We are Getting Behind the Gamblers Consumer Forum

There is a real battle going on for the future of gambling in the UK and, for the first time, it feels like we have a unified body to represent bettors interests in the form of the Gamblers Consumer Forum (GCF).

Previous debates about betting have seen anti-gambling activists pitted against the corporate bookmakers, with every day punters (who make up the majority of bettors!) left without a voice.

This time though it’s much more serious with the deeply flawed measures being proposed by the inept Gambling Commission, a fundamental threat to bettors everywhere.

The GCF, who launched at the recent SmartBash, are different. Led by two experts in Andrew Woodman and Abbie MacGregor with political, scientific and media backgrounds, they have a clear plan to fight back against the proposals set out in the White Paper, namely:

  1. Calling for a change in culture at the Gambling Commission
  2. Campaigning for evidence-based treatment for gambling addicts
  3. Vehemently opposing Affordability Checks
  4. Getting everyday gamblers’ voices heard by decision makers
  5. Communicating a positive gambling message to key stakeholders

Find Out More, Donate & Get Involved

You can find out more about the Gamblers Consumer Forum, who they are and what they are doing by visiting their website or by following them on social media @GamblersCForum.

As an independent organisation, the GCF also relies on support from the wider betting community. Sharing their work on social media and donating money for funding are two of the ways to help them represent us and you can find out more about how to do so by visiting this page.

The White Paper and media narrative surrounding gambling make the future of our pastime uncertain, let’s get behind this organisation to fight back!

For those of you interested in learning more, check out the recent SBC Podcast with Andrew Woodman and Abbie McGregor here!).

Exploring Bookmakers (Major and Independent) & Bet Brokers

Winning with soft bookmakers, adapting to use ‘advanced’ profitable betting tools, beating exchanges and making an edge with sharp bookmakers.

To guide you through every stage of your betting journey, here at the Smart Betting Club we have spent a lot of time in 2023 building up extra resources to help our members thrive.

As part of this, our latest unique feature is a deep dive into Bet Brokers, outlets that provide access to some of the world’s leading sharp books, such as Pinnacle, that don’t close down winners and actually welcome them.

This new guide to Bet Brokers is available now in the SBC members area and explains how they work, the pros and cons of using them and interviews with 2 Bet Brokers themselves.

All you need, whatever stage you are at!

Our recent 5 Stages of Profitable Bettingpodcast covered a lot of ground on the journeys each punter goes through.

In it we discussed the challenges of becoming successful and then growing a bank over time.

To accompany this, I thought that I would let you know about some of the other new content that is only available to SBC Members:

  • Detailed profiles of both major and independent bookmakers – what they offer, how they are related, how they react to winning bettors and ‘intelligence’ from the SBC community
  • Our 5 Stages of Profitable Betting resource with (more) detailed analysis of what to do during your betting journey and the services that can help you
  • An Exchange and Sharp Bookmaker tipster section for members who cannot bet with soft bookmakers; dozens of services are profiled in detail!
  • The aforementioned brand new guide to Bet Brokers, where we introduce two reputable operators in the market and provide a checklist for subscribers, wherever they are around the world

Alongside this, all of our SBC Tipster Reviews have analysis of performance with bookmakers, the live exchange markets and by metrics such as Betfair SP, providing every member with all of the information to follow tipsters profitably (whether they have bookmaker accounts available or not!).

You can get instant access to all of these resources by signing up for a SBC Membership. You can do that here.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you make money from your betting, this page has plenty of information!

🎧SBC Podcast #59 (Part 1): 5 Stages of Profitable Betting

In the latest SBC Podcast I have something a little different for you.

Instead of interviewing a ‘traditional’ guest, I was joined by two of my SBC colleagues, Rowan and Josh, to discuss our new resource – The 5 Stages of Profitable Betting.

(The 5 stages takes you from beginner through to expert and all points on the ‘betting journey’ from using regular bookies to exchanges and sharp bookies/brokers)

Many betting podcasts (including ours) focus on interesting stories, guests’ opinions or in-depth discussions about services. Whilst I love making (and listening) to this content, what we have here is practical advice for bettors of all levels, with our personal experiences referenced at every stage.

