If people don’t really care if they win or lose and are willing to play around with the punt where they would not care whether it’s Glen Boss or Hugo Boss or Chris Waller or Fats Waller and if the racing is at Stoney Creek or Flemington, well, it’s their money and theirs to throw away.
Who are these people? Chinese clients introduced to bookmakers for a commission and new to racing in Oz who have been sold a bill of goods that winning Down Under is “easy”.
And so, without knowing that it’s illegal to bet from Hong Kong with any overseas bookmakers- and illegal for these bookmakers to accept bets placed out of Hong Kong- they deposit their AUD $50k into a Westpac bank account and are “guided” by “experts” on what to back.
After a few days and some $5k bets on provincial tracks, they’re up over $30k. The fish has been hooked.
The bets get bigger- and when these lose and the usual chase begins- even bigger.
On a tiny Monday meeting, a big bet of around AUD$10-20k is phoned in, the bet is accepted, and not to say all bookmakers do this, but we DO know the ones that do it.
A member of “staff” for the bookmaker is behind the barriers. They receive a text about the bet, make the jock riding the horse an offer which is usually grabbed with both hands as riding fees- even with a percentage of the “winning prize money”- is so piss poor.
The horse backed finds all kinds of trouble in running and is never seen in the race again.
For the new foreign punter, they’re told that there is a “sure thing” to bet on “this Saturday”. The blow is softened.
The “sure thing” is around $1.60 and wins as does another $1.90 sure thing and confidence creates stupidity and recklessness.
The bets get bigger, and, “Don’t worry, you’ll get it back in the next” is promised to a bewildered reply of, “You sure?” and so it goes until the well is dry.
Where does the small punter fit into all this? They don’t as their bets are discardable to what’s coming in and are treated as a nuisance to “real business”.
They can complain all they want and huff and puff and play at being know-it-alls- and so what? No one is home and no one is listening as Big Bucks are at stake.
They can’t blow the house down ‘cos the house always wins and the house knows where the big money is while nickel and diming and a few hundred dollar bets belong in a piggy bank and not a Westpac account.
The only “good” news to those who have seen this East-West punting plan crash and burn is when both sides lose.
As it’s illegal to make any bets out of Hong Kong, the losing punter doesn’t need to pay up and if, going against the odds, the bookmaker loses, they can always change the goalposts as to what bets they’ll accept- and on their terms- or refuse to pay.
Legally, letters might go back and forth and threats made, but these are simply empty vessels making the usual loud noises until the losing side- and it can be both- go to their respective corners and lick their wounds…and scream. Silently.