The Oddschecker Dilemma – A Great Resource For Punters, Yet A Site You Should Use Wisely. Important Advice Inside

Last Friday saw the release of a special new SBC report on the topic of bookmaker restrictions – specifically in relation to the tracking that bookmakers undertake on their customers and what you need to know to combat this.

Now whilst this report is for SBC members eyes only, I did want to talk about one point raised within it connected to the profiling of customers by bookmakers and the use of odds comparison websites.

One very simple way in which bookmakers can profile you is in relation to the links you click on that direct them to their website.

Sometimes this is a bookmakers way of paying those referral websites and social media accounts a percentage share of the losses you might make if you open an account (an article for another day!) or simply as a way of tracking the type of punter you are.

This is important because as we learnt from the leaked document referenced in this article from 2019, when one bookmaker got wind of customers using the odds comparison website – Oddschecker, then such betting accounts were stake factored by 55%.

Effectively ensuring these customers would only be able to get on 45% of the maximum stake allowed on any bet.

Why restrict customers who use Oddschecker?

Oddschecker are a major player in the odds comparison world. It is a free website which compares the very latest odds from a large number of bookmakers so as to highlight where best to place your bet.

Bookmakers dislike this though as the simple fact you are using an odds comparison service immediately sets you out as shrewder than most and someone who understands the need for value when betting.

I.e. You won’t just take the first odds you see as you want the best price for your bet.

You want 4/1 instead of 7/2 or 10/1 instead of 8/1…differences in odds that matter if your bet wins.

Bookies also hate it as it means you are not a ‘brand loyal’ customer – AKA the type of punter who is too lazy or short-sighted to bet with anyone but the same firm.

The type of bad bettor all bookies love and as this article revealed – those that might be termed VIPs and able to get up to 5X max stakes on any bet they want.

Don’t Show Your Hand

What this means in practical terms is that you have to be very wary of showing your hand as an Oddschecker user.

This means avoiding clicking any links that take you directly from Oddschecker to a bookmaker as that is one very simple way your usage of their website could be tracked.

Oddschecker make it very easy to click on a bet you want and to either be taken straight to the bookmakers website OR to place it through Oddschecker’s own bet slip functionality (which allows you to stay on the Oddschecker site and place your bets in seconds).

As convenient as this might well be (and it is very convenient) the downsides are that you immediately are showing your hand to a bookmaker that you are shrewder than most!

It also might mean your bookmaker account is then stake factored down as a consequence.

A Conflict of Interest?

It isn’t Oddschecker’s fault that customers who use their website are tagged as shrewd, as this is more a function of the advantage it offers bettors who use their odds comparison service.

I am sure if SBC used bookmaker direct affiliate links (which we don’t) then it could be something you might find yourself restricted by.

“Hey Dave, this customer joined us via the Smart Betting Club – we need to watch out for him. Restrict him to 0.05% of max stakes straight away!”

Yet it is worth being aware of the fact that Oddschecker are now part of the Flutter Entertainment group, which following a series of mergers and acquisitions now includes the likes of Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook/Exchange & Skybet in its midst.

It is a veritable behemoth of a company and Flutter effectively owns a group of bookmakers and betting companies that simply put – have no vestige in hosting profitable bettors if at all possible.

Why would they?

The more winning customers they have, the less a bookmaker makes. You win, they lose and its something that are at pains to avoid.

Because as they never tire of telling us – all bookmakers reserve the right to choose which customers can bet with them. If they find a customer to be unprofitable (i.e. a winner), it is within their current rights to close your account or limit the size stakes you can get on.

Skybet’s ex-CEO Richard Flint made the policy of restrictions abundantly clear in this interview he undertook in October 2018 and to quote directly “We restrict customers if we think that we are going to lose money to them in the long-run”.

So, whilst Oddschecker are offering to compare the odds free or charge and to in turn help shrewd bettors take better prices – this seems to be in conflict with the goals of other bookmakers within the Flutter Entertainment Group such as Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook & Skybet. All of whom restrict and close winning bettors – no doubt a group including many of the shrewd bettors who themselves use Oddschecker.

Is Information Being Shared?

It also begs the question – Is information on the profile of customers shared amongst the bookmaking companies within Flutter such as Paddy Power, Betfair & Skybet?

If so, this might be one simple way to profile customers and to weed out those more profitable than not.

I might be barking up the wrong tree entirely and I welcome feedback from Oddschecker or Flutter to clarify these points, yet from my point of view, it does look like there is a potential issue here.

Oddschecker state on their homepage that We give you, the user, the power and control to find the best bet for you.”

Yet at the same time they are part of a bigger company with reasons and incentives to limit shrewd bettors – those who do take the time to find the best price for a bet.

Hence why it would be good to know if and how information is being shared amongst those companies within the Flutter group.

Use Them Wisely!

It seems clear that as they have grown – Oddschecker, just like Betfair, have veered from their initial humble punter-focused origins as they have been swallowed up by bigger companies putting profit front and centre.

Betfair, lest we forget were once first and foremost a betting exchange, yet these days they are keener to push their sportsbook offering as presumably it is this side of their business that offers more profit potential. The betting exchange invariably appears more of an afterthought these days.

So whilst Oddschecker remains a great resource (as does the Betfair exchange) and I thoroughly recommend utilising their service, it is one I suggest you need to use with care.

To that end, I would advocate not clicking any direct referral links to bookmakers and certainly not using the bet placement facility they offer. By all means use their odds comparison matrix, but do so with caution and mindful of the points raised in this email.

Ladbrokes, Coral Exit Oddschecker

As I wrote this article earlier this week, Oddschecker hit the betting news following the announcement that GVC Holdings – the company that owns Ladbrokes, Coral & Betdaq had failed to agree a deal to continue to be listed on the Oddschecker site.

Whether this is down to the fees Oddschecker charge to feature in their odds matrix, price negotiating tactics or simply the fact that GVC find too many customers who come via Oddschecker are unprofitable remains to be seen. Certainly it is a blow for Oddschecker and for those (few) shrewd punters that can still use either or Ladbrokes or Coral to place their bets.

Whatever the reasons, it is an interesting development and only time will tell how this all pans out. Will we see more firms leave Oddschecker? Or might Ladbrokes/Coral come crawling back in the future?

Learn More On Bookmakers

To learn more on how bookmakers operate, including access to SBC’s latest report on bookmaker profiling and our dedicated section to bookmaker restrictions you might like to consider a Smart Betting Club membership.

Available from just £27.99 per quarter and with up to a 90-day money back guarantee, an SBC membership is here to help you maximise your betting profits and educate and inform you on the betting and tipster world from a shrewd punters perspective.

Learn more via these links…

How we can help your betting /

About us – our independent stance and why we are on the punters side /

The difference our expert tipster reviews can make /

See you on the inside!
Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

If you have any questions on this article or a Smart Betting Club membership in general, you can contact me directly via pete@smartbettingclub.com. I respond to all emails as quickly as I can!

Important update on bookmaker fund security in these uncertain times. 64 firms now rated on how they ‘protect’ your money

These are strange, uncertain times for us all and with that in mind, I want to provide a very important update to my 4th March article (copied again below) on the lack of safety many bookmakers offer the money you hold with them.

Far too many firms still offer NO protection to the money you deposit and given the fact we are on the precipice of a major financial crisis, it is reasonable to assume that some bookmakers may not survive it.

Therefore, I wanted to update you all today with an important recommendation:

If you hold money with a bookmaker offering you NO protection, then you should consider withdrawing these funds, especially if you are not currently using this money to actively bet.

If and when the world and in turn sport and betting returns to normal you can deposit this all back. Yet right now leaving these funds in your account is a risk you don’t need to take.

