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



  • drrat wrote: »

    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.

    This is the sort of thing that current MSE'ers may be tempted with IF they are forced to find another source of current bookie offers.
  • theseagull
    theseagull Posts: 2,698 Forumite
    edited 20 February 2012 at 5:48PM
    Clearly it has been decided that the status quo is not an option, so those saying leave alone are pi**ing in the wind so to speak. Matched Betting has changed massively in the years I've been doing it, far fewer straight forward sign ups and reloads. Just look at the front page. Would it be possible to have a sub board, for more +ev 'what if' offers, and have the main board for pure sign up, reloads ? Surely that would be easy enough to police. Definitely change the name, it's not a gambling board in any form.

    Maybe it's the end of the road, but just using simple sign ups should give a couple of thousand profit, even if people just left it after that. A shame to deprive people of that income opportunity.

    Peronally, I've averaged at least £100 profit weekly over 4 years. I stand to lose net £1500 if as expected I get nothing back from PRS. Newbies were very much put off this book, even by those singing it's praises, so it's a bit disingenuous as to use that as an example of why to close this board.

    It's been great for me, enabled me to start my own business, but the opportunities are not as straightforward as they were. I'm torn really, wouldn't like to see it close, but I understand why MSE are inclined towards that. As others have said though, if you were to add together peoples profits from MBing, it would dwarf the income/savings made from other parts of the site. Surely not beyond our wit to find a way forward that doesn't include simply shutting the board down.
  • "The systems are now incredibly complex and have strayed far from the original remit."

    I would suggest the mathematics involved in the vast majority of sports-books ‘come open an account with us and get a bonus’ are no more difficult now than they ever were - problems may arise much more often nowadays from a Book ‘limiting’ how much they allow you per wager to satisfy their own stated terms of their own promotion, but this is misleading, scandalous and disgusting behavior by some sports-books, not by anyone on MoneySavingExpert.

    ‘Totally agree that once the ‘opening account offers’ have been utilised the promotions which follow may become more difficult to calculate - but I feel this is why it’s important to have a somewhere where folks wishing to participate in these more complicated offers can discuss such promotions ‘freely’.

    ~ All the best to all.
  • diana11
    diana11 Posts: 540 Forumite
    When I started match betting about 5 years ago - the forum was invaluable with all the advice about the subs such as the coral £50 SR and no minimum odds. Those were the days! Money could be made fairly easily and quickly.

    Nowadays it is not nearly as straightforward. Subs are offered with minimum odds and often arduous wagering requirements. Times have changed, bookmakers have toughened up and reloads can be complicated. Not nearly so risk free as it used to be.

    Just take last weeks Betfair multiple on the Rugby. Thankfully the majority of us did not do it due to terrible odds that weekend, but if we had, most of us would be nursing a loss due to the last match being called off.

    I think the forum has served its original purpose by showing people how to take up risk free bonuses over the years but now come to the end of its shelf life. Some offers are now too complicated to be classed as risk free and yet make their way onto the forum. Posters then need spoon feeding as they do not understand the offers properly.
  • mistaya
    mistaya Posts: 50 Forumite
    Many people have said most this already, but I would like to add my voice. Apologies for the length.

    I'm another lurker who's got into MB'ing in the last 6 months, after several years using MSE, and my experiences match others (e.g. [post=51195571]sparklefrog[/post], [post=51197771]SomethingWitty[/post], [post=51198033]nicknameless[/post]) who have already described it brilliantly. The board is a treasure and I'd hate to see it closed - not for me, but for others who haven't found it yet. I wish I'd discovered it years ago; I had stumbled across it previously but been rapidly scared off by the (very effective) warnings. The £6K I've made risk-free in a just few months from MB'ing make other MSE things like getting an extra 0.5% on an ISA, coupons or comping pale into insignificance.

    I would never have discovered it if it had not been on MSE: I'm very risk-averse, not into sports, and would never have visited (or likely even heard of) a gambling-related site or forum like TGT. I enjoy using and trust our forum because of the risk-free nature as a result of MSE rules. Of course in an open internet forum some posts will be against the rules - a non-risk-free offer will occasionally pop up, or some lost person or spammer may start talking about true gambling, but the atmosphere of the forum and the knowledge of the members means that these threads are very quickly highlighted and locked or removed.

    The fact that the forum is free to access and open to a wide audience (again thanks to MSE) makes it safer. More eyes to scrutinise offers, detect risks and answer questions.

    The risk to MSE's reputation:

    I do think it's ridiculous for anyone to believe that either Martin personally or MSE officially endorses all posts by third parties on a public forum. The warnings and disclaimers on the board are very clear, and people are adults. Maybe add a specific click-through disclaimer page if you need even more warnings. People can lose money due to mistakes, tricky T&C's or bad luck, but that's not unique to MB'ing, and done correctly it is far less risky than many other things endorsed officially by MSE.

    The word 'Gambling' in the forum title does appear to be a big problem, as it has the associated stigma and people jump to (totally wrong) conclusions very quickly without reading further - many of the Facebook commenters on the blog post have done exactly that. This then reflects badly on MSE by association. *We* know that risk-free MB'ing is never gambling, but the misunderstanding is unavoidable as long as the word is there.

    This also causes the 'off-topic' posts about real gambling by confused people who've wandered in based on the forum's name, and drive-by spammers advertising their horse tips or referrals. These posts are obvious and easy to handle by board members hitting the 'spam' button, but when they appear they give the wrong impression.

    A different name, like "Online gaming loopholes" or something would prevent the unthinking instinctive opposition and distaste caused by the current title.

