When I write blogs I do so in the hope they are going to generate a reaction and get some discussion going, perpetuating views. That in mind, I try to choose a hot topic and fan the flames, in doing so know that everyone won’t agree with my opinion.
I’m sorry to say I allowed myself to become embroiled in a tit for tat on social media recently. It was unfortunate and not to be dwelled on. However, one thing my critic wrote that interested and miffed me a little was something along the lines of, ‘I do not write for bookmakers as a matter of principle’.
I’m certainly not ashamed to write and create content for a bookmaker, quite the opposite. As always when something has miffed me, I talked about it to my wife about it. Her reply was a matter of fact; ‘bookmakers are never going to be popular’. And she is right, they want to win punters’ money and generally do, nobody likes to lose. But why the snobbery from some people in racing? The fellow in question is certainly not alone in his aloofness when it comes to his attitude toward the bookmaking industry.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Alan Delmonte (pictured), Chief Executive of the Levy Board CLICK HERE. In the course of my research prior to our meeting, then confirmed in the interview, I learned that the yield for 2018/19 is expected to be £93 million. That is money from bookmakers going straight back into funding racing. Racing is funded by betting. Regardless of how it is collected, tote system, betting exchange or private bookmakers, punters lose, bookies and ultimately racing, win. That £93 million is in addition to media rights, race sponsorships, advertising, huge employment and other financial support the bookmaking industry pump into the sport.
Betting and racing are inextricably linked. The reality is that people want to bet on horse racing. Bookmakers pay a high price to stay in business, some pay the highest and crash out of it. People that earn their livelihood in the racing industry yet feel bookmaking is a tawdry business and beneath them are a curious bunch. No matter how they try and convince themselves, regardless of where they are in the food chain, like it or not, that crust they earn in their imaginary ivory tower was baked by a bookie. They just have to swallow it.
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring