AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT blog: The World Has Gone Mad!

The title of this blog is, I’m told, a phrase often used by TV celebrity Piers Morgan, so quite fitting that it fits the narrative of this blog and that we are starting with him.

I don’t expect it will be news to anyone reading this that he and the PM had a £1000 side wager on Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda policy. It was quite heartwarming to learn that the centuries old UK tradition of having a betting a lump on the shake of a hand is still alive and well. Even more so, that it appeared to be done on the nod, no readies were pulled up, each party trusted the other to pay should they come second. Just like it used to be when I first started going racing, ah I got all misty-eyed remembering calling in bets followed by ‘cash after’.

The business was recorded on camera and by all accounts was on the spur of the moment not rehearsed. Given that Rishi is a city boy, it was surprising that he knew that the word between gamblers is their bond and didn’t call up his lawyers to write up a contract with a load of small print.

Piers also looked a bit confident about the whole thing, regardless that a grand to a couple of mega wealthy individuals is nothing, mega wealthy individuals don’t tend to let a pound roll under the counter. It makes you wonder if they considered the modern day wider implications.

Is Piers legally allowed to have that bet? Who was the bookie, is a punt between friends or even foes allowed these days? Is that grand recoverable by law should either of the man decide to hold a ‘stewards enquiry’ after the result. If Piers is right about the Rwanda bet, will Rishi ask Piers if he had been sticking on for someone else, even worse someone that might have a bit of inside info? Maybe that’s why Piers didn’t appear to pay on, because if Rishi had called foul and that Piers was having it on based on information or heaven forbid, funds that came from somewhere else, Rishi might not pay. Even worse, he might not pay and still trouser the grand pointing to clause 99e of his terms and conditions.

On the other hand, Piers may not have wanted to pull it up in case Rishi wanted to see proof that he could afford it. ‘You know me, I’ve got bundles’ wouldn’t be good enough in the eyes of Rishi’s KYC would it. On the other hand, if Piers had got it wrong and Rishi copped, could he decide to withhold payment until he’d seen some proof of Rishi’s income, what if Rishi didn’t want to show his bank statements, after all they were private and could easily have gone the way of Parliamentarians’ WhatsApp messages.

Would Piers decide that due to no complying, he wasn’t going to pull it up either?

It could turn into an absolute nightmare, even worse if Piers then listened to the interview where the PM admits to spread betting while at work. Yes, that is spread betting on the cricket while he should have been paying full attention his multi-million pound investments as he was being paid to do. If he was betting on pure guess-ups, reckless runs and wickets he may well have done his cobblers and self-excluded from betting, after all he says he’s not a betting man these days. Did Piers check to see if he had a problem gambling self-exclusion history? No, he didn’t is the answer to that question.

Maybe after the years of Piers on GMB goading Tory politicians had stuck in Rishi’s craw and he was only going to mention the self-exclusion if he did his money and refuse to pull it up playing the victim? It’s a bloody minefield, isn’t it?

Maybe both parties should have had a bit of a think before embarking on the century’s old tradition of a gentleman’s wager on the outcome of an event. It’s not like that anymore is it. That’s what happens when non-gambling people start meddling in things they don’t understand, but what do we know.


Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.

Simon Nott is author of: Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring
available on Kindle 



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