Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Quote quiz

Given the comments made today at the BHA's AGM about the impact of betting exchanges on bookmakers' margins (a comment which makes no sense for a host of reasons), I thought it worth digging out a couple of past quotes.

For five points each, who said each, when, and in relation to what? Here's a hint: Betfair launched in June 2000. (Answers below)

1. "It [Falling margin] is a serious situation and is impacting heavily on profitability.The problem is that bookmakers are getting less margin out of the fancied horses. If a favourite should be 15-8, it is starting at 9-4. In the short term, punters are getting good value, but it is not sustainable and we will have to consider how to deal with the problem."

2. "If you take the view that it is all fine and dandy, it misses the point that 10 per cent of turnover, on-course, is affecting margins on the other 90 per cent, off-course. If it continues, shops will close and bookmakers' ability to pay the Levy will be affected. It cannot be ignored."

3. "Whether it is a case of a new type of bookmaker or too many bookmakers chasing too little money, it is difficult to see how they are making a profit and we are certainly suffering the consequences. [...] From the punters' point of view, it is wonderful news, but it impacts on the industry's profitability and on its ability to meet levy demands."

Answer? All are taken from an article in the Racing Post on 12th September 1999, before Betfair was even incorporated. They relate to the debate over pitch auctions, and in turn they come from:

1. Tom Kelly, at the time Secretary-general of BOLA.

2. Chris Bell, at the time Managing Director of Ladbrokes Racing

3. John Brown, at the time Chief Executive of William Hill.

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