It's always a revealing time, dear reader, and this year was truly exceptional. No fewer than 924 of you completed the Geegeez survey with nothing more by way of incentive than a please from me, and a promise that your comments would be brought on board.
I asked you questions on four areas: your betting habits; your web browsing habits; your buying habits; and, your 'Geegeez experience'. Some of your answers shocked me, and many confirmed my beliefs. All are valuable, and will inform directly the shape of Geegeez going forwards.
So... what exactly did you tell me? Well, the results are in full below, along with my commentary on them.
Section 1: Your Betting Habits
1. How long have you been betting on horses?
Less than a yearÂ Â Â 46
One to three yearsÂ Â Â 105
More than three but less than ten yearsÂ Â Â 169
More than ten yearsÂ Â Â 604
We have an experienced audience with fully two thirds of you having been betting for more than a decade (me too!), but we mustn't forget those 5% who have been betting for less than a year. Welcome to Geegeez, you're in the right place!
2. How often do you bet?
DailyÂ Â Â 473
A couple or three times a weekÂ Â Â 324
About once a weekÂ Â Â 58
Just occasionallyÂ Â Â 69
Just over half (51.19%) of you bet daily, and the vast majority (over 86%) bet at least a couple of times a week. Not surprising really. If you didn't, you'd be unlikely to find much of value here... unless you just like reading my bluster.
3. What is your average bet stake?
Up to Â£5Â Â Â 214
Â£5 to Â£10Â Â Â 291
More than Â£10 but less than Â£25Â Â Â 200
More than Â£25 but less than Â£50Â Â Â 90
Over Â£50Â Â Â 86
None of your business, Matt!Â Â Â 43
A personal question, for sure, and no problem with the 4.65% of you who requested I mind my own business. For those of you happy to share, you'll note that the average stake is somewhere around Â£10, although nigh on a fifth bet Â£25+ per wager.
4. Do you back, lay, arb or trade?
Back betÂ Â Â 841
Lay betÂ Â Â 436
Arbitrage is meÂ Â Â 45
I'm a traderÂ Â Â 100
None - I just like reading Geegeez!Â Â Â 16
Next, I asked what kind of betting you do. This was a multiple choice question, which is why the total is more than 100% (lest you wondered or, worse, questioned my maths!).
Pretty much everyone (91%) likes a good old fashioned punt - a back bet. The growth of laying is evidenced more so than in previous surveys, with almost half (47%) now regularly taking a nag or three on. Arbing and trading has smaller followings, but the 11% who trade is a significant grouping.
As for the sixteen of you who don't bet, but like reading Geegeez, I've added you all to my Christmas card list. 😉
5. Do you use Betfair (or another exchange)?
YesÂ Â Â 680
NoÂ Â Â 242
73% of you now use a betting exchange to place wagers. Although this is up from last time, I'm still surprised that 27% do not. I guess if you don't bet online, you won't use a betting exchange. Aside from that, I cannot think of a single other good reason for not so doing. If you're in the minority, and do bet online with other bookies, do leave a comment regarding why you eschew the exchanges. I'd be fascinated to hear.
6. Do you use bot software to place bets?
YesÂ Â Â 158
NoÂ Â Â 655
What's a bot?Â Â Â 106
I was surprised to see how many of you are taking advantage of technology to do the legwork for you. Whilst 71% of you still do not use bot software (and 11.5% of you suggested you weren't aware of what it is - it's simply a means of getting bets on without having to be there to check everything and be), it is noteworthy that one in six of you do now use software for at least some of your betting.
Section 2: Your Browsing Habits
7. How often do you use the internet for betting related purposes?
Every dayÂ Â Â 690
A few times a weekÂ Â Â 145
Once or twice a weekÂ Â Â 47
Just on Saturdays and occasional other daysÂ Â Â 21
RarelyÂ Â Â 20
Three quarters of you use the internet daily in support of your punting. The internet would appear to be king. It is hardly surprising then that the Racing Post circulation is dwindling, and that they are redoubling their efforts to generate revenues online....
Three people think Geegeez is a bad site, which is very flattering (that the number is so few - I guess most others who feel that way didn't bother to respond).
Aside from Geegeez scoring more highly than the mainstream sites (well, you're biased aren't you?!), it is good to see that the others are all at least tolerably acceptable.
I also note that there is plenty of scope for improvement in the Geegeez site, and we'll come on to that in a bit.
9. How long do you spend per day browsing racing / betting websites?
Less than an hourÂ Â Â 334
One to two hoursÂ Â Â 376
Two to three hoursÂ Â Â 130
I'm online most of the dayÂ Â Â 79
A good spread here, and again not really surprising. If anything, I raised a bit of an eyebrow at the fact that quite a few of us (64%) spend more than an hour looking at betting / racing related content online.
Specsavers must be rubbing their hands with glee!
10. Do you visit racing / betting related forums online?
Yes Â Â Â 488
NoÂ Â Â 419
What's a forum? (I thought it was where Caesar hung out...)Â Â Â 10
This one shocked me. I have to confess to a personal hatred of almost all forums. I find them tiresome and largely full of lazy ill-conceived bluster. But then I've been accused of the same on here many times, so live and let live I guess.
