The local England and Ireland sports betting industry appears to be by and large pulling up its proverbial shoulders at a recent decision on the part of Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook to stray from the beaten path regarding the standardised industry show prices at local races. The bookie is choosing to instead publish and trade its own prices.
It’s not as if the bookmaker is the first to have tried to change the way the industry chooses to approach standardised pricing standards. A bookie by the name of Blue Square tried the same back in 2006 and unfortunately, gloriously unsuccessfully so. Blue Square incidentally has a connection with Betfair, having been sold to the latter by the Rank Group back in 2013. It has since sadly gone bottoms up and is no more.
A Re-Visit Has Become Crucial
The general assumption; and one that certainly appears to be right on the money in terms of analysis of the overall situation; is that the rise of digital is absolutely necessitating a re-visit of the old SP horse racing system. The system was first instituted back in 1874 and hasn’t at all changed since betting on live races was fully legalised in 1961. A change and complete overhaul are probably long overdue in any event, with or without the role played by the digital revolution.
The cracks have started to show and quite significantly so. It stands to reason that nobody navigating the betting and gaming scene in modern times can be expected to be overjoyed; appeased even; by being expected to place a wager on a hidden-value product. Or in plain language; folks want to know the size of the bang on the line for the hard-earned buck.
The Digital Revolution Says So
Let it be said. Online is a thing, and its bound to become even more prominent and weighted of thing in future. Bookies are now more than ever moving their operations and scopes of business and livelihood onto digital platforms. Punters too, are succumbing to the lure of online betting instead of land-based sports betting fun. This is mainly due to the fact that bookies are able to offer bigger and better offerings online due to the low and in some cases near non-existing overhead expenses.
We’re talking price boosts; we’re talking Best Odds Guaranteed (BOGs) and so in effect, we’re talking a reasonable and perfectly logical shift to where the money and the profits are. It therefor stands to reason that there would be a demand for change. Who in their right minds would after all opt in on a limit when there’s a perfectly good moneymaking opportunity that waits just around the next corner?
Some Say No
Operators who consider their operations to be more “balanced” that’s who. Some are concerned about the direction in which the industry and especially the pricing system appear to be moving in in the UK. These operators are particularly concerned about the fact that a new pricing system will effectively remove all control from their hands. No more standard also means no more structure as well as the possible opening of a dog-eat-dog can of betting worms.
An independent system, which is what the current system essentially qualifies as, is preferable to some operators. This side of the argument is understandable too in the greater scheme of the very British order of things. But with that having been said, the Starting Price Regulatory Commission has made no secret of the fact irrespective of its own feelings regarding the coming change, there’s absolutely nothing that it can do about the calls for change in any event.