In my 4th March update I recommended you be very cautious with the funds you hold in unprotected accounts, yet today I want to double down on this advice given how things have changed in the last few weeks.

Naturally, I hope that none of these bookmakers go out of business and that the people who work at these firms maintain their jobs. The reality is that it is likely we may lose a few and the last thing I want is for the money you hold with them to be swallowed up.

By withdrawing our funds, it might also encourage those firms offering NO protection to up their game and improve their rating.

Kudos needs to go to one bookmaker – Betway who have done just that recently as they now offer HIGH protection to all funds deposited. This is excellent news and I hope more firms will look to do the same.

You can be sure that if enough of us vote with our account balances and demand better protection for our funds, bookmakers will listen!

HBF Now Rating 64 Bookmakers

It is also worth pointing out that the excellent Horseracing Bettors Forum have extended their bookmaker fund safety ratings to include 64 different bookmakers.

With their permission, I have copied 2 tables as originally published by them, which showcase the current ratings ranked from High to Low.

All details are, to SBC & HBF’s best knowledge, correct at the date of audit, yet we cannot be held liable for any errors, or for updates which occur subsequent to the date of audit.

Bookmaker Protection Ratings

Bookmaker Protection Ratings 2

It seems we can expect this to be updated periodically with more additions and changes to the ratings as they come in. Ever since my original article on this topic, I have noticed this issue is getting more and more traction as punters become aware of the lack of security given to their funds, which has to be a good thing.

As and when more important updates on this topic come in, I will endeavour to let you know.

Finally and most importantly, I wanted to sign-off by wishing you all the very best for the next few weeks and months. Take care of yourself and your loved ones and I will speak to you again very soon.

Best Regards

Peter Ling

Smart Betting Club Owner and Founder

This update was published on the 20th March 2020 – all information correct as of that date. SBC cannot be held liable for any errors, or for updates which occur subsequent to this article.

———————–

Below you can read my original article from the 4th March…

Subject: How safe is the money you deposit with bookmakers? Essential advice and information

Today I have a very important update to share with you on the topic of bookmaker fund security – or indeed the lack of it from many of the firms that we all bet with.

It is an excerpt from an updated article recently published for members of the Smart Betting Club to ensure that none of them suffer the issue of holding large funds in bookmaker accounts that they are unable to access.

I originally raised this issue with Smart Betting Club members back in May 2019 advising them to not leave large sums of money in unprotected accounts and given the news surrounding the bookmaker MoPlay and their recent insolvency, I have decided to publish it for everyone outside the club to read.

Whilst not the ‘sexiest’ of topics – it certainly is an essential one for anyone that bets, so please do take the time to read it and understand more on how safe the funds you deposit with bookmakers actually are…

Discover How The Smart Betting Club Can Help You!

How safe is the money you deposit with bookmakers? 

Bookmakers have been in the news for all the wrong reasons again recently with first Matchbook having their UK licence suspended and of even greater concern, another firm – MoPlay declaring themselves insolvent with customers unable to withdraw their funds.

This follows on from other bookmakers who have stopped trading in the past year including Sunbets and BetBright, whilst Black Type recently went into administration and were taken over by their technology provider – FSB.

The big issue this all raises surrounds how any funds you have deposited with bookmakers are protected so that should they go bust, you can still withdraw money held back to your bank account.

That is of course before we get onto the topic of any open bets you might have with any such insolvent bookmakers and if they will be settled as expected.

Say for example you were sitting on an Ante-post bet on Liverpool to win the Premier League at 11/4 struck in August 2019, that is effectively a 1/500 chance right now, yet which might not get paid out if the bookie you placed it with goes bust tomorrow.

MoPlay NoPay?

This nightmare scenario of a bookmaker going bust, unable to settle open bets and unable to pay out the funds owed to customers is currently taking place with MoPlay.

This was the notice posted on their website just last week that confronted customers:

The reference to clause 9 of their terms and conditions reads as follows:

9. How your funds will be held
9.1 To play our games and place bets, you need to deposit funds. Your funds will be held in a separate bank account from all our other business accounts. Your funds will be held separate from company funds in a mixture of a bank account and reserve funds which we hold with our payment processors. However, if there was ever a situation where we became insolvent, your funds would not be considered separate to the other company assets and you may not receive all your funds back

The key section of this clause I have highlighted in bold as it provides no assurance that any funds held with them will be returned now that they have been declared insolvent.

Will MoPlay customers ever get access to their funds? It seemed unlikely a few days ago, although recent news stories suggest there is some hope for those impacted. It’s a developing story and I am hoping for a positive outcome for all concerned.

The Lack of Protection For Punters

If you think this lack of protection of the funds you deposit with bookmakers is an issue for the authorities – then think again.

The Gambling Commission who oversee licensing requirements for bookmakers explain as much on their website, where they state that

“Money staked or deposited with a gambling business is not protected by the government the way that personal bank accounts are. Online gambling companies in Britain must keep customers’ money in a separate account, but this does not guarantee you will get your money back if the company goes bust.”

Rather than make it a prerequisite for licensing to ensure funds are protected, instead they simply rate each bookmaker and the level of protection or not, given as per the table below:

The level itself is self-declared by each bookmaker but the Gambling Commission is able to check the accuracy – although no outline is given how often this is done.

Ultimately, they leave it up to you – the individual punter to check on how safe your money is or not, declaring that:

“The larger the amount of money which you hold with a gambling company, the more thought you should give to how that company protects it. You may wish to choose which company you use by how much protection they offer or spread your money across more than one company.

How To Check Each Bookmaker’s Protection of Funds Rating

Although the onus is on us as punters to check on this issue – help is at hand thanks to the updated Register of Protection of Funds as put together by the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF).

The HBF have done the hard work and trawled through each set of terms and conditions to discover how safe your funds are with all the main bookmakers currently operating. It is exceptional work and the HBF need to be congratulated for it.

Of particular concern are those 11 firms offering No Protection whatsoever (just as MoPlay did) who HBF list as follows:

Betfred, Betsafe, Betway, GentingBet, Geoff Banks, Leo Vegas, Marathon Bet, Matchbook, Sportnation, Sportpesa & Tote.

Questions need to be put to all these firms to ask why they don’t protect funds?

Most of the firms audited fall into the Medium Protection bracket with 15 in total, including big names such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, Skybet & William Hill.

Just 6 firms take this seriously enough to offer High Protection and well done to Betfair Exchange & Sportsbook, Betstars, Bet Victor, Coral & Paddy Power for taking the lead here.

Ultimately, it has to be of concern that of the 32 firms audited by the HBF, only 18.75% of them offer this high rating, whilst 37.5% offer no protection at all.

You can view a breakdown of each firm in the table below:

Antepost Caution & Regular Withdrawals

Armed with the information above and the issues that the recent closure of MoPlay raised, you would therefore be very wise to proceed with caution leaving sizeable sums of money in any account with a bookmaker only offering no level of protection.

If such a bookmaker went bust, in theory you wouldn’t likely see much, if any of that money again. The likelihood is that for those bigger name bookmakers this won’t happen, albeit it may, but for the smaller outfits such as we saw with MoPlay, it should be a concern.

It might be that we also see further examples as per Betbright, whereby upon their closure, unsettled Ante-post bets held were not initially settled or paid up until a major PR storm compelled them into eventually doing so.

Therefore – one simple bit of advice is to be very careful where you place your Ante-post bets – and focus on placing them with more established names or those with at least a Medium or High rating.

Keep Your Balances Low & Money In YOUR Bank Account

It is also sensible advice to keep your balances with those firms with no protection to a relative minimum, because quite simply your money is not protected.

Maintain a balance required for you to place your regular wagers only and deposit and withdraw regularly if needed.

