Mick Gibbs is a roofer by profession, constructing and repairing roofs across Staffordshire in England. That’s not his only skill however. Gibbs also has an eye for winning accumulator bets. His first big win came in 1999 when he bet £2.50 and correctly predicted nine football games across Europe. That earned him £157,000. That’s small change compared to his next big win however. In 2001, Gibbs bet 30 pence to predict the winners of 15 football games across Europe and was given odds of 1,666,666. The first 14 games went exactly as Gibbs predicted so everything now depended on a Champions League match in which Bayern Munich would need to beat Valencia. The game ended in penalties. The last kick of the game was from Valencia defender Mauricio Pellegrino, but the moment the ball landed in the hands of Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper, Gibbs was £500,000 richer. Not bad for a 30 pence stake.
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Afterward, Hong Kong’s tax authority began to investigate the Woods syndicate. By law, gambling winnings were exempt from taxation, but company profits weren’t. The question was whether the syndicates had moved beyond conventional betting and started behaving like corporations. The implications would be dire if the Inland Revenue Department decided to tax profits retroactively. When agents asked Woods for a list of his investors, he fled to the Philippines.
Eight minutes to starting pistol. Benter grabbed a pile of 80-odd printed tickets and a club-issued credit voucher worth HK$1 million and bolted for the door. Across from the hotel was an off-track betting shop. It was loud and smoky inside, and he found an automated betting terminal free at one side of the room. Two minutes to go. He started feeding in tickets, one after another after another, until the screen flashed a message: “Betting closed.”
Horse racing in Australia was founded during the early years of settlement and the industry has grown to be among the top three leading Thoroughbred racing nations of the world. The world-famous Melbourne Cup, the race that stops a nation, has recently attracted many international entries. In country racing, records indicate that Goulburn commenced racing in 1834. Australia's first country racing club was established at Wallabadah in 1852 and the Wallabadah Cup is still held on New Year's Day (the current racecourse was built in 1898).
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Woods was used to being the senior partner in gambling teams and getting his way. He never lost his temper, but his mind, once set, was like granite. Benter was also unwilling to budge. Their alliance was over. In a fit of pique, Benter wrote a line of code into the software that would stop it from functioning after a given date—a digital time bomb—even though he knew it would be trivial for Woods to find and fix it later. Woods would keep betting algorithmically on horses, Benter was sure of that. He resolved that he would, too.
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