    Offers being too complex:

    As I'm new, I can't comment on how the board has changed. But there are plenty of simple offers still around. Someone new glancing at the forum contents could easily get an unbalanced impression, IMHO. The front page is filled with threads discussing ongoing offers, which are the last things a newbie should be looking at, but of course it is what the regulars talk about because they have already done the initial simpler offers. The vast amount of information on the forum about the basic offers and methods underlying MB'ing (in the stickies, the questions thread, and from searching the forum) is old but still applicable, still referred to by forum members, and very well written.

    It makes sense that the moderation problems for the MSE staff are weighted towards the complex offers due to both genuine confusion and also people with their own agenda for shutting down the board. Personally I like to see the discussion about complex offers, which often results in very smart people finding a risk-free approach. But, people have come up with several alternatives:
    1) MSE staff could gain the expertise required
    2) Get more moderators/board guides who already have the expertise
    3) Err on the side of caution and stop discussions about offers that are too complex
    4) Have a sub-board for 'Advanced' MB'ing with even more warnings plastered all over it.

    Personally, I hope you won't shut down a forum which I find very profitable, informative, intelligent, fun, and a great example of people unselfishly helping others.

    And whatever happens, many thanks to the forum regulars. There are many lurkers who are still learning or just shy who do greatly appreciate you :)
  • Fender_2
    Fender_2 Posts: 403 Forumite
    To be fair, I dont really see a problem if Martin does decide to close the board. I can think of at least 6 alternative forums that people could move to. All of which specialise in making money from casino and sportsbook offers. As for the risk free factor, there is no such thing. even if technically risk free, a mistake can always be made, that results in a loss. And many of the so called risk free offers that are posted on this forum, are in fact nothing of the sort anyway.

    For those that are willing to accept some risk by taking on these offers, they can be accomodated on other forums. For those that want a cast iron risk free offer, the danger of losing money they cant afford to lose, will be removed.
  • kondormid
    kondormid Posts: 323 Forumite
    edited 20 February 2012 at 6:32PM
    switching bank accounts ended up costing me money even though MSE advised that it was a good way to make £100.

    My credit report ended up costing me money because I did not cancel it in time.

    I have numerous small examples of these sort of things, all of which have been and still are advised by MSE. Even now they are advising people use a credit card for cash back, even though it comes with a clause that it will end up costing them money if they do not spend enough on it or clear their account every month.

    They advise in the above case that you should set up a direct debit. Yes because that is a system that always works and never fails does it? Of course it fails from time to time.

    So I think the question is here that apart from people like me who find it hard to keep to rules (it is a mental condition i accept i am not normal), would the vast majority of people find it easy to profit or would a high percentage of them find it hard not to lose?

    There is a tipping point, MSE can not really look out for folks like me who can not even follow simple rules for long. But they can and do look out for the vast majorty of folk who might like to take advantage of an offer or loophole.

    When those offers and loopholes become so complex that the average joe blogs can not walk in, read, understand and then easily comply with the rules of the offer or loophole then in my opinion those offers and loopholes have no place being promoted or advised on the MSE forum. Especially if some of that advice require the use of the PM function in order to avoid being caught breaking t&c of the offers and loopholes.

    After all, the MSE forum is to help the average joe save/make a few quid by following simple rules, not to advise the profesional on how to follow complex ones.

    So yea, scrap it. There are plenty of other places that are specifically targeted for more pro gambles/matched bets ect.

    You don't need to and you should not be looking out for these folks, you should be looking out for your average joe. Do you really want him/her walking into this area these days and thinking it is a good idea?

    My end thoughts are...
    A lot folks are not gambling on the bets they are making, but they are gambling with the t&c. Gambling that they understand them, or gambling that they won't get caught breaking them. With a lot of money at stake if they break them intentionally or accidentally.

    get rid of it imo.
  • blades123
    blades123 Posts: 2,634 Forumite
    Fender wrote: »
    I can think of at least 6 alternative forums that people could move to.

    They are?

    Are they all free?
    I use multimatcher lazza which has the tab "bonus if 0-0"
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Money Saving Expert
    presumably you're also reviewing the mention of anything to do with stocks and shares too, or are they risk free?

    The discussion of invidual stocks and shares is not allowed in these forums - never has been
    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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  • OldElstonian
    OldElstonian Posts: 1,478
    Photogenic First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 20 February 2012 at 6:59PM
    The gambling offers landscape has changed a lot recently, with the trend towards offers where it is difficult or impossible to lock-in a profit in advance of the event. Yes, there are still some traditional "risk free" type offers around, but these are scraps compared to when this board was established. Also the definition of "risk free" has deteriorated a lot since we lost a very knowledgeable board guide (no offense to JM, who does a good job of trying to keep things organised)... but things like arbing, new UK bookies without a proven track record, and all but the most solid foreign books were not considered risk free and discussion of them was not allowed back when this board truly did try and be "risk free". Try pointing out that a new small Latvian bookie is not risk free even if it's offering the same bet £50 / get £50 offer as William Hill (for example), and you will often be shouted down by people who think they know it all. One of the main reasons I stopped posting on here is the fact that people seemed to become unwilling/unable to see real risk and often got abusive when you tried to be helpful and point it out.

    I also think the conspiracy theories put forward by some are over-stated. There have always been and will always be people who want to keep certain info out of the public sphere. This is the same today as when this board first opened (actually, probably much less so).

    Making the GIOL forum visible only to registered users might make some of the users happy, but it doesn't address the issues that now make this board more of a liability than an asset to its owner.

    Leaving the board in it's current state is a ticking time bomb, to both users and owner, which seems to have been realised and ruled out as an option. And as much as it saddens me to say, I can't see how keeping the board open is a viable option for Martin.

    But finally, people should remember that there are plenty of other (free) forums out there where the "GIOL community" could relocate to if necessary... and it's closure wouldn't mean the end of matched betting!
    Debt Free :).......... Mortgage Free :D .......... Duty Free :p
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