I suggest this having read about a few punters recently who had relatively sizeable amounts in their MoPlay accounts, which they are currently unable to access. Some have written the money off whilst others are desperately seeking answers to how and if they will ever be able to withdraw it.

All told it’s an incredibly frustrating situation for those impacted and I want to make sure no-one else suffers the same issue in the future should other bookmakers declare insolvency.

This is likely given the increasingly cutthroat and competitive bookmaking world where margins are tighter and increasing focus on topics like problem gambling are eating into many firms profits. I expect more firms to go to the wall in the future.

Therefore my general advice for all bookmakers is to never leave large amounts sitting dormant in any account as it’s far better to have such money securely tucked away in your bank account earning you interest.

Don’t risk it – withdraw all but the funds you need for your regular betting activity from bookmaker accounts, especially those with no protection.

/////////////ARTICLE ENDS///////////////

This article was first published on the 3rd March 2020 – all information correct as of that date.

Be Careful Out There!

The issue surrounding the lack of funds protection just goes to show how much of a jungle it can be when betting on your own. After all it can be hard enough to turn a profit from your bets first of all, without the worry as to whether the bookmakers you use will pay you out or not.

As mentioned at the start of this email – this article is an update on the advice originally given to members of the Smart Betting Club back in May 2019 to not leave large funds in any account with a bookmaker offering no protection of funds. Although at the time of writing that original article, no major bookmaker had gone bust without paying out, we could see the writing on the wall that it was only a matter of time before one did.

If you are after assistance with your betting – whether it be important updates like this or our speciality – reviews and ratings on the best tipsters, then you might like to consider a Smart Betting Club membership.

 

Peter Ling

Smart Betting Club Owner and Founder

 

 

 

How safe is the money you deposit with bookmakers? Ratings & guidance on this critical question

Today I have a very important update to share with you on the topic of bookmaker fund security – or indeed the lack of it from many of the firms that we all bet with.

It is an excerpt from an updated article recently published for members of the Smart Betting Club to ensure that none of them suffer the issue of holding large funds in bookmaker accounts that they are unable to access.

I originally raised this issue with Smart Betting Club members back in May 2019 advising them to not leave large sums of money in unprotected accounts and given the news surrounding the bookmaker MoPlay and their recent insolvency, I have decided to publish it for everyone outside the club to read.

Whilst not the ‘sexiest’ of topics – it certainly is an essential one for anyone that bets, so please do take the time to read it and understand more on how safe the funds you deposit with bookmakers actually are…

Discover How The Smart Betting Club Can Help You!

How safe is the money you deposit with bookmakers? 

Bookmakers have been in the news for all the wrong reasons again recently with first Matchbook having their UK licence suspended and of even greater concern, another firm – MoPlay declaring themselves insolvent with customers unable to withdraw their funds.

This follows on from other bookmakers who have stopped trading in the past year including Sunbets and BetBright, whilst Black Type recently went into administration and were taken over by their technology provider – FSB.

The big issue this all raises surrounds how any funds you have deposited with bookmakers are protected so that should they go bust, you can still withdraw money held back to your bank account.

That is of course before we get onto the topic of any open bets you might have with any such insolvent bookmakers and if they will be settled as expected.

Say for example you were sitting on an Ante-post bet on Liverpool to win the Premier League at 11/4 struck in August 2019, that is effectively a 1/500 chance right now, yet which might not get paid out if the bookie you placed it with goes bust tomorrow.

MoPlay NoPay?

This nightmare scenario of a bookmaker going bust, unable to settle open bets and unable to pay out the funds owed to customers is currently taking place with MoPlay.

This was the notice posted on their website just last week that confronted customers:

The reference to clause 9 of their terms and conditions reads as follows:

9. How your funds will be held
9.1 To play our games and place bets, you need to deposit funds. Your funds will be held in a separate bank account from all our other business accounts. Your funds will be held separate from company funds in a mixture of a bank account and reserve funds which we hold with our payment processors. However, if there was ever a situation where we became insolvent, your funds would not be considered separate to the other company assets and you may not receive all your funds back

The key section of this clause I have highlighted in bold as it provides no assurance that any funds held with them will be returned now that they have been declared insolvent.

Will MoPlay customers ever get access to their funds? It seemed unlikely a few days ago, although recent news stories suggest there is some hope for those impacted. It’s a developing story and I am hoping for a positive outcome for all concerned.

The Lack of Protection For Punters

If you think this lack of protection of the funds you deposit with bookmakers is an issue for the authorities – then think again.

The Gambling Commission who oversee licensing requirements for bookmakers explain as much on their website, where they state that

“Money staked or deposited with a gambling business is not protected by the government the way that personal bank accounts are. Online gambling companies in Britain must keep customers’ money in a separate account, but this does not guarantee you will get your money back if the company goes bust.”

Rather than make it a prerequisite for licensing to ensure funds are protected, instead they simply rate each bookmaker and the level of protection or not, given as per the table below:

The level itself is self-declared by each bookmaker but the Gambling Commission is able to check the accuracy – although no outline is given how often this is done.

Ultimately, they leave it up to you – the individual punter to check on how safe your money is or not, declaring that:

“The larger the amount of money which you hold with a gambling company, the more thought you should give to how that company protects it. You may wish to choose which company you use by how much protection they offer or spread your money across more than one company.

How To Check Each Bookmaker’s Protection of Funds Rating

Although the onus is on us as punters to check on this issue – help is at hand thanks to the updated Register of Protection of Funds as put together by the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF).

The HBF have done the hard work and trawled through each set of terms and conditions to discover how safe your funds are with all the main bookmakers currently operating. It is exceptional work and the HBF need to be congratulated for it.

Of particular concern are those 11 firms offering No Protection whatsoever (just as MoPlay did) who HBF list as follows:

Betfred, Betsafe, Betway, GentingBet, Geoff Banks, Leo Vegas, Marathon Bet, Matchbook, Sportnation, Sportpesa & Tote.

Questions need to be put to all these firms to ask why they don’t protect funds?

Most of the firms audited fall into the Medium Protection bracket with 15 in total, including big names such as Bet365, Ladbrokes, Skybet & William Hill.

Just 6 firms take this seriously enough to offer High Protection and well done to Betfair Exchange & Sportsbook, Betstars, Bet Victor, Coral & Paddy Power for taking the lead here.

Ultimately, it has to be of concern that of the 32 firms audited by the HBF, only 18.75% of them offer this high rating, whilst 37.5% offer no protection at all.

You can view a breakdown of each firm in the table below:

Antepost Caution & Regular Withdrawals

Armed with the information above and the issues that the recent closure of MoPlay raised, you would therefore be very wise to proceed with caution leaving sizeable sums of money in any account with a bookmaker only offering no level of protection.

If such a bookmaker went bust, in theory you wouldn’t likely see much, if any of that money again. The likelihood is that for those bigger name bookmakers this won’t happen, albeit it may, but for the smaller outfits such as we saw with MoPlay, it should be a concern.

It might be that we also see further examples as per Betbright, whereby upon their closure, unsettled Ante-post bets held were not initially settled or paid up until a major PR storm compelled them into eventually doing so.

Therefore – one simple bit of advice is to be very careful where you place your Ante-post bets – and focus on placing them with more established names or those with at least a Medium or High rating.

Keep Your Balances Low & Money In YOUR Bank Account

It is also sensible advice to keep your balances with those firms with no protection to a relative minimum, because quite simply your money is not protected.

Maintain a balance required for you to place your regular wagers only and deposit and withdraw regularly if needed.

I suggest this having read about a few punters recently who had relatively sizeable amounts in their MoPlay accounts, which they are currently unable to access. Some have written the money off whilst others are desperately seeking answers to how and if they will ever be able to withdraw it.