When I learned that over half of respondents (53.22%) visit such places, I was tempted to introduce one to Geegeez. But I cannot bring myself to do it. I appreciate that lots and lots of you enjoy them, and that I am supposed to be listening but, quite frankly - and as Meatloaf once sang, I would do anything for you, but I won't do that.
[Actually, he'd do anything for love, except that, but you get my point].
Sorry, no Geegeez forum, though your collective penchant for the places is duly noted.
11. How many of your bets are placed online?
90+ %Â Â Â 635
75 - 90 %Â Â Â 67
50 - 74 %Â Â Â 57
Some but less than 50 %Â Â Â 62
NoneÂ Â Â 97
Again, the number of you who bet almost exclusively online has increased since last time. It is now over three-quarters of you who place 75%+ of your wagers online, and 82% place at least half of your bets online.
A steadfast 10% still do not bet online. And fair enough, I say.
[This does leave 17% of people who bet online but don't use a betting exchange. Madness!]
Section 3: To Buy or Not To Buy - These are the questions. So...
12. Have you bought a betting system this year?
Yes, more than oneÂ Â Â 446
Yes, just oneÂ Â Â 160
NoÂ Â Â 315
We most of us love them (or at least love to hate them). Two thirds have bought at least one manual, and right on half are system multi-buyers this year. Of course, this is not surprising for the Geegeez readership, as so much of the content is given over to such things. More on that in due course.
A third of you however have not bought a betting system this year, and that is a bigger number of abstainers than in the past.
13. What is the most you've paid for a betting system or service in the last two years?
Less than Â£40Â Â Â 152
Â£40 to Â£70Â Â Â 211
Â£71 to Â£100Â Â Â 188
Â£101 to Â£250Â Â Â 95
Â£251 to Â£500Â Â Â 39
More than Â£500Â Â Â 32
I haven't bought anyÂ Â Â 191
I'm not telling you Matt!Â Â Â 12
Another financially intrusive question with a minority opting out (and, again, fair enough I say).
Of those who bought a system or service in the last two years, 77% of you paid less than Â£100 top whack for the information.
10% of buyers paid over Â£250 for a service.
14. How many betting systems do you have?
One or twoÂ Â Â 294
Less than tenÂ Â Â 289
Between ten and twentyÂ Â Â 112
More than twentyÂ Â Â 178
How many betting systems does one need? Well, obviously it depends! In this case, the average was a few but less than ten. One in five of you has more than twenty. Me too! 😉
15. Would you be interested in joining the next Geegeez race horse syndicate?
Yes, definitelyÂ Â Â 29
Yes, potentially (it depends on how much)Â Â Â 353
No, probably notÂ Â Â 416
No, definitely notÂ Â Â 122
Getting away from betting systems and services for a bit, I asked whether you'd be interested in joining a racing club or syndicate. Most of you weren't, which is of course fine and not surprising.
And two fifths of you were potentially interested, depending on the price. Again, hardly surprising. Now keeping a race horse in training is not cheap, so...
16. It costs c. Â£20,000 to keep a horse for a year, plus of course the cost of buying the horse. More money means we are able to secure a more expensive horse. How much would you be prepared to pay for a year in the syndicate?
Â£500 for a 2% share (c. Â£5,000 for the horse)Â Â Â 37
Â£625 for a 2% share (c. Â£10,000 for the horse)Â Â Â 18
Â£750 for a 2% share (c. Â£16,000 for the horse)Â Â Â 26
Â£250 for a 1% share (c. Â£5,000 for the horse)Â Â Â 45
Â£350 for a 1% share (c. Â£15,000 for the horse)Â Â Â 38
I would pay more for a bigger shareholdingÂ Â Â 11
I would pay less for a smaller shareholdingÂ Â Â 98
Sorry Matt, not interestedÂ Â Â 651
A lot of people who might have been interested were put off by the price. This is a real shame, but of course as I mentioned, it's bloody expensive buying and training horses, alas.
I priced the syndicate based on this feedback, trying to make it accessible to as many as possible, and mindful that for many it was still too much.
Incidentally, there is a single share in Khajaaly left, so if you're still mulling, you might be lucky and you might not. But you need to act pronto if you want in.
In the future, and time permitting (it takes a fair chunk of my time - unpaid - to set these up), I'd love to create a club with say 400 members each paying Â£100 for the year. It would be a major undertaking but would definitely make the game more accessible to more people.
Let's see what the future holds... onwards...
Section 4 - Geegeez and YOU
17. How long have you been subscribing to Geegeez?
Less than a monthÂ Â Â 41
One to three monthsÂ Â Â 118
Three to six monthsÂ Â Â 120
More than six months but less than a yearÂ Â Â 212
More than a year (thank you Soooooo Much!!)Â Â :-)Â Â Â 433
Bloody hell! This really surprised me (in a good way). You are a very loyal lot, and for that I am eternally grateful. 46% of you have been tolerating my tirades, reading my ramblings, and generally hanging out online with me for over a year. And another 23% have been doing likewise for more than six months.
