Dettori Causes Mayhem For Bet365 & Skybet
June 24, 2019
Royal Ascot 2019 will live long in the memory of many in the betting industry as for the first time the two largest UK online bookies started refusing to accept certain multiple bets on the mounts of jockey Frankie Dettori.
Bet365 and Skybet took their decisions following a near catastrophic Thursday at the Royal meeting which saw Dettori win the opening four races of the day and shoot two lengths clear on Turgenev in the fifth race . The fact that Turgenev eventually lost the Britannia Stakes Handicap on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot despite trading at 1.3 in running on Betfair is estimated to have saved bookmakers over £30M and possibly an awful lot more.
Of course, bookmakers have history with Dettori and Ascot with the famous Italian having gone through the card winning all seven races at Ascot on September 28th 1996 costing the industry countless millions.
However, despite all of the history and £M’s of potential liabilities it was still a huge surprise to find that on Friday Bet365 were refusing to accept bets with all of Dettori’s five rides in the same bet. On Saturday Bet365 refused bets with anymore that four of Dettori’s rides and Skybet began restricting customers so they could not place all of Dettori’s three longer odds rides in the same bet.
The problem for the bookmakers is that the potential liabilities are so large, Thursday was estimated at £200M for Bet365 and it becomes impossible to hedge bets with this liability in the later stages because the odds have collapsed completely. Pat Cooney, spokesman for bet365, confirmed at 11am on Saturday: “It remains not an option to place five-folds at this stage. It was a decision made by the board and that’s the stance they’ve taken after Thursday.”
It is a fact that most online punters take the early price odds and benefit from best odds guaranteed if the odds on their selections increase. It remains to be seen whether this valuable concession for punters remains intact after the hammering bookies took last week.
Michael Shinners, spokesman for Sky Bet, said before racing: “It’s unfortunate but a decision has been made by traders to restrict multiples on the three bigger-priced Dettori rides.
“Punters will not be able to place all those horses in trebles and upwards but it’s due to the sheer size of liabilities we have been accruing in previous days.
Competitive odds, best odds guaranteed and various other money-back concessions make meetings like Royal Ascot very profitable for punters but the risk is now that some of these promotions might be cut back in the future to safeguard bookies profits.