Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The Secret Betting Club

The Secret Betting Club. What do we think?

I thought I'd break this subject down into two posts; one tonight to provide some general thoughts, and then one to follow tomorrow which will address some concerns and criticisms I have heard levelled at the SBC.

Firstly though, let me nail my colours to the mast. I am all for the SBC. Obviously I am going to explain why, but I can only call things as I see them, and I only 'see' things that I have experienced myself. That does not mean however, that I am not objective. I hope than when you've read these couple of posts that you'll agree that I have been objective, but if not, well, that is precisely what the 'Comments' box is for.

I can't remember how or where I first heard of the Secret Betting Club. I do remember though that for at least six months, I ignored them. You see I had had an experience with a company (whose name I'm afraid has been lost in the mists of time) back in the early-nineties, that purported to do roughly the same thing as the SBC. They would recommend tipster services and systems. They were bent. And I was young. And the outcome wasn't pretty - what is it they say about a fool and money?

So, it is fair to say that I was sceptical. I tried googling "Secret Betting Club" to see if I could find any independent reviews (of a service that provides independent reviews, heh, the irony!) but nothing was coming up. Not sure what it was that made me take the plunge - possibly a combination of curiosity and a good month at work which meant a bigger than normal bonus cheque (no, I don't work in investment banking) so the money didn't matter so much. Whatever, I signed up and started to read.

I guess the SBC reports woke up the latent interests I have had in gambling since being a teenager. I did find it eye opening but that deep-seated scepticism remained and it prevented me from actually joining one of the tipsters the SBC were recommending. I hatched a cunning plan - I would follow the SBC reported results for the services over the next couple of months, and see how closely they correlated with the results printed on the service's own websites. If the SBC was in collusion with all these services, then it was a scam that deserved to work! Actually, what convinced me that the SBC were genuine was the nature and style of the writing. It was informative, educational, and perhaps most importantly, made sense. Simple things, I know. Two months later, I joined Football Elite.

So, what does the SBC do for your gambling? Well we have already explored the difficulty of choosing which tipsters to follow in this blog, and frankly the SBC make this process a whole lot easier. They will do the lengthy testing necessary to ensure a service is both genuine and profitable, so you don't have to lose money the painful way. I find the reviews of each service revealing and certainly when I was first starting to construct a portfolio, the insights into the practicality of following a service were useful in that it forced me to consider things that I otherwise would not have done, and saved me money in the process.

The other area where I find the SBC to be helpful is in their suggestions of the banks that ought to be assigned to a service, how to achieve the correct staking, and how to attain the requisite mentality. But there is one thing above all others that I would thank the SBC for, and that is that over time, they have taught me how to be independently-minded. By applying the principles they advocate, I can now assess a service for myself. I can work out my own staking levels, and I have set my expectations at a realistic level, because I have been educated by their writing.

Look, this isn't supposed to be a eulogy. Like any service, they can have their issues. I will try to address some of these tomorrow. The ones I have in mind include:

1. Accusations I have heard that the SBC are tied into services and so are not the unbiased, independent body they claim to be;

2. That the SBC are making money out of encouraging people to try to attain an income from following tipsters which in itself is an impossible income stream to produce;

3. That services have a habit of losing their edge once they fall under the SBC spotlight and that the resultant increased numbers of followers of recommended services depress odds, and by so doing erode some/all of the edge the tipster had before all the attention; and

4. That they are fleecing customers with their own "tipping" services that hypocritically, are not proofed to any great extent externally.

If there are any more factors that you'd like an opinion on, stick it in 'Comments'. You know me, I like the sound of my own typing!

Today's Action

Frustrating day today. ProBandit, after such a good day yesterday, managed to give most of the profit back today by picking four horses in the 8.00 at Kempton. They finished 7th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd! PJA's form is becoming just a little worrying now - four selections today and just one third place finish to provide any sort of return. Northern Monkey Punter and Chasemaster each had small bets, neither of which produced a return.

PJA NH: Staked 3pts, -1.9pts.
Northern Monkey Punter: Staked 0.5pts, -0.5pts.
ProBandit: Staked 1.875pts, -1.875pts.
Chasemaster: Staked 0.25pts, -0.25pts.
Financial loss on the racing of £138.

I think I have made a big mistake by reinstating Sports Investor. I have done a little exercise this evening, looking at each service's three, six, and twelve month performance. Sports Investor has made a loss over each of those periods. In other words, their performance has been consistently poor for a good while now. Naturally, whilst feeling pretty negative about them, tonight's selection was a loser.

Sports Investor: Staked 1pt, -1pt.
Financial loss on the football of £100.

Wednesday 9th March: Staked £260, -£238.
Week to date: Staked £1,225, +£5.94.
Month to date: Staked £4,893, +235.23, roi 4.8%.