Because loyalty is such a supremely important personal trait to me, this is heart warming to a point that is difficult to explain. And it makes my resolve to improve the 'Geegeez experience' for you even stronger.
Thank you very much for your continued contributions, which make this the interactive environment it is (how many other online communities could have pulled together close to 1,000 responses to a monster 23 question survey without any incentive?!). Your comments and feedback drive this bus, and always will. So keep 'em coming!
To the newer visitors, thank you also. I hope you'll end up as Geegeez veterans like the majority but, of course, only if you continue to find the content of value.
18. Which of these parts of Geegeez have you used?
BlogÂ Â Â 631
Current System ReviewsÂ Â Â 734
Best Systems ReviewedÂ Â Â 651
Racing Club PageÂ Â Â 116
Racecourse InformationÂ Â Â 177
Horse Racing ResultsÂ Â Â 117
Horse Racing NewsÂ Â Â 298
The most used part of the site is (and always will be) the system reviews, which is why there will be much more of these coming very soon. The racecourse info and results pages are not hugely popular, and I'll reconsider their place on the site going forwards, as I only want to present info that you need / want.
The blog is also well read, with 70% of you frequenting that page, which is personally very gratifying.
19. Which parts of Geegeez are of no interest to you?
BlogÂ Â Â 155
Current System Reviews Â Â Â 99
Best Systems Reviewed Â Â Â 100
Racing Club Page Â Â Â 258
Racecourse InformationÂ Â Â 312
Horse Racing Results Â Â Â 347
Horse Racing NewsÂ Â Â 196
Supporting the perceptions created by the previous question, 54% of you said the results were no use to you. Given that we almost all check the results online, I'm guessing you have favoured places from which to get this info (sportinglife.com and racingpost.com spring to mind).
As the info is a feed, I'll leave it there for now, but may remove it in the future.
Racecourse info was also of limited value. This is probably because there's limited info there. I plan to flesh that part out, as I have done over at horse-racing.ie, and will review your comments next year in the survey as to whether it's of more value.
24% of you don't find value in the blog - fair enough - and a bigger percentage are not interested in the racing club page, and a smaller percentage are turned off by the betting systems pages.
Which, in summary, means you come here for a variety of reasons, and if one of those key pages wasn't there, at least a subset of you would have to find somewhere to track that info down from. Which is cool, because it means the site is working... I think!
Now this was fascinating.
97% would have more or the same blog posts. Great, I'll keep it as it is.
95% would have more or the same system trials (58% more). Great, we'll have more.
The same number want more or the same system reviews (60% want more). OK, we'll have more!
88% wanted more or the same (66% the same) racing news. As you may have noticed, I'm experimenting with more news content. Please do let me know in the comments what you think of this.
You also want more big race previews and more free systems and football.
And a smaller group (though still a quarter) wanted more other sports and business opportunities.
I do need to be careful to keep Geegeez as predominantly a horse-y betting site, but I'm still listening, and I'll have a separate platform for other business opportunities by the end of the Summer. Actually, this has been a long in the pipeline project which will soon bear fruit. So, if that's your thing, or you're interested to know more, I'll let you know when it's ready.
Football is something I'll need to think about. I might create a separate area here for that, or I might come up with another idea. But, again, I'm hearing what you're telling me.
[And I did hear the up to a third of you who said 'none' for football, other sports, and other business opportunities, which is why they're unlikely to feature here.]
21. Overall, how much do you enjoy the Geegeez site?
9 or 10 / 10 - Top marks!Â Â Â 401
7 or 8 / 10 - Very good, but room for improvement...Â Â Â 435
5 or 6 / 10 - Not bad, but not great either...Â Â Â 74
0 - 4 / 10 - Must try harder!Â Â Â 6
This wasn't the self-congratulatory question that you might have thought. Rather, I'm trying to gauge how far I need to go to meet your expectations with Geegeez.
91% feel it's seven out of ten or better. (Personally, I think seven is reasonable and what I'd award myself - I'd like Geegeez to look much better, I'd like it to have more current content, I'd like more reviews and more free stuff on the site. Then I'll consider it a nine and a bit out of ten effort).
Hopefully when the improvements are implemented the 5 or 6 /10 crew will step into the 7/10 squad, and the 4 or less guys will have decided they were harsh in the first place, or will have voted with their virtual feet and be reading elsewhere.
22. and 23. both related to whether respondents were interested in writing articles or reviewing systems for Geegeez. An amazing 27% of you were interested, and I'm currently assimilating replies to the subsequent email I sent out to those guys.
In summary, I'd firstly like to say a massive THANK YOU to all 924 of you who completed the survey.
The results are in line with my expectations in places, surprising in places, and instructive throughout.
I will be acting on your comments (except the forum - no!), so expect changes in the coming weeks.
If you've any thoughts or comments on the results, share them in the space below - we'd love to hear from you.
Thanks again! 🙂