The SP Bookmaker

The term SP Bookmaker means Starting Price Bookmaker which generally refers to receiving bets at fixed odds or starting price.

This type of gambling was legal in Australia only for licensed bookmakers working on course meaning at the racetrack. In the 1930’s with the radio and telephone in full swing the races could be heard without going to the track. Lots of people liked to have a punt on the horse racing but often could not go to the track to put on the bets.

The Melbourne Cup was well known by the Australian punters and everyone wanted to have a small bet.

This being the case it made it very difficult for most people to put a bet on if they could not get to the track.

The Illegal SP Bookmaker, it could be anybody. It could be a small timer operator run by a single person taking minimal wagers from one or two friends including neighbours, family members, workmates etc.

Runners as they were known who would go around the neighbourhood collecting wagers from clients in their own houses, at the local hotel, in back streets and so on. Cockies short for Cockatoos who would be placed in positions of high points and other keen viewing advantages to warn Runners and Bookmakers of approaching law authorities.

Then there was the large scale telephone based SP Bookmaking ring involving people answering phones all day long taking thousands of bets worth thousands and thousands of dollars just in one day.

Of course this was all illegal but the authorities were slow to act and did not realise the magnitude of money being generated by this activity in the racing industry. In fact police often turned a blind eye to this as it seemed harmless and was in fact the SP Bookmaker supplying a service to the public.

Eventually the Government finally caught onto it and realised something lucrative was happening in this part of the racing industry. They also realised that it was not generating any taxes and therefore a Royal Commission was launched in 1959.

In 1961 due to the Royal Commission an Off Course Totalisator Agency Board was introduced.

This now resulted in some of the money that was being wagered on racing bets being returned to the racing industry. Punters could now place bets without fear of the law.

As time went on TAB Agencies were showing up everywhere, Hotels, Clubs, shopping centres and so on.

The racecourse Bookmaker still had short comings. In Australia legalised Bookmakers were unable to operate off course shops similar to other countries around the world. So the majority of bookmakers were only allowed to take bets from people at the track up until the 1990’s.

The death of the SP Bookmaker and the final nail in their coffin is near.

Corporate bookmakers were then able to offer another alternative to the punter thanks to new legislation. The Northern Territory Government could now issue Licences offering phone and online gambling to the Bookmakers. Online Bookmakers are now legal and bets can be placed with them from customers in Australia and overseas on all Australian racing and sporting events by almost any means.

With all this new legislation and control by the Governments of Australia the SP Bookmaker slowly died out. They are no more.

To place a bet now, you can use your mobile phone to ring your local legal Bookmaker at the track or at his office, have a credit account with them if you wish. You can place a bet on via the internet with one of many online bookmakers, go to the local pub and use the TAB, place a bet using your TV remote control handset while watching the race or even do something different, go to the racecourse and have a bet with an oncourse bookmaker.

Who will be next to die, not the oncourse Bookmaker I hope.

Football Bet Sports 101 – Where to Place a Good Bet

Football fans believe that betting on spreads gives you a million fortunes on bet sports. It is not that simple. Winning a series of bets is kind of difficult. Experts say starting on spreads is a good turn but it does not work that way. Here are the things that you need to know before placing your bet.

o Sports bookmakers’ advice gamblers to place a $100 bet as a start. Although this seems like the best way to start, you can collect your own sum of bet. Usually, professionals place as much as $20,000 per game while online sports bettors place as low as $1. It is really up to you with the amount you want to place.

o Locate the best bet outlet. If you are near the gambling capital like Las Vegas, you do not need to go far. If you live far from gambling cities, you may need to search for a bookie, which is a person who arranges wagers. If you are really that busy or far from the gambling locations, well, you might want to try betting online. Whatever the most convenient outlet may be for you, take it. As long as you can manage the outlet you have chosen, you’ll stand a good chance with your bet.

o After selecting the location, the next step is to find the best wager. The most common football wager is the point spread. Here, people favor the strong team over the weak team. They will study the team who seems to outweigh the other team and carefully predict the triumph of their bet for that team. This is the easy wager. Some wagers are composed of seasons or leagues. The wagers depend on your patience of studying the best team playing.

