.  On the flip side, the history may not always repeat in the future and don’t try and fit a system where the filters do not make logical sense.
  • Patience is a virtue. Boredom is often a big downfall.  You end up placing bets for the sake of it.  Always be prepared to wait until the entry and exit points make sense.

In summary, be disciplined and ensure all your bets are done with discipline and purpose.  If you start betting randomly, chasing losses, etc then STOP. Get some fresh air, give yourself a talking to, make some notes on what went wrong and then start again fresh.  Everyone will make mistakes, those who profit long term are those who learn from them.

Be prepared to lose

  • No system or strategy will win 100% of the time, no matter what the marketers may say. Even the best system in the world will have some losing runs as there are so many random factors that cannot always be controlled.  Being able to keep a clear head when things go against you is one of the hardest things to do but also one of the most important.
  • Key points:
    1. Don’t chase bad money with good money.
    2. Don’t leverage up to recoup your losses.
    3. Don’t scrap a method/system unless you know it is no longer viable. Challenge all the assumptions in the system and see if there is anything that has changed.

Don’t get greedy

You may think you have found the ultimate system I.e. the goose that lays the golden egg.  It’s making you lots of money, so you decide to increase your stakes dramatically to make as much money as possible.  If you have found the ultimate flawless system, then congrats to you.  For 99% of people that system will eventually hit a bad run.  If you have increased your stakes too high you will suddenly find your whole bank has been wiped out (see the separate article on staking/bet sizes).

Confidence vs Fear

Fear results in losses.  Confidence equals success.  By pulling out of a winging bet early due to fear, you will be reducing your profits and increasing the bookies profits.  So back to the previous point, know your entry and exit points from the start.  Don’t let emotion override your thinking.  Being confident in your research and proven methods will result in higher profits in the long run.  To caveat, if your strategies are not proven then blind confidence will be a quick way to the poor house.

Time consuming

Don’t expect to jump straight in and make lots of money.  Being profitable long term is very time consuming.  Don’t expect to spend 5 minutes looking at form or previous results and expect to pick a winner.  To make money, you need to get an edge over the bookies.  To do this will take time and research.   This is the only way to find bets where there is value.

Most people will end up failing due to laziness.  As soon as people realise they can’t make a fortune after doing 30 mins of reading they give up.  If making money from betting is that easy, everyone would be doing it.  To join the 2% club (people who are profitable from betting) then you need to be prepared to put some serious time and effort in.

To emphasise a previous point; The biggest mistake people make is not learning from their mistakes.  Take notes, learn from it, and ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

Betting Bots – don’t lose your whole bank

Betting Bots

This is an article I actually wrote back in 2010 when betting bots first came onto the scene.  After hearing lots of horror stories about people losing their entire betting bank, I thought it was worth posting again.

Betting Bots (automated betting; software that places bets for you) reviews are posted all over the internet, but I am amazed how often these are pushed (with the aim of making affiliate money) without fully understanding the risks involved.

What is a betting bot?

A betting bot is computer software which automatically places bets on your behalf based on some criteria you set. Nearly all these bots link into a betting exchange (usually Betfair) so the bot can either back or lay any race that meets the set criteria.

There are numerous bots on the market, and they all promise to make you rich for virtually zero effort i.e. you switch the software on, sit back, and before you know it lots of money comes pouring into your account.

As most serious gamblers know, making money from gambling is not that easy, although most betting bot reviews do seem to push this without mentioning the downsides.

Betting bot reviews

There are numerous betting bot reviews on numerous websites, which I’m sure many of you have read already. The central part of Betting bot reviews, usually involves how much money the bots make over a set period, but often fail to take into account the risks involved.

The basics of a bot is fairly straight forward and can provide a very useful tool for putting bets into the market at set times, without being by your computer. In this article I want to focus more on the downsides, which many of the review sites seem to ignore.

Risks of using betting bots

Below is a list of items that you should be fully aware of before trying out one of these bots:

These sites require your Betfair log in details, and also bet your betting bank without you being there.

  • 1st and most important, ensure the software if from a reputable site. These bots usually require your betfair log-in details and there are lots of stories where people’s whole banks get cleared out (trying to prove your account is hacked is near impossible).
  • Bots often have a tool which allows you to recoup the losses from the last race by increasing the bet on the next race. For example, assume all the odds are evens (either double up or lose your original stake). The Betting Bot will place for example $10 on the first race. If the race wins it will bank the profit, and then place $10 on the next race. However, if the race loses it will then post $20 on the next race ($10 standard stake, plus an extra $10 to win back the stake that was lost in the previous races. If that loses it will then bet $40 ($10 standard, plus the $10 from the first, and $20 from the second). If you keep losing the bets will keep doubling up to $80, $160, $320, $640 until your Betfair account wipes out. Anyone who plays roulette will know these runs on very short odd event can happen on a regular basis, and will get you eventually.
  • The better Bots will have various staking plans, so make sure you do not undertake a risky one, otherwise you will wipe out your betting account before you know it. Also, ensure the bot has a stop loss limit which will cut off any bets after a certain limit is breached.
  • As with all betting, by using the bot you will be just taking the current market price at a set pre-defined time. If you consistently just take the market price you will inevitably lose in the long run. This is mainly due to the odds being based on complex calculations to work out the exact odds, and then the bookmaker will take some commission. For example you will never find a market where you can bet and break even. If there was a market for tossing a coin the market maker would not give you evens.

Related to the above, when using bots try to use them on races where you have done some research or have an edge over the bookmaker. Blindly putting in some conditions and letting the bot loose will lead you to losing money in the long run.

