Support your bookies in this grave time of need

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I have decided this week to start a not-for-profit organization. It will be the first of its kind, designed to help a group of diligent workers who are becoming increasingly hard-pressed as this football

season continues to put fans on the edge of their seats. Yes, Gamers Assisting Meritorious Bookies Losing Economically is a one of a kind venture.

GAMBLE is designed to stem the economic hardships brought about for members of this historic trade dominated by driven, determined individuals, who have seen drastic dips in their incomes over the course of this football season. Some bookies, due to the all time lows in revenue and increasing debt accrued during this current quarter, have had to change their lifestyles drastically &8212; some even resorting to cut backs in their enforcement department, which has further exacerbated income woes as the threat of an old fashioned kneecapping becomes mute.

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There are several factors that have contributed to the all-time economic lows we are currently seeing in the bookie industry, but the driving force behind the decline has been identified by a panel of experts as the huge increase in upset games occurring in the Top 25 of NCAA football.

In the NCAA football season currently taking place, 11 of the preseason Top 25 in the Associated Press Poll have fallen out of the rankings, including two teams that started in the Top 10. By theses figures one can also surmise, and do so correctly, that there are currently 11 teams in this week&8217;s Top 25 Poll who weren&8217;t there at the beginning of the season.

Even more detrimental to the upstanding Brotherhood of Professional Bookies is the fact that of the current Top 5 only one team entered the season in the Top 5 and only two entered the season in the Top 10. This correlates in a larger than normal number of upsets this season, which, when increased above the average upset margin seen by bookies over a period, leads to a decrease in projected income.

For example, bookies use information provided by analysts and sports writers across the nation to set their projected &8220;spread&8221; for football games on which they allow consumers to bet. Major shakeups in the Top 25 standings from week to week mean sub-par projections from experts and thus inaccurate spreads for bookies. This in turn leads to a larger number of payouts to consumers by bookies &8212; a loss of income and bankroll for the next week.

The numbers don&8217;t lie, and numbers point to the poor projections by the so-called experts, who vote on the top teams in the nation. These supposed experts&8217; choices week to week this season have resulted in a weekly average of 6.29 losses through the first seven weeks of play among Top 25 teams alone. In the upset&8217;s column, defined as games where a lower ranked opponent tops a group deemed superior and thus higher in the polls, experts&8217; choices have resulted in 4.57 upsets a week for the past seven weeks in the Top 25 poll.

These losses, specifically the upsets, result in huge hits in revenue for bookies, who payout more than the funds put up by consumers betting on underdog teams. Normally a handicap provided by caring bookies to their consumers, these higher payouts, when subject to error by analysts, results in huge losses.

And thus, normally one of the busiest and most economically productive periods in the bookie year, this uncharacteristic trend of games going against the predictions of experts in the football field have given bookies&8217; consumers an unfair edge in the market, causing the impending collapse of the industry. That is unless GAMBLE can help.

We are asking all bookie consumers to give back to those who have taken care of their needs for so many years. Yes, many have been hurt in the past through their use of the services provided by bookies, but who else will take your bet &8212; knowing your affinity for sporting and inability to pay &8212; with your health and livelihood as the only collateral.

Remember, bookies need you, and you need your bookie. Please contact GAMBLE today and sponsor your own bookie. For dollars a day you can make a difference in a bookie&8217;s life.

Brandon Glover is the founding member of GAMBLE and sports editor of The Times. He can be reached at