AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

SIMON NOTT: “VIP”

It seems that the doom merchants were right. It appears the FOBT campaign was the thin end of the wedge. Judging by the hysteria that arose from a newspaper article that ‘exposed’ that some bookmakers treat VIP punters to rebates and days out. Blimey, if that’s a crime then the hospitality business will soon be out of business. It certainly looks like there’s an element that won’t be happy until bookmakers are no more.

The main photo featured a punter, who was actually a thief, who chose to spend some of his stolen money betting with bookmakers and acting the high-roller. It was only after he’d stolen over a million quid that he cried the ‘to fund my addiction’ card. I’m guessing he was trying to ‘get out’ in the closing stages and when that went wrong, he carried on stealing and living his lie life enjoying what he could get, that’s a criminal personality. He could have easily owned up after the first light-fingered foray but didn’t.

There was a TV programme on the other night that followed the lifestyle of a young lady that thought nothing of spending £10,000 on a night out and splashing out a further four or five grand on a frock for the evening. Twitter was awash with outrage. Why? Green-eyed reaction aside, some people live in a different world to the rest of us, they have that sort of money to spend and know no different.

There are punters that might not be very good punters but they enjoy it. As mentioned in a previous blog, not everyone is a professional punter or even has any inclination to be one. They enjoy their betting, take any winnings as a bonus and put losses down to the cost of their entertainment.

Some punters that fall into that bracket are very wealthy, they bet big because they want the buzz, they can afford it. They are going to bet with someone, so of course all the bookmakers that have identified a client that falls into the rich recreational bracket are going to want to keep their custom. The same as any other business, they look after their VIP clients because they are profitable to them, there is no crime in that. The punters that fall into the VIP bracket are going to expect to be ‘looked after’, why would they do business with a bookmaker that didn’t treat them well?

Claiming that there is anything sinister about the practise of rebates and a free day at the races for VIP punters is utter nonsense. FOBT’s aside, the over 99% majority of any income group that lose money betting do so well within their means are not problem gamblers. It’s a simple as that.

Bookmakers are making huge efforts to protect the vulnerable. It’s a shame that newspapers pander to jealously and people looking for an excuse for an individual’s failings with lazy poorly researched verging on hysterical features.

Simon Nott


skintmobSimon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring

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