Friday, February 15, 2008

Gambling on a result.

I"m going running in a hour. I choose to go running today, much like I'm choosing to put up a post. I believe I will choose wholegrain toast and eggs for breakfast in a few minutes. I will then choose whatever clothes I think will suit the weather today. Later on I will choose to work rather than lie around reading. I will choose a lunch of baked fish instead of driving myself to Burger King, even though I have a serious goo on me for a flame grilled whopper with extra everything please. (drool)
I will then choose to work some more. Not because I want to, you understand, but because I know I should.
Then-instead of going to Smurf's bar and drinking rum like it's going out of fashion, like I really also want to do- I will go to the cinema with the paramour to watch There will be Blood. I did choose that film, but I confess the paramour chose the time. I hope I can cope with having that choice wrenched from me in such a way.
Now naturally those of you who have chosen to read this will probably be going, 'Right, what the is fuck eating her this morning, what's all this choosey bollocks?' And you'd be quite right to ask. Quite right indeed.
See chumlies, I believe in choice, I believe in personal responsibility, I believe that adults by and large make their own decisions in life. Sometimes we make good ones, some times silly ones, sometimes dangerous ones, and sometimes we decide to do the one thing we said we wouldn't do.
I call that one choosing to be a bloody idiot.
Take for example the flint that sparked my ire this morning. The flint's name is Graham Calvert. Now Graham is a greyhound trainer-quite a successful one it must be said. At one point Graham was making about 30,000 grand a month, STERLING!
He was married and happy as a calm. He also likes to gamble.

"The 28-year-old from Tyneside gambled more than £7.5 million on football, golf and horse racing in an 18-month spree beginning in August 2005.

He once lost £347,000 - at that time the biggest bet in golf history - after backing United States to win the 2006 Ryder Cup. On occasions he would drag bin bags stuffed with notes into the bookmakers.

Aware that his problem was spiralling out of control, and with his marriage on the rocks, Mr Calvert telephoned William Hill in June 2006 to ask them to close his account.

He claims they offered him what is known as "self-exclusion", under which the bookmaker agrees not to accept any bets from a customer for a set period - in his case six months.

But within two months Mr Calvert claims that he was able to set up a new account in his own name and start gambling again.Since then he has placed more than £3.5 million of bets, losing more than £2 million.

Mr Calvert is now attempting to make legal history by getting a judge to rule that William Hill was negligent in allowing him to continue betting.

"If I'd known I had the problem and didn't do anything about it, I would see myself as being 100 per cent responsible," Mr Calvert, who is now £1.5 million in debt, told the BBC.

"The fact is that I did try to go through the right procedures and I was let down."

Tiejha Smyth, Mr Calvert's solicitor, said: "He was allowed to continue gambling after Hill's agreed he should be self excluded. They should be held legally responsible."

William Hill contests the allegations, arguing that customers place bets of their own choice.

The case is due to begin at the High Court next week." (Telegraph)

Right. So here we have an adult who chose to gamble, chose to put gambling above his marriage, his career, his livelyhood. He gambled big and lost. Now he's looking to lay the blame elsewhere when the blame already has a perfectly good home.
'If i'd known I had the problem and didn't do anything about it I would see myself as being 100 percent responsible.'
What kind of claptrap is that? William Hills is not your mommie Mr Calvert, it's not going to take you by the hand and lead you home. Its a bookies. Their job is to provide a service to people who want to bet, people like you Mr Clavert.
Let me ask you this, if Graham Calvert had won in William Hills would we be reading about a 'duty of care'? Of course not.
If this man was sitting at home giggling over his wins we'd hear nowt about duties of care. But he lost, because unless you're very very very lucky indeed the house always wins. And like a true loser Graham Clavert is looking to point the finger anywhere but at himself.
Don't gamble huge sums of money unless you're prepared to lose it. Don't chose to be a wally and then cry about it.
Choosing things, I'll all for it. Bleating about it when you make the wrong one, I"m against that!



Blogger The Bad Ambassador said...

Sing it sister!

The distressing thing is that his chances of winning the case are probably far greater than you, I or the rest of the great consequence accepting public think they should be.

You are quite right though, the amount of people who refuse to take any responsibility for their actions is simply astonishing. There is always somebody else who is to blame.

Of course, if he was winning money hand over fist and the good people at William Hill suspended his account he would no doubt sue them. People want it every which way and, like you, I'm against it.