We start off with advice for new bettors and progress through to (inevitable) account restrictions, using sharp bookmakers, increasing volume and so much more.

Whatever stage of betting you are at – beginner through to hardened pro – we hope that there is something inside for you!

Please be aware that there is a Part 2, where we discuss specific tipsters for each stage. To access this content, you will require a SBC Membership.

You can listen to Episode 59 (Part 1) now via Apple /Spotify / Google / YouTube and all other major podcast directories (search Smart Betting Club)

An in-depth chat about how to maximise your profit

In this episode Rowan, Josh and I discuss:

  • Our first tipster experiences and how we started out
  • Understanding how risk appetite, time, account availability and your own mentality will affect which services are best for you
  • Getting to know yourself as a bettor
  • Betting banks, research and setting yourself up for success
  • Recording results and different ways to measure tipster services
  • Drawdown analysis and why it can help put losing runs into context
  • Sports markets and how they are different
  • Starting out
  • Bookmaker accounts – ‘dos and don’ts’
  • Tipsters – what to look for and what to avoid
  • Diversifying, building and more advanced betting
  • Managing bookmaker accounts when restrictions bite
  • The different types of betting mediums, from soft and sharp bookmakers through to exchanges and shops
  • The challenges of betting in higher volumes with lower ROIs
  • Adapting over time and the challenges that this presents

This was an enjoyable podcast to record and we hope that you get something from what we discussed! ‘The 5 Stages of Profitable Betting’ is introduced on this page with more detail about what is inside the site for members.

Part 2 – Discover the services we recommend

The good news is that we have also recorded a Part Two, where we go into more depth and share specific services that are suitable at each stage.

This includes some of the tipsters we have either followed in the past or do so at the moment. We talk about why we chose them, how best to use them and which stage(s) they are suitable for.

You can only listen to Part 2 as a fully paid up SBC member. Sign-up here!

One Year In: An Interview With An Australian SBC Member

We recently posted two interviews with two Smart Betting Club Members – one who won over £15,000 using the Bookie Bashing Horse Racing Tracker (all on a restricted account!) and another who shared the story of their betting journey so far.

In this week’s interview, we spoke to a SBC Member from Australia who has been with us for just over a year.

With our Five Stages of Profitable Betting resource launched and a special SBC Podcast being released later this week, we feel that this type of practical resource is essential as we can always learn from each other in this ever-changing industry.

Our interviewee has some excellent tips for choosing the right tipsters, maintaining accounts and adapting as circumstances change. He will be back soon with some ‘tech tips’ so look out for any fresh blog posts!

How long have you been a SBC Member?

I have been with SBC for 12 months now.

What made you sign up?

I came across SBC on Twitter and started listening to the podcasts and reading the free reviews available. The reviews were more detailed than anything I had come across before and I had learned quite a bit from the podcast guests.

Did you do any betting or following of tipsters before you joined up?

I had built up a bankroll through matched betting and arbitrage for a few years. I had followed a couple of form and ratings services that I used to create my own systems and strategies, but it was harder and less successful than I thought it would be.

What sports do you bet on?

Golf and Horse Racing predominantly, but also tennis, greyhound racing and football.

How much of your betting is your own/how much is following tipsters?

At the moment it is about 50/50. I bet larger stakes on the bets from tipsters, but I have a few of my own horse and greyhound racing strategies that generate around 100 bets per day. The high volume of those selections allows me to bet reasonably small stakes yet still achieve solid bank growth.

What services do you use (both SBC & non-SBC)

I use quite a few services. In terms of tipsters, I subscribe to Winner Odds, Betaminic Over 2.5 Goals, Winabobatoo, Optimum Racing, Golf Insider and The Value Machine. I also follow free tipsters such as Ben Coley and Tour Tips, as well as 80/20 Racing and Achievable Value through SBC.

Another subscription I have is with BF Bot Manager, which I use to place my horse and greyhound racing bets into the live Betfair market instead of taking the BSP. I also use the FairBot Software for any trading and matched betting I do.

How did you choose those services?

I always read the SBC reviews of each service and if the tipster has appeared on the SBC podcast, I will listen to that. The odds movement analysis is one of the critical things for me. I don’t want to have to get my bets on within a couple minutes of the tips being sent, especially since I follow quite a few different services.

