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Offline Bubbasmith

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O.P. « 2010-Feb-13, 08:04 AM »
The following is a report in this morning's Melbourne Herald Sun & Sydney's Daily Telegraph, however to most informed punters Zeljko has been known to us for about fifteen years. It might make interesting reading to those on this forum who have not heard of him.

SOME call him the "Loch Ness Monster", because of his rare public sightings.

Casinos have dubbed him "The Joker".

And he's the mystery man who raids Melbourne every Spring Racing Carnival, and reaps a fortune.

High-profile racing industry figures say he is the biggest punter not only in this country, but in the world.

Meet Australia's most mysterious and elusive gambling figu Zeljko Ranogajec, the man acknowledged even by sources close to the TAB to be, by some margin, its largest punter.

Those who know him well describe him as just a normal bloke.

"If you met him on the street, you would never think he's rich," one relative says. Others describe him similarly as "polite" and "unassuming.
But the size of Mr Ranogajec's betting is far from ordinary. It is believed he accounts for 6 to 8 per cent of Tabcorp's $10 billion Australian betting turnover: $600 million-$800 million, and bets tens of millions more with local bookmakers.

But that's just the start. Once the overseas betting turnover of his 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation is taken into account, his total annual betting spend globally is believed to be well over $1 billion.

One of Australia's most senior racing figures said Mr Ranogajec was truly a global punter: "He goes wherever he can get set late with big bets. That means countries like Japan, England, Hong Kong, New Zealand and America."

"He had one of his biggest wins of the year on Shocking in last year's Melbourne Cup. So You Think winning the Cox Plate was another big result for him," another source said.

"He bets according to the size of the pools, so the Melbourne Cup would be his biggest betting race of the year.

"If he stopped betting today, Australia's three TABs would be seriously affected, and Betfair (a global betting giant) would be in dire straits. He's that big a player.

"He's the best punter in the world. A guy I know who met him described it best. He said there are seven billion people in the world, four billion of them have probably had a bet at some stage. He's just the one person in the world who is the best punter of them all."

Mr Ranogajec is known to regularly splurge more than $1 million on an individual race, and increases his bets as the prize pool grows.

Industry talk has him employing anything from 30 to more than 100 staff just to analyse form.

The operation has generated plenty of wealth. One relative of Mr Ranogajec from his father's side - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said: "I heard just maybe two or three months ago that he's a multi-billionaire."

Yet he has never been mentioned on any Australian rich list, because the secrecy around his operations means no one is able to estimate his exact wealth.

According to the man himself, the talk about the magnitude of his betting and wealth is all just a big exaggeration.

But in Australia and overseas, any number of racing websites, industry analysts and books indicate he is just being modest and is a global betting giant.

One thing is clear: the 48-year-old has come a long way from his days of being kicked out of Hobart's Wrest Point Casino in the 1980s, as a highly successful young mathematics whiz-kid beating the casino at blackjack by keeping track of each card played (not that there's anything illegal about that).

The relative, from the side of his late father, Mirko, claims he had started to work part-time at Wrest Point while studying for a commerce/law degree.

The relative says he met his wife and "first love", Shelley Wilson, while she was also working there.

But the more successful he became at blackjack, the more his studies started to take a back seat.

His skills as a blackjack player saw him feared by casinos around the world. His business was "politely declined" first at Wrest Point, and Queensland's Jupiters Casino in the mid-1980s. But he did not give up playing the casinos, and moved to greener pastures overseas.

The relative from his father's side recalls him coming home after being too successful on the blackjack tables in the US: "He was in Chicago, I think. They stopped him, and he had to come back."

He increasingly turned his attention to horse racing, as well as other games such as Keno. He once won a then-world record $7.5 million Keno jackpot at Sydney's North Ryde RSL Club in 1994.

He may still have come out ahead because of smaller prizes he collected along the way.

But it is from horse racing that Mr Ranogajec has built his fortune.

Those in the know say the key to Mr Ranogajec's betting is chasing liquidity. He and his associates look for large betting pools awash with "mug punter" money that makes the pool as big as possible.

So private is Mr Ranogajec that there have even been suggestions he is using a pseudonym incorporating his wife's surname. According to records, a John Wilson, born in Hobart with an identical birthdate to Mr Ranogajec and an identical business address, owns a company that has assets including a multi-million-dollar beachfront property on the NSW Central Coast, and a Pacific Highway apartment in St Leonards.