o Now that you know the wager you want, the following step should be to fall in line and call for your bet. Of course, you will choose to bet over the winning team. Choosing seems like the easy part when it comes predicting who will win. Actually, this is not true. You need to carefully focus on the team’s ranks, picks, and the team player scores. Here you will know who the best player is and whether or not your team is really the best. When you’re predicting the best team, you need proofs so you’re really sure about placing that bet. While football bet sports is on the rise, you should still be careful about placing bets.

o Starting with a wager still costs you more than a penny. For instance, if you place a bet of $10, it is likely that you will arrive with a $9.10 payoff. Hence, if you want $10 in your pocket, place a bet of $11. Sport bookmakers usually get their commission with your bets because this is their way of making profit. So, do not get surprised. As I have said earlier, making bets with the winning team is expected. This is referred to as the “house advantage.” It is one of the oldest ways to bet but it still works.

Always remember that placing your bet sports do not only mean looking at ranks, picks, types of wagers, and starting bet. In the end, it’s about how well you manipulate all of these factors that matters. Football game is one hard bet. It does not only take your capital away from you. It also plays with your emotions, so, take a hold of it.

American Criminals: Murder Incorporated

After the Castellammarese War ended in 1931, with both opposing bosses, Joe “The Boss” Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano ending up quite dead due to the treachery of Lucky Luciano, amongst others, Luciano, along with Jewish mobster mastermind Meyer Lansky, formed a nine-member National Crime Commission, which cut across ethnic lines. There was no single boss of this commission, but instead the leadership was divided equally amongst Luciano, Lansky, Lansky’s sidekick Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Frank Costello, Joe Bonanno, Vincent Mangano, Joe “Adonis “Doto, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, and his right-hand man Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro. (Loose cannon Dutch Schultz – real name Arthur Flegenheimer – was not a member of the Commission for exactly that reason: he was a loose cannon and could not be trusted with making common sense decisions.)

Of course, all corporations need a separation of powers within that corporation, whereas certain people are given duties that do not infringe on the power and duties of other members of that organization. (Make no mistake, the National Crime Commission ran like a well-oiled machine, and indeed operated like an unregistered corporation)

This is where Murder Incorporated came into play.

It was decided that for the good of the National Crime Commission sometimes distasteful things must be done to keep the Commission nice and profitable. This included killing people who endangered the continued flow of cash into the Commission’s coffers. The Commission decided that they needed to establish a separate branch of the Commission, that was responsible for one thing and one thing only: the murder of those people the bosses said needed to be killed.

Louie Lepke was put in charge of, what the press called Murder Inc., and to assist Lepke in his duties, the Commission appointed Albert Anastasia, nicknamed “The Lord High Executioner,” to be Lepke’s right-hand-man. Lepke would never give a direct order to any of his killers to do a job. Instead, Lepke used trusted men like Mendy Weiss and Louis Capone, to issue the final order and decree to the hit men chosen.

By keeping a level, or two, of insulation between himself and the actual killers, Lepke figured nothing could ever be directly pinned on him.

And at first, Lepke was right, until he made one fatal mistake.

The first order of business for Lepke and Anastasia was to assemble a crack hit team to do the actual dirty work. Through Louis Capone, who was close to Anastasia, Lepke had been nurturing a group of homicidal maniacs, some of whom with rather kill that breathe the cool fresh air of Brooklyn. These killers were called “The Boys from Brownsville.” The Boys from Brownsville were hardly the only killers employed by Murder Inc., but they were the foundation which led to as many as 100 freelance assassins being put on a steady weekly salary (of $125 and up), to be ready to kill whenever an order was given. These men were sometimes paid extra for a job especially well-done, and they were allowed to operate in designated territories in the gambling and loansharking businesses, or in any illegal operation, like hijackings, and even kidnappings. But one thing is for sure: even if a member of Murder Inc. didn’t kill anyone for a month, or two, or three, his killing salary came in steadily every week.

Now let’s get to the cast of characters of Murder Inc.