All told it’s an incredibly frustrating situation for those impacted and I want to make sure no-one else suffers the same issue in the future should other bookmakers declare insolvency.

This is likely given the increasingly cutthroat and competitive bookmaking world where margins are tighter and increasing focus on topics like problem gambling are eating into many firms profits. I expect more firms to go to the wall in the future.

Therefore my general advice for all bookmakers is to never leave large amounts sitting dormant in any account as it’s far better to have such money securely tucked away in your bank account earning you interest.

Don’t risk it – withdraw all but the funds you need for your regular betting activity from bookmaker accounts, especially those with no protection.

/////////////ARTICLE ENDS///////////////

This article was first published on the 3rd March 2020 – all information correct as of that date.

Be Careful Out There!

The issue surrounding the lack of funds protection just goes to show how much of a jungle it can be when betting on your own. After all it can be hard enough to turn a profit from your bets first of all, without the worry as to whether the bookmakers you use will pay you out or not.

As mentioned at the start of this email – this article is an update on the advice originally given to members of the Smart Betting Club back in May 2019 to not leave large funds in any account with a bookmaker offering no protection of funds. Although at the time of writing that original article, no major bookmaker had gone bust without paying out, we could see the writing on the wall that it was only a matter of time before one did.

If you are after assistance with your betting – whether it be important updates like this or our speciality – reviews and ratings on the best tipsters, then you might like to consider a Smart Betting Club membership.

 

Peter Ling

Smart Betting Club Owner and Founder

 

 

 

Smarkets Exchange & SBK App: Interview & Review

.
We recently published a special ‘Exchange & Bet Broker Guide’ – dedicated to exploring 6 of the best places for you to bet.

After all, the simple act of putting your bets on with the right exchange, broker or bookmaker can make a MASSIVE DIFFERENCE to the profits you make betting.

So to showcase exactly how this guide can help you choose the right place to bet, today you can read our interview and feature on the betting exchange: Smarkets & its mobile app SBK

Smarkets & SBK offer a low 2% commission rate (much better than the 5% base rate from their main rival Betfair) alongside great odds on several sports and markets. It’s just one example of how betting away from the main bookie suspects can make your money go further!

You can pick up your copy of the Exchange & Bet Broker Guide the instant you join us at the Smart Betting Club.

SBC Exchange & Bet Broker Guide Extract: Smarkets & SBK

In Brief: Smarkets is a highly recommended betting exchange and a must-have account for all serious punters, especially those active on horse racing and football. The low 2% commission rate, coupled with improved website access both via desktop and mobile has seen a huge increase in betting volume. As well as the Smarkets Exchange, you can also now access their newly launched sportsbook app, SBK.

Smarkets Welcome Offers: New Smarkets customers have a choice of two offers depending on how you wish to bet.

If using the Smarkets exchange, you can take advantage of a £10 risk free bet when signing-up. If using their SBK sportsbook app, they offer a £10 risk-free bet for every friend you refer who stakes at least £20. This can be repeated up to 50 times.

Open a Smarkets Account

Download SBK

About Smarkets:

The Smarkets Betting Exchange continues to go from strength to strength with significant inroads in terms of market share and volumes of money now being traded on its exchange. It is a genuine competitor to the Betfair behemoth and continues to attract serious punters looking to get the best value bets possible.

Although they are now going head-to-head with direct rivals Betfair and Matchbook who both have moved to the same 2% commission rate for most customers (Betfair’s 2% rate is being rolled out across different countries), Smarkets have invested significant sums in developing its offering and have quite rightly developed a loyal base of customers.

The Smarkets site and app is now very user friendly and newly introduced innovations such as charting tools and conversion of odds into percentages help you quickly evaluate each betting market and make quicker, more informed betting decisions.

Features like their trade out functionality option which allows you to ‘green up’ any bets you have open alongside their instant match option for in-play betting are welcome additions. The Smarkets exchange betting app also continues to be one of the top rated for mobile betting and the site itself is stable and not prone to falling over unlike others.

Their Asian handicap football lines essentially mirror many of the markets punters in the UK can no longer obtain through the likes of Pinnacle Sports. The in-play markets for both football and racing have also seen increased volume and usage, marking them out as further options for shrewd punters. It should be noted that although improved, Smarkets, like Matchbook, still don’t quite have the breadth of markets nor volume in that others such as Betfair do.

Away from Football & Racing, Smarkets also offer markets on all other major sports and events including but not limited to: Politics, Tennis, American football, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Golf & Rugby league. You can also bet in-play on many of these markets.

As they allude to in our interview, they don’t indulge in the ‘entertainment’ side of betting – so you won’t find links to casino or bingo as can be found plastered all over the Betfair site and most bookmakers these days. They give the firm impression of a company focused on providing the best betting experience and odds, whilst regularly introducing new features and investing in growing what they offer.

Smarkets are also listed on the major odds comparison website – Oddschecker, so you can easily cross reference their odds against both their bookmaker and exchange rivals.

About SBK

Launched earlier in 2019, SBK is the new Smarkets based bookmaker app, available to download via https://getsbk.com/ or through the Play/Apple stores.

SBK offers a solution to those of you who prefer to use a bookmaking app, rather than an exchange as the odds are identical to those available on the Smarkets exchange itself. Unless exchanges confuse you – there is likely little reason to need to have both options, so you can simply choose the way you prefer to bet.

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All told, we are fans of Smarkets, whether it be using via their Exchange or SBK app and can recommend them as a key account to hold. Well run, simple to use with a good clean user experience, there is plenty to like about what is on offer. Highly recommended.

Our Interview With Smarkets

To understand more about Smarkets, they were also good enough to answer a series of our questions in this exclusive interview….

SBC: For those unfamiliar, can you outline how Smarkets works and what it offers customers?

Smarkets is fusing sports betting, political prediction markets and financial technology into a sleek, modern betting exchange. We focus on having the fairest price and best technology, rather than prioritising entertainment and gambling like most others in the betting industry.

Also, with our new app SBK, we’ve taken the unrivalled odds of our exchange and placed them in a cleaner sportsbook format. We’re really excited about this as we have done a deal to allow us to bring it to the US market next year.

SBK was introduced as there are still clearly a lot of bettors out there that are using sportsbooks because at first glance they appear easier and clearer to use than an exchange. So, in order to cater for these customers, we have taken the unrivalled odds of our exchange and placed them in a cleaner sportsbook format.

What are the advantages of betting through Smarkets compared to other exchanges or traditional bookmakers?

Put simply, the betting exchange model means that prices are generally fairer than bookmakers, while our 2% commission (on net market profits only) means that among fellow exchanges we offer one of the cheapest and simplest commission structures. We also strongly believe we have one of the best platforms in the industry, so users have a better experience with our products.

You are up against a well established giant of the betting industry in Betfair – how has the Smarkets share of the exchange market grown of late?

Right now, the betting exchange sector is in the best shape it’s ever been in, growing by 21% from £283m to £343m between October 2017 and September 2018 according to the latest Gambling Commission statistics.

Naturally, an ever-growing sector means more competition too – but the good news for us is that we are continuing to claim more market share.

This is reflected by the numbers at the end of 2018, with our total annual traded volume rising by 46% on the previous year, to an all-time high of over £4.5 billion.

We believe that our continued growth in a competitive market is down to our innovative base as a technology company, which has allowed us to adapt quickly, continually develop the Smarkets exchange, and as a result, offer a superior experience to customers. No betting app is rated higher than Smarkets on iOS, and we believe this shows that our focus on technology and price is paying off.

Do you have any stats on how betting with Smarkets and your low 2% rates help punters obtain better value?

