Tartantipster Advises Flight To Quality
I was proposing to do a very short write up on the present state of the Bookmaking Industry, and now seems like the perfect opportunity to do so, especially in light of the global turbulence in government treasuries, financial institutions, and stock markets – the reverberations of which trickle down to our pockets (or not) sooner or later in one way ort’other – and in turn to bookmaker’s coffers.
You will have noticed an alarming number of Sportsbooks go into liquidation of late, and this is a trend that in my opinion will only get worse before it improves. In case you need your memories refreshed, here are a few businesses that have either gone under, are scamming people, are on their last legs, had to merge (cost-cutting ~ efficiency saving purposes) or have closed of their own free will:
Stryyke (last legs)
Ascot Sports (closed)
ITV Bets (closed)
MyBet (exchange closed)
Sportsbook Bill Hurley (merged)
Bet Direct (merged)
IG Sport (merged)
The Pig (merged)
Wager Street (merged)
BetOT (bailed out)
If I were to mention those still open but having difficulties with processing clients’ payouts; slow paying; all but done; running off with player funds etc., then I'd be here all night! N.B. It’s 02:00am.
Sportsbooks not cash-rich; without players’ funds 'ring-fenced'; without strong financial backing; AND/OR heavily in debt; relying on deposits to cover withdrawals; poor business acumen; inexperienced management; weak models; offering huge reloads; offering inflated Arbs/Odds; coming up with clauses in T&C's / changing T&C's to fleece customers, and so on, will likely close now more than ever. It will probably be like a bolt of lightning meaning hardly any chance to withdraw your hard earned cash! This is why it is imperative that we provide feedback to certain review sites, to act as a lighthouse in dark times, i.e. Oddscompany!
So, please keep in mind that Bookmakers are NOT Banks, nothing is guaranteed - nothing is safe. It is now that I feel compelled to advise you all to do VERY thorough research on any book you go into, BY YOURSELF [certain review sites], do NOT rely on others. Stick to well rated books. This is especially true when embarking on sizeable wagering requirements as the potential to be deprived of substantial funds is worryingly high. Even at the aforementioned rating levels there are NO assurances but there are those who do not even check an e-gaming outlet before diving in, really!
Where there is a new bookmaker opening (you have your own risk/reward ratio) its doors with a low WR, walk-in take the bonus and close the door behind you.
THESE ARE MY CHECKPOINTS:
1st. Rigid Criteria – My Own Items
2nd. Thorough Background Investigation – All Aspects
3rd. Main Forum Checks – Done Daily
4rth. Player Feedback – Done Daily
5th. Review Site Ratings – Done Monthly
6th. Payment History – Full Records
If they don't meet the above standards & decisive factors then I won't try them.
TT Says: IT IS TIME FOR A FLIGHT TO QUALITY
Excellent post TT. Other than using review sites, and other people's experience of the book posted on forums, do you employ any other methods for researching a book, such as looking at the financial standing of the holding company?
Thank you Landprofits.
Originally Posted by Landprofits
I have added more bookmakers to the list...and further advice/my methods at the foot of the post.
Thank you very much for this post, tartantipster. It's very helpful with me :-)
This sounds like a paranoids charter! Things often look far bleaker at 02.00 than 10.00am in the morning.
FWIW Premierbet was never a scam bookie. Not sure if they even realised it but they got killed because they were giving away far too much EV in their casino and got took for a huge sum by advantage players. IIRC it was a big sticky offer and the big AP players moved in on them. They went down owing about £250K and I think £150K would have been on the casino.
BetChance were never a scam either they just got overwhelmed by the big arbers on their incorrect lines. Again by the time they reailised it was far too late and they couldn't save the business. Admittedly they did become a scam bookie then but that was only at the end.
Gold Victory was always going to end that way with their unsustainable bonuses. Betafterbet was obvious too.
It was well known Sunderlands were struggling but I don't understand how they became totally rogue.
Stryyke is well known about and very small player. Eurolinx was a owner fraud that no one saw coming.
In the last three years the only big ones have been Gold Victory, BetChance, Premierbet and Heroes. The first three were all taken down by advantage players so we can't really be too angry about their demise. Heroes also seem to have been taken out by an overly generous casino bonus because both the huge winners came from the same forum. Anyway the Heroes debt is not huge and the brand could yet be sold.
