Below, with Ben’s kind indulgence, i copy a letter from my colleague Ben Keith of StarSports, another major independent – with his take on the free offers pervading large firms during their current market share war.
Chance of it getting printed in the Racing Post – a paper propped up by Gibraltar based giants? Zero I’d guess
I am bemused as to why all of the firms are crying in the paper today about having a bad Cheltenham. Surely when you don’t know how to bet to figures, you want to be the punters pal the whole time, and you are simply trying to impress the clueless stock-market with new accounts, you must expect to do your conckers. Why would you make a sad and unlucky face afterwards?
The concessions the firms were giving during the festival were nothing short of ridiculous. The real professionals like Cyril Stein must be turning in their graves. Everyone who knows the game properly knows that you find good punters on the off days. These are the real purists who are actually regular punters. They have been looking forward to cheltenham all year and want to bet. The other punters who appear for Cheltenham, Aintree and the World Cup are once in a blue moon merchants – why would you give them free bets and concessions when they are going to be gone in a week? We live in a greedy world where everyone follows everyone else with concessions anyway so it doesn’t make any difference.
We lost over Cheltenham, but at least I can say we laid punters proper bets on all of their selections, had value ourselves, and that we were busier than ever laying GENUINE punters.
Expecting more silliness from the firms next year though,
Ben Keith. Star Sports.