Mr Ranogajec and Ms Wilson have been shrewd investors in property, mainly on Sydney's North Shore. In December 2008, the couple paid $19.75 million for a waterfront property on two blocks at Balmoral Beach, whose value had been hit by the global financial crisis.

The property is in the name of Ms Wilson. Parts of the property had been owned by jailed HIH executives Ray Williams and Brad Cooper.

In the aftermath of the HIH collapse in 2001, the couple had bought another Balmoral property for a knockdown $5.96 million, again in Ms Wilson's name.

  
« Last Edit: 2010-Feb-13, 08:55 AM by Bubbasmith »

Offline parrapete

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« 2010-Feb-13, 08:43 AM Reply #1 »
From Bubbasmiths's post.

He increasingly turned his attention to horse racing, as well as other games such as Keno. He once won a then-world record $7.5 million Keno jackpot at Sydney's North Ryde RSL Club in 1994.

At that time it was common knowledge in Sydney that the Keno jackpot was set to go off at that club.

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-13, 08:51 AM Reply #2 »
He knew the jackpot pool was barely increasing after each draw by the amount he was investing on the previous draw, in other words, he knew hardly anybody else was 'chasing' the jackpot and he would probably not have to split the dividend.

Offline JWesleyHarding

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« 2010-Feb-13, 08:57 AM Reply #3 »
"He once won a then-world record $7.5 million Keno jackpot at Sydney's North Ryde RSL Club in 1994."

I know nothing about how Keno works.

How much would he have bet?

Did he go up to the window and say "Here's $100,000, I'll have it on numbers 1 2 6 14 etc?
 

Offline ted e turner

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:04 AM Reply #4 »
put keno with politics...at least your honest jwh unlike your stinking labor comrades :yes:

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:08 AM Reply #5 »
JWH

Yes he was "investing" huge amounts on each draw, fully expecting eventually to get it and also knowing he was the only person with any chance of getting it. If, by chance, he shared it he would have lost.The ultimate gambler.

Offline Grega9430

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:11 AM Reply #6 »
He doesn't mind taking the "unders" either, So You Think in the Cox Plate averaged $9.30 on the TAB's and yet was $12 out to $14 with Bookmakers. I doubt that there has ever been a discrepancy like this in a Group 1 race before.

My records indicate that he also backed Manhattan Rain and Rock Kingdom in that race, which are the two that I was on. Had Manhattan Rain won he would have averaged $13 yet it was $20 all day with the Bookmakers.

Of the last $1.4M that went into the $10.3M total TAB win pools on that Cox Plate as much money went on SYT as went on the 2/1 fav Whobe. My guess is that he had $250k on SYT, $200k on Manhattan Rain and $150k on Rock Kingdom.

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:25 AM Reply #7 »
Grega,
Do not think MORE money was invested on So You Think than Whobegotyou however you might be right in that he is prepared to take 'unders' as in last 54 seconds before betting closed on Supertab $ 33,553 was put on So You Think ( at unders ) and $136,000 put on Whobegotyou.Then again general public might have rallied around the winner as it was trained by JBC.Do not think we can attribute all that money to Zeljko.

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:35 AM Reply #8 »
On further investigation @ 4.30.36 pm $ 21,216 on Supertab
                                 @ 4.30.37 pm $ 23,132 on NSW
                                 @ 4.30.47 pm  $ 24,158  on Unitab

was invested on So You Think just before race. It beggars the question all those bets were placed on the TABs at under the prevailing bookies odds, who would put that one ? Maybe he could not get set with bookies ?

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:40 AM Reply #9 »
Great stuff from you guys.  emthup

I think I'll stick to watching videos. :sad:

Offline Grega9430

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:41 AM Reply #10 »
Bubba, nothing to do with JBC as any of that money is on early. Did Manhattan Rain also shorten on the Vic Tab because of Gai?

Nearly half of the last $1.4M invested into the total win pool of $10.3M was his and this $1.4M went on as follows, and as I said as much money went on SYT as the 2/1 fav Whobe.

$300k So You Think
$300k Whobegotyou
$260k Manhattan Rain
$180k Rock Kingdom
$100k Heart of Dreams
$60k Speed Gifted ...............

« Last Edit: 2010-Feb-13, 02:13 PM by Grega9430 »

Offline calgary

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:43 AM Reply #11 »
On further investigation @ 4.30.36 pm $ 21,216 on Supertab
                                 @ 4.30.37 pm $ 23,132 on NSW
                                 @ 4.30.47 pm  $ 24,158  on Unitab

was invested on So You Think just before race. It beggars the question all those bets were placed on the TABs at under the prevailing bookies odds, who would put that one ? Maybe he could not get set with bookies ?