The first and foremost turned out to be the biggest headache for Lepke: Abe “Kid Twist” Reles. By eliminating the three Shapiro brothers, Meyer, Irving, and Willie, Reles along with his childhood pal Martin “Buggsy” Goldstein, took over all the illegal rackets in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. To do so, Reles enlisted the help of Harry “Happy” Maione and Frank “Dasher ” Abbandando of the neighboring “Ocean Hill Hooligans.” Soon, such cutthroat killers like Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss, Vito Gurino, and “Blue Jaw” Magoon were taken into the fold, and the Boys from Brownsville were a formidable group of killers indeed. The key for their transition from Brownsville to the big time was Louis Capone, ostensibly a Brooklyn restaurateur, who was very close to Albert Anastasia.

When Anastasia, along with Lepke, was entrusted by the Commission to form Murder Inc., Anastasia approached Capone and said, “What about Reles and his boys from Brownsville? Are these guys capable of doing what needs to be done? No questions asked.”

Capone assured Anastasia that Reles and his boys were stone-cold killers, and efficient ones at that. The only problem Capone had was that Reles and Maione, considered to be the number one and number two leaders of the group, hated each other’s guts; and they didn’t trust each other much either.

Despite their petty differences, Reles and Maione worked like a well-oiled killing machine. Under the direction of Anastasia and Capone, the Murder Inc. killers operated in such a manner that was almost foolproof. When assignments were given out by the bosses for killings all over the country, the arrangements were made in a way that detection of the actual killers was almost impossible. The key to their method was the concepts of corroboration and separation of powers. The bosses brought in several men to do different aspects of each job, with one man knowing nothing about the other men, and their involvement. Still, each man was so intimately involved in the operation, he would be considered an accomplice, and his possible corroborating testimony was useless in a court of law, in case he ever decided to turn rat.

For instance, let’s say Joe Schmoe from Illinois was next on Murder Inc.’s hit list. Murder Inc. would hire one man to steal an automobile for the getaway. Then another man would be directed to get as many guns as were needed for the job. Then there would be a third man, who would be the ‘finger-man”: the one who would point out Joe Schmoe to the actual shooters. Then of course, they needed a getaway driver, and a driver of a “crash car”: a legitimately registered car, that would crash into a pursuing police car, or the car of a nosy citizen, after the deed was done. The reason for the legit car was that the driver of the crash car could claim it was just an accident, while the shooters escaped in the stolen car. (For obvious reasons, it was not a smart idea to crash into a police car with a stolen car.)

The beauty of this routine was that each man involved in the murder would have limited knowledge of the other men involved in the hit. The man who stole the car would not know who purchased the guns, or who did the actual shooting, etc….etc….

Of course, Lepke and Anastasia did not rely entirely on the Boys from Brownsville to do all their dirty work. Other killers were needed to do a variety of jobs in a myriad of places. One killer was enlisted from a unlikely place: the Loch Sheldrake Country Club, in the Catskills, in upstate New York.

The Loch Sheldrake Country Club was owned by Sam Tannenbaum, who had first owned a grocery store on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Loch Sheldrake Country Club was a ritzy establishment, and it housed many rich Jewish families for their summer vacations. Of course, Lepke and his crew were well-represented at the Loch Sheldrake. Those gangsters who rubbed elbows with the legitimate Jewish businessmen included Lepke, his partner Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro, Shimmy Salles, a bagman for Lepke’s rackets, Curly Holtz, a labor racketeer, and “Big Harry” Greenburg, who was Lepke and Shapiro’s partners in various Garment Center swindles.

Gurrah Shapiro, a thick-chested gorilla-of-a-man, was quite a character himself, and also quite capable, as was Lepke, of pulling the trigger when necessary. Whenever Shapiro was angry, and that was often, his favorite saying was “Get out of here.” Yet, with his gravelly voice, the phrase sounded like “Gurra dahere.” Hence, his pals gave Shapiro the nickname “Gurrah.”

Sam Tannenbaum had a teenaged son named Allie, who Sam eventually was grooming as his replacement when Sam decided to retire. Sam Tannenbaum employed Allie at his hotel, either waiting tables, or setting up beach chairs by the lake. Sam also did not pay Allie a dime for his work, to ensure Allie didn’t disappear to his old haunts on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, until after the summer season was over. As the owner’s son, the Jewish gangsters invited Allie Tannenbaum to all their parties, and Allie got a fresh taste of what it was like to be around people who had coins constantly jingling in their pockets. This made him a likely suspect to be drawn into their world of murder and mayhem.