We compared our price (with commission) just before each of this year’s Cheltenham Festival races, and you would have netted 101% more profit with us compared to the Industry Starting Price had you put £10 on all 28 winners.

The key for any betting exchange is the volume of money traded on it – AKA the ‘liquidity’. How does this compare with your rivals and how has this grown over the past year since our last update?

Liquidity and volume have grown enormously in recent years, especially on the most popular sports like football, horse racing and tennis. During marquee events like the Cheltenham Festival and World Cup we regularly see trading volumes in the millions and sometimes 10s of millions. Cheltenham volume went up by 10% to over £150m in 2019, while the Grand National again set a new record for our most-traded single event at £76.5m, an increase of 33% on the previous year.

What are the main markets and sports you offer and see the most trading on?

As with other operators, football and horse racing are the two biggest sports for betting and trading, but we offer a wide variety of sports as well as the most extensive list of UK, US and global political markets out there. As we grow we are continuing to see more liquidity across the exchange for all markets. We also recently hired a specialist to oversee this and ensure that we are constantly adding new markets that our customers will love.

Not only this, but we very often have the best odds in relation to these markets, especially when it comes to singles on football, which helps in attracting customers across the board.

What about in-play and live betting on sports like football and  horse racing? Can you outline what you offer and the volume of money traded on Smarkets these days?

Our in-play volume is also growing, especially in top-level football as we offer ‘Instant Match’ whereby you are matched at the live price and as long as nothing ‘material’ happens in the following eight seconds, you are guaranteed to get that price, rather than waiting for an in-play delay to be matched.

I noted a significant increase in the markets you are offering for Political betting over the past 12 months. Can you detail what is on offer and the volume of money being traded in this sector these days?

At Smarkets we have a dedicated team with their fingers on the pulse to add new and exciting political markets as and when they happen. What this means is that we offer the widest array of events in the industry, covering not only the UK in-depth but also the political sphere across the world – be that the US, EU or Israel, to name just a few.

Our most popular and traded markets relate to highest-profile stories – be that the year of the UK’s next General Election  or Trump’s potential impeachment.

Are there any other new markets or innovations introduced over the past year to be aware of?

The past year has been a really exciting one for us, with a landmark deal to take our platform to America and the release our new sportsbook app, SBK. This has two revolutionary features with Price+ showing users how often they’re getting better odds with us compared to those offered by traditional bookmakers. SBK also has a social feature allowing customers to share tips. We believe this is going to have a big impact on the market, as users no longer have to go to different places for their information and being able to place a bet.

We currently offer SBK as an app-only product, so customers can access it by downloading it on the Play or Apple stores respectively. Users can access the Smarkets exchange either via the website or by again downloading the Smarkets App on the Play or Apple store.

We’ve also vastly improved our live charts on the exchange, which can be a real asset for people looking to trade, and really help to bring to life how the markets change over time – we really do believe they’re the best out there.

One other thing to mention is our new Open Banking payment method. We’re one of the first betting companies to get on board with this technology and now our users can connect securely to their bank and receive their withdrawals much quicker than the standard card funding method.

In September you announced a partnership to offer your new sportsbook SBK to customers in two American States – Indiana & Colorado. Do you have plans to extend this to other US States where sports betting is now legal and what are your plans for growth into the US market in general?

It was a landmark moment for us to secure a partnership allowing us to bring our sportsbook to Indiana and Colorado. The aim for us is to become established in these two states, and then, of course, the goal is to roll out our success across all other states where sports betting is legal. The US sports betting industry could represent around $155 billion if most states legalised it, making it a crucial market to become involved with.

Finally, what offers do you currently have for those keen to open a Smarkets account?

We are currently offering sign up bonuses across Smarkets and SBK – making it a great time to open an account with us. On Smarkets we have a simple sign up and get £10 risk-free, while on SBK we have a system whereby if you refer a friend, and they stake £20, you both get £10 risk-free. What’s more, you can both do that up to 50 times, meaning there’s a lot of money in risk-free bets to be had!

Open a Smarkets Account

Get The Full Lowdown On The BEST Places To Bet

So there you have it – revealing insight into just 1 of the 6 firms as recommended in SBC’s Exchange & Bet Broker Guide and the difference they can make to your take home profits.

If you are keen on learning more about Smarkets and the 5 other firms included within this guide, make sure you grab a copy of it right away.

As soon as you join the Smart Betting Club, you can download your very own copy and start placing your bets where the professionals do.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor


pete

MustardBet – Interview with the new ‘winners welcome’ UK bookmaker

One of the biggest obstacles facing punters these days is the simple act of finding a regular place to get your bets on – specifically those firms that won’t penalise you for placing winning or ‘shrewd’ bets on a regular basis.

Which is why at SBC we have been looking at alternative options and a variety of up-and-coming bookmakers, betting exchanges & bet brokers who not only offer good odds, but actually accept bets from winning gamblers .

One such firm fitting this mould is MustardBet – who were 1 of the 6 firms we investigated in our recently published Betting Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide.

MustardBet are a fully regulated UK based firm who are using their own proprietary statistical models to offer competitive odds to all punters, including winners, on a variety of sports and markets.

Keen to carve out their own path and provide something unique, their in-built system works to low margins and updates odds extremely quickly, allowing shrewd and sharp punters like many SBC members to access a fully transparent betting system.

To help discover more on their service, MustardBet were good enough to answer some of my questions as part of an exclusive interview first published in the guide – an extract from which I have copied into today’s post.

More on MustardBet and 5 other ‘winners welcome’ firms can be found in the aforementioned guide, available only to Smart Betting Club members. Join the club today.

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SBC EXCHANGE, BOOKMAKER & BET BROKER GUIDE INTERVIEW:

MUSTARDBET

 

SBC: For those unfamiliar, can you outline a little bit about MustardBet, your origin and what you offer customers?

MustardBet: A cursory look at MustardBet reveals how different it is. It is a bookmaker built by punters for punters. It looks like no other, because we have built the platform ourselves, rather than opt for a white label. It has a greater granularity of pricing and smaller house margins. It always shows the stake available at a price, because it treats all customers equally and nobody is stake-factored. It only shows the markets which we know punters bet on, and deliberately does not force punters to wade through reams of markets which they never play.

Essentially, our proposition is to offer super competitive prices and a no-nonsense betting experience that’s built around speed of bet placement, tighter margins and an innovative UI.

What type of punter is MustardBet aimed at?

MustardBet is aimed at all customers, naturally. But we suspect that frequent players will appreciate the unique features of our platform most e.g. lower margins, instant re-betting of max amounts and transparency around market turnover.

What is your approach is to odds compilation and accepting bets from customers?

We seek to automate as much as we can. Odds compilation is done by proprietary statistical models and our automated market maker, which responds to customer activity. We do indeed welcome winners – their action assists us in offering what we think is an optimal price to all customers at all times.

What are the main sports you offer markets on and those which see the most volume? 

All sports will be offered, and we are working our way down from the most popular to the more niche. Football, tennis, baseball and golf are widely featured. Basketball, American football, rugby league, rugby union, and darts are nearly there and we are constantly looking to expand the offering.

Focusing on football – what leagues and competitions do you cover here?

The customer will find matches from most European leagues and cups, as well as major international competitions for club and country. A global coverage is imminent.

How do your football odds compare with those from the big Asian firms in the main markets such as 1X2, Over/Under and Asian Handicaps?

Our odds will always be different as they respond to the unique client base which we have. In terms of margin, we have set out to work to similar over-rounds to the best Asian facing firms, but our prices will only be similar by accident, rather than design.

How quickly do the odds or lines move in the football markets?