And look how even those amounts are across the 3 tabs - no way that is a random occurence IMHO.  :nowink:

Offline Grega9430

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« 2010-Feb-13, 09:48 AM Reply #12 »
Bubba, start your counting from 16.29.39 for STab and NSW Tab and 16.27.15 for Unitab and you will see that I am correct.

Offline maosanta

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« 2010-Feb-13, 10:01 AM Reply #13 »
They're not necessarily unders when you're getting a massive price advantage (through rebates) over the rest of us mugs.

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-13, 10:12 AM Reply #14 »
The winner paid an average $9.20 over the 3 TABs he could have $14.00 with bookies. Even allowing for the rebate he would have got on the winner he would have been better off to have backed with the bookies.( providing he could have got on )

Offline luvtheponies

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« 2010-Feb-13, 11:39 AM Reply #15 »
I'm sure the syndicate involved in the keno "win" finished well behind.

I doubt the 6% to 8% of turnover in AU tabs - too high methinks.

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-13, 12:08 PM Reply #16 »
From my memory he only chased the jackpot when it got over $4.5 million, even he invested last $3 million ( net of takeout ) he still finished in front.

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2010-Feb-13, 02:15 PM Reply #17 »
I recall when it went off. The RSL club apparently set him up wiyh his own terminal and a hefty rebate. They did pretty well out of it too I believe

Online jfc

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« 2010-Feb-14, 07:07 AM Reply #18 »
Corrections:

Informed punters would have had trouble avoiding Zeljko for the past 25 years.

In no way, shape or form is this an expose. The author couldn't be bothered googling John Wilson, whereupon he would have been able to publicise much information in the public interest.

Now:

This thread has been sidetracked into non-productive Keno speculation. About the only significant relic from that is how Zeljko manages to enjoy Keno kickbacks.

What everyone should be focusing on is how this article keeps affecting them now.

My records show a sobering trend, culminating in these figures for ~7,000 winning Tabcorp divs in 2009:

$8.15 NSW
$7.99 Vic

The 2% underperformance in Victoria is significant, and enough to change go to whoa for sharp punters. And obviously related to the mind-boggling Tasmanian kickbacks.

No one in their right mind should be donating through Supertab.

Yet there is no published evidence that any of these victims have bothered to take the simple wealth hazard avoidance measure of simply betting elsewhere.


Offline maosanta

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« 2010-Feb-14, 07:22 AM Reply #19 »
JFC, how does Unitab compare to those figures?

Online jfc

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« 2010-Feb-14, 07:33 AM Reply #20 »
JFC, how does Unitab compare to those figures?

I don't really want to squander a lot of valuable information that took me considerable effort to compile.

Broadly, UNiTAB is now marginally better than Supertab but still way behind NSW.

This is a recent development. Previously UNiTAB's kickback regime made it the worst for the proletariat.

But the Tasmanian stunt means that it is now the kickback capital. Hence the worst.

Offline Grega9430

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« 2010-Feb-14, 09:01 AM Reply #21 »
For Metropolitan races where one of the TAB's pays better than the other two it will be the NSW Tab 43% of the time instead of the expected 33%.

Long may we never see a national pool, and long live the NSW Regulators.


Online jfc

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« 2010-Feb-14, 09:30 AM Reply #22 »
One very telling test from my earlier figures:

3,173 NSW > Vic
2,769 Vic < NSW

Now if you run a CHITEST() on those, it reveals that the chance of independence is a staggeringly low figure of much less than 2 in a million!

This tremendous outlier is consistent with my impression that pool manipulation has been going on for a very long time.

Offline Antitab#

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« 2010-Feb-14, 09:41 AM Reply #23 »

Industry talk has him employing anything from 30 to more than 100 staff just to analyse form.


He employs significantly in excess of 100 people in his operation. Australian racing is only a small part of it.

Doesnt bet with bookmakers because he believes he can get a better return at the end of the year dripfeeding on tote rather than knocking off a price and the "followers" further denting TAB dividends.

Offline Bubbasmith

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« 2010-Feb-14, 09:59 AM Reply #24 »
Antitab

I was quoting the newspaper article, personally, I have no idea how many people Z might employ.

JFC

You are correct, personally I came across "Team Zeljko " on tracks throughout Victoria & NSW in the mid 1980's however, as I posted, I doubt as to whether he was publicly known to the majority of informed punters until about 15 years ago.
 
« Last Edit: 2010-Feb-14, 10:01 AM by Bubbasmith »


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