Traditional Betting Guide

A recent study by a gambling analyst reported that only 3% of global gaming is done through the internet. This figure suggests that despite the proliferation of online gaming the majority of worldwide betting is done through the traditional methods. The figure includes all forms of gambling, including bingo, Poker and lotteries but it still suggests that those that gamble through the well established mediums are still in the majority.

Top Recommended Bookmakers for Traditional Betting
18+ New Customers Only. Terms & Conditions Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly

Introduction to Traditional Betting

The global betting landscape changed with the emergence of Betfair and other exchanges. However the traditional methods still provide a service for the majority of bettors. Every racehorse trainer in Newmarket will have a computer and access to the internet but there are still eleven betting offices in the town.

When betting offices became legal in 1961 there were some rather strange rules in place with regards to attracting customers. Very little had changed by 1984 when I first worked in a betting office. There were no pictures and punters had to rely on a service called Extel which provided commentaries to betting offices across the country.

Another development in the betting industry was the growth of sports betting opportunities. Before the internet and dedicated sports channels the majority of betting was done on horse racing. You could have a bet on the football on Saturday but you were restricted by the minimum trebles rule when betting on non-televised league matches.

Ante-Post Betting

This type of betting is defined as betting on an event up to the day before the time of the race or sporting event. The major bookmakers price up the high profile races. such as the Classics, Cheltenham Festival races and the Grand National. The major races are. still priced up but these days you can bet on the Derby which takes place in June during the previous season as two year olds run their trials in the autumn.

Some of the biggest ante-post markets concern the championship races at the Cheltenham Festival. Quite often after a race at the Festival bookmaker quote prices for the major races for the following year’s event. I think a great deal of this is for PR but you could still bet on the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup almost as the 2011 renewal had just been run.

Ante-post betting is also very popular for sports wagering, with the soccer World Cup being a prime example. Bookmakers field bets for the next tournament over the four year spell from the previous championships. The FA Cup is another one of the many sports ante-post markets available to punters today.

Starting Price Betting

The SP or starting price is the odds on a horse as a race begins. This is determined by betting markets on the racecourse and the stance taken by the major bookmakers who can influence what happens in the betting ring. The industry SP is the price that bets are settled at in betting offices across the country.

When you place a bet on the horses or greyhounds you have a choice between taking the price available at the time of the bet or the starting price. This can work both ways with a horse that is well supported shortening up in pre-race betting activity or conversely drifting as a result of the dynamics of the market.

Bets now placed with the traditional bookmakers are not subject to tax. As recently as 2001 you had a choice between paying 9% on winnings or on the stake. Victor Chandler recognised the effects of this tax and moved off-shore to Gibraltar where he had a licence to offer tax free betting. The onus of tax now falls on the operator rather than the individual customer. In the past on-course betting was subject to 4% tax but now you can bet tax free at the track.

Live Betting

Live betting is a massive growth area which has developed alongside in running exchange betting and online opportunities. Before the explosion in this aspect of the betting markets the most you could bet on in running for a soccer match was the three way. Nowadays bookmakers offer up to 100 in-running markets on televised matches.

These days you can bet in running on even the briefest of five furlong horse race. The internet has been the key to this form of gambling. Betfair have developed the technology and others have followed to allow bets to be placed in less than ten seconds. This has led to the growth of laying a horse which means betting on it not to win, a development that will be discussed in future articles.