the News desk.
|Black Type Bet promises not to ban
| New site
trying to trade in a traditional way
Black Type adamant it will not
close winning accounts
campaigner for increased consumer rights for punters has offered a cautious
welcome to a new player in the crowded internet gambling market: a bookmaking
site that claims it will not ban or restrict its customers for winning, and
will guarantee to lay any price to lose at least £500.
Its positive that an online bookmaker is trying to trade in
a traditional way, Brian Chappell, the founder of the website
justiceforpunters.org, said on Thursday. This type of approach, if it
continues, will certainly be welcomed by most punters, especially the thousands
who have their bets restricted to pennies by the major players.
Shareholders in Black Type Bet, which launched on Wednesday, include
Mylo Sangster, the grandson of the famous owner-breeder Robert, whose blue and
green silks were among the most famous of the last 50 years. The new firm is
seeking a niche in a highly-competitive market which has seen a number of
bookies come and go in recent years, on occasions taking their customers
deposits with them, but Black Type is staking its claim to be different on a
willingness to lay bets at advertised prices.
|A bookie that accepts
your money might not sound revolutionary but in recent years increasing numbers
of online gamblers have suffered the frustration of attempting to place bets on
racing and sport with major firms, only to find their stakes restricted to tiny
amounts, or refused altogether.
The Horserace Bettors Forum, a group
launched by the British Horseracing Authority to represent the interests of
racing punters, also recently claimed at least 20,000 accounts were closed by
bookmakers in the first six months of 2016. This, according to Simon Rowlands,
the HBFs chairman, raised fears that the appeal of betting on horse
racing is possibly being seriously eroded by the trading practices of
Black Type is adamant that it will not
close winning accounts, with the sole caveat that customers using computer
programmes to arb bets via betting exchanges that is, take a
price on their site and lay it on an exchange for a small, guaranteed profit
will be barred on a three-strikes-and-out basis. There are
no gaming products such as virtual slot machines and roulette on
the site, and Stephen Davison, a spokesman for the company, said its promise to
lay its prices to lose at least £500 is cast iron.
Its there on the site in big letters and theres no
hiding away from it, Davison said. This is not a project
thats been built up overnight.
Were after day-to-day
£20 each-ways, £50 to win and £1 Lucky 15s, and there are
plenty of punters like that out there who are disillusioned because
theyve won a bit somewhere and been closed, or theyve backed
something at 12-1 thats gone off at 6-1 and the bookie has decided they
dont want their business.
To maintain its margins, Black
Type will not offer the Best Odds Guaranteed concession on racing
that is widespread among major firms, or offer inflated odds or free bets to
new customers. It is, in a sense, an attempt to return to traditional
bookmaking practices in the internet age, and only time will tell how
successful that can be.
Chappell, a fierce and persistent critic of
bookmakers on the issue of restrictions and account closures, is one of many
who will watch with interest. He also points out that the Australian state of
New South Wales introduced legislation in January 2015 which forces bookies to
honour guarantees on the minimum bets they will lay, and that a number of firms
have seen their turnover and profitability rise as a result.
like to see the Gambling Commission, which regulates the industry in Britain,
introduce equivalent rules for bookies trading in the United Kingdom. At
the moment, bookmakers are advertising prices but they are
discriminating, he said. Its not just a few people, as they
claim. Its thousands and thousands of people.