20 March 2008

Pinnacle Doesn't Want Winners & The Gambling Myths Quiz

A friend of mine recently had a very good month betting horses at Pinnacle (an amount close to what the average person takes home a year in Canada). Pinnacle was giving a 7.5% rebate (which I now believe has been reduced to 5%). But it looks like my friend did too well. It is apparent that Pinnacle only wants to deal with losers (well, they are a business after all). He received this email:

Dear Sir,

This email is to advise that Pinnacle Sports is no longer able to accept your horse wagers. This is a decision made by our Horse Department and if there are changes in the future, we will notify you.

You may, of course, continue to make sports wagers, or visit our Casino.


Regards,

Customer Service Department
Pinnacle Sports

********************************
He told Pinnacle to give him his balance. Pinnacle complied.
This bettor usually only plays Betfair, and like me, he has no use for WEG, and refuses to give them any business. He only likes playing major tracks, and is currently searching for someone to take his bets while giving a rebate to compliment his Betfair action.


Cancer takes Elizabeth Samuel's life

Detroit racetrack looks like a go.

Responsible Gambling Council seem to be doing a tour of the Ontario Racinos trying to dispel the myths many people have when it comes to gambling:

Take the Gambling Myths Quiz
Windsor Star
Published: Friday, March 07, 2008

Take this quiz to see if you can separate gambling fact from gambling fiction.

1. True or False: If a slot machine hasn't had a recent win, it's due for one.

2. True or False: If you're on a losing streak, don't worry - if you play long enough you'll win your money back.

3. Playing two or more slot machines at the same time is a good way to:
a) Exercise those arm muscles
b) Lose money faster
c) Increase your chances of winning a jackpot

4. Choosing the same lottery numbers every week will:
a) Improve your chances of winning
b) Decrease your chances
c) Make no difference

5. True or False: If you buy a lottery ticket every day, you'll likely win the jackpot sometime within the next 40 years.

6. True or False: No matter what game they're playing over time gamblers usually lose more than they win.

7. You can increase your chances of winning at a slot machine by:
a) Putting more money in the machine at one time
b) Pulling the handle instead of hitting the SPIN button
c) Using a slot machine that hasn't paid out recently
d) None of the above

8. True or False: If you flip a coin five times and you get heads each time, you are more likely to get tails on the next flip.

9. If playing roulette where red has come up 14 times in a row, the next best bet is to?
a) Continue to bet on red
b) Bet on black - It must be due
c) None of the above will improve your chances of winning

10. True or False: Gambling is a good way to make some quick, easy money.

Here are the answers:

1. False. Slots operate randomly, no matter how many wins or losses occurred in the past. The last game's result has no bearing on the next one.

2. False. The odds are programmed to favour the gaming operator. The longer you play the more likely you'll lose.

3. B: Lose money faster. By playing more than one machine at the same time, you have increased your cost of play by two times or more.

4. C: Nothing can improve your chances of winning since each number is selected randomly. One set of numbers is as likely - or unlikely - to win as another.

5. False: At a rate of one ticket per day, it could take anywhere from one week to more than 80,000 years to win. On average, it would take around 20,000 years to win. (Source: Random Event Knowledge Test, 2000, Turner, N.).

6. True: The "house edge" ensures that, while it is possible to win in the short term, over time the gaming operator will be the winner.

7. D: There is no action a player can take to increase the chances of winning at a slot machine.

8. False: When the game is random, past results are irrelevant for predicting what will come up next.

9. C: Every spin is an independent event. Previous results have no predictive value on future outcomes.

10. False: Gambling is a good way to lose money. Almost everyone who gambles loses money in the long run.

Apparently 43% of Canadians got at least one question wrong. Those who got the slot specific questions wrong are way out to lunch. But two of their answers are wrong. Question 6 for example. In games when you are up against the public (even if they have a takeout or rake), like poker or horse racing and even sports betting (where point spreads are determined by how the public is predicted to bet), there is still a chance that you can win in the long run. Of course, if you are betting at WEG without a substantial rebate, you have absolutely no chance to win in the long run because of their outrageous track takeout.

Also, question 9 can be debated. I've heard of roulette machines which have enough of a defect which gives certain numbers or even colours an edge. An edge high enough to beat the house advantage. Though this is rare, and probably becoming more and more rare each day thanks to technological advances.

Betting action on Australian race at Betfair prompts investigation. Some say that the ability to bet a horse to lose can create more corruption. However, I am optimistic here. This gives regulators a chance to weed out the corrupt element.
When was the last time Woodbine investigated an abnormally low priced winner? Hidden workouts?

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