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article imageOp-Ed: Bookmakers can put the banks in their place

By Alexander Baron     Dec 6, 2011 in Business
The City of London and 'Wall Streets' the world over are one big casino; instead of allowing the banks to gamble with their customers' money then bailing them out with the taxpayers', governments should call in William Hill.
William Hill (1903-71) founded a firm of bookmakers. In 2002, the William Hill company was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Now Britain's leading bookmaker, it has a shop on every high street and a presence in cyberspace including on-line poker. Check out the Sunday Facebook freeroll, and if you like what you see, sign up.
Earlier this year, it introduced a new on-line feature called Day Trader, which allows people to gamble on the currency markets, and currently also the gold, silver and oil markets, though doubtless these will be extended in due course. Currently it is offering a special promotion, the company will refund you up to £25 on your first day's losses. If only the British Government had taken that attitude with the Royal Bank of Scotland.
William Hill is not alone; Ladbrokes, another major high street bookmaker , also offers betting on the financial markets, and that is only in Britain.
Now, the $64 million question: has anyone ever seen a bookmaker lose?
Okay, if the favourite romps home in three or four races at a particular meeting, the bookies will take a caning. On that day. Overall though, the bookie always wins, because he always factors in a percentage.
If you have a snooker match in say the UK Championship, and the two players are evenly matched, say the number 15 seed against the number 16 seed, the betting will typically be 4/5 player A and even money player B.
The bookmaker and the punter gamble with real money, and although some punters end up losing their shirts, reputable bookmakers don't take bets on credit, not in this day and age.
Aside from taking the power to create credit away from the banks - our number one priority - the solution to the current financial malaise is to take away the power to speculate away from the so-called speculators, and give it to the people who actually know how to do it, which means in Britain the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes, and elsewhere, any reputable bookmaker but no one connected with banking at all.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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