This is something we pride ourselves on. We’ve built the technology in such a way that our prices react incredibly quickly to game events and to every bet placed on that event by all customers across the sportsbook. It’s this speed, and transparency, that will help our customers react quicker.

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Do you offer in-play betting on football?

We do offer in-play betting on football, and, of course, it is in-play betting with a major difference. Unlike other sportsbooks who impose betting delays within their in-play products, MustardBet does not. Our ‘Dangerball’ feature means that as long as there is not an increased likelihood of an imminent goal or game changing event (e.g. red card), bets are struck without any delay at all. As a customer experience, it is dramatically better than what prevails today.

Aside from football and golf, which other sports and markets are popular?

With a summer of grand slams almost over, we’ve seen good uptake on our tennis markets. Darts and baseball are not far behind, and we have high hopes for basketball and American football.

Do you have any plans to expand into other sports in the future and if so, which ones?

We feel we have expertise in American sports such as MLS, MLB, NBA and NFL so we’ll be adding this to the site more regularly. Alongside Football Tennis and Golf – darts, cricket, rugby league and rugby union are all regulars on the site and it’s our intention to keep adding to this list. 

How does the MustardBet website work on mobile/tablet and is there an app available?

We have an Android and iOS app in the app stores, which both feature our innovative rotating betslip. Like our desktop product, we’re committed to continuous development of the mobile offering.

Are you on or do you plan to be featured on any major odds comparison websites such as Oddschecker or Oddsportal?

Yes we are in talks with some of the major odds comparisons portals. This is a key part of our marketing strategy, as we believe our prices will stand out in these settings.

For each of the bets you place, there is a max staking limit on offer. Why is this in place and what happens if the maximum stake for a bet is taken up. Do you then offer lower odds?

We don’t see this as a max bet limit per se, as customers can use this facility to go in again and again. It’s a common frustration for customers not knowing how much they can bet at a particular moment in time. So, making that amount visible on the MustardBet site removes that uncertainty.

How can customers deposit or withdrawal funds and are there any fees/restrictions on the latter?

Deposits can currently be made via Visa and Maestro debit cards and are not subject to any fees. We do also have direct bank transfers available on request. We obviously recognise that we need to add more payment options and rest assured we are working with various providers to implement further options.

Who are you regulated by and what assurances can you provide customers that money deposited with you is safe and secure?

MustardBet maintains two betting licences, one with the Gambling Commission in the UK, and one with the GSC on the Isle of Man. It is a fundamental condition of these licences that customer funds are maintained securely within a separate client funds account that can in no way be used for the day to day operating of the business.

 

Open a MustardBet account 

GET THE LOWDOWN ON THE BEST PLACES TO BET

So there you have it – revealing insight into just 1 of the 6 firms as recommended in SBC’s Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide and the difference they can make to your profits.

If you are keen on learning more about MustardBet and the 5 other firms included within this guide, make sure you grab a copy of this guide right away.

All 6 firms also welcome winners as they make their profit either based on betting turnover or the commission they charge you on each bet. So, whether you win (or lose) they will never ban you from their service – unlike so many of the ‘major firms’.

Offering solutions for punters on all sports including but not limited to Horse Racing, Football, Golf, Tennis and all major US Sports like NBA or NFL, this guide will help show you the best firms to bet with to make long-term sustainable profits .

As soon as you join the Smart Betting Club, you can download your very own copy of the guide and start placing your bets where the professionals do.

JOIN THE SMART BETTING CLUB TODAY

Matchbook Exchange: Analysis & Interview

Discover one of the best places to bet and pay less commission with our detailed examination of the Matchbook betting exchange.

This article is taken directly from the recently released ‘Betting Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide’ where Matchbook are just 1 of the 6 firms recommended to help shrewd punters make more money.

SBC EXCHANGE, BOOKMAKER & BET BROKER GUIDE EXTRACT: 

MATCHBOOK

In Brief: The Matchbook exchange is another must-have betting account for any punter. Offering low commission rates, excellent liquidity and a genuine alternative for punters unable to hold accounts with the likes of Pinnacle Sports.

The SBC View: We highly recommend all punters open accounts with the exchange – Matchbook, who offer extremely competitive odds and low commission rates for those of you betting on the likes of Horse Racing, Football, Tennis and all the major USA based sports

If you haven’t got a Matchbook account yet and you bet on any of these sports, it’s imperative you open one and start to use them for your bet placement. Especially given the fact that all new Matchbook customers can enjoy low commission rates on ALL markets. Compared to the 5% commission base rate that their main rival – Betfair offers, its easy to see why they are so highly thought of right now.

Football is the main sport for trading on Matchbook, yet we have seen significant growth in other sports such as Horse Racing and Golf in recent times. The markets for both these sports plus all the major US offerings: NBA, NFL, MLB & NHL offer competitive odds, often at similar odds you will see over in Asia. Compare the odds on offer from the likes of Pinnacle Sports with Matchbook and you will see they are very closely matched even after commission.

Horse racing is also now a major market for Matchbook customers, which is all the more impressive considering it was first introduced back in July 2016. They now offer competitive odds for both win and place betting in each UK and Ireland race at their low commission rates including growing liquidity for in-play traders.

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There is however, one fundamental difference between Matchbook and their competitors that it is wise to be aware of. Whereas they only charge commission on winnings, Matchbook take a (smaller) commission on all bets, regardless of whether the bet wins or loses. This is because Matchbook operates a “per transaction revenue model”, identical to many financial exchanges.

A detailed explanation on this can be found here but in summary, it depends on the amount you trade and your location as the commission rate will vary with the base rate starting at 1.5% and rising to 1.75% if located in the UK or Ireland and accepting an existing bet. For those of you happy to post an offer for a bet, this reduces significantly to 0.75% (standard) and 0.85% (UK/Ireland).

Handily, Matchbook also features on two of the most popular odds comparison websites – Oddsportal and Oddschecker, allowing you to compare their odds (with the option to add in your commission rate on Oddsportal to get the true odds) across several major sports.

We have also been impressed by the ‘Insight’ section of the Matchbook website now available, which features links to podcasts, tips, advice and education on how to bet. Completely free to access, you can find some excellent content and guidance from several big name and most importantly of all, clued up punters.

Open a Matchbook Account

In Summary:

Positives: Large number of markets/sports available. Very strong Football & Horse racing markets now offering very competitive odds. Similarly, strong odds on Golf, Tennis & US sports. Excellent ‘insight’ section full of advice for gamblers. Included on Oddschecker and Oddsportal. Lower commission rates for those posting odds.

Negatives: Commission charge on stake of losing bets with different rates per country. Some customers need to pay a withdrawal fee. In-play markets still developing.

Recommended For: All punters – another must-have account.

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OUR INTERVIEW WITH MATCHBOOK

To understand more about the Matchbook service, they were also good enough to answer a series of our questions in this exclusive interview….

SBC: For those unfamiliar, can you outline how Matchbook works and what it offers customers?

Matchbook is designed for smart bettors who want more value. At Matchbook we offer deep liquidity in a whole range of sports and low commissions.

What are the advantages of betting through Matchbook compared to other exchanges or traditional bookmakers?

While you bet against the ‘bookie’ with a Sportsbook, at Matchbook you go head-to-head with fellow bettors. This means better odds across a whole range of sports and a betting site that is open to winners. While many of the big sportsbooks are in the habit of restricting winning players, at Matchbook we welcome them.

What are the main markets and sports you offer and see the most trading on?

Football Betting is consistently our top traded sport and the FIFA World Cup was a huge success with £260 million traded throughout the tournament.

Focusing on football for a minute – how do your odds compare with those from the big Asian firms in the main 1X2, Over/Under and Asian Handicap markets? 