One day, after the summer season of 1931 was over at Loch Sheldrake, Tannenbaum was strolling down Broadway in Manhattan, when he bumped into “Big Harry” Greenberg.

Greenberg asked Tannenbaum, “Do you want a job?”

“I could use one, if it pays,” Tannenbaum said.

Greenberg smiled. “This one is for Lepke. You know what kind of a job it will be.”

Tannenbaum shrugged, and said he would do whatever it took to earn some fancy cash, so he could spread it around like his Jewish gangster idols.

Little did Greenberg know he was hiring one of his eventual killers.

Tannenbaum started working for Lepke, initially for $35 a week. His job included general assignments like slugging, strikebreaking, and throwing stink bombs where they were needed to be thrown. Tannenbaum later graduated to more important duties, like “schlammings,” which meant he “schlammed,”or cracked the heads of union workers who were not towing Lepke’s line.

As his work production increased, so did Tannenbaum’s salary. In short order, Tannenbaum was intimately involved in six murders, and he helped dispose of the body of a seventh murder victim. As a result of “making his bones” in the murder department, Tannenbaum started raking in an impressive $125 a week; more than he made in an entire summer at his father’s resort. Because of Tannenbaum’s summer location in the Catskills, Tannenbaum’s job consisted mostly of murders and extortions in upstate New York. Tannenbaum was a valuable asset to Lepke in Sullivan County, because Tannenbaum was familiar with the back highways and numerous lakes, where bodies could be disposed of. During the winter, Tannenbaum and his family vacationed in Florida, where Tannenbaum worked as a strong-arm-man in several of Lepke’s gambling joints.

In the early 1930’s Lepke added another valuable asset to Murder Inc., when he hired Charlie “The Bug” Workman.

“The Bug” was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1908, the second of six children born to Samuel and Anna Workman. Workman quit school in the 9th grade, and began roaming the streets of the Lower East Side, looking for trouble. When he was 18, Workman was arrested for the first time, for stealing a $12 bundle of cotton thread from a truck parked on Broadway. Since it was his first offense, Workman got off with simple probation. The following year, Workman was arrested for shooting a man behind the ear over who-owed-who $20. By this time, Workman’s reputation on the streets was such, the man he shot refused to testify against him, and even said he couldn’t truthfully identify Workman as the shooter. Miffed, the cops pulled up his file and decided Workman had violated his parole on the cotton theft. As a result, Workman was sent to the New York State Reformatory. For the next few years, Workman was in and out of prison, for such parole violations as associating with “questionable characters” and “failure to get a job.”

In 1926, Workman hooked on as a freelance leg breaker, or schlammer, for Lepke’s union strike breaking activities. Workman did such a good job, in the early 1930’s, Lepke put Workman on his permanent payroll at $125 a week, as a killer for Lepke’s Murder Incorporated machine. Lepke liked Workman’s cool demeanor, and after Workman performed a few exceptional “hits” for Lepke, Lepke gave him the nickname “The Bug,” because a person had to be crazy to kill with the calm detachment Workman displayed when performing his gruesome tasks. Workman’s other nickname “Handsome Charlie,” was given to him by members of the opposite sex.

For the next few years, Workman was in and out of trouble with the law. In 1932, he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. In 1933, Workman was arrested again for decking an off-duty police officer after a minor traffic dust-up. All the while, his specialty was killing whomever Lepke said needed to be killed. After a hit was done, Workman enjoyed the fringe benefit of “sweeping out the pockets” of his victims. Most of the times, Workman earned himself an extra thousand dollars or so for his efforts. And one time he even found a ten-thousand-dollar bonus in the pants pocket of some poor sucker whom he had just whacked.

Lepke’s Murder Inc. didn’t limit it’s exploits to the New York City area. In fact, Murder Incorporated eventually employed anywhere from 150-200 killers around America, and it was reported these killers may have committed as many as 800-1000 murders from the late 1920’s, until Murder Incorporated’s demise in the early 1940’s.

