Two self-proclaimed scallywags growing up, John Patton and Andrew Price have always been around the racing industry.
Their foray into racing kicked off in the 1980s when only five years of age, and it didn’t take long until the two best mates were as thick as thieves on the racecourse, with the pair spending time at a myriad of Southern Districts and country racing race meetings, learning the craft from an industry legend.
“John’s late dad, Tom Patton, was a renowned bookie in the Southern Districts of NSW for more than 55 years,” Price told NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
“He was a Life Member of Wagga and Albury race clubs and has the Tom Patton Cup at Wagga named in his honour each year.
“Upon leaving school we both spent many a day at the local races clerking for Tom and learning the trade.
From running Melbourne Cup sweeps at school, to eventually clerking and bookmaking on course, Patton and Price were destined to work together on and off the track, and that opportunity finally arose in the form of Patton Price Bookmaking, better known as Thunderbet.
“About a year ago, we were talking about the somewhat unfortunate way bookmaking is headed with so many people now betting online or on apps at the course rather than with bookies,” Price said.
“To cut a long story short, that discussion flowed into how John might be able to take the business online, and then into ‘why don’t we do it together?’ With John’s almost 20 years of bookmaking experience and my career in law and business, it seemed like a good combination of skills for a business like Thunderbet. A year later, and following an enormous amount of hard work, Patton Price Bookmaking (Thunderbet) is up and running.”
While there is no shortage of online bookmakers available to the everyday punter, it can sometimes be difficult to stand out from the crowd, and when asked what separated Thunderbet from the rest, Patton believes it is their connection with country racing that will help them win over punters.
“The short answer is Thunderbet will offer punters essentially everything that the large corporate bookmakers offer – racing, greys, and harness around Australia, and overseas,” Patton said.
“Sports betting both nationally and overseas. Plus, a range of promotions, same race/game multi’s and so on.
“The main difference between us and the large corporates is that we’re a couple of mates from the country – we’re a bit like David and they’re Goliath!
“We are bookies; we still turn up bookmaking on course at country race meetings, we’ve been attending country race meetings since we were five years old, and we support country racing.
“If you’re from the bush and you want to have a bet with a couple of country bookies, then Thunderbet is your go.”
While Thunderbet hopes it is their country connection that attracts punters in the first place, Price believes their personal touch and attention to detail will keep punters happy and on board.
“Our customers are not statistics. We provide the best customer service to a base of punters, with our technology supported by industry leader, Betmakers,” Price said.
“We know if we give our customers the best technology, a wide range of promotions and offers, excellent personal service, and great odds, then why not bet with us?
“We’re not going to market offering 100/1 on every runner in the Melbourne Cup, or using former American sports stars to promote our brand, and we certainly won’t be inundating social media and television with those annoying advertisements. “We like to think we have a community of punters, and we provide good content including Friday form analysis and best bets for the weekend, and other extras to assist our customers back a winner.
“We are more personal than the big foreign owned corporates with plenty of our punters knowing either John or myself,” Price added.
Working out of an office at the Murrumbidgee Turf Club in Wagga, Patton and Price haven’t forgotten where it all started either, and as their business continues to grow, they will keep giving back to those less fortunate.
“Each month we support a regional charity by giving a free bet to one of our customers with winnings being donated to a charity, including a guaranteed donation just in case the bet goes wrong,” Price said.
“Our customers can also nominate a charity which we can support. Having both of us grown up in regional areas, we know better than most the challenges that can exist, particularly around access to services, especially healthcare.”
It shapes to be an exciting time for Thunderbet and country punters, and readers can find out more about their services by clicking here.