9:53 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Seriously, whats next? Off-licences being sued for selling alcohol to alcos?
I feckin despair of this society.

10:12 a.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

I have some sympathy for people with addictions. I feel like suing the government for creating the civil service and making me addicted to a salary.

10:28 a.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

I would not equate gambling to drug addiction or alcoholism, it is more applicable to drug dealing, the game, stealing, money laundering. Like these people, gamblers are doing it for a reason, money. Substance abusers don’t have a particular goal whereas gamblers and the likes are more ruthless; they are doing it for financial gain. On one hand that might make them better, on another, not so much. I have less sympathy for these people, but I do empathise. Nevertheless, like Miss Cat said he had a choice, there are no victims only volunteers. I hope his ass is laughed out of court.

11:12 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

What odds are William Hill giving on winning the case?

Expecting an addict to keep away from their addiction on will power alone is too big an ask. Publicans and bookies are like tobacco companies, they never accept responsibility and always say people have a 'choice' but it's not that simple.

11:21 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny: "it is more applicable to drug dealing, the game, stealing, money laundering"

...seriously? Do you really have no idea why some commenters see you as a wind-up merchant?

11:34 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Jesus wept...

11:36 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Just when you think you have heard it all - another fuckwit comes along. Nobody is to blame for anything anymore, their thuggish kids, their drug addictions, their debts, their obesity etc. etc. It's always somebody elses fault and they are just a victim! Snarf! Perhaps William Hill should award him some compo, he'd be back in their betting shop in a heartbeat to give it all back to them! You genuinely couldn'tmake this stuff up. Har!

11:43 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

I'm off to sue Cadburys and the good people at King Crisps. Who's with me??

11:48 a.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

I don’t mean like that, I don't mean the nature of what they do, I mean the reason why they do it. Their drive I suppose. Gamblers do it for money as do the other professions I listed. Their train of thought would be more alike. They have a choice and if money is what drives them, well then I find it hard to be sympathetic.

And no I am not a wind up merchant I just don’t agree with what people say for the sake of comradery.

11:49 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Nonny - are you having a senior/junior moment? You are not making any sense - have you had a Valentine's night on the Guinness?

11:54 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny: Then why not compare it to a high-flying city banker or stockbroker? Its essentially the same method and result. Why bring it down to the level of drug dealing and prostitution?
Money is what drives the majority of people to whatever degree, whether its to build a safe home for their kids, or for a new ferarri. That was such a rash and deliberately controversial statement.
Either way, gamblers still get a buzz out of the uncertainty of it all - thats the addiction, not the fiscal reward.

11:57 a.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

I agree with sheepworrier. For compulsive gamblers it's not about the money. Look at that Kerviel dude, that was someone with a gambling problem, he made heavy losses, kept it secret, it got out of control, etc etc. He was never going to make a cent out of that trading (except in the form of a bonus/payrise), it was about the thrill of the game.
I'm in banking in London and a lot of the traders are carefully watched to make sure they don't get out of control like that, i.e. here you can go on some dodgy as hell websites, but anything with a sniff of gambling involved, even the lotto, is banned...

12:03 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

You cannot compare it to the likes of a city banker etc because a) society views that as a respectable profession whereas, gambling is seen as far less discerning and b) the consequences of a city banker of doing a hard days work is simply hard earned money, the consequences for gambler like the other professions, are awful.

And yes I guess the thrill is also an enormous part but again you could not compare that to a normal job because they only get a thrill as what they are doing is generally frowned upon and they think they are getting away with it
All in all I just think he had a choice and I have less sympathy for him than other addicts.

12:33 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

A, So its what society views someone as rather than what you view them as? And what does it matter what its viewed as anyway?

B, The consequences of a city banker doing a hard days work could be bankrupting a company / losing millions of Euros / putting people out of work etc etc.

Think they are getting away with what?

You are making a ridiculous argument here Nonny...

12:48 p.m.  
Blogger Lou said...

Isn't it all a matter of perspective? Society views traders as respectable individuals, the rest of us in banking don't. A lot of the ones I know are neurotic, coke snorting, highly driven, type A nutjobs who sleep at their desk with Bloomberg radio on so they don't miss anything going on in the markets. I've seen people have to go into rehab for an addiction that has not been caused by (the compulsion was always there) but has definitely been fed by, their job.

