I read that bookmakers are facing the prospect of profit warnings because of heavy losses on the football over recent weeks. Possibly, but I'm a layer of that.
The old "struggling bookmaker" line is (of course) one of the oldest tricks in the turf accountant text book - as punters are encouraged to bet more having fallen for the idea that somebody else is the mug for a change. Not for long.
This PR puff story tends to surface each year, and only the details vary. One of the more imaginative efforts came in 2005, when William Hill blamed the Racing Post's chief tipster Tom Segal for its woeful first half.
Did punters' luck hold out? Of course not. When Hills eventually reported its full year numbers, both turnover and profit had experienced healthy hikes. What price on the same happening again?