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



  • Red_Joker
    Red_Joker Forumite Posts: 2,231 Forumite
    Did you say that MSE Towers were clueless in your original post? That might have had something to do with it. This just looks like the sort of common or garden trolling that they are usually completely ineffectual in dealing with. It's certainly rude but personal abuse? I don't know.

    Spinning conspiracy theories about JM's RAFs is a symptom of the pyschosis shared by our more barking posters so perhaps they inferred that you were a troll and jumped the gun a bit. If JM did indeed have a virtual monopoly on Betfair RAFs (and I am not saying she has) do you think this was awarded to her as a concession by MSE? Or do people perhaps ask her to RAF them because she is a trusted figure?
  • orcocan
    orcocan Forumite Posts: 271
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    it seems to me you're the one trolling now

    i did say the mse towers were clueless. Isn't that what Martin himself said in his blog? That they don't understand MBing? Or did I just imagine it?

    No conspiracy theory. I'm just saying there's a CONFLICT OF INTEREST this big between being "a trusted figure" and then having a monopoly on the main RAF thread of the main exchange promoted on this website. And if that could be acceptable beforehand, after PRS I think that's a pretty awkward position to be in. Is that so difficult to see?
    But when it comes to things going wrong then being "a trusted figure" quickly becomes a "did you not read my signature". Seems a bit too easy. Do we all know what the word guide means?
    Just to clarify, I don't have anything against JM as a person, I'm sure she's a lovely girl. It's just a matter of accountability and responsibility towards the people on this board. Don't get me wrong, ultimate responsibility for this board (and for what happened with PRS, and for the way the board is policed) lies with Martin, certainly not with poor JM, whose good faith I do not doubt. Clearly there's something wrong with this board if offers where you can lose a couple of quid get swiftly locked down because they're "not risk free", yet we have 400 pages of shameless promotion of a ponzi scheme, with the board guide happily promoting them as a 'fab bookie' (oh but you've read her signature, so that's ok).

    Obviously as soon as you raise legitimate issues, you're accused of trolling and being abusive within 10 seconds. Exactly like it happened with people pointing out that there was something wrong with PRS and then we've seen the way that ended...
  • mikbruin
    mikbruin Forumite Posts: 33 Forumite
    i would get rid totally with a weeks notice, ie give notice on one weeks newsletter, close down on the day of the next.
    gambling is a mugs game. Increasing numbers of people are having problems, and a few quid of profit, is so easily wiped out and alot more besides, by getting hooked. Let MSE do what it does best.
  • meher
    meher Posts: 15,912
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    may be you're missing the point that you make and continue to make serious allegations about another poster, bg or otherwise, without the context and may be, just may be it is wrong; it is sad that someone is put under scrutiny here specially where it is open to public and these kind of posts are really looking seriously wrong
  • emcwill
    emcwill Forumite Posts: 1,720 Forumite
    mikbruin wrote: »
    gambling is a mugs game. Increasing numbers of people are having problems, and a few quid of profit, is so easily wiped out and alot more besides, by getting hooked. Let MSE do what it does best.

    Gambling IS a mug's game, no doubt about it. But the one thing the GIOL board ISN'T about is gambling. You place bets, yes, but a matched bettor doesn't gamble. I doubt there are increasing numbers of matched bettors getting hooked on something that they don't do. If anything it is likely to make people who might have been tempted to gamble see the utter ridiculousness of doing so since the money to be made doing this will far outweigh what would most would ever make gambling. We are not talking about 'a few quid of profit' - we are talking about an easily made few grand a year. The odd mistake doesn't wipe that out. And as for getting hooked - yes I'm hooked! I'm hooked on an easy risk-free hobby that makes me a lot of money. When I place my bets I know exactly what my profit will be, and it is the same for every outcome. I appreciate that you are entitled to your view but your post suggests you are not a matched bettor and don't really understand what it is we are doing here. It is certainly not gambling.
    'In penguins and pearls we'll drink and we'll dance, 'til the end of our days, 'cause it ain't left to chance that we win...'
  • Former_MSE_Forum_Manager
    Former_MSE_Forum_Manager Former MSE Posts: 935
    500 Posts Best Buy Bear
    Hi Folks,

    Thanks for all your feedback. There were a lot of constructive suggestions raised through the thread, and we are now collating everything (both pros and cons) so that we can have an internal discussion about the board this week and make some decisions accordingly soon after.

