A guest article by Mighty Fella
There is no such thing a Tipping Line for political betting but it occurs to me that PB.com operates in some respects like one and I have occasionally thought that maybe this aspect of its activities should be formalized and converted into a regular service.
Tipping lines are associated normally but not exclusively with horseracing and fall into two broad categories.
Subscription lines typically charge a flat rate fee, perhaps quarterly or annually, for a regular advisory service. The client is given directions to phone a number at a regular time, using a pin number for access, for the latest information. Costs vary enormously but generally range from about Â£600 to Â£3,000 per annum; the type and frequency of bets also varies greatly.
Premium lines can be accessed immediately from the numbers advertised in the media and normally charge about Â£1.50 per minute, although the real cost depends very much on how promptly the information is given.
I think itâ€™s fair to say that Tipping Lines do have a bit of a doubtful reputation. Critics question why tipsters would pass on valuable information, rather than simply bet on it themselves. Itâ€™s a fair point, although I can understand why even the most expert might like to hedge their bets with regular income from client subscriptions, rather than rely exclusively on the wildly unpredictable high and lows of betting for a living. And if the service is a good one, it saves the client the time and trouble of finding winners in much the same way as the plumber saves me the effort of fixing the pipes myself, despite my belief that were I not otherwise occupied, I could do as well myself at much less expense.
Over the years I have tried a variety of services with extremely mixed results and whilst most have ranged from the mediocre to the near scandalous, the very best do provide a genuine and worthwhile service.
Could PB.com do so in the realm of Politics?
In the couple of years I have been a regular poster, I have backed tips for Cruddas (50/1), Obama (50/1), Ivanov (9/1) and numerous other good things; in addition, my betting bank has benefited regularly from â€˜Free Moneyâ€™ alerts posted by helpful contributors.
The trouble from a punting point of view is that an awful lot of material has to be sifted to find the gems. An official Tipping Line could solve that problem without necessarily detracting from the varied and lively exchanges which have made the site such a success.
At the Launch Party I mentioned the idea to a couple of PBers and the immediate response was along the lines of â€˜why fix what ainâ€™t broke?â€™ Itâ€™s a view with which I have much sympathy. Nevertheless I throw the question open to general debate.
The site continues to develop apace. Would a Political Tipping Line be a welcome development?
(PtP is indisposed)