Bookies’ Bag: Introducing the On Course Bookies’ LAYs

Bookies Bag

Every week at Betfair, On Course Bookmakers from across the country will be nominating their best LAY of the week. 

On Course Bookmakers are everyday Betfair Exchange punters as they assess the market’s position and BACK & LAY as necessary to increase their turnover.

Get their LAY nominations every Friday morning on The Hub.

 

Meet the Betfair Bookies’ Bag team below: 

NORM OKE (VIC)

Norm owned a newsagency and was a lifelong punter. He knew a few people in the industry and worked as a clerk for various bookmakers before taking out his own license around 20 years ago.

He cut his teeth at the greyhounds, but progressed quickly to Thoroughbred racing in the country. He’s been a rails bookie in town for the last 10 years.

 

KEVIN SABER (VIC)

Started work as a public accountant and always had an interest in racing. He then saw the light deciding to work for several bookies including Anthony Doughty and Brian Mann for the next 20 years. He took out a licence in his own right and began fielding in 2001.

He has raced plenty of horses but most famously Extra Zero and Melbourne Cup runner Seismos. He is a mad sports fan and a big St Kilda supporter.

 

RAY SWANNIE (VIC)

Ray learned his trade from a well-known bookie called Frank Cain, during the 1970s. He officially become a bookmaker in his own right in 1980, first as a greyhound bookie, fielding at the likes of Olympic Park and Sandown when there were at least 100 bookies at each dog meeting.

He has been a rails bookie in Melbourne for around 25 years, he is highly respected and very successful at his trade. Now, his focus is city meetings, country cups and other carnival days.

He still enjoys having a punt after all these years of letting the punters on.

 

JONATHAN WALSH (VIC)

Jonathon was born to be a bookmaker. His dad John and Uncle Gary were both bookmakers and now his brother has also joined him. After working in the family businesses Jonathan took a leap of faith in 2009 to be licensed as an on course bookmaker in his own right. His strength lies in Thoroughbred racing but also fields on selected greyhound meetings.

 

DAVID DWYER (NSW)

David has been Sydney’s largest bookmaking operator at all NSW metropolitan and provincial meetings for the past 20 years. David is a keen supporter of the Parramatta Eels in the NRL and is the chairman of the NSW Bookmakers Cooperative.

 

BARRY COOK (NSW)

Originally from Armidale, he began his career as an accountant before following in his father’s footsteps to become a bookie in 1966. After two years operating in country New South Wales, he then moved to Sydney in 1968, operating on the Flat at Randwick. This then developed in to a position on the Rails in 1972.

Barry has fielded at countless city and provincial meetings during his bookmaking career but has always had a love for the picnic programs. He continues to field at Sydney metropolitan Saturdays and loves nothing more than taking on a shortie.

 

CURLY SEAL (SA)

Based in Adelaide, Curly has been a bookmaker full-time for over 25 years. He is one of Australia’s most successful bookmakers.

He is also well known in Poker circles with several high finishes in prestigious tournaments, including a top 10 in the Aussie Millions.

 

PETER MCCORMACK (WA)

Peter has been a bookmaker for fifteen years – the last 12 as a main enclosure bookmaker at Ascot and Belmont as well as a regular fixture on the provincial and country circuits in Western Australia.

A victim of the punt from a very young age, Peter’s life changed the moment he stumbled across Don Scott’s “The Winning Way To Successful Punting” in a bookstore some 25 years ago. Not only did it provide a logical and scientific way to rate and price horses, it showed that it was possible to make a profit and even a living from wagering on racehorses.

 

TREVOR BURROWS (WA)

As a teenager when his mates were reading comic books, Trevor was reading Best Bets.

A Melbourne boy who began his career in banking and was soon posted to Darwin. He was supposed to be there for 2 years but instead became a Darwin bookie at the age of 22. At the time he was the youngest bookie in Australia.

In 2003 he moved to Perth where he continued as a bookie on course and has done so ever since. He now has 34 years’ experience as a Bookmaker.

 

STEPHEN WALTERS (TAS)

Steve was born to be involved in racing. His family has three generations of harness racing trainers and drivers. His father and brothers currently train and drive pacers in the Apple Isle. Steve didn’t like getting up early to train horses, so he started work as a bookie clerk 30 years ago.

15 years later he took out his own license. He has fielded at all three racing codes in Tasmania but now concentrates on Thoroughbred and Harness racing.