Professional Punting Parasites?

Here’s an opinion expressed on social media recently

OK before we start, I’m guessing the columnist and podcaster that posted the tweet above and inspired this blog it is a wind-up merchant and 1.01 to have been hoping for a bite. Some people appeared to agree with the premise that professional punters are basically social parasites, contributing nothing in terms of taxes, while enjoying the benefits of those that do.

A strong statement to make from a pundit who tips horses? After all, who listens to tips from pundits? Plenty of people, renowned judges have lots of followers, hence they are employed. What they are selling is the possibility of easy money backing their selections. Put your faith in that of the pundit and reap the rewards of their long hours in the form book so you don’t have to.

Isn’t that the reason most of us got involved with backing horses, the lure a few easy quid? Yes, we can wax lyrical about the majesty of the racehorse and the satisfaction of solving a fiendishly hard handicap. There’s no doubting either of those things, but ultimately, it’s the possibility of winning a few quid. ‘Possibility’, because most of us finish on the wrong side of the bookmakers, but there’s always that hope.

Of course, there are excellent pundits and tipsters out there who can help make it pay for us, but the absolute top of the food chain, the romanticised about, are professional punters. Those that achieve the impossible for most, betting for a living. I’ve met a very few, far more have rejected my invitation to talk, but add them all together and you still wouldn’t get much of a crowd. They are a special breed, the punting version of the SAS. Most people haven’t got what it takes to join the ranks of either.

While a few may look upon their existence through the green mist of envy, those that gamble for a living are the people that keep the rest of our hopes alive. That hope and ambition is what keeps the betting industry alive too. Be it the dream of one Saturday finally bagging a life-changing Yankee or working hard to be the next Mark Holder or Neil Channing.

Professional punters provide both inspiration and aspiration for the losing majority, without either, then the games gone.

Simon Nott  

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