'Consultation over the Gambling Introductory Offer Loopholes board' blog discussion

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  • bioboybill
    bioboybill Posts: 3,401
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
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    I find this a really difficult question to deal with. On one hand I personally have made a very large sum of money at this since discovering the site in October 2007. For that alone this board will always be special to me. I have also encouraged friends and relatives to look at the board and discover the free money to be made if you're careful and follow the guides.

    On the other hand I do think things are getting harder and this board is now beginning to contribute to that. The problem we have is the many thousands of lurkers who contribute nothing yet jump on every offer immediately to the point where many are killed off before you can try them.

    This has led to the point where much trickier offers with less well known bookies are being posted and complete beginners are jumping in on those without considering the risks. I have lost count of the number of posts where a newbie has said something like, " I put £200 into bookie X and placed a bet at odds of 3 assuming it would lose and it has won. I now have £600 at the bookie and no money at Betfair. The bookie won't let me withdraw my money and says I have to wager another £1000. Why can't I get my money?"

    The guides and spreadsheets on here are an absolute godsend, but unfortunately too many people don't seem to even read them before jumping in.

    I'm not sure what can be done, but I do think something has to change. People need to be far more aware that this isn't all risk-free. Bookies do go bust, refuse to pay out and/or scam you. Too many of the offers posted these days are far from risk-free. It's a very difficult one to police I know. If it's not possible then sadly maybe it is time to call it a day?
  • Please don't shut it down! Why does everything good always have to be closed due to some spurious excuse of 'safety'?
    I would be very sad if it was closed, despite not being a regular contributor, mainly an avid reader!
    In my opinion there are plenty of warnings and helpful people to assist newbies and I'm doubtful there is really widespread situations of lots of users losing money on the risk-free offers which are very kindly put up there for discussion.
    It simply is NOT gambling if done right. Yes there may well be a few young or vulnerable people who don't understand it all but many other boards have a similar problem. You can't filter out life! Leave it be!! Thanks.
  • blades123
    blades123 Posts: 2,634 Forumite
    Mat_P wrote: »
    Sadly this is the level of ignorance now commonplace on this board.
    Lack of effective guidance from the one active board guide through naivety leads to situations such as the costly PRS debacle.

    Not really. The problem with the GIOL is that people are now expected to consider the business model of a bookie i.e can that model support what it is doing. By following the rules or the points i have made out, you won't lose money. In a sense, at the start PRS was risk fee in the sense that you could arb the offers to make profit which what match betting is all about. The problem arose that PRS could payout on their bets, nothing to do with the technique itself.

    If people are going to make it about PRS, then they should remember that Icesave customers were lucky that the UK government bailed them out. The rules were clear i.e when you opened the account or on the bank website that the most the government would payout was upto 30k (ish for 1 person), yet many ignored this rule (including councils who invested millions in to icesave) and deposited much more. If wasn't for the UK Government, they would be many 1000's down. The UK government didn't have to pay, it was more of a PR stunt that they did.

    At the time when icesave was promoted on here no-one really questions the business model of the bank i.e how could they pay more to customers than they receive from interest on loans.
    I use multimatcher lazza which has the tab "bonus if 0-0"
  • lolat332
    lolat332 Posts: 762 Forumite
    I have been MBing for a few years now and yes made some small mistakes at first (which were all my own fault). However with the sign up offers, the reloads, the one - off offers, the discussions on sharbing, in-shop bookies offers etc, the site has made me a stack of money down the years.

    Dare I say it, I enjoy the community spirit too ? and it IS a relatively easy and painless way of earning money. I suspect the decision has been taken by MSE Martin and team though.
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Money Saving Expert
    Itchy wrote: »
    Leave our forum alone.
    Jobbingmusician / Misskool do sterling work and the info / advice is a god send.
    You run the risk of the less knowledgable GIOLers going to another forum and losing big money as the community is not as supportive there.
    I think there is a duty of care here for MSE

    While I accept on a day to day basis it is the users forum. Im afraid the law thinks differently and I am legally liable for what happens in this free forum.

    Your concept that if people leave then I have a duty of care is also not reflected in the law - my responsibility legally is to those on the site.

    While I appreciate the feedback. The key thing many have missed is saying "leave it as it is, people make their own decisions" doesn't fit any more.