We are consistently best priced on numerous Asian handicaps and Asian goal markets. On the Matchbook Betting Podcast our panelists regularly highlight the advantages of Asian handicaps minimising risks by halving your stakes on 2.0 and 2.5 for example. One of our key objectives is to provide our customers with content that enables them to become smarter bettors and we do this through the Matchbook Podcast and insights.matchbook.com.

Moving onto Horse Racing, it’s now been 2 years since you first introduced racing markets on Matchbook. How have these markets developed during this time?

We have made great strides with our Horse Racing product in recent times. While there’s always room for improvement, Matchbook customers can get substantial amounts matched on selections even a couple of hours before the off of each race. The needle may move a bit slower in the early morning but take a look as the day progresses and you can really see the action heating up.

What about in-play and live betting on sports like football and racing. Can you outline what you offer and the volume of money traded on Matchbook these days?

With football we have seen an uptick in in-play wagering and the vast majority of pre match markets are also offered in running which is ideal for any customers who are looking to trade out of their positions.

In play Horse Racing only launched this year prior to Cheltenham and while it started slowly we have seen a gradual uptick on customers getting involved in these markets. Flat racing is always a tougher proposition to trade in running but come the National Hunt season we would expect a lot more customers to get involved.

I understand Golf betting is a keen area of growth on Matchbook with a large array of tournament matchups now covered. How has betting on this sport grown on Matchbook recently?

Golf betting is now consistently in our top five traded sports and it’s not just when the majors roll around either. Tournament matchups, as you mentioned, cannot be found at any other exchange or sportsbook in this part of the world and we have seen from our customers reaction that there is a real appetite for these markets. We have Ollie Noonan (aka @fairwaywedge on twitter) on the Matchbook Podcast with us every Tuesday to preview these matchups and we’ve most definitely highlighted markets that may have been missed by many bettors in the past.

Are there any other new markets or innovations introduced over the past year to be aware of?

In running Horse Racing generally was a huge addition for us. That launched at a similar time to the 0% on Racing offer so it was a real fillip to our product and allowed customers to manage their position once the race was off. We have a few more exciting Horse Racing features to follow in the coming weeks and months so watch this space on that one.

One of our key motivations is a focus on customer service, which is our differentiating factor. We want to be the exchange that makes the difference, if you experience a problem or have a suggestion as to how we can improve the customer experience we want to know and have a dedicated team focussed on engaging with and sorting any issues for customers.

Can you explain the commission fees for using Matchbook and how they work?

There is no question we offer the lowest commission in the exchange market on Horse Racing with a 1.5% net win rate and as we head towards the end of the flat and into the National Hunt season we’re really excited with the level of activity on site.

In other sports Matchbook has two different commission rates of either 1.5% or 0.75% on all trades, depending on whether you accept another user’s offer or whether they accept your offer.

If you accept an existing offer in a market the standard commission rate is 1.5%. If you post an offer, which another user then matches, the standard commission rate will be 0.75%.

I understand the fees change slightly for UK and Ireland customers – can you outline how and why?

Since 2015 laws in both Britain and Ireland Matchbook is required to pay an additional 15% tax on all betting exchange commission payments received from its customers to the respective governments. Customers residing in the UK and the Republic of Ireland will be charged a portion of the Point of Consumption taxes. So if you accept an existing offer in a market the standard commission rate will be 1.7%. If you post an offer, which another user then matches, the standard commission rate will be 0.85%. If you are betting on Horse Racing which is 1.5% Net Win commission, the standard commission rate will be 1.7%.

 

GET THE LOWDOWN ON THE BEST PLACES TO BET

So there you have it – insight into just 1 of the 6 firms as recommended in SBC’s ExchangeBookmaker & Bet Broker Guide and the difference they can make to your profits.

If you are keen on learning more about Matchbook and the 5 other firms included within this guide, make sure you grab a copy of it right away.

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All 6 firms in the guide also welcome winners as they make their profit either based on betting turnover or the commission they charge you on each bet. So, whether you win (or lose) they will never ban you from their service – unlike so many ‘major firms’.

Offering solutions for punters on all sports including but not limited to Horse Racing, Football, Golf, Tennis and all major US Sports like NBA or NFL, this guide will help show you the best firms to bet with to make long-term sustainable profits.

As soon as you join the Smart Betting Club, you can download your very own copy of the guide and start placing your bets where the professionals do.

Best of all if joining right now, you can also save up to a whopping £45 on the usual cost of an SBC membership.

This is because we have slashed the price of joining to ensure as many people as possible have access to our reports, magazines and guides.

We know we can make a difference to your punting – so why not sign-up right away and get started immediately. (There is a 90-day money back guarantee available after all!)

JOIN THE SMART BETTING CLUB TODAY

The Latest on £500 Minimum Bet Guarantees & Sky Bet’s New Offer

Minimum Bet Guarantees have been in the news recently and last week the biggest firm yet – Skybet joined the throng with the unveiling of their own £500 ‘lay to lose’ offer – available to those betting on all Class 1 and 2 races from 10am each day.

Whilst it was welcome news that such a large bookie as Skybet had put up its own guarantee, their offer is not as extensive as some of the others available, yet is still another step in the direction for those of us fed up of restrictions and closures.

I covered the topic in more depth in my article on Min Bet Guarantees a couple of weeks ago and the hope is that these offers could be the start of a more widespread acceptance of bets from all punters (not just losing ones).

Especially if stories like this article in the Daily Mail continue to raise awareness of unfair bookmaker practice in limiting winning bets.

Min Bet Guarantee Round-Up

(Updated 30th November 2018 in light of Betfair’s expansion to offer the guarantee on all races)

To help keep you informed, I have penned a quick summary of what is on offer from each of the 3 firms offering these guarantees and the different terms and conditions. Please note – this covers online betting only.

Bet Victor – By far the most extensive offer initially, Bet Victor have rolled out a ‘Bet Guarantee’ market for every UK/Ireland race, where you can win up to £500 from 11am onwards. Both win and each way betting is allowed.

Those of you who have had Bet Victor accounts closed in the past are also welcome to apply to have them reopened to use in the guarantee market. Indeed already a dozen or so of you have emailed me to confirm previously closed accounts are now usable once again.

Despite initially offering the same odds in the ‘Bet Guarantee’ markets as in their normal racing markets, you can now expect to find worse odds at times, especially for smaller race meetings or those with unfavourable each way terms. Evidence seen by us recently suggests the ‘Bet Guaranteed’ market is now working regularly to higher over-rounds and lower value prices.

Therefore, do be sure to double-check the odds being offered in the Bet Guarantee market and how they compare before placing your bets.

Betfair Sportsbook – Initially offered a £500 lay to lose guarantee for all class 1 and 2 races for UK and Ireland, although this was recently expanded on the 30th November to cover ALL races.

You can bet up to £500 on all races win only from 10am and those of you previously restricted by Betfair Sportsbook will be able to get on without issue. Unlike Bet Victor’s offer there is no separate ‘guaranteed’ market and you simply bet as you would do in the regular Betfair win racing markets.

Skybet – They will lay a bet to lose up to £500 from 10am onwards, although this is for win bets only and in class 1 & 2 races.

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As and when any other bookmakers roll out their own offers, I will keep you updated.

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6 More Places To Bet In This Unique Guide

For those of you after further recommendations on the best places to bet, especially some of the lesser-known options, then you can find a very detailed rundown on 6 firms in the latest Smart Betting Club publication: The 2018 Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide

The 6 firms included in this guide might not be household names, yet they offer some of the best value odds, lowest commission rates & best of all – they welcome winning gamblers. You will never have your accounts closed for being successful at betting

Offering solutions for punters on all sports including but not limited to Horse Racing, Football, Golf, Tennis and all major US Sports like NBA or NFL, this guide will help show you the best firms to bet with to make long-term sustainable profits.

