Barney Curley is a nice person, I have only one thing in common with him, even though we are both in the same industry. and it was a personnel matter that will not be mentioned.
Although the term Bookmaker can only be based on a person with a Bookmakers Licence or Permit, the industry has as many colours as a rainbow.
Let us discuss the many Bookmakers that I have known.
The art of Bookmaking is in the hedging, to continually lay sizeable wagers at a price that is proven to be exceedingly over the Odds is in fact a Gambler, and will result in failure
A Bookmaker who reduces his liability at the same time keeping as much as possible in his field book, is a true Bookmaker.and will last for ever.
In the period up to the development of Betfair, the amount of trading done by the industry’s tick tacks was immense my father has left me his Twist Cards from a period during the two World wars, and the amount of turnover was mind boggling.
A betting ring was made up of all sort of Bookmakers, from fiddler to odd fillers, it was the latter who soon disappeared. a fiddler can make a wonderful sound, becoming a very successful Violinist.
The first and important point about on-course Bookmaking is the pitch control by the industries, controllers.in my case The Midland Joint Pitch Committee. they had hundreds of fresh applications in the 60s. if they continued to write in, they would soon be placed in the silver ring at Nottingham just to see how long they lasted, 12 months being the Spread.
It was in 1917 when a very strong government lobby attempted to create a Tote Monopoly.
With the vast majority of members with accounts with the leading Bookmakers there was never going to be a Tote Monopoly,
What they did create was known as Rule 5, “a Maximum charge of 5 times the amount paid by the public to enter a particular enclosure, this statute gave those in senior positions an even bigger advantage than they already had.
When my father retired the pitches that he held were passed on to my brother Phillip. and for 15 years I was left in the wilderness, with a waiting list seniority that would grant me pitches at places like Stratford, Bangor, Cheltenham, Ascot, and Liverpool in 2100. as long as I lived to be 1001. 95 at Nottingham and Leicester.
It was during the commencement of a friendship with Graham Green (Walters and Williams) that I decided there was no chance of developing a business out in the wilderness, I decided to be a trader.
I fully understood why a back ring Bookmaker never lasted if he didn’t know how much he would take on a race the last thing I wished to do was be dominated not only by those with brilliant pitches, or not to be expected to bow to chicanery.
My aim was to set up a commision agency, were I not only placed professional trade for people like Alex Bird, Billy Bough, and Jack the Judge.(Jack Pinder) There was a time when I could make a great deal of money, in this way. it was then that I met Bob Love arguably the finest price assessor I had ever known.
It was during the 80s when I was doing a great deal of early morning business, and trading in the afternoon. never at any time letting the so called big hitters get through my ribs. I knew what I wished to do how much I could take and did it.
During the period 1975 to 2000 I hardly ever lost, that didn’t mean that I made a fortune. I was never going to from the pitches I had. the turnover much limited.
One thing I was good at was jobbing for certain pro,s.
The first time I met Barney Curley was during a period when he launched his Punters Club. and I always found him to be a very nice guy, and his wife loverly. I knew very early that he was a cut above all others,
He knew I was one of the industry grafters, and he gave me no stress even if he could have found his way so far back in a betting ring, he would have had a nose bleed.
If I had been about in 1890 I would have offered the same service, to Barney as Richard Henry Fry, the country’s greatest, offered the Tod Sloan agents.
NO COMMISSIONS ACCEPTED
FOR TOD SLOANS MOUNTS
These were the terms being offered by the vast majority of Racecourse Bookmakers. at the time, when the American Invasion commenced full. they bet the likes of Gates, (a Million) only to be left in the lurch when the Yanks went back home.
In 2008 I was given some business to trade for a pro, who had the Betfair system under control it wasn’t rocket science to stand in a shop, and write out the first three in betting and when I was told to go in taking sizable wagers £2000 to £1000 they shortened in 90% of cases, returning a very nice profit. after a while with the on course watching system, I was ticketed.
A further plan he used was known as the Alex Bird Each Way Steal.
Unlike Alex who was happy to bet on singles of course it was 1/4 odds all races.
What we had found was that a numerous amounts of events, showed a error in the place odds not only horse races but Darts, Golf, Tennis, Rugby, both type, cricket.
Were Bookmakers in the 1970s only betting on a few race meetings, by 2008 you could bet on many events with Bookmakers allowing bets that were day by day .
I knew that this would be seen as disaster to the high street firms.
The first was a race at Lingfield were they bet 2/5 5/1 8/1 12/1 bar 8 runners.
A race in France 2/7 4/1 12/1 bar,
A Tennis were the odds on favourite with the second fav at 11/4 1/4 odds getting to the final. (Graded to do so.
Rugby League, Echway 1/2 1/4 odds,
These events took place over a month period. the bet thrown into the anti post draw, after the first two horses both won. 5/1 and 4/1 The Tennis was a loser in the final. and South Africa Won the Rugby, If the Tennis had won I doubt that Barney would have got his yankee on.
At least Barney got paid, for I was incidental in that happening. one thing I found out and that was the Irish genius, don’t have to pay for favours.