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  • lovetheworld1
    lovetheworld1 Forumite Posts: 1,806
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    There aren't, I doubt, any other forums on MSE where a person can expect to earn in excess of a £1000 without a risk in a matter of weeks, not months; it is fully possible, if not expected on this forum. I understand both sides of the leave it/take down argument. But the board is most fruitful to those who are new to the area, and who need the important advice to achieve full returns from the risk free bonuses. I often post, and also use it for the ongoing offers that I otherwise would have missed.

    I think if the integrity of MSE is at stake I would leave the forum as it is as, 99.8% of posters do post about risk free offers and the odd few the trickier/slight risk involved.

    In the end it would be a shame to see it go.
  • northernpunter
    northernpunter Forumite Posts: 661 Forumite
    mikbruin wrote: »
    i would get rid totally with a weeks notice, ie give notice on one weeks newsletter, close down on the day of the next.
    gambling is a mugs game. Increasing numbers of people are having problems, and a few quid of profit, is so easily wiped out and alot more besides, by getting hooked. Let MSE do what it does best.

    Have you even ever looked at the GIOL forum??

    Clearly by your comment you have not.

    As I have posted a few times now I find it outrageous that people who have absolutely no comprehension of matched betting can determine the future of the forum!

    To reiterate YET AGAIN every single bet is laid off or dutched, and WE DO NOT GAMBLE
  • tobiascurious
    tobiascurious Forumite Posts: 568 Forumite
    To reiterate YET AGAIN every single bet is laid off or dutched, and WE DO NOT GAMBLE
    except when we choose the more obscure bookies, which should hopefully pay out but might not
  • purt
    purt Forumite Posts: 4,710
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 27 February 2012 at 10:27PM
    I've arrived late to the consultation but would like to share some thoughts, particularly on the specific points Martin raises personally.
    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.

    This soon evolved, firstly into the relatively simple area of matched betting. This followed strict rules against encouraging gambling itself. With a careful and accurate approach, it allowed users to make risk-free money by following a clearly-defined method. It was a typical MoneySaving loophole and many members supplemented their incomes with this.

    I think this remains the case and many still do. I may be mistaken, but I don't recall seeing any specific rules for this section of the board. Admittedly, I haven't read through the introductory sections for quite some time, but I don't recall reading any particular rules. Perhaps, instead of just closing the GIOL section, we could have a set of clearly defined rules as to what is and isn't acceptable. Apologies if there's something like this already and I've simply overlooked it.
    Then companies began to wise up. They presented more hoops to jump through to achieve the same results. Undeterred, our forumites – being the canny operators that they are – adapted their methods and broadened their horizons to maximise profits.

    Whilst still sticking to the basic matched betting principles...
    It’s now so complex we have serious concerns

    The systems are now incredibly complex and have strayed far from the original remit. My senior forum team members tell me:

    When people report a supposed breach of the rules, it is incredibly difficult to understand – never mind assess – if it’s breaking our guidelines by not being risk-free."

    We also receive contradictory reports from our regular users, who live and breathe this sort of thing, about what is risky or not.

    How can you make the statement in bold when you then go on to say that it is incredibly difficult to understand - never mind assess - if it's breaking your guidelines?

    I think there are two issues here - the overemphasis on 'risk-free' and feedback from forum members (myself included). I don't think matched betting can ever be considered risk-free because even with the most cautious of approaches, things can and do go wrong. Bookmakers can (and do) decide not to honour a particular offer/promotion, matched bettors can make mistakes in matching bets (we're all human) and there is always the possibility of a bookmaker going bust. The same arguments apply in other financial arena and yet I'm sure are happily discussed on other parts of the MSE forum. For example, can you ever prevent someone from doing something that is against their interests financially because of something they've read on MSE and thought was good financial advice?

    On the feedback from forum users, I think it's worth bearing in mind that every internet forum has its politics and so called 'rival' forums will always try to create trouble for their competitors (whether by the forum management or its users). I think the GIOL section of MSE has often been viewed with disdain by more seasoned matched bettors elsewhere because MSE has opened up matched betting to a wider audience and with it the demand is perceived to have led to a reduction in loopholes to exploit. There may of course be an element of truth in that, but I think consideration must be given to any potential agendas on the part of those making representations about what is posted on the GIOL board.
    Of course complexity is nothing new on MSE forums. But when this happens in other areas, my forum staff can ask my specialist editorial team to help.

