The Casino player That Crumbled the Horse-Racing Signal
The difficulty is that you need to have a minimum number of fixed sums bet on the football and the coupon’s odds will change significantly. In other words, if the latest coupon is placed at 4-1, the numbers will change considerably over the week.
Mystery coupon bonds and flipping football cards
It is not the first time we have heard of the coupons being sold to punters, with stories cropping up here and there in the past. But one of the best-known examples comes from 2010, when a 16-year bond issued by the Argentina national football team went for $10,000 on the day it was released, with 40 people paying over the odds. The coupon was set at 8.5 per cent.
Betway has made an £80,000 profit from a single coupon bond auction
At that time there were more than a dozen of these bonds on offer, with most of them selling for between 20 and 30 per cent of face value.
Over at Betfair, they tried their luck with the coupons from a Cameroon national football team before interest rates started to rise.
Around 3.4 million euros was won after the bidding closed with the coupon fixed at 9 per cent.
However, at the last minute, the numbers changed slightly, and after some dramatic play, betting companies were left with hundreds of pounds’ worth of the coupon bonds.
Experts in the industry say these are unlikely to be typical events in the industry, but they do highlight a problem.
Each coupon is unique, and there is no regulation on the minimum number of buyers needed to get it sold, so it is likely that if one odd number of punters win the auction, others will be put off.
However, investors can at least enjoy some rewards. In May 2016, the New York Football Giants set a higher coupon of 11 per cent on a coupon bond, which was subsequently sold at auction to a group of eager punters at around 50 cents to the dollar.
Between 2011 and 2014, about £5m was made by betting on coupon bonds.
Betway has made an £80,000 profit from a single coupon bond auction, but Philip Piet is not one of the lucky punters.
An analyst at Fathom Consulting, he works on the odds desk and spends his days using computer algorithms to adjust odds on football matches.
As a consequence of this, he has yet to get a feel for the thrill of these auctions, and prefers to concentrate on his job rather than on fantasy football.
Philip Piet said: ‘The NFL auctions are in fact a work of genius. What other asset comes to market every year and is worth thousands of pounds?
‘Yet, if you tried to place bets on such a thing, you would be laughed at. I’m much more interested in the statistics on match performances, injury updates and even the occasional glamour fixture between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
‘Then again, I’m just a lowly odds analyst. The skill that goes into creating these ideas is the stuff of legend.’
However, there is one thing Philip has experienced — the smell of freshly-shaved legs.