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Coral bet Guarantee in shops a 'significant' boost to trade

28 October 2015

CORAL have said they have seen a “significant” increase in business after last month increasing the number of races covered by their guarantee to lay bets to lose a minimum amount in betting shops.

The firm last year announced they would guarantee to lay bets to lose at least £5,000 on all races shown on Channel 4, and from September extended that to laying all bets in what they describe as “good-quality” races– Class 4 and above handicaps,Listed and Group/Graded races in Britain – to lose at least £2,000 per customer daily after 11am. 

The company said they could not detail how great the increase had been for commercial reasons.However, spokesman David Stevens said: “It’s still early days and it’s something we’ll be constantly reviewing, but already,in the short time we've added the£2,000 guarantee to the existing£5,000 guarantee, we've seen a significant increase in the number of bets to win £2,000 after 11am.“It should be pointed out we’re not betting to a higher percentage– we are still betting to a competitive percentage after 11am – and there is a demand for it.“

On that measure alone we think this is the right thing to have done.“Racing turnover in general has been in t he spotlight and bookmakers have long been accused of not being interested in over-the-counter business but, as we said when we launched this, that wasn't the case at all.”The guarantee is not available to tele betting or online customers.Stevens added: “There’s no question there are some shrewder operators out there who are beating the price, but again we went into that with our eyes wide open.“This is the reason why we can’t offer this online because we can’t manage it closely enough,whereas in a retail operation we believe there are robust enough measures in place.”There have been claims from Coral customers that they have not been able to place a bet at the odds available at the time.In response Stevens said: “If a customer comes in after 11am and asks for a bet on the selected races, that bet will be laid at the price available at that very moment.“If someone has a genuine grievance they should get in touch with our customer services. 

If calls are being made, this can all be tracked.”Professional punter and former racecourse bookmaker and spread-betting odds compiler Neil Channing said Coral should be applauded for what they had done.He added: “I would be a big critic of Coral generally in terms of my day-today business but fair play to them, and nobody else has copied them.“I think they need to publicise it more. They should make a big thing of it – it’s definitely a thing that gives them a competitive edge over the opposition. 

“I'm disappointed the other firms haven’t followed Coral in and I'm slightly disappointed Coral haven’t said ‘this is going really well, let’s extend it to each-way’.“It’s admirable they have done this thing.They have accepted something has to change and should be applauded.“It’s not ideal but it’s better than nothing.”

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