Conversation with a Journalist

29/11/2013 | By | Reply More

Had breakfast with a journalist last week in London.

Here is the background to why we met up when I was in town. Over the years I’ve seen so many stories about people who lost a lot, I mean a real lot, gambling. Some lost through there own fault, but sometimes it was for completely nefarious means, by gambling with other people’s money. I wondered why the media doesn’t publish the opposing story, somebody that actually made something.

So I met up with a journalist who had run some stories to find out why. Paraphrased conversation follows: –

Lots of discussions around betting exchanges, people, strategies, numbers. “Can you prove it?”, “Yes” – “Really prove it, I mean with detailed information and proof”, “Yes – but this is an exchange where profits are shared with winners – So it’s a bit different and there are many ways to do it” ……Conversation continues for some time with me saying “Yes” and “Yes I can” etc. quite often. We discuss some of the more amazing stories I’ve seen in my time on exchanges, the good the bad and some of the crazy things I’ve seen (and done).

Call me slow, but I realise now why stories about winning on Gambling don’t get published and why people who do well don’t get publicity. The answer came right at the end of the conversation. I pushed for an answer on whether they would be interested in writing a piece on me, or any of the other people or situations I discussed.

“Well there are lots of greats stories, but not one I can run”

At which point the penny dropped. Basically, nobody wants to be seen to encourage problem gambling. Promoting a positive story could obviously seduce people into believing that they can gamble their way out of a problem. Not a great idea, so the default mode appears to be only to send out negative stories. It’s shame, as some of best stories and details of some of the stuff that’s gone on, and is still happening, may never get seen in the public domain. I’ll save those for the autobiography!

I can see the problem. Modern gambling is so accessible and instant that people think they can somehow overcome the odds without much effort. But obviously nothing worthwhile is achieved with little effort, but gambling does present that opportunity in a seducing format. Opinion is not valued in the gambling world and, of course, a sure fire winner, never really can be. So problem gambling most probably starts off quite simple and harmless but ends up developing into something more of a problem. Which is a shame. Call me slow but it’s taken time for that to sink it. I guess discipline must be a trait that I have built in?

I think that’s because ever since I was young I dreamt about doing something special. But for me it’s been a structured, if sometimes haphazard journey. So for me it feels like the culmination of years of sacrifice and effort. Therefore I’ve always seen my role to act as an exemplar for advanced use of betting exchanges, to legitimise it. Unfortunately for others, they just want a quick bit of a cash. Different scenario altogether.

With that, I finally realised why it’s been so hard to explain what I and Bet Angel customers do, even harder for the successful ones. For that I shall plead hard fought ignorance.

Of course the sad thing is that betting exchanges actually have changed the lives of many and brought a lot of people the final realisation of making gambling on sports a reality. But even that is tainted by people jumping on that bandwagon to sucker in people to ‘advisory’ services which end up losing people money anyhow. So called experts turn out to just be complete charlatans and that doesn’t help things one bit. It all makes things a lot harder and that’s a shame, as there have been some fantastic stories out there.

In contrast, for Lunch I met with a friend of mine who gained loads of publicity by successfully spread betting on financial markets for millions. But that’s OK to feature in the FT and now you also see the BitCoin bubble, but that’s a currency isn’t it? Oh the irony of it all!

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Category: bookmark, General

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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