I actually think the industry is in good shape. One thing that must have helped them a lot is the low interest rates and companies have found it quite easy to raise new capital. The big boys have all refinanced and I'm sure the smaller and private companies have also had access to investment from private investors.
In four years I have only been scammed by one casino and have never had a bookie non payment which isn't bad for over 150 accounts.
You do have to be a lot more careful about US facing bookies though because of the sums involved. But if you can keep your % of bankroll invested low and not do too many at once it can still work well for you. Even now I just tend to do one or two at a time just incase the whole scene turns bad over there for whatever reason.
I don't think it's a bad time atall especially with the world cup coming up.
Agree with you DG, things are not that bad, and after all, this is a dirty business. Anywhere there are large amounts of cash there is the potential for fraud, wherever there is gambling, there is cheating. Always have been and always will be*. Absolutely not saying that is always the case, but it is a risk we must be aware of and need to take into account as we go about our daily tasks*.
So I guess TT, that using your sound analysis principles that you would always eat at MacDonald’s rather that try out that new Italian restaurant that has just opened.....? LOL.
*Just as true of banks as casinos or betting shops.
I think he's saying that we shouldn't play at scam books and that we should play in solid ones instead. Marvelous advice - I finally see what I've been doing wrong!
Originally Posted by LosEndos
Pierluigi @ BMR wrote a synopsis of the state of the Maltese industry recently which pretty much covers this angle.
There's no doubt that some books are poorly managed and sometimes so poorly managed they end up as a Betafterbet but even on that list, Goldvictory and Kickbets are one and the same and Sunderlands and Betpresto are one and the same.
But costcutting or ('let's make more money than we are doing now') happens in all industries regardless of the state of the economy and there's no reason why the gambling industry should be any different. Companies need to make strategic decisions about their branding and how to develop themselves further in the market.
Ascot Sports was regulated in the Isle of Man and worked with the regulatory body after serving notice to close down operations... almost two years ago now.
Betdirect was already owned by Stan James at the point they absorbed BD accounts into the main bookmaking operation. Stan James recently offered up a new brand though - Betpack.
The Pig (owned by Legendz) was a reduced juice brand operating from the same building as their very reputable parent book. The reduced juice accounts carried over to Legendz when they brought what was already under one roof, under one roof.
Wagerstreet and Bet All Sports were already part of The Greek for almost five years (one of the strongest books over there) and now these accounts all just operate from the main brand.
Mybet shows no sign of being in trouble does it? Why shouldn't it drop something? I mean, Betfair pumped money into that wacko fantasy game thing but ended up withdrawing it - I want brands to pull what isn't profitable for them but suggests nothing of the industry or Betfair other than making a decision.
I won't write any more on those types of books you've listed because, IMO, they are separate from scams and if they suggest anything it is that there are examples of sensible measures being taken by a number of companies which have not left players in a mess.
I would like to see regulatory bodies be more stringent of course in their licensing procedures and their monitoring of books - some books went way too long before appearing on the LGA's list of suspended licences for example bringing down an industry's reputation on the island through inaction which is simply not good enough for players OR the other books there actually doing a pretty decent job of managing their work and offering a service to players.
An interesting read this thread, thank you.
And Musicbox has said almost everything what could be said about it.
I pretty much go along with Pierluigi`s assessment on the root of Evil in this industry and hence with his onslaught on LGA who, on far too many occasions in the past few years, has proven to not only overlook its own regulatory duties, but to negate its own gambling jurisdiction, under which they exist, by turning a blind eye to ANY reports on the apparently rogue behaviour of some of its licensees and by granting licenses without any sort of check of the financial and business worth of the applicants, not to mention the zillion other irregularities like the conflict of interest amongst the members of LGA about their shareholder stakes in companies servicing the licensee operations and the list can go on forever.
I mean, there will always be scam operators, its a business, and in every business there is a certain small percentage of scammers and here we have some dodgy money circulating in the gaming industy making the possibility of scamming higher than the average.
But when you have a regulator who sides with the scammers and encourages them in many ways to get on with their disgraceful course of action, then this is a big warning sign.
IMO right now, at this moment, LGA is the biggest threat to the balance and the business integrity of the industry, believe it or not
I've been very weary of leaving any sizeable amounts in any of the smaller books since Bowmans of London went to the wall many moons ago owing my £1650.
Since then I take the attitude the money's better off in my bin than their's.