Now back to the story I set out to write before I became distracted and started venting about the Damian Oliver Cox Plate suspension.
Have you read the lead story on the cracking Lets Go Horse Racing story today?
In it the site’s principal writer Lucky Lingard raises the spectre of a wealthy, well-connected mystery punter – whose name I suspect more than a few of us may know or be able to guess – piling plenty on short priced favourites at the Albion Park trots and sending turnover skyrocketing at right about the same time as negotiations for the distribution of revenue to the three codes under the new UBET wagering deal were taking place.
The suggestion that I read into Lucky’s story is that the pools were being deliberately manipulated so that harness racing – in particular harness racing run by the Albion Park club – would get a greater slice of the pie proportionate to its suddenly increased wagering revenue.
Funnily enough I had heard such a rumor myself more than once and from unconnected sources but never followed the information through to see if it were true.
When I read the article on letsgohorseracing.com.au today though I decided I would take a close look at the wagering figures on harness racing for the period before, during and after the wagering deal was struck. and then stack them up against what was happening with the pools in the other 2 codes.
And just look at what I found.
These are the UBET betting turnover statistics on harness racing for the five years from 2010 – 2015. I have turned them into a graph to make it easier to understand.
Well, well, well, well, well.
Lookee me, and f*ck me dead if I’m alive.
The UBET deal was announced by then Treasurer Tim Nicholls on the 27th of June 2014.
And just look at the spike in wagering turnover on harness racing in the 12 months of the 2013/14 financial year leading up to the announcement.
They’ve gone through the goddamn roof.
Let’s compare the harness racing figures with those of greyhounds and the gallops shall we?
The dogs turnover in the year before the wagering deal was struck was stagnant after a massive fall a couple of years prior. There is nothing happening there that remotely even resembles the sudden surge in punters wanting to bet on the red hots.
Let’s take a look at the gallops.
There are no increases there either.
Quite to the contrary in fact. The UBET wagering turnover is falling through the floor.
It looks to me like Lucky’s onto something here.
But who’s our mystery massive punting trots fan man?
And who was he placing the bets for?
It’s all just a deep, dark mystery isn’t it sportsfans?
Hey, just before I go – have you ever heard of anyone facing money laundering and counter-terrorism charges and being granted police bail before?
This is a week jam packed with puzzles punters.
It’s lucky they all have solutions.
Someone just has to find them that’s all.