You can access your copy of the 2018 Betting Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide with any Smart Betting Club membership (Silver, Gold or Platinum). As soon as you join the Smart Betting Club service, you are granted instant access to the guide.

Sign-up today and gain instant access to the Smart Betting Club

See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

Pete_HeadShot_SMall

The Best Bookmakers, Betting Exchanges & Bet Brokers / 2018 Updated Guide Out Now

 

Discover the best up-and-coming places to bet with the 2018 ‘ Betting Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide ’ – available now to all SBC members

Tackling 6 of the best firms my team and I have used and examined – the guide avoids all the usual bookies you already know about and focuses on the lesser-known places that the professionals use.

Alongside the detailed analysis and recommendations, you can also read exclusive interviewswith all 6 firms on what they offer.

They might not be household names or bombard you with adverts every time you watch sport on TV, but what they do offer you is the chance to get better value odds on your bets.

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All 6 firms also welcome winners as they make their profit either based on betting turnover or the commission they charge you on each bet. So whether you win (or lose) they will never ban you from their service – unlike so many of the ‘major firms’.

Offering solutions for punters on all sports including but not limited to Horse Racing, Football, Golf, Tennis and all major US Sports like NBA or NFL, this guide will help show you the best firms to bet with to make long-term sustainable profits.

You can access your copy of the 2018 Betting Exchange, Bookmaker & Bet Broker Guide with a Smart Betting Club membership.

If you have any questions on the guide or Smart Betting Club membership, you can contact me directly via pete@smartbettingclub.com

Best Regards,
Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

Pete_HeadShot_SMall

Insight Into The New BetVictor & Betfair £500 Minimum Bet Guarantee

 

Earlier this week Bet Victor made a significant announcement of interest to punters everywhere with the introduction of a ‘minimum £500 bet guarantee’ for all UK and Irish horse races.

This guarantee states that, from 11am each day, anyone, even those of you who have had Bet Victor accounts closed in the past, are now eligible to win up to £500 betting on horse racing.

Here is what they had to say:

“As of today (Monday 20th August), when placing a single bet as normal, customers will be presented with the option of selecting Guaranteed Bet, a new market which will give customers the chance to win up to £500 on the ‘win’ part of a single bet. The market will appear alongside existing ‘extra markets’ on any race.

Guaranteed Bet is only available on ‘win’ and ‘each way’ single bets only from 11am on the day of the race until the race starts. Thus, a £50 ‘each way’ bet on a horse at 10/1 would qualify.”

Betfair Follow Suit…

The very next day Betfair also announced an expansion of their own £500 minimum bet guarantee to class 1 and 2 races and several other race meetings taking place in the UK and Ireland.

This offer is slightly different in that it applies an hour earlier from 10am and covers win bets only. In addition, it also included the intriguing caveat Betfair reserves the right to exclude customers who, we believe, are executing trades using automated systems or software.’ Some might see that as a possible get out clause….

You can read about Betfair’s offer in more detail here and no doubt news on which race meetings will qualify for this concession will follow each week.

Step In The Right Direction

Both Bet Victor and Betfair’s announcements are the first step on the road toward a voluntary acceptance of bets from all punters, including those of us previously deemed ‘unprofitable’ due to the nature of the bets being placed.

Many customers have been closed or heavily restricted by racing bookmakers and not just those of us with a proven track-record either. There are numerous stories of loss making punters having accounts blacklisted simply for taking the wrong bet at the wrong time or with ‘standout’ odds.

This is a subject that I have covered in depth here at SBC, whether through our 2016 Better Betting Campaign, articles on keeping your bookmaker account open, or the call to action to raise awareness of the issue with the Gambling Commission back in March.

Finally, it now seems that action is being taken and that bookmakers have started to recognise that there might be a better way forward than the current mess.

HBF’s Chair Speaks

These guaranteed bet announcements come hot on the heels of discussions held by bookmakers with the Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF), an organisation first setup in 2015 to represent the interests of those who bet on Horse Racing.

Acknowledging the depth of the account restrictions/closures issue for punters everywhere, the HBF board opened dialogue with bookmakers on a voluntary Minimum Bet Offer and these recent announcements are the result of that.

To find out more on this story I chatted to current HBF chairman, Matt Bisogno, for his thoughts on these recent developments. Here is what he had to say:

“From a punter perspective, this is obviously very good news. It should reduce the number of duplicate accounts and, far more materially than getting a bet to win £500, it means that most previously restricted punters will be able to have £20 on a 5/1 shot. It seems ridiculous that that is not the case universally, but I think that is the headline win here.

Of course, we punters cannot have our cake and eat it, and I think it is right that operators make the MBL (Minimum Bet Liability) provision on a ‘no frills’ basis, i.e. no Best Odds Guarantee offers.

Competition in the marketplace should still ensure that such concessions exist for recreational bettors: in other words, I think we’re moving towards two different punter demographics, each of which is catered for slightly differently.

My hope is that operators will see an improved turnover from MBL such that, even if their margin is slightly reduced, the absolute figure remains competitive as a result of the greater volume wagered. That will depend on how MBL is traded on both sides of the transaction, of course, and punters have a duty to ‘play nicely’ to that end.

These are interesting times, and I’m pleased HBF has been able to directly impact the landscape, hopefully for the better.”

 

Some great insight from Matt and I think most punters would agree that getting something on, even without concessions like Best Odds Guaranteed from 10/11am onwards is better than nothing at all.

More Bookies To Follow?

Whilst only 2 bookmakers are onboard so far, as per an online guaranteed bet offer, it is hoped more will join them in due time with another major firm rumoured to be close to doing exactly that.

It is also reasonable to assume that all other bookmakers will be watching the outcome of Bet Victor’s and Betfair’s new guaranteed bet offer with keen interest and will likely follow suit should it work out (i.e. if it is profitable for them).

It is more than possible that in doing so, the terms surrounding such guaranteed bets might be expanded as competition grows. Higher staking levels, earlier bet times, and even expansion into other markets and sports could feasibly follow – yet only if this early roll-out goes well.

Many punters, quite rightly, are deeply cynical about bookmaker motives and promises, yet this on the face of it does look promising so far. We must acknowledge, however, that it’s only being offered by these bookmakers because they feel it might be overall a winning venture for them.

Bet Victor Closed Accounts

One other very interesting point to raise regards those of you who have suffered closed or restricted betting accounts with Bet Victor as they are re-activating such accounts for those punters who wish to delve into their new guaranteed bet market.

I notified SBC members of this earlier this week and I have already heard from many who have had their accounts re-opened and made eligible to bet from 11am on these races.

I even heard from one member who had his Bet Victor account closed 5 years ago and, yet, was seemingly no longer registered on their system (at least they couldn’t find him!). He has now opened a fresh new Bet Victor account that can now bet on all markets.

With this in mind, it is well worth checking where you stand- to do this, Bet Victor are inviting you to email help@betvictor.com with details on your account for usage with the Guaranteed Bet market.

My early analysis of the odds also indicate that horses in the ‘Guaranteed Bet’ market with Bet Victor have identical odds to those offered to all other customers. Thus, any fears over a ‘2-tier’ odds system should be allayed.

Keeping You Updated

I will of course keep you all updated on any further developments as per these Guaranteed Bet Offers should as hoped, more bookmakers join Bet Victor and Betfair.

I am also keeping a keen eye on how these existing offers play out and how they are honoured, with all SBC members having a direct line to me to share feedback on their experiences.

Those of you on Twitter can also follow the Smart Betting Club (@sbcinfo) for the very latest news as it breaks.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

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