    Yet we don’t cover gambling, nor is gambling itself MoneySaving. 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.

    I think this slightly devalues the excellent work undertaken by jobbingmusician (the GIOL board guide). Her approach, whilst not always perfect, is often to invite comments from members on the merits of an offer and whether it is worth doing. Likewise the element of risk a specific offer may involve and whether it ought to be discussed on GIOL at all.

    Of course, no board guide will ever get things right 100% of the time and I do think jobbingmusician could do with some support in that regard. Whilst miskool is an additional support, I'm not sure it's at the level the task requires. That is by no means a personal attack on miskool, but by her own admission she is no longer involved in matched betting. Is it appropriate that a board guide doesn't engage in the activity they're making judgements on?

    We mustn't devalue also the advice that comes from those who have been on the forum for years and know the business inside out. Their advice and support to new members is invaluable and shouldn't be overlooked as a resource for any issues that arise.
    I’m not convinced we can risk keeping the board going

    To me this almost suggests that because you don't have the knowledge to police the content of one part of the forum you'd rather simply close it. I do hope that's not the case, but if it is then it suggests poor management of the forum rather than issues with the actual content.
    My biggest concern is that people could find incorrect info on there, and they’ll think that because it’s on MSE it must be OK – and may then damage their finances on the back of it.

    Of course we have the risk of that elsewhere. But gambling can be particularly predatory and is outside our main stable. One user may mistakenly suggest incorrect credit card info to another in our forum – that isn’t against our rules. Promoting risky gambling is, though – so the fact we are now struggling to differentiate between risky and risk-free is a concern.

    Few things in life come without risk. Financial risk is, I'm sure, tolerated elsewhere on the forum. That's not to say it should be tolerated on GIOL - it shouldn't - but countless warnings are often sounded by members if something is beyond the 'risk-free' remit of the forum. I also think it's healthy that discussions of this nature are permitted on the forum as it can often serve to demonstrate the pitfalls of a particular offer, bookmaker etc.

    This leaves me torn. I don’t want to take away a helpful discussion forum that people rely on, yet I don’t know how to keep it safe for people. I don’t want to risk the board damaging the work MSE does elsewhere.

    My thoughts and options include:

    A phased shutdown – giving a few months to allow people who want to discuss this to go elsewhere.

    And in doing so I think you run the risk of having newer, less experienced and potentially more vulnerable users of GIOL migrating to other forums where overt, high risk gambling is openly discussed alongside matched betting.

    I personally would hate to see GIOL closed as I've no desire to migrate to other forums. In recent months I have come to appreciate how GIOL on MSE is distinct from other forums where matched betting is discussed. To me, GIOL actually feels safer.
    If we do shut the board down, we are left with the question of what to do with the existing content.

    I think it would be irresponsible to leave it on view without any means for discussion or questions from newer members who may decide to act on the content.
    We could hide the board so only registered users can see it – although I’m concerned that wouldn’t help.

    I think some form of restriction would be welcome. I also think clearly defined rules and parameters to which both contributors and board guides could operate would be helpful in terms of determining what content on GIOL is, or isn't, acceptable.
    So it seemed logical to me to consult with those who know best about how people view this board and what we should do from here. I’m open to a wide range of suggestions – please let me know your thoughts below.

    In summary, I started matched betting three years ago as a direct result of having read the GIOL section of MSE. It is a vast resource of knowledge on what remains a largely safe and disciplined means of making money by exploiting loopholes. Its greatest asset is by far its members, many of whom devote much of their time to helping both new and experienced members alike in exploiting those loopholes.

    Sure, there have been times where people have been embroiled in a bookmaker that has gone bust and likewise have attempted to make money from exploiting supposed offers that have gone horribly wrong (Betfair casino, first goalscorer etc). Nonetheless, the warnings are there. With the best will in the world though, no amount of discussion about the pitfalls, or warnings, can ever stop someone from bringing damage upon themselves by failing to take on board positive advice. Closing the board, in my view, isn't an adequate remedy to that.
This discussion has been closed.
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