Advice

Using Betting Team Knowledge In Your Own Betting

(Last Updated On: May 10, 2013)

I wanted to write about something a bit different today. How betting teams work. A betting team is a business that is setup with the sole purpose of making profits from betting. The most famous in the UK is probably the Veitch team and in the world Bill Benter (was based in Hong Kong)  is probably the best known. There are also major teams in the US and Australia.

I have had personal experience with some of the major teams in the US and so that is where my knowledge comes from. But, if you ever wondered if it truly was possible to make a profit from horse racing then you need to look no further than these teams. In the US, the major teams (known as whales) turnovey $500,000,000 per year in bets and they can make in excess of $100,000,000 in profit!

With the major teams competing against each other, the markets are no longer free markets. They are instead controlled by the major teams who dictate the favourites and compete against each other to make the biggest profits.

So how do they work?

It was actually my experience with these teams that changed my style of betting. If we go back to the very fundamentals of making profit from betting there are essentially two choices…

  1. You have very few bets and have a high ROI
  2. You have a large amount of bets and have a low ROI

As a betting team this leaves you with only one real choice, number 2. The reason being that if you go with option 1 then you are going to need an extremely large bankroll and be able to get very large bets on. The downswings have the potential to go on for a long time and, ultimately you will make less profit. Using method 2 you need a smaller bankroll, you can place smaller bets but turnover a huge amount more than method 1 and will make more profit. It also has the benefit that this method doesn’t suit most punters and so you are doing something totally different to the normal punter, increasing your edge even further.

In the UK we have a lot of tradition and as a country we are reluctant to change traditions. Nowhere is this displayed more prominently than in horse racing, and it stems from the regulators of the sport who are possibly the most reluctant to make changes in the sport.

Outside of the major festivals there is still an image of horse racing being elitist, and we do nothing to stop this image. Do you remember when you first opened the Racing Post and looked at all the numbers? Talk about overwhelming and nowhere do you find any information explaining what all the numbers actually mean!

But where the majority of the racing world provide as much data as possible for their punters, we fail to do so. We don’t have sectional times, reports on training runs, reports on medical information, weight of the horse and many other things which are provided in other countries.

What this means for us as punters, is that if we can quantify information that is not widely available, then we can use it to powerful effect.

And we do this by using… ratings!

The ratings don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be better than what other punters are using and as most punters aren’t trying to quantify anything that isn’t provided for them, this is easier than you may think.

To start think of something that may be useful to a specific race. For example, imagine how useful it would be to know the likelihood of whether a horse is going to be ablke to make it to the front of the field. After all, in a sprint race being at the front can make the difference. We need to ask ourselves if…

  • Is there anywhere this is commonly available?

The answer is no, this information isn’t readily available anywhere. If we had this information then we could combine it with either our own speed figures, or those provided by someone else, to significantly help us in our analysis of these sprint races.

So we have found something that we want to quantify and we then need to ask ourselves how we are going to go about doing it. There is always more than one way to do things and we want to brainstorm as many ways as possible and then determine which of those are likely to be the most effective, and which is going to suit us in terms of putting into practice as well.

Some examples of how we my want to measure the likelihood of a horse being at the front in sprint races are…

  1. Watch the races and assign points manually
  2. Use the race comments to assign points based on how often the runner got to the front
  3. Look at the breeding and assign points based on pace in breeding
  4. Make your own sectional times using replays

You don’t need to setup in the same way as a big team in order to take their principles and use them to increase your profits in your own betting.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.

8 Comments

  1. Why not start a team of our own Michael?
    An invite with an entrance fee would sort out the tyre kickers?
    A suitable meet up to sort out a way forward with a plan.
    Skype brings everybody together easily so after the initial meeting, staying in touch is easy.
    It doesn’t have to £1m t/o from the start, but could build up big long term.
    Just a thought…………?

  2. Absolutely agree with Mel. It would be the best possible education you could get, and move your betting/trading on to a whole new plane. However to be fully professional it would have to be set up as a legal enity like a company so there could be no argument or misunderstandings on what benefits may be forthcomng and each members entitlement.

  3. This is something I have considered before. As James mentions, there is a large amount of legal considerations when running it as a group, not just as in terms of entitlement but also in terms of gambling laws, tax etc…

    It may be something I will look at again in the future however.

  4. I assume that you are referring to Racing Dossier in this post ?
    if so would it not be sensible to have the team and then as it would be Michael who would operate the Ratings, these could then be posted to team members who would bet to the amounts they are comfortable with, thus allowing members on a low budget to take part for a sensible member payment ?

  5. The article seems to contradict itself. you say the big US teams turnover 500 million and make 100 million profit.
    20% on turnover, thats not a low RIO

  6. Thanks for the comment David. The final ROI is massively increased by rebates which you get in the US. We don’t get those in the UK unfortunately but they allow you to make bets with a negative edge and still make a profit because of the guaranteed rebate. The average ROI for each bet is between 1% and 3%.

    Graham, that could work very well and is something we shall consider in the future.

  7. I came across mention of Bill Benter on another website a few days ago, and it reminded me to read your article again.
    I’ve read that Hong Kong racing is limited to around 1250 horses and only 24 trainers and 24 jockeys!
    This could show up some interesting statistical trends. Do you know good sources of data on racing in Hong Kong? It may a niche I could investigate

    1. Hi Dave, thanks for your comment. I believe it’s bigger than that now but still quite limited, I haven’t played there for a while so I’m a bit out of touch with it at the moment. You can get race cards from the Hong Kong Jockey Club at http://racing.hkjc.com/racing/info/meeting/Racecard/english/Local

      Be warned though, you’ll need to be doing something different from the big teams in order to make a profit there. They make the markets and determine the favourites, thinking outside the box is key if you’ve got less than a few hundred million dollars to spend 🙂

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