1:17 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

"You are making a ridiculous argument here Nonny..."

No you are just looking for an argument, Your banker senario is rare. How many bankers do know? How many are corrupt? I don't know one, I know a few gamblers though.
I am not berating gamblers, I am simply saying I have less sympathy for him and that he should take responsibility for the choice he made. No need for the Kevin and Perry malarky.

1:48 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny: "An argument is a connected series of statements or propositions", so yes, I am looking for an argument.

What you did was equate gamblers (even if only by your opinion of their addiction) to prostitutes, drug dealers and theives.

I just wish you'd take a step back and think about what can be taken from your statements before you spout unquantifiable opinions.

2:04 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

It's hard to see how the guy's lawyers could carry this off though. Besides having a ridiculous argument, William Hill will have their best lawmen on the job. I don't like his odds, but maybe this for him is like another bet.

2:08 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I am so going to sue who ever designed fizzy cola bottles. HAS anyone ever READ how many calories are in a packet of delicious jellies? WELL? And worse, the Natural Jelly company's ones are WORSE!
Damn you jelly makers, damn you to hell. I had to flee a garage shop almost in tears because of you.

And also, I would just like to say, I love running.

2:14 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

I said, I meant they way they think, not what they do. I don't think they are all bad people or anything like that. Now can we just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

2:15 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

Hi FMC, why did William Hill keep taking his bets? The rush to a conclusion here is in the more haste and less hurry scheme of things. Graham is a lamb in that trade, and William Hill love this type of punter. They take everything and never, ever have to pay out anything cause they own him, they own Graham. And they'll take his house and business too. They never loose, and I suppose technically if you looked at their balance sheet, they kinda write of his debt fairly quickly, that's if his debt ever appeared on their balance sheet. And if you were an auditor, would you accept his debt as an asset. They treat Graham as a cash cow, taking only cash bets (when he owes them so much) and they don't give a fuck about where he gets the cash either.

So Why did William Hill keep taking his bets, even after he'd owed them first multiple millions. Are you sure that indirectly, you are not asking me to have some empathy with William Hill's position ? William Hill knew that Graham owed them money, they knew that he knew, he knew that they knew that he knew, they knew that...........................

And yes they fucking do have a duty of care to make sure that the assets on their books are real and credible. ( when they knew that there was never a chance he could fully pay his debts) William Hill is no paragon of virtue, yer man Graham has a problem, which btw he recognised and in some convoluted way tried to address. WH offered him that six month exclusion thingy. Why did they offer that ? Cause he was their lamb , their cash cow, that 's why.

And now the same Graham is going to be sucked dry by the legal fraternity who might also like lamb for their lunch.

2:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

"William Hill is no paragon of virtue, yer man Graham has a problem, which btw he recognised and in some convoluted way tried to address. WH offered him that six month exclusion thingy. Why did they offer that ? Cause he was their lamb , their cash cow, that 's why."

I don't think anyone would disagree with that, but william Hill are not social workers, ther're bookies, their number one objective is to make money and make sure they beat the odds often enough to make a profit.
Nobody forced Graham to bet, not the first time and not andy other time. The man works training greyhounds, he knows the gambling business. You can be sure he's happy enough to take William Hills money when he wins, so I don't see how he can cry about it when he loses. Sure, in an ideal world a gambling company might have a conscience, but in an ideal world people would win at least 50% of the time and know to quit when ahead.

2:27 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Well said FMC. Sorry to be a pain, but this will just annoy me until it is resolved.

Nonny: I'm not attempting to back you into a corner, I just want you to see that saying gamblers "think like" drug-dealers & hookers is an ill-informed statement.

3:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

I think they're more to it, FMC.

As I said WH love this type of punter and they give him ( and too many others ) whatever line of credit is asked for. And that's the crux, the credit line which turns the punter into a cash cow . It's not black and white, it's murky and you'll get every type of low-life chancer involved now, smelling the blood.
Personally I think,

1. WH should go down for allowing him owe such much ( they are publicly traded, I think ! ) - And that would be an interesting test case.
2. Graham needs help and good advice, neither of which he's getting.
3. Graham's legal crew ? There will be a day of atonement.

3:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well, it will certainly be interesting to watch as the case develops.

3:07 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

No, it is not an ill informed statement. Do you have extensive knowledge in this area? No. Ok, so I think that if a group of people engage in unfavourable activities (yes I think compulsive gambling/drug dealing/stealing is unfavourable) that bear significant risk for not just them but also their family and others around you that they have something in common, I think that thing they have in common is the way the think.