This made golf an obvious choice, which I bet win-only on Betfair, as well as horse racing which I use the Bot Manager to bet into the live Betfair market.

Do you have any favourite service(s) or memorable win(s)?

My favourite service was definitely Winner Odds, which made me $9,000 in roughly six months. After six weeks I was down over $1,000 but stuck with it and only had two losing weeks since then. I am also a big fan of 80/20 Racing. My favourite bet would have to be Nick Taylor in the Canadian Open who I backed at 90 on Betfair. I only checked the bets after the event and was pleasantly surprised!

Which level of betting do you feel that you fall into in our 5 Stages? 

I would say I have moved into stage 5. 90% of my betting is done through Betfair. I can get very small stakes with one or two bookmakers which has made following high-volume services such as Winner Odds and The Value Machine a possibility.

Do you have any tips for new bettors who are starting out on their journey?

I would encourage anyone to build up a bankroll through matched betting and arbitrage. Aside from making solid profits, you also get experience using Betfair and reading market movements etc. Similar to that, try to sustain your bookmaker accounts for as long as possible as they are extremely valuable. Betting to outlandish stakes, particularly on obscure markets or standout prices, will likely get you limited very quickly. It is much better to make small, steady progress over a long period of time, in my opinion.

What are your plans for the future?

I think in time most of my betting will be on horse racing and golf. I am transitioning all my golf betting to Win-Only, as I have found betting in the place markets to be time consuming and frustrating due to lack of liquidity, particularly on the DP World Tour.

I suspect I won’t add too many more tipsters to my portfolio, instead just increasing my stakes so that the amount of bets I am placing is manageable.

Sign Up Now

You can sign up to The SBC by clicking here.

All of the detailed reports, resources and free tipsters referenced above will be available to you immediately. If you have any questions, please get in touch by emailing pete@smartbettingclub.com or by Direct Message on Twitter @SBCInfo.


🎧SBC Podcast #58: Abbie McGregor & Andrew Woodman of the newly formed Gamblers Consumer Forum

In the latest SBC Podcast I am joined by two expert guests – Abbie McGregor and Andrew Woodman – to discuss the formation of the Gamblers Consumer Forum (GCF) – a new ‘Punters Union’ they have setup to represent the majority that bet and the issues that matter to us.

These issues include pushing back against the affordability and deposit limits that impact all bettors and many of the other queries raised by the recent Gambling White Paper and its proposals for the future of betting in the UK.

The GCF launched on Thursday at the very first SmartBash, with Abbie and Andrew presenting new ideas, research and practical solutions to make gambling better for all punters.

In this chat, we cover everything from the reason for the group’s formation to the key battlegrounds for debate in the public arena.

You can listen to Episode 58 now via Apple / Spotify / Google YouTube and all other major podcast directories (search Smart Betting Club)

An in-depth chat with representatives from this essential new body

In this episode Abbie, Andrew and I discuss:

  • Why the Gamblers Consumer Forum has been set up and what its main objectives are
  • The forum’s independence from outside influences
  • Countering the anti-gambling narrative
  • How the body will be funded and who it will represent
  • Science, data and how this will be central to how the forum will lobby decision makers and debate in public
  • Academia’s role in forming the White Paper and how their ideas are neither practical or useful
  • The nature of addiction and why a blanket approach will not work
  • Why clinical specialists are best placed to help those who struggle to control their gambling
  • The black market, its prevalence and why its growth could be an unintended consequence of current proposals
  • The questionable decision to entrust bookmakers with identifying and helping problem gamblers
  • ‘Frictionless checks’ and how useful (or not) they are
  • How (and why) gambling is treated differently to other similar activities
  • Failures of regulation, disingenuous research and how confirmation bias can be blamed for the thinking of some key stakeholders in the industry
  • The Gambling Commission, its weaknesses and how it could be improved upon
  • Lessons that can be learnt from debating organisations like Animal Rising
  • GCF’s plans and the support that they are asking for

Abbie and Andrew are great representatives to get a positive message about gambling across and it was fascinating to hear their ideas.

