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

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Comments

  • DimJim
    DimJim Posts: 144 Forumite
    edited 20 February 2012 at 5:11PM
    'The "Gambling Introductory Offer Loopholes" board was originally set up to allow discussion on risk-free introductory loopholes.

    E.g. "Free £20 to play at an online casino". So you put £9.50 on red, £9.50 on black, £1 on zero and then took your money out.'

    When Martin suggests the above example is risk free, it is clear that this forum has had its day. This will only result in account closure.

    It is also recognised that: 'The level of expertise now required to police this forum is causing us concern that we no longer have the ability to do so on a day-to-day basis'. The PRS debacle alone demonstrates your failure to effectively monitor these boards.

    Many of the offers now promoted on the board have skewed risk/reward ratios. So whilst it is possible to turn a profit, the potential loss is likely to be far greater.

    Too many individuals do not read the terms and conditions or seek to understand the mathematics behind their transactions. Looking through a handful of posts will demonstrate this and also show numerous example where people have actually lost money.

    With offers becoming more complex, less rewarding and the sheer weight of people seeking to participate in promotions growing, I find it hard to believe that MSE can maintain that this is a 'risk free' venture. It simply isn't and hasn't been for some time.

    In short, I think posters could find a more suitable home elsewhere.
    If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late.
  • PintAndAPie
    PintAndAPie Posts: 1,225 Forumite
    By the sounds of it, the consultation is about how the forum will be shut down, not if. I think the only real winner is going to be TGT.
  • 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.

    presumably you're also reviewing the mention of anything to do with stocks and shares too, or are they risk free?
  • JezR
    JezR Posts: 1,697
    First Anniversary First Post
    Forumite
    edited 20 February 2012 at 5:13PM
    Martin I have read the blog piece. As I see it though, the arguments for closing GIOL are equally valid against many of the boards hosted here, which contain advice from people over which you have no immediate control and may be ill-advised if not suited to particular personal circumstances which if followed may lead to financial loss.

    The only difference appears to be that you consider you have staff who are expert in other areas, but not that of bookmakers offers (not gambling as we have established that isn't the purpose of the board). It appears your decision is not to seek this expertise - which is mainly maths.
  • 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.

    The post linked to is correct to say that some people encounter problems. However, the poster says he has "lost count" of the number of times this happens. This is hyperbole. I check the board often, and this is not a daily event, nor even a weekly event.

    The vast majority of people utilise this forum correctly and safely.
  • PintAndAPie
    PintAndAPie Posts: 1,225 Forumite
    presumably you're also reviewing the mention of anything to do with stocks and shares too, or are they risk free?

    You can add pensions, endowment policies, mortgages and insurance policies to the list while you make your mind up.
  • lotte8
    lotte8 Posts: 357 Forumite
    Not really read this thread all the way through but I can guess it goes along the lines of blah blah blah leave it open because I make money, or blah blah blah close it down because I don't want anybody else treading on my toes whilst making money.

    So, the remit of the board is risk free.
    We had the Betfair FGS debacle.
    Bluesq: pulling a lucrative offer that in the short term did cause people to lose money however that situation was resolved.

    Bet911: People lost money and have still not got it back.
    Bethorizon: Smaller scale, people slow paid.
    BETED: People had funds confiscated when there site was "acquired" by the Authorities. Those funds are yet to be returned.

    PRS: Where do you start. A business model that was always wrong and bodering on corrupt/illegal. Senior board members offering raf deals when it was widely known that PRS were slow playing. Rumours those same senior board people and the board guide were telling each other to get there money out of PRS but still offered rafs so ensuring money still went into PRS so they could get there money out due to increased cashflow. No evidence to support that theory but enough whispers to warrant a look into it.

    Then we have bet770. For all the world to see this business will not survive, it would be a major miracle if they do in there current form survive with all the money they are throwing around. It screams of a ponzi scheme. Could be wrong, but how many other bookies that are euro/uk facing offer you a 50% £200 a month bonus? Sometimes 2 a month, and they can and do slow pay at times.
    That is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

    The board is full of arguments.
    There is no real leadership. 1 board guide who to be fair is active but you get the feeling she is only active to garner refer a friend money, and is potentially caught up in the PRS scandal. The other board guide is useless and pops up once in a blue moon.

    People not knowing simple stuff like names of teams. If you don't know that Tottenham Hotspurs are referred to as Spurs then there is a major concern there.

    So the remit of the board is risk free. Looking at all the evidence is this game without risk?
    Sure only risk free stuff could be put up, but who is going to decide? 1 active board guide?
    If non risk free stuff gets posted how long is it before it gets taken down?

    So we have the prs/bluesq/bet911/bethorizon/beted/Betfair fgs issues.
    A board guide who is being accused of of self interest and putting other peoples funds at risk. Another board guide who is just a waste of space. A newish book in bet770 that has the hallmarks and warning signs of potentially being an issue down the line.

    Looking at all of that. The answer is really simple. The remit of the board is no longer viable and has not been for many years.

    For those that want a place to discuss offers there are many many forums out there. Hell rpoints is sitting there out in the open and unused.

    GIOL, RIP.
  • You can add pensions, endowment policies, mortgages and insurance policies to the list while you make your mind up.

    Exactly. Change the name from GAMBLING to Bookmakers. Try it out yourself. Realise that this is the MOST profitable part of your site for your followers bar none.
  • Mat_P
    Mat_P Posts: 202 Forumite
    The many examples lotte8 highlighted above demonstrate that GIOL is so badly tarnished that it risks discrediting the rest of MSE.
    Sadly, it is so far from it's original remit and with so little expertise available that it seems unlikely that the solution Martin needs can be found.
  • drrat
    drrat Posts: 258 Forumite
    This forum has been good to me. But when I have pointed people at it to understand matched betting, they simply don't.
    It has evolved over the years as bookmakers have evolved their 'loop holes' to reduce their value.

    There is still easy money out there. But it is increasingly becoming more of an art than a science.
    I worry for someone new coming across this forum today and trying to understand what they are doing, there is more scope than ever for the loss of money.

    The offers are far more complex which naturally lead to more risk off error and loss. I myself lost £350 on a £50 bet over xmas due to a stupid error, it was my error, not an error of this board or the complexity of the bet. There has of course always been scope for this kind of error, even five years ago when things were generally simpler, I just believe the scope is greater these days than they have ever been.

    My preference would be to cut back the content of the board throw some simpler stickies up and revert it back to the true loop holes it was aimed at. Though how you could achieve this without preventing new postings I am unsure.

    Some people on this thread have pushed more stringent moderation, I am unsure that will work. To effectively moderate this forum you need several people with very good knowledge of the content. Who will have to put up with abuse when they lock / delete threads they deem unsuitable, people will accuse them of trying to hide offers and will accuse them of some sort of corruption. This has already happened on several occasions.

    The experienced guys who participate in the forum are so good at what they do and use other resources than MSE, that they could live without this forum if they needed to. Other people still learning the ropes may miss out a little, but there are other resources available.

    Also much of the content of this board is available elsewhere if you look in the right places.

    IMO, this board struggles to fit into the ethos of MSE, the more able matched betters are akin to pro gamblers and many of them will also venture into casino bonuses and betfair trading, these of course are simply gambling, with an edge perhaps, but not risk free. Therefore you could say this forum encourages gambling, perhaps not mug punting but certainly gambling with an edge.
    I am a Numpty
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Numpty, so you need to take my word for it. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as good advice.
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