What Can I Use Bitcoins For?

Practically, almost any product or service that can be bought with dollars or other currencies can also be bought with bitcoins. On the other hand, the high volatility of bitcoins is a huge risk for some people that might want to use this cryptocurrency, but they are afraid about price differences. Even so, the characteristics of bitcoins make them perfect for internet payments:

1. Fast transactions

A bitcoin transaction is processed in 10-15 minutes. In case of a bank transfer, it might take hours or even days for the money to get from one account to the other. Some might say that PayPal or other ewallets are even faster. It is true, but there are other aspects that ewallets can’t give: privacy and smaller commissions.

2. Privacy

When you send bitcoins to a partner over the internet, the transaction will be registered in a blockchain. The list of transactions is public, and it can be verified on specialized websites. Only the identification number, the sum and the time are recorded. There is no way for somebody to find out from where the bitcoins come, and where they go. This is characteristic of bitcoins attracted many people. Well, some of those are interested about it because they can buy illegal goods with those, but the majority of bitcoin users are people that want to buy legal items and services, but which don’t want to disclose their identity. Porn and gambling websites might be immoral, but they are not illegal, so people that want to subscribe for those services can safely pay in bitcoins on the websites that accept this currency, knowing that their reputation will not be affected.

3. Smaller commissions

The average commission is 0.002 BTC for a transaction. It is significantly smaller compared with the PayPal or banking commissions. Moreover, you are not even obliged to pay it. By paying a commission, you “reserve” the computational power of a pool (or at least a part of it), to process your transaction faster. You even have the possibility not to pay the commission. In this case, you might need to wait two or even three days for your transaction to be processed. If you are not in a hurry, this might be the perfect opportunity to make money transactions with zero costs.

Of course, there are also disadvantages for using bitcoins, such as the possibility to lose them. If somebody steals your bitcoins, or if you delete the wallet files, it is impossible to recover those. As long as the bitcoin is not regulated, there is no central organism for arbitrage between divergent parts. In other words, you can’t complain if you lose or you are robbed by your bitcoins, simply because there is nobody to complain to.

The Concept of Value in Sports Betting!

In sports betting you need to make sure that your bets (and trades) are good value in order to make a profit. If you do not do this you will still win bets but profits may be harder to achieve.

Let me explain this last statement. I actually lose more bets than I win – but the prices or odds at which I bet compensate for the losing plays.

If you bet all season long on the NY Yankees (US Baseball) or Arsenal FC (English Premiership) – to win each game – you will probably end up with a fairly good winning strike rate – but it is unlikely that you will make any money. The odds will be ‘short’ and you may do better to try and predict when these teams might falter – and bet against them at the over inflated prices being offered on the opposing teams. These opposing teams will most likely offer the value – as they are not the popular betting choice.

When we flip a coin, we know that the true chance of it turning up heads or tails is 50% or ‘evens’ (1/1).

As an example we set up a ‘coin flipping’ betting event. A neutral party begins to flip the coin. With each subsequent flip there is a definite preference for heads in the betting. The bookmaker or sportsbook takes this in his stride, he has already set the odds at 10/11 (-110 US) for either outcome which takes into account his commission. He knows that this trend is fairly usual as heads is often favored in this type of event. He decides, however, to balance his books a little by reducing his odds on heads to 5/6 and increasing tails to 1/1.

Heads is now an even shorter price and represents no value. Tails now stands at a slightly better price but still only represents the ‘true odds’ or likelihood of winning at 1/1 or 50% and so is not value.

The event continues and still the betting favors heads. Why? Well the ‘average bettor’ does not really understand ‘value’, he does not understand that heads might well be a bad bet or hold no value. He just enjoys betting and since ‘heads’ is winning – he wants to bet on heads.

The bookmaker balances his books again with a dramatic shortening of the odds for heads to 4/9 and a lengthening to 6/4 (+150 US), on tails.

At this point the professional bettor would step in and begin to place bets on tails. He knows that he has got value at 6/4 for an event where the ‘true odds’ of success are 1/1.