Betting shop receipt

by | Longevity (↓) | Skill (↑) | 0 comment | 4 questions

It's a scan of a betting slip for a £2 bet on a horse called Reach High in the 1.55 at Ascot on Saturday 7 May 2016. The odds were 11/10. The scan is of the original handwritten bet, but is surrounded by extra information - 3 barcodes, a note that 'Coral Rules Apply', the operator number, and the typed-in information that was written on the slip. The paper is that thin, shiny paper that's like a till-roll maybe.

Where and how is it used?

You get this after you place your bet at the counter in a betting shop. If your horse wins, you take it back and claim your winnings. In this case £2.20.

What did you or someone else pay for it?

The receipt was free. We paid £2 for the bet.

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

We brought this back to the MoCC shop in Exeter after a Data Walk that afternoon. We were looking for a data-rich place and this was it. The amount of information on the walls, screens, speakers and machines was overwhelming. None of us had been in a betting shop before and we were overwhelmed. Alison asked one of the people betting if he cold explain to her how it worked, and to give advice on how to place a bet. He used the information on the racing newspaper pages pinned to the walls plus his own knowledge about the jockey, horse, course and trainer (local!) to suggest this bet. His advice was excellent. Our horse won. We haven't cashed this in yet, though. We joked about who would get the winnings. It was my cash but Alison worked out the bet. If we don't cash this in, we don't have to have that discussion.

How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service

Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

The paper must have come from somewhere and then there's the machine and the network that it must be plugged into to consider. Is the slip itself a commodity? What have we bought?

Who was paid to make it?


What skills does it take to make it?

Skills of the better, huge amounts of personal knowledge plus that provided in the racing media and the shop to help better choose to bet how much on what horse in what race. There's the skills of Coral to create such data rich places where people are comfortable/excited to make bets. Then there's the counter person who had to enter the handwritten bet into the machine to produce this receipt.

Where was it made?

The bet was made in the shop, but the 'where' of the shop in all of these personal and corporate networks is a good question. I guess the shop, pencil, paper is where this all comes together.

What does it cost to make it?

No idea. What is it?

What is it made from?

1. paper:
2. countless others:

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?


Who or what assesses its quality?

Coral and its punters. Guess there's also a national authority/quango too.

Where is it sold?

Shops, online - again, what is 'it'?

Who or what sells it?

Coral... others.

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

The cashier handed us the paper receipt. Everything else arrived from many places.

Where is it used?

In the store when it's handed over as a receipt, and again in the store when it's cashed up/in.

Where is it kept?

On the shelf behind the counter in the museum.

How and by whom is it cared for?

It is neglected. We're lucky we found it.

How long will it last?

There must be a time limit for cashing in a bet.

Where will it go when it's finished with?

Back to the shop or in the bin.

What is it worth?


How do you and others value this commodity?

See the values contributed by visitors and those of the donor. And add your own values to this commodity.

Total times valued1
Positive (↑)Skill
Negative (↓)Longevity
Overall Positive278
Overall Negative-246
Controversy50.875 (0 = most controversial)

What do these numbers mean?

This data that we have collected over time in our database means nothing without interpretation. A relational database, which we are using here, is technology that enables designers of websites and software to compare, contrast, interrogate and infer relations within data. The act of designing a database is not objective but driven by the agency of its creators and owners.

Within the MoCC Collection data is used to help think through the relations between values, commodities and data. Can we describe our values using sliders and numbers? How do we infer meaning such as controversy from data?

Below is a brief explanation of the some calculations and how these help make decisions about what is shown on the site.

  • Controversy Score:
    (Total Positive Values) + (Total Negative Values)

    The closer the value is to zero the more controversial it is in relation to other commodities. Used to infer that values associated with one commodity divide opinion more than another.

  • Average Value Score (used in the sliders):
    (Total Positive for Value + Total Negative for Value) ÷ Total Times Valued

    Used to infer a collective value associated with a commodity.

How do you value this commodity?

To add your own values click VALUE THIS COMMODITY and move the sliders left and right to add your own values - then click SUBMIT
show donor's original values
- 0
35 +
- 0
26 +
- 0
26 +
- 0
29 +
- 0
24 +
- 6
23 +
- 4
18 +
- 1
17 +
- 9
16 +
- 7
15 +
- 1
3 +
- 6
11 +
- 8
8 +
- 9
4 +
- 11
3 +
- 18
7 +
- 18
5 +
- 18
6 +
- 11
0 +
- 11
0 +
- 15
0 +
- 19
0 +
- 21
0 +
- 24
2 +
- 22
0 +
- 7
0 +

Questions and answers

Help to reveal unknown quantities, properties and uses of this commodity by answering this MoCC curator's questions.

Question: How long does it take to gain he knowledge to bet well?


No answers given...yet.

Question: Who are the most successful horse betters and what's the secret of their success?


Hello my name is Lizzie, I’m your commodity consultant for today

Well it depends on what you measure success on?


