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Living In The Land Of The Not-So-Free

By Dave Gutfreund, DerbyWars.com 

 

Two and a half years ago, my life was totally different when living in Teddington (just outside of London) and essentially being able to do what I wanted when it came to the world of gambling.  There were traditional fixed-odds bookmakers, easy access to what are considered in the USA 'offshore books' such as Pinnacle, a type of wagering referred to as 'spread-betting', being able to play on-line poker on any site, as well as exchange wagering with Betfair being the undisputed king.

 

Also during that time period, I was attempting to set-up an on-line horse racing tournament site as there was no such vehicle in existence back then (as it turns out, a couple of blokes with whom I used to work have given that a go) and set-up a company to do just that.  However, something happened.  In October of 2009, my life changed drastically when on a trip back to Chicago, I met a wonderful young woman and a few months later my desire to be together led me to leave England.

 

For those who don't already know, in late 2010 I contacted a former associate from the world of American horse racing to discuss a potential business arrangement and almost a year later, Derby Wars was born and I feel blessed to be a part of the team with such class individuals as Mark Midland and 2011 NHC Champ John Doyle.

 

Regarding exchange wagering, my point is that I miss it.  Miss it badly.  Miss it way worse than any of the other forms of gambling listed above including on-line poker in the wake of Black Friday.  Yes, if I had to choose only one from having Betfair access or being able to play on-line poker, I would choose Betfair over Poker Stars.

 

At many of the local pubs when back in Blighty, discussions were often had (over a few pints, of course) how the so-called land of the free really isn't all that free.  And without question when it comes to gambling, Americans have their hands tied.

 

So, needless to type, I am very personally hoping Betfair can help push legislation through and exchange wagering can become legalized in the United States. 

 

What I miss most about Betfair are the unique wagering opportunities which consistently occur due to inefficient markets and being able to capitalize on them.  It was even more exaggerated in American horse racing markets in part due to people across the pond not being as experienced with our 'type' of racing and not being as aware of the subtle nuances of our tracks, horses, trainers, jockeys, biases, etc.

 

If there was one slight negative about playing American racing on Betfair, the markets weren't always as liquid as I would have liked and I have a fear of something similar taking place if exchange wagering is only offered to residents of a small amount of states here in this country.  While I never really got stuck into British racing in general and have an aversion to jump racing (even with Cheltenham coming up next week), watching the incredibly liquid and huge markets made my mouth water.  And if there were ever to be such liquidity here in the USA on American racing, it would be a real-life game-changer...not just for myself but for a large number of players who have become quite frustrated in having no betting option other than the tote. 

 

And while I can't really ever fathom a renaissance in the sport for which I hold so much passion (which is often misunderstood on a personal note, btw), I firmly believe Betfair would introduce a number of new players to horse racing who would approach our game in a very different way.

 

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Older Comments about Living In The Land Of The Not-So-Free...

@travel_vic: Your rant about big-government vs. small-government parties is a myth. The Republicans want big government so they can control morals and subsidize giant corporations; the Democrats want big government so they can restrict markets and redistribute wealth. What's the difference? Liberals want government encroachment in economic matters and they want liberty in social matters, whereas conservatives want liberty in economic matters but encroachment in social matters. Take your pick: six of one, half-dozen of the other...
the goon moralist's are behind this....For a party that constantly wants to have less government, the Republicans are always interefering in people's lives in direct opposition to what their mantra is

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