The bookmaker BetVictor have decided that they will no longer offer ‘Lucky’ bet bonuses to punters, with the decision coming on the back of the firm having to pay out more than £486,000 to small stakes punters last weekend. The Lucky multiples tend to be popular with bettors because they allow them to have numerous possible outcomes covered with a relatively small stake.
Indeed, one punter placed a £2 Lucky 31 bet on Saturday at a total cost of £62, resulting in the bookie having to make its biggest payout ever for a small stake. BetVictor still intend to offer other forms of accumulators, it’s just that Lucky bet bonuses will no longer be available through them. The question now is whether their customers will start to turn to other bookmakers to place those bets or whether other companies will follow BetVictor’s lead in no longer offering customers that concession. They had decided to stop acceptance of the Lucky 15/31/63 bets altogether before making a u-turn in the light of a negative reaction to the decision.
What Are Lucky Bets?
For bettors that regularly place Lucky bets it’s an easy enough system to understand, but for the rest it can seem like a totally impenetrable system of confusing and complicated bets. Obviously you’d do well to read a more in-depth piece on Lucky multiples if you really what to understand them, but the basic idea is that they are ‘full cover’ bets that offer you numerous different ways to get a return.
The number of bets you’re placing is dictated by the title of the bet, so a Lucky 15 will be fifteen bets, Lucky 31 will contain thirty-one bets and so on. The best way to explain is to look at a specific example, so let’s concentrate on the Lucky 31. In that instance you’ll make five selections and these are the bets that you’re placing:
- 5 Singles
- 10 Doubles
- 10 Trebles
- 5 Four-Folds Accas
- 1 Five-Fold Acca
This sort of bet offers ‘full coverage’ because you will win if any combination of your chosen horses wins.
Why BetVictor Have Decided To End Lucky Bet Bonuses?
With BetVictor, it wasn’t just a matter of you selecting your horses and they either win or they don’t. As with most bookmakers, BetVictor offered a bonus to customers that were successful with their Lucky punts, often promising as much as 20% if all bets come home.
BetVictor also offered a bonus to punters in the form of double the odds if only one leg of the acca was a winner. That meant that bettors could theoretically lose but still receive a decent payout, so it’s little wonder that BetVictor have decided that it’s time to pull the plug on their Lucky offers. They offered bonuses on Lucky 15s, Lucky 31s and Lucky 63s
This Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Place Accumulators With BetVictor
It’s important to point out that the company isn’t putting an end to its accumulator offers altogether. You’ll still be able to opt for five-fold accas on the weekend’s football scores, say, or opt for a selection of sports in which you think you can predict the outcome of the winners.
Rather this move is just to put an end to people being able to place small stakes bets that can often be big winners. The most popular Lucky bet, that was designed to draw in more casual punters, was the Lucky 15. It offered Singles, Doubles, Trebles and a Four-Fold Acca on four selections.
Having said that they would not accept Lucky bets at all initially, ff you still want to place a Lucky 15 then you just needed to go for a Yankee plus place the four Singles separately, with the only difference being that you still won’t get the bonus or the double-odds offer. The result is that casual punters will suffer whilst more professional ones will still be able to benefit. As a result, acceptance of the bets returned but the bonus will not.
Why BetVictor Decided To Pull The Plug On The Lucky Bets
The obvious assumption is that BetVictor decided to call a close on Lucky bets because of the number of punters that have won big with relatively small stakes on them and that is indeed the story that the bookmaker is pushing. The headline grabbing tale from the weekend is the one that BetVictor have made the front and centre reason for their abandonment of Lucky wagers.
The bettor in question, who wished to remain anonymous, selected five winners at Stratford and Ffos Las. They were:
- Special Princess (17/2)
- Lochinver (14/1)
- Sweet Adare (12/1)
- Joueur Bresilien (5/1)
- Don Juan Du Gouet (12/1)
The original bet came in and presented the punter with a payout of £405,014.88. On top of that BetVictor also gave them a bonus of £81,000, meaning that the payout was £486,014.88 for a £62 bet. Unsurprisingly the bettor said that it ‘still doesn’t feel real’ when talking about their win.
Away from the headline grabbing tales, however, is the reality that Lucky bets are often targeted by professional bettors rather than casual ones. Lots of people have bots set up that are able to figure out when four horses are either arbs or close to being arbs when compared to the Betfair Exchange.
The combination of that and the double-odds when there’s only one winner meant that the odds shifted into their favour. Those people are the ones that BetVictor are really trying to stop from taking advantage by getting rid of the Lucky bet bonus from their promotion listings.
What The Company Has Said
As you might imagine, BetVictor were quick to issue a statement about the matter. Also unsurprising is the fact that the Director of Sportsbook, Matt Scarrott, has attempted to paint it as a good decision made for the sake of honesty to the punter. He said:
“Rather than simply removing the double odds concession and win bonus, leaving customers with a Yankee, Canadian or Heinz plus singles which they can obviously still place, we felt it was more transparent to remove the bets in its entirety”.
Obviously in terms of what customers still get BetVictor are confident enough that they offer plenty of things that will entice bettors to the website even without the Lucky bets. Scarrott said, “We have a strong portfolio of racing concessions including run for your money, in which we return full stakes on horses who refuse to start, extra place races, double result and best odds guaranteed”.
It is, he said, the combination of those offers as well as the concessions and bonuses offered as part of the Lucky bets that have made it ‘unsustainable to continue to offer’.