William, or Bill Benter is widely considered one of the most successful gamblers of all time, here is an extract of an interview with Benter where he discusses the secret to his success…

Interviewer: What’s your secret?

Benter: there are a number of successful approaches and I can not speak for all of them however, The secret to success is sound and theoretical analysis combined with data driven empirical research. One needs to test theoretical results against real world data to be successful. Success is improved with the number of data sets you have for horse racing and this is always increasing. Where we are lazy is that we stay theoretical rather than applying these.

Interviewer: But horse races are unpredictable?

Benter: That’s a popular misconception. Horse racing is one of the most predictable phenomenon, the results can be predicted with greater accuracy then any other sport

Interviewer: But it can’t be easy or everyone would be doing it?

Benter: No it isn’t easy and when asked to do it accurately enough and to out-preform the ability of the general betting public who are doing the same thing, so you have to make a real effort but if you do it, it is very successful

Interviewer: Are the bookies safe?

Benter: I think the bookies are quite ok for now

If you want to see the full interview, follow this link?

Patrick Veitch is another world renowned gambler….

over an eight-year period he has made a profit of £10,049,983.03 gambling on horses.

His tips…..

"I'm sorry I don't do tips," he says, almost provoking the first recorded instance in journalistic history of an interviewer walking out on an interviewee. "That's not the way I work."

"It's not just about lowering the odds," he says. "If I were to publicise one bet I would have revealed a data point to the bookmakers. I don't reveal what or where I won until a long time afterwards. I can't give them a chink."

Unable to place a bet himself, when it comes to one of his major coups, he employs a small army of what he calls agents, acting in carefully calibrated fashion around the country. As with his personal arrangements, he likes to make sure everything runs to order. It is important, he says, that all those working for him follow his instructions to the letter. He does not encourage initiative; he likes people who do what they are told.

On the day of a sting, he issues orders via a dozen mobile phones, which he has velcroed to the back of a clipboard on which can be found details of his strategy. So militarised is his operation, he calls himself – without you sense much in the way of self-irony – "the field marshal".

there is no secret to winning on the horses. Instead, he says, it is about a lot of research, a lot of planning and mastery of a lot of rather difficult figures.

"People constantly say to me, 'tell me how to pick a winner on Saturday,' " he says. "But the simple approach isn't going to get you there. You have to behave wisely. If you follow the strategy that coincides with that being used across the spectrum of punters, you won't win. Horse racing is such a multi-layered conundrum, what you're looking for is the factor that the bookmakers have got completely wrong. That takes strategic thinking, experience and thoroughness."

And here's the real downer for those of us looking for the magic bullet: "The fact of the matter is, there is no short cut. The only way to win is through sheer hard work."

Which is what Veitch engages in, spending hour upon hour analysing horses' performance, to see how that matches up to bookies' pricing, seeking always to find a profitable gap between assumption and fact. Also, it helps in his line of work to be good at sums.

Read the full interview here…

If we take successful to mean happiness….

1. Don't think of gambling as a way to make money:
The venue is using gambling to make money. It's not designed to work the other way around. Over time you will give away more money than you receive! Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.

2. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose:
Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.

3. Set a money limit in advance:
Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it's gone – it's over! If you win, you've been lucky, but don't be disappointed if your luck doesn't continue.

4. Set a time limit in advance:
It's easy to lose track of time when you're gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time's up – quit! Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you will lose.

5. Never chase your losses:
If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back before you leave, then you haven't really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.

6. Don't gamble when you're depressed or upset:
Decision-making can be more difficult when you're stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you're feeling happy and clear headed.

7. Balance gambling with other activities:
When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, it's unlikely that you're still just gambling for the fun of it, and your gambling may even be a problem. Make sure gambling isn't your only pastime.

8. Don't take your bank card with you.
This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being "in the moment" warp your judgment.

9. Take frequent breaks
Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.

10. Don't drink or use drugs when gambling
Drugs and alcohol cloud judgment, and good judgment stands as your main line of defense against letting gambling get out of control.


Thank you for your question,


by MoCCconsultantLizzie on May 21st at 4:21pm

Question: What is the commodity here? What are we exchanging our £2 for in a betting shop?


No answers given...yet.

Question: What advice would you give about sharing the winnings between me (the one with the money), Alison (who chose the bet after talking to someone) and the other 3 people in our group at the time who said 'Yes, let's do this!'?


This is Alison. I think I should get the money, because I had to decide to listen to the information given by the man in the betting shop and decide whether it was trustworthy. I think this judgement is worth £0.20, although I respect that Ian actually risked the £2 on my decision.

by Alison on May 19th at 12:31pm

Hi Alison, Ian here. Thank you for respecting my cash. We have been in touch with Coral and they have recommended that we 'Go GoldenBalls style, and have a split versus steal debate!' No respect there...

by MoCCinvigilator on May 19th at 1:00pm


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