Why is the TAB giving me “free” money?

Over the past month, I have received five random text messages from the TAB, each bearing the news that they are gifting my account the grand sum of $5 available – like the very best headline act – one day only!

I fluctuate from being peeved that they think I can be bought for a mere $5 (I can) and irritated at the seeming scatter-gun approach of their “marketing”.  

The $5 appears in my account carrying the following notification – “Prize – Marketing – sport” – which I guess means the funds are coming out of the sports betting marketing fund, but then again maybe not.

They – the TAB marketing people – obviously operate from the “small fish are sweet” school and I have decided to embrace the idea and join them there.

Generally I am a weekend punter, unless there is a specific horse racing midweek that I want to back (that would be a slow one I am involved in the ownership of and feel obliged to encourage it).

The marketing chap at the TAB I spoke to about this $5 phenomenon – what, you thought I’d just rant without getting some details?! – was a little vague on the detail around it.

How do they decide who is going to be the beneficiary of the “free” $5? Apparently, there are

“All types of different criteria” and there are “so many running at any one time.”

He claimed the idea was to “make people more aware of a racing day, and get them to have a look”.

To be fair he did sound pretty young – and pretty vague. Anyway, he’s a marketing person and obviously, marketing is his thing, even if understanding his customers isn’t.

The main reason these $5 “gifts” had been intriguing me was the fact that my younger son was also enjoying the TAB’s largesse $5 at a time. The only difference being, his were valid for four days.

According to our man at the TAB this might have been due to the fact he predominantly bets on sports.

If that is the case then people betting on sports are seen by the TAB as to be clever enough to know which sport they want to bet on and are given the opportunity to spend their free money on that chosen sport.  Us racing mugs though, are apparently so stupid we have to be reminded there are mid-week race meetings – Lord knows how we manage to negotiate daily life.

Anyway, Mr TAB said the $5 bets are being “picked up a bit more and is getting a good reception.”  He did get a little cagey when quizzed as to whether this might be considered encouraging the churn.

That is “not at all” the case, if anything he was somewhat defensive that someone would think giving away $5 to punt would then encourage them to bet all day.

He rather coyly admitted that if someone had a win they might carry on betting though.

The upshot of my phone call to the TAB was that I was none the wiser.

I don’t know how they select who gets the dosh; sports betting people get longer because, I can’t remember I must have zoned out then; and the $5 giveaway isn’t to encourage turnover.

So, having failed in my task to establish the whys and wherefores I am just going to keep taking the $5 and doubling it for my weekend betting. Mind you, after this I might drop off the list of recipients for free money!