    Its worth carefully reading the blog - I laid out the points in details, and thought through explaining it.

    My forum team are not gambling offers experts and are no longer able to adjudicate what breaks the rules any more - what is risk free and what isn't. And frankly many of the users disagree on definitions.

    That leaves us in an impossible situation we need to address.

    Please do read the blog and address the issues in it, while I certainly take the "leave the board alone" as sentiment - it doesn't solve the real problems we are struggling with - and the aim of the consultation is to see if we can do that, or we will have to shut the board down.

    Suggestions welcomed

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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  • Somerset
    Somerset Posts: 3,633
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Ah but Dan has assured us above that users will have sway over this decision. If this thread demonstrates a clear majority of posting users in favour, as has been the case so far i believe, then it would be very poor PR to then ignore that sentiment wouldn't it ;);)

    That's set my mind at rest then ;)
  • MSE_Martin wrote: »

    My forum team are not gambling offers experts and are no longer able to adjudicate what breaks the rules any more - what is risk free and what isn't. And frankly many of the users disagree on definitions.

    That leaves us in an impossible situation we need to address.

    [snip]

    Suggestions welcomed


    Nominate any employee who can read and use Excel, and spare a couple of hours a day to look into this properly as part of their job.

    How long's this consultation? I'll give £200 out of the profits I have earned from this site as a starting float for said nominee.

    I'll have back 25% of profit made after 4 months.




    In the meantime, let's hear on this thread from anyone who's made a net loss as a result of this board please.
  • blades123
    blades123 Posts: 2,634 Forumite
    MSE_Martin wrote: »
    While I accept on a day to day basis it is the users forum. Im afraid the law thinks differently and I am legally liable for what happens in this free forum.

    Your concept that if people leave then I have a duty of care is also not reflected in the law - my responsibility legally is to those on the site.

    While I appreciate the feedback. The key thing many have missed is saying "leave it as it is, people make their own decisions" doesn't fit any more.

    Its worth carefully reading the blog - I laid out the points in details, and thought through explaining it.

    My forum team are not gambling offers experts and are no longer able to adjudicate what breaks the rules any more - what is risk free and what isn't. And frankly many of the users disagree on definitions.

    That leaves us in an impossible situation we need to address.

    Please do read the blog and address the issues in it, while I certainly take the "leave the board alone" as sentiment - it doesn't solve the real problems we are struggling with - and the aim of the consultation is to see if we can do that, or we will have to shut the board down.

    Suggestions welcomed

    Martin

    If you are being sued by PRS for damaging their business, then point out to them that their business model was flawed. Also, it was the racing post article (which can be sent to you) which prevented any investment to the company or prevented them for getting as much money as they wanted. Also point out that you have evidence (people will be willing to send) from posters who were in PRS about legal trading, trading whilst insolvent
    I use multimatcher lazza which has the tab "bonus if 0-0"
  • I don't think your point has been missed Martin but I don't accept anything has changed whatsoever. You have allowed this risk-free discussion board (loophole exploitation) to exist for over 5 years and it remains the same today as it always has - the recent Boyle Mobile Offer is a fantastic example. 99.9% risk-free and most would have been making £50 per weekend this last 3 weeks.
    So it IS money-saving at it's best if done properly. What is the point of disclaimers if you're worried about the legal aspect of it?
    But if you're determined to change it (as seems obvious) then at the very least keep it but make it some sort of locked forum.
  • Hi Folks

    Just wanted to clarify at this point that no decision has been taken either way. We hoped by opening this up to consultation - and asking everyone's opinion - we were doing what was best for both forumites and us. However with some of the comments being made, it can feel like at times we can't do right here whichever way we approach it.

    However, you guys (as a whole) are the ones who have sent us concerns, and to be clear we've had some from long term power users as well as newbies. > THIS POST < is a great example of the balance we're dealing with.

    Overall, we're simply trying to find the right solution, not needlessly kill a community or money making opportunity for our users. Where would be the sense in that for us? On the flip side, there are some great suggestions being made in this thread too and that's what we're looking for so we can make the right decision. This is more complex than simply how many people want it to stay versus those who think it should go - and we are looking for a way through those complex issues. It's your time to have a say, but please be constructive about it.

    Finally there are no "outside" pressures in this decision as have been alluded to, in any guise, it's purely something that has come up FROM user abuse reports over time.

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