Both of them love betting, both understand the industry, are excellent debaters and between them, they have expertise in science and politics that can present a practical and sensible set of proposals for how we move forward.

I enjoyed this chat and it gave me hope that this argument can be won – I hope that you feel the same after listening!

The Gamblers Consumer Forum can be followed on Twitter at @GamblersCForum and their website, which will act as the main hub for information and news, will be launched later this week.

Smart Bash: Unpacking Thursday’s Inaugural Betting Event In London & Its Goals!

On Thursday Evening in London, SBC alongside our friends at Bookie Bashing hosted the very first Smart Bash event, details of which you may have seen posted on Twitter including photos and videos.

We had around 60 invited guests in attendance from all aspects of the industry including bookmakers, professional punters, tipsters, broadcasters, business owners and more.

The event included a presentation from the newly launched Gamblers Consumer Forum (see below) and a panel discussing current issues featuring some prominent names from the betting world.

48 hours later I wanted to reflect on and explain the goal of the event and what we hope it is able to achieve.

Raising Awareness

Primarily, Smart Bash was an opportunity to raise awareness as regards a few key topics that impact those of us bet such as:

  • The inherent issues in the current way gambling is being regulated including Affordability & Deposit Limits that are impacting both bookmakers and punters alike
  • The very real concerns about what has been proposed in the recent gambling white paper and fear it will lead to further growth of the black market.
  • The failure of the Gambling Commission and Government to properly regulate and understand the betting industry.
  • To showcase betting in a positive light and the many benefits it can bring

Representing The Majority Who Bet

We saw Smart Bash as an opportunity to present a unified voice that pushes back at the very negative stories that we see surround betting in the media at present.

Whilst acknowledging the need to have safeguards in place to protect the vulnerable and those suffering with addiction, the vast, vast majority of those who bet do so sensibly, enjoyably and do not require intervention or oversight on their betting and how much they spend on it.

For too long this majority of bettors has not been heard from, nor their issues represented and it is high time they were listened to by those making important decisions on the future of the industry.

Applying affordability and deposit checks on all of these bettors is unnecessary, unreasonable and unworkable for both bookies and punters and is only serving to push the the latter into the black market to bet.

There is very little confidence in the work of those running the Gambling Commission currently to fairly and properly regulate the industry, nor is there a viable Dispute Resolution service or Ombudsman in place to tackle bettors many grievances.

Gamblers Consumer Forum

Furthermore, Smart Bash also served as an official launch pad for the newly setup Gamblers Consumer Forum (GCF) who presented to attendees about their new organisation designed to represent the interests of bettors.

The GCF is led by Andrew Woodman and Abbie McGregor who together believe that the White Paper is deeply flawed on both affordability and addiction and will push for a complete rethink.

Their goal is to represent the voice of the ordinary gambler and we were happy to host them and help launch their new organisation. A podcast with the GCF will be released on Monday to help explain more on their work.

Networking & Growing Your Betting

As well as raising awareness on the issues above, Smart Bash also served as an opportunity to get some of the very smartest and brightest bettors in a room together to see how we can help each other out.

Betting for many can be quite an isolated endeavour so the chance to meet others in the industry to see how we can push our betting forward was a real highlight.

Speaking from an SBC perspective, it was great to chat with many past and hopefully future podcast guests and to meet so many successful professional punters, tipsters , betting experts and independent bookmakers.

These conversations and relationships will only serve to help us grow our knowledge and experience and help us to better inform and help SBC members that much more in the future.

A Launchpad For A Bigger Smart Bash Event!

For those of you wondering – why didn’t I know about or get an invite to Smart Bash?

This is simply because we kept it all very low key in the build up to it and invite only as we also wanted to gauge the feasibility and interest in holding a larger, ticketed Smart Bash event in the future.

That is a very real possibility as the feedback so far from those attending was very positive and demand seems to be there for it!

In coming weeks and months we will no doubt explore this concept further as we reflect on Thursday Evening.

So that is a summary of what took place in London this week and why we held Smart Bash and its goals and achievements. A huge thank-you to all of those who attended and supported the event, especially the panel of experts and GCF for their time and expertise.

If you have any questions on it or even want to flag your interest in attending or being involved in some capacity at a larger Smart Bash event in future, do please reach out.