Weekly Blog – SJ Sale, Best Film, Big Brother, Tennis & Darts

Roy The Boy’s weekly blog looks at the continued rise of non-laying bookmakers, early Steve Jobs’ Oscar prices, Big Brother, tennis and darts.

Stan James becomes Per Aksel

Sad news this week with the sale of Stan James online to Unibet for £19m.

Stan James never hit the dizzy heights it was meant to. In fact it never got off the first rung of the ladder. The amazing thing is, they were the first company to set foot on the ‘live betting’ ladder and look what a cash cow that has become for the industry.

That’s right, little known Stan James was the first to offer betting in running way back in 1994 with Golf their chosen medium. By 1995 Stan James boss, Peter Fisher, turned his attention to in-play betting on football – another first. Forward wind a decade and the company, whose roots lay in a chain of betting shops in the Oxfordshire area, were crediting half of their turnover as ‘in-play’ money.

Alas Unibet now has them. I say “alas”, as I find Unibet particularly anal as yet another firm that will offer you max bet limits to the exact penny or cent, such as €3.71, and would not consider having a liability on any selection in any sport.

Unibet is Swedish, run by very serious people. BWIN on the other hand… I believe their background is German. They are even more serious than Unibet. And frugal. You will probably find their MD shops at Aldi and lives in a rented one bedroomed apartment.

BWIN is currently subject of a takeover bid which values the company at a whopping £908m ($1.4 billion). Their value must be a result of business practices which regularly sees them advertise top prices about selections but fail to accept a single cent, penny or dime from certain customers. And if you are “lucky” enough to be offered a bet, they will charge you to deposit and withdraw funds to avail of it (as much as €2 on withdrawals).

It’s a major money maker.  With an estimated 20,000 cash transactions a day, we are talking in excess of €600,000 a month – purely skimmed off the top – before a bet has been placed.

Jobs?  Job done!

I see Ladbrokes and Paddy Power have already priced-up the Best Film Oscar for 2016. It is obviously way too early to make a confident selection but there is disparity between the two companies in regards to ‘Steve Jobs’, the biographical film about the Apple Inc founder of the same name.

The trailer for this one went out on July 1st and the film, which sees Michael Fassbender play the leading role, goes on release at the start of October.

With millions having one of ‘Jobs’ devices in their pocket and biographical films faring so well at the Oscars in recent years, I certainly wouldn’t want to be offering the 7/1 that Ladbrokes are.

Big Sister

Big Brother producers have messed with the traditional format no end this year and resultantly there has been a lot of volatility in the betting market.

Thanks be to Jaysus we are now in the home-straight with just a few days remaining and it is Chloe that now heads the betting with Ladbrokes, Coral & select others going top-priced 2/1.

To be fair she has been trading at 5/1 or less for the past five weeks and deserves her place at the head of the betting.  I say that not as someone that’s been watching it religiously this summer, but simply mindful of the fact she is the only female left in the competition; her five rivals being men/boys.

Guaranteed 100 percent of the female vote, methinks there is some bet-to-lay mileage in her with Betfair ‘in play’ trading on final night particularly healthy.


Dropped the Ball

Tennis does not float my boat.  However, courtesy of some free sign-up bonuses, which soon became a serious interest, I found myself channel hopping into the Wimbledon final on Sunday.

It’s taken over 30 years but I’ve concluded it’s the scoring system and not the skill levels which makes this an exciting game. I’m serious … it is very, very complex stuff which I’d not like to explain to someone that’s hiked down for their home on Mount Fuji (therein oblivious to the workings of a game of racket & ball) even if they spoke excellent English.

Naturally I was cheering Andy Murray out of the tournament and out of Sports Personality of the Year contention.  So will it be McCoy, Hamilton or third favourite Katarina Johnson-Thompson?

With there never being a back-to-back winner and previous winners having a poor record of lifting the trophy twice, I’m still topping up on KJT!

Meanwhile Serena Williams’ leapfrogged to the head of the betting in the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award lists.  She is into 11/10 from 9/2.

A reminder Tennis players represent the most successful genre in this award’s history but a woman has not collected this accolade since 1988 and no American has been successful during the past 15 years.  Therein 11/10 could be too short.

Classy Klaasen?

Doubtlessly next weekend’s darts will be covered at length here at Betswot by someone far more knowledgeable than me but I’m pinning my colours to van Gerwen again especially with Dave Chisnall getting mullered by Jelle Klaasen in Germany this week.

That said Klaasen played like a man inspired recording a 104.9 average so I’ll not lose hope on this still being Chisnall’s breakthrough year, while also having a little of Skybet’s 150/1 each-way about Klasasen to win next week’s World Matchplay in Blackpool.

Advised Bet:

0.5 points each way Jelle Klaasen to win World Matchplay at 150/1 with Skybet