Talking Betting with....Eoin Ryan
Racing Editor for bettingexpert. Always searching for winners "against the crowd" and trying to find the value.
Today on the blog in the latest edition of our Talking Betting series Stephen talks with betting industry insider Eoin Ryan about all things betting.
In the latest of our Talking Betting series we chat to a senior figure in the online Gaming Industry, Eoin Ryan. He has worked at the top level for a number of different companies and is currently based with BetVictor Gibralter.
How did you first get into the world of betting and gambling?
My dad was a horse racing nut and I used to go racing with him most Saturdays as a kid. I got the betting bug early and absolutely loved horse racing. After my studies (Economics) ended I knew I wanted to work in the industry. I was interested in spread betting and Sporting Index offered me a start but as luck would have it an Irish spread betting company had just launched at the same time – SportsSpread.com. They hired me as a junior racing trader and that was my very first proper job in the industry.
What jobs have you done in the industry?
I haven’t moved around all that much actually. I did 4 years in SportsSpread and was running the racing desk there at the end. I then moved to Betfair who were just starting out in Ireland at the time and I spent 6 great years there. My last role there was as Communications Manager so I was the public face of the company (they survived that somehow) and did quite a bit of TV and Radio work. I then went back to SportsSpread but this time as Managing Director as the company had been acquired and the new owners wanted a fresh management team. I did that for 2 years before leaving Ireland to join BetVictor as Head of Digital Marketing. I’ve never worked outside of Ireland before and have wanted to work abroad for some time but the right opportunity didn’t arrive until recently. I’ve been here 7 months now and am really enjoying it.
What is the biggest win you have ever had as a punter?
I am not a very big punter. My average bet would be €50-100 but if I really fancy one, like Hurricane Fly at Cheltenham this year (ouch…) I’ll have a ‘proper’ bet. My biggest ever win was on a horse called Spandau at Newton Abbot in 2003 and I won over €10k which was obviously a huge win for me. I got some information that morning from connections and backed the horse from 16’s into 5’s.
How do you deal with losing runs for the firm?
I’m a little more protected in this role than in my last one, where PNL was all consuming and bad runs were very stressful. My view on losing runs hasn’t changed though – you will always have them. As long as you’re laying the right prices to the right punters you have to take a long term view and try to be objective. Knee jerk reactions, particularly to punters on a good run, should be avoided.
What advice would you give to any aspiring punters trying to do it professionally?
Be disciplined and don’t chase. Work hard at it, do your own homework and sums and don’t forget that there’s a life outside of betting. Have a hobby.
How has the betting game changed in recent years?
The exchanges changed the game and the traditional firms have had to move with the times which they have definitely done. Technology and marketing are now far slicker as the punter has become more media savvy. Mobile is a massive game changer too which we are only really seeing over the past 2 years. TV advertising has opened betting up to a new and massive audience. Casino has become huge and Poker has had its day and is now in decline.
What are the hardest things about being the man in charge?
I am not the most organised person you’ll ever meet. My desk is probably a human health hazard and there are notes and papers everywhere. A hard part of my role here is managing a fairly big team of people and making sure they remain enthusiastic and appreciated. I struggle with all the HR and procedural stuff I have to do but that’s part of the role!
What mentality do you need to survive at the top of a firm?
I’m not quite at the top! But I think a positive outlook, a determined manner and a creative spark are all valuable things to have in your mentality.
Do you use "inside" information for betting/trading or purely your traders judgement?
I don’t get any inside information and nor do I want any. If I was betting for a living I suspect I would but I treat my betting as serious fun rather than as a profession. I hope to turn a profit on the year but if I don’t it won’t affect my mood, my life or that of my family. I might have 2-3 bets a week so I’m pretty selective these days. The scatter gun approach of my punting past has been put to pasture!
How do you see the game developing in the next ten years?
Some consolidation is likely as there are too many firms out there competing for the same business. The US will open up which will change the scene entirely and grow the market enormously. The high street to dwindle further as mobile takes the lead. In ten years I suspect almost all betting will be done over a hand-held device and it’s exciting to work in a technology led industry. The speed that mobile is growing is frightening and that’s where I think the future lies.
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Interesting interview. ;))