Following in the footsteps of their competitors in Paddy Power Betfair and BetVictor, UK bookmaking stalwart William Hill has decided to alter how they offer the Best Odds Guaranteed to their customers.
Before, Best Odds Guaranteed was available as soon as the race market went live, and then firms started changing their rules so that the offer applied from midnight on the day of the race.
Now Hills, in line with a number of their rivals, have outlawed taking BOG bets prior to 10am on race day.
The reason? As ever, it is undisclosed ‘commercial reasons’ that have been cited as the cause, but as is often the way in these instances bookies are not afraid to follow the lead of others when it can save them a few quid.
Big money punters and high rollers should also note another change to William Hill’s own Best Odds Guaranteed offering: now, you can only benefit from the promotion up to a maximum of £25,000.
The change came into effect on December 1, and it is likely to have come from an internal decision to cut costs in the wake of reduced profits. The high street is struggling at the moment, certainly for betting firms, with reductions in the maximum sake on FOBT machines cutting into the financial bottom line.
And it is thought that changes to streaming broadcast contracts of live races will also pinch the coffers of bookmakers yet further.
The betting industry saw losses of some 10% in the third quarter of 2019, which equates in real terms to a fall of more than £34 million on the same period last year.
One of the major contributors to that was horse racing, with revenue from punting on the sport down by some 15% while payments into the levy remain the same – hence why the bookies are tightening their belts and squeezing their margins elsewhere.
Best Odds Guaranteed – Your Quick Guide
One of the most popular promotions in all of sports betting, Best Odds Guaranteed enables punters to get the best price no matter when they place their wagers.
So, if you took a punt on a horse at odds of 4/1 at, say, midday, and then at starter’s orders that selection has lengthened to 5/1, you would get the bigger starting price as part of your BOG promo.
There’s no need to opt in, and your chosen bookie will pay out at the higher rate for all races where Best Odds Guaranteed is indicated.
But remember, for the firms named in this article you will need to wager after 10 o’clock on the day of the race to qualify, and accumulators, some international meetings, ante post bets and the Tote are all exempt from the BOG offer.
Sadly, it has been rumoured that some firms are considering scrapping Best Odds Guaranteed and other ‘loss leading’ promotions altogether as they struggle commercially, and it is likely that if one bookie takes the decision the rest of the industry will follow.