chesterBET focus is service, not value for punters

The biggest change facing race goers at Chester yesterday was the absence of any Tote windows at which to place their bets. In their place were new signs encouraging punters to a new fixed odds service called chesterBET.

There were mixed views about the benefits of this service, with punter reaction ranging from anger, to confusion and indifference. The anger came from punters who were caught out by the lower returns from the new service, typically around 10% below the official SP. One, who had backed Ile De Re in the Chester Cup, saw an SP of 10/1 on one of the television screens and expected a return accordingly. “I should have got £55 for my fiver, but I collected £50.” He had not realised that the chesterBET dividend included his stake. “It’s only pennies, but it’s all about winning and I’m sure it’s going to put off a lot of people like me.”

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There was frustration for some who wanted to put on place bets. A Chester shareholder said, “I always go for place bets on the Tote so it was a shock when I went up to the counter and had to double the amount I put on to have an each way bet.”

And the indifference came from most punters who knew two the things they wanted to know: they had been able to put a bet on and whether they had won or not.

The change of service came about when the management team at Chester cold not agree a new contract for Tote operations with Betfred, who now own the Tote. Chief executive at the track Richard Thomas was happy with the first day’s operations, when, despite steady rain for much of the afternoon, turnover was up compares with Tote takings on the first day of the meeting last year.

He said, “That was always our ambition on the first day because it would show we were on the right lines. The system performed as we expected and things generally worked very well. We opened the betting windows earlier than normal and they were fully staffed. In fact, we probably overstaffed the outlets (not something you could ever accuse the Tote of doing), but that was so everyone could be served without there being long queues, which makes a big difference to our customers.”

Thomas clearly wanted to emphasise the service perspective, and his additional statement is one that anyone visiting Chester, and also nearby Bangor on Dee, which has a similar operation, should note. Explaining how he saw the service differing from the ring he said, “If regular punters want value they can go to the ring bookmakers. If they want good, quick service, they should come to us.”

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6 replies
  1. Avatar
    s taylor says:

    chesterBet is beyond a joke the staff have not been trained correctly they do not understand what is expected when a punter is trying to place a bet, betfred is by far from perfect but it is a thousand times better than chesterBet.

    • Avatar
      D Parsons says:

      I agree. ChesterBet is also a rip off. I had £2.50 each way on Good Morning Star yesterday which won at 50/1. ChesterBet paid out a total £140. The Tote would have paid out £179.50 – so I’m the best part of £40 out of pocket! Even a conventional bookie would have paid more than ChesterBet!! Well done Chester Races Management, yet another brilliant decision.

  2. Avatar
    j holmes says:

    chestgerbet is awful, they have a place dividend but you cannot put a bet on a horse to place, the ‘easy six’ is just a place acca and nothing to do with a pool or a dividend. And if u want to do a forecast or tricast its minimum unit stake £2. absolute joke. Every dividend paid less that sp and less than tote. terrible. never going to chester again

  3. Avatar
    a gilzean says:

    chester bet are a disgrace. my wife is still waiting for a refund on last sunday’s 4th race which was abandoned due to rain.she handed her betting ticket into the booking office on monday 6th and was told it could take up to 10 day’s before a refund could be given. all other betting company’s would have paid out within half an hour.never going to chester races again, clearly this is a rip off company in more way’s than one. A Gilzean.

  4. Avatar
    J Oliver says:

    Now that ChesterBet have settled into the racecourse I buy into the idea. The initial negativity towards ChesterBet has to be put down to people’s reluctance to change. The Tote has never been and will never be perfect. I enjoy the fresh new approach to betting that Chester are installing. The staff, whilst initially may have took time to learn the new approach and bets (as we all did), I find them very helpful, very friendly, young, fresh and provide an all round better service than that I have experienced from the Tote. Whilst the prices may sometimes (not all the time) be behibd the tote payouts, it’s hardly the rip off that people are making it out to be. In fact the easy 6 acculmulator bet can reward the punter more for their selections rather than just a raffle: a punter who picks all outsiders that get placed will receive a higher return than a punter who picks all favourites that get placed-on the placepot both punters would have received the same return. ChesterBet is developing and will grow upon the gaps that have been made by the Tote!

    • Avatar
      Matt Bisogno says:

      Sorry, but you must work for ChesterBET. How else can you justify this laughable comment?

      With the in house wager, you will ALWAYS get paid less than starting price; and as for the punter who picks all outsiders on his easy6, are you serious? The favourite is placed in 70% of races. It is impossible to collect on a placepot/easy6 ticket with only all outsiders (or as near to impossible as doesn’t matter).

      It’s rare that I lampoon a comment, but this is just a ridiculous series of statements.

      ChesterBET can NEVER be value, because if its intrinsic calculation method.

      Just plain wrong. I hope it fails very quickly so punters stop being ripped off.


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