  1. Hi Rowan

    Thanks for posting you review, as you know it was me that asked for your thoughts about the SBC as I am tempted to join and when I saw you mention them a few times I thought that you would be the ideal person to ask.

    I really appreciate the thoroughness of the first part of the review but I do have a couple of questions, I hope you don’t mind.

    The first is that if I was to sign up to the service will I be bombarded with affiliate emails regarding betting products, don’t get me wrong if someone does the research and finds something that would genuinely add value to my approach to betting then I would be grateful and I would be only to pleased that they had benefitted from introducing me to that product or service, but as you are probably aware there are services out there who offer products that are of dubious value to say the least.

    Also I have heard reference to the SBC forum could you give your thoughts on that please, as I find that some forums do add real value for there members but by the same token, I been on forums that are a bit of clique and are not very friendly places for novices!

    Again thanks for posting this review and I look forward to your second instalment.


  2. Hi Rowan.
    Ah the SBC, I was asked on another forum once to describe the SBC as i kept blowing their trumpet for them.
    I said " SBC are an oasis of honesty in a desert of con men Liars and scam merchants."
    I was on the edge of packing the gambling thing in, when i came upon them on the net. I liked what i read and decided to give them a try. My last try at betting!!
    They instantly gained my trust as i read through the past newsletters.
    In short the info gained from them and the people who frequent the Forum have stopped me losing!
    They wont guarentee a profit of course and their marketing is a bit misleading. (100 pound a day!! yea right!)
    I envy them most however, for their business model. They get all their tips for free, they get the benefit of members Knowledge for their gain.
    And all this for just being honest!!!
    On the betting front mate. no improvement yet for me and if we didnt have cheltenham next week id be closing down for a couple of weeks.
    Ho Hum

  3. Hey Mark,

    Thanks for the questions, and good ones they are too. If ok with you, I'll answer them in tonight's post. Your comment about being introduced to reputable services has got me thinking too. Have a read tonight, and then come back to me if you need/want more info.

    All the best,


    Hi Alan,

    Blimey - any chance I can borrow that quote? (LOL). Seriously though, it sums them up and the environment they work in very well. Even to a natural cynic like me, they have opened my eyes and as you can probably tell from the post, I think they've had the same impact on my betting as they have yours.

    It is a great business model and I believe it is so solid in fact, that it would make anyone trying to launch a competitor service face a very difficult task indeed. And yet unlike a lot of services or companies that enjoy a market dominant position, they haven't (as yet) allowed their standards to slip. In fact, personally speaking, I would say their product is gaining in quality as time goes on.

    No, very frustrating times at the moment with the betting. Just can't seem to be actually getting anywhere. Get a decent week and then a disastrous day or two that wipes out the progress made. Not making any losses as such - just standing still for the year. The positive side of me is saying that if we can stand still when things are tough, we should be able to really press on when things improve. You don't want to know what the pessimistic side of me is saying!

    Speak to you soon, mate.


  4. I await your thoughts on the "fleecing customers" point with their own services.I'm a long-time member of the SBC but the Gekko product launch made me sick to the stomach.If this isn't exploitation of a customer base,I don't know what is.If any new service launches with a few months proofed results and charged £150 for a season,the SBC would never recommend it.They openly sold this product to their members knowing that they would have a very high take-up rate based on the success of some of their other ventures.

    What makes the Gekko product any different from any other system that launches at the start of a season?Simply, the difference is it is owned by the SBC and if you have the size of customer base that they have, why wouldn't you launch a new product to sell?Why couldn't Gekko have proofed his tips in the SBC forum this season?Why not sample it amongst 100 members free of charge if they wanted to check the impact on prices?

    We're now being bombarded with emails regarding Black Lab which is another unproven,SBC sponsored product.

    Where will it end TPI?


  5. Hi Stephen,

    Great comment, and thankyou for making it - seriously. Obviously I know what I am going to post on these issues tonight, and as you'll see, we're approaching this from different angles (although possibly not as far apart as you might think).

    You make some very valid points and ask challenging questions and without passing the buck, some of them (the rhetorical ones) I can't really answer.

    What I intend to do is invite someone from the SBC to comment - you have given your point of view, it would be good to hear theirs.

    If it's ok with you, I will post your comment verbatim in tomorrow night's post (tonight's is going to be fairly long as it is, and I would rather your questions reach the maximum audience and not get lost amongst a load of other comment). If you'd rather I didn't, just let me know.

    I must admit though, the only email I've had regarding the Black Lab was the one in the Weekend Wager.

    Anyway, just the sort of comment I'm looking for here - something to spark debate. Thanks again.

    All the best,


  6. Hi there, I can see this is an old post. Are you still using SBC? Is it still worth ?