Be careful of the new bots coming out where the owners of the bots will populate bets on your behalf. If everyone is backing or laying the same horse, the value on these horses is going to be very low, unless the software is limited to a few individual.

In summary, betting bots can be very useful pieces of software, but please don’t blindly use them without considering the risks.

Mug punters and Brexit voters: highly correlated?

Brexit

Been a strange few days and I want to keep my views out of it as much as possible.  However, I thought it would be worth a minute to compare the similarities with mug punters:

  1. Make decisions based on emotion without fully understanding the decision that has been made (i.e. was it actually a good bet/vote).
  2. Happy to take short term enjoyment (the occasional win) at the expense of long term profitability (time will tell on that one).
  3. Focus on one or two factors (e.g. migration, Cameron out….last win, newspaper tips) when there are multiple factors that need to be considered.

I’ll keep it brief, but it is funny how massive decisions get made with so little thought on the long term impact.  So in summary, I don’t have the stats to back it up but I’m pretty sure there will be a strong correlation between mug punters and people who voted to exit.

I’m hoping the long term impacts of Brexit will be minimal but we are definitely in for a bumpy ride in the short term.

Finding winning bets: Form, historical analysis and the present

3 legged stool technique

There are lots of views out there on how to come up with a successful betting strategy for finding winning bets.  Some common examples below:

  • Historical statistical analysis: analysing race or game data to come up with winning bets (e.g. betting horses ridden by a certain jockey at a certain course between certain odds = a profit of x over the past 5 years). This technique goes on the assumption that history will be repeated in the future.  A quick comment on that; just because a strategy appears to have been profitable for the past so many years or months, it does not mean that it necessary will occur again in the future.
  • Form analysis: analysing the form of the horse (course, jockey, form versus other horses etc) to determine its chance of winning.
  • The insider tip: this is everyone’s favourite. The trainer, owner, or someone’s mate gave some good advice so it must win.  The other one is, there is money piling in and the odds are dropping fast so someone must know someone.

So are any of these better than the other?

They all have their merits (2 and 3 more than 1), but my advice is you need to use a combination of all 3 (hence the 3 legged stool in the picture). What do I mean by that?

  1. Start off with form analysis: the more analysis you do in this area the smaller the number of selections you will have.
  2. Once you have looked at the form, then look at the historical stats for that course. What age horses do well, from what stall, does the favourite have a good win % etc. (if point 1 is done properly, this step can be skipped).
  3. Then look at any current information that you can find e.g. trainer opinions, odds movements etc.

Don’t forget the value!

Most important of all, ensure there is value in the odds.  Calculate (based on the above 3 points) what you think the % chance of the horse winning is.  Then convert it to odds and ensure the odds you get are higher than that.  For example, analysing all the historical course stats, the current form, and the markets moves may suggest that horse 1 is going to win.  If everything points to that, then everyone is probably going to have piled in and backed that horse.  If you get in late you are very unlikely to be getting any value from the bet i.e. you will be backing odds that are less than its true chance.

Sounds simple!  Obviously I’ve not given any details on how you complete points 1-3.  There are plenty of articles on the internet and more will come from me over time.  That should be a good point to get you started in finding winning bets.

Bookmakers vs Betfair: why the exchange is not always the best option

Bookmaker vs Exchange

You may have heard people saying the following comments:

“Why do people use bookmakers?  The Odds are so much better on betfair”

“The bookmakers are all crooks.  As soon as you win some serious money they cancel your account.”

These are two quote that are very close to my heart as most of my bookmaker accounts have been cancelled or, what is usually the case, the bet sizes are limited to such a small amount they might as well have cancelled it.

Let’s address each of these sentences in turn:

Bookmakers vs Betting Exchanges

Unless you have your head in the sand, you will see that Betfair SP odds are higher than bookmaker odds the majority of the time.  Anyone who bets on a regular basis will know this, and Betfair likes promoting this.

So it’s simple then; always use Betfair.  Wrong!

‘Always’ is the key word that needs to be debated.  If you are betting just before an event starts, then betfair should be your go to betting place.

The problem for me, due to my ongoing search for value, I often place my bets the night before racing.  During these times, the liquidity on the betting exchanges is just not there.  Spreads are really wide and I’d be lucky to get a tenner matched.

Due to this I am reliant on the bookmakers to get my bets place.   Waiting for the morning is not an option, as I’m not the only one who understands the value concept, and by the time the morning arrives the odds have often collapsed.

In summary, if you are placing bets reasonably close to an event start time you should use an exchange.

If, like me, you place bets well in advance of a race than the bookmakers do have a use.

This brings me onto the next point:

 “The bookmakers are all crooks.  As soon as you win some serious money they cancel your account.”

The answer to this one is a ‘yes’ and a ‘maybe’.  Having made some reasonable (not a lot) I can first hand confirm that bookmakers will limit your accounts with minimal reasons.  In my case, for winning less than 2k in most cases, some I actually had a net loss!  Other reasons are when people are exploiting promotional offers or are arbing with the exchange.

So yes, they will close your account if you make money, and so you may agree that these guys are crooks, but are they really?

Think of any business; if you have unprofitable customers, what is the logical thing to do – stop doing business with them.

Some businesses don’t have that luxury e.g. people who only buy the loss-leader specials from a supermarket.  For others, where they have an option to do a deal with a customer, then most businesses will avoid customers where they don’t make money from them.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate bookmakers and don’t like that they refuse my bets but from a logic perspective I just about understand why they do it.

Whenever you hear someone claiming that bookmakers are all crooks, try to see it from their perspective.