3:16 p.m.  
Blogger Quickroute said...

can't help thinking this Graham character is just trying it on and who could blame him. I mean what does he have left to lose and how's he going to pay the legal fees if he's already 1.5mil in debt?

3:21 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny, thanks for answering your own question... You should be in politics.

3:25 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

He's taking a gamble on that too, Quickroute.

3:41 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Ahh don't be like that. I was making an assumption, which I shouldn’t have been so sorry about that, feel free to correct me. We just disagree dude.

3:52 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

There was a great deal of gossip years back about Michael Jordan's out of control gambling problem. Some people alleged that his father was killed over unpaid debts.
It's easier for me to explain other compulsive/addictive behaviors other than gambling.
I don't get it at all.

3:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

His dad? Jesus. That's a hell of a price to pay for some kicks.

4:17 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

i understand the addiction to gambling. while i don't have a 'problem' with it, i definitely enjoy it - and it's not the thrill of possibly winning money. (to put things in perspective, i play $5 buy-in games of poker with friends, and if i go to a casino, it's a $20 maximum night). i enjoy the human guessing game part - figuring out what people's 'tell tale' signs are, hedging my bets, and in general having a good social time of it all.

and i do know of several high profile gamblers - it's not all sleezy dodgy places. some are really rather quite nice and being a 'good gambler' gives one quite a bit of status. so there is also the ego factor.

as for the bookie? is it clear that he also allowed the second account to be opened? or did yer man go through another bookie? i'm just a bit unclear on that.

4:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

He went through the same book makers having reoopened a new account. But he was on a bad slope.
here's some more info.
"I did it for the thrill. Gambling is like a drug. In the end I was carrying £50,000 to £100,000 at a time into William Hill.

"They could not count it in time for the races, but the bets were put on regardless. Now, I've lost my wife and my children because of it."

Mr Calvert's gambling problems were apparent long before he opened an account with William Hill in May 2006.

He began waging large amounts with Pagebet in August 2005. At that time he had £700,000 in savings.

By October 2005 he was a customer of Stan James bookmakers and was betting £20,000 on a single race. In November he says he lost £30,000 in two days.

When he joined Ladbrokes in January 2006 he was betting as much as £110,000 in a day.

By the time he joined William Hill he knew he was addicted and within days asked it to close his telephone betting and cash accounts.

But he claims the bookmaker still allowed him to place bets.

He took out bank loans, borrowed almost £1.5million from business associates and would carry bin liners stuffed with cash to place bets at William Hill's Sunderland branch.

In September 2006 he lost £347,000 when he backed America to win the Ryder Cup.

By December, seven months after opening his William Hill accounts, he had wagered almost £3.5million and lost £2,028,858.68. " (Mail)

4:43 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

wow. bit much then. it's a slippery slope - too bad he couldn't get help well before he realized how much trouble he was in.

4:51 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Enjoy the film, FMC.
Afterwards you may want to check out

It made me laugh.

5:10 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Why gamble the money when you can spend it on chocolate instead?

5:15 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

but kim, if you WIN, you can buy MORE chocolate.

mmmmm. chocolate.

*runs off to the hidden stash of chocolate in the cupboard*

5:18 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Do you want to hear something funny, since my dry spell I've actually acquired a bit of a taste for chocolate. Well, Caramel to be precise. I still wouldn't eat much of it, but normally I wouldn't eat ANY of it. Clearly the sooner I go back to eating cheese and rum based vices the better.
Medbh, I couldn't wait. I looked. I snarfed, I wondered aloud what it was all about. Now I'll be waiting for it in the film.

5:25 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Oy! Where's today's Ginger?

5:36 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Indeed! I have been remiss!

5:57 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Oh great. I hope you're happy now, Andraste.

5:59 p.m.  
Anonymous KevanB said...

A little updateto this. According to the financial times he is up on drugs and gun charges as well.

"The former greyhound trainer is awaiting trial on unrelated firearms and drugs charges at Newcastle Crown Court."

When it goes spoons it goes spoons. It is wierd, and his lawyer must think they have a chance as why else would she persue it as he doesn't appear to have a penny.

7:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Unrelated, ah yes.

8:34 p.m.  
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10:30 a.m.  

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