Posts Tagged ‘sports betting agencies’

With the AFL and NRL finals upon us, along with the rugby world cup, and the horse racing spring carnival just around the corner, the sports betting companies have gone into over drive with their advertising campaigns to try and get the average punter to bet with them. Any number of money back specials and bonus bets and best odds are being promoted on TV, radio, in newspapers and on the internet and in many smart phone apps, and virtually around the clock. This article claims the sports betting companies are fighting for a share of the $21 billion wagered by Aussies on sports betting and racing each year. That is a serious amount of money. You could argue that the competition for our gambling dollar is giving punters better odds and better deals, but the reality is the majority of gamblers will be losing money in the long run; a very large majority. The sports betting companies have done a great job in ‘normalising’ gambling, where betting on sports now seems to go hand in hand with watching the sports themselves and this to me as the greatest issue as the next generations of young Australians growing up are just going to accept sports betting as a part of life (much like the baby boomers and subsequent generations of TV watchers were conditioned to accept advertising as a part of the TV watching experience).

The bottom line is the state and federal governments are doing very little to slow down the growth of the gambling industry in Australia, mainly due to the amount of money they are earning from taxation. I think the freedom to be able to have a bet on a sporting event if you choose to is great, and many of us enjoy this freedom as a bit of escapism. I can only imagine where things are going to be in 10 years time though if the sports betting companies are left unchecked in their expansion in to the Australian way of life through advertising and their constant hard sell.

Beaner

Sports betting companies spend big on ads but the regulator is watching

Natalie O’Brien and Perry Williams
Published: September 27, 2015

It has catchy music, glamorous young things enjoying glitzy nightclub settings, and promises that every time you bet you will earn reward points to redeem in resorts, hotels, restaurants, casinos and bars.  Viewers of the expensive television marketing campaign are enticed to “transform your betting experience wherever you are in Australia”.

The only trouble with this attention-grabbing promotion being shown in prime time on commercial channels and on social media is that the James Packer-controlled CrownBet​running the ads may be in breach of the NSW state gaming regulations.

The ads are not the only ones being shown that offer inducements or rewards for gambling. There is a war on between sports betting companies for the gambling dollar – which is estimated at more than $21 billion a year –  and a number of marketing campaigns have caught the attention of the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing.

A spokesman for OLGR said the CrownBet promotion first came to their attention as part of its monitoring program.

“OLGR has advised the company that its promotion is suspected of being in breach of NSW’s Racing Administration Regulation 2012 by offering inducements to gamble and failing to exclude NSW residents,” said the spokesman. “The company will be provided with an opportunity to respond prior to a final decision on regulatory action being taken.”

While the investigation is under way, the advertisements are still running in prime time TV slots.  CrownBet is one of a number of companies under investigation by OLGR over regulatory breaches, however the watchdog won’t reveal which other companies are being looked at. A spokesman for CrownBet declined to comment.

The maximum fine for companies under the NSW regulations is $5500. It pales in comparison to the amount being spent on advertising for gambling. The Standard Media Index (SMI) shows that in the year to August $149.1 million was spent on gambling ads, up from $104.5 million for the same period last year and more than double the $68.7 spent for the same period in 2012.

The index also shows most money is spent on metropolitan television and on subscription television, although the outlay on digital media is rising.

NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye says the fines handed out to companies found to be breaching regulations are not high enough and are seen by the industry as just a cost of doing business. Kaye says he believes the advertising campaigns show a callous disregard for problem gamblers.

“It is a high-profit business where the revenue is increasingly focused on problem gambling and websites are specifically targeting young adult males who are known to be most susceptible to reward programs.”

Up to 500,000 Australians are at risk of becoming or are problem gamblers, according to an Australian government problem gambling website. It estimates the social cost of problem gambling to be $4.7 billion.

Some of the industry players offering rewards and bonuses include the Tom Waterhouse company, which is offering punters $100 bonus credits if they deposit $30 in a start-up account. Although this ad does say it excludes NSW, Victorian, West Australian and South Australian residents.

Rival firm Sportsbet also is offering a promotion where you deposit $25 and get a $75 bonus bet. It too says this excludes NSW, Vic, WA and SA.

International betting giant William Hill has kick-started a promotional campaign with TV spots offering money back to gamblers. The “own the moment” campaign says William Hill’s offer of money back means “real money – dollars in your account to do with whatever you like”.

Tim Costello, the chairman of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, says the marketing campaigns are predatory and unacceptable. He says parents are outraged that they can’t protect their kids from this advertising.

“In a sense, we are essentially conditioning young people to believe that this is normal,” he says.

One of the pioneers of internet gambling in Australia, Matthew Tripp, says the surge of competition in the market also reflects a demand from punters to bet on their smart phones instead of visiting their local TAB.

“It’s a shift from on course, retail and telephone to online,” says Tripp, who now runs CrownBet.

The barrage of advertising gives the impression of a booming wagering market, but the bookmaker says that’s not quite the case.

“The awareness is heightened but certainly the gambling dollar hasn’t gone through the roof. The online market as a whole is growing at a rate of between 10 per cent to 15 per cent year on year but the overall sector is tracking in line with the economy.”

Tripp rode the market better than most. After shunning university to follow his father Alan into bookmaking, the 40-year-old made his fortune selling Sportsbet to Irish wagering giant Paddy Power for $115 million.

He then switched to a new online betting start-up, BetEasy, before James Packer’s Crown Resorts took control of the firm and rebadged it as CrownBet, with Tripp as its boss.

CrownBet caused a stir in sporting circles in August after signing a deal to broadcast AFL matches online via its apps through 2016.

Tripp says it reflects the huge popularity of the footy code – along with horse racing – among its punters, but acknowledges the crowded market makes it increasingly hard to stand out.

“Everything has a tipping point and I think we are just about to reach ours in the online wagering space,” he says. “You can certainly over-saturate in the market and I think you’ll find some of the European operators are certainly doing that. You need to pick that market and turn the dial up or down in line with consumer sentiment.”

By offering a rewards program linked to Crown’s hotel and casino offerings, Tripp says CrownBet is focusing on loyalty rather than instant rewards and credit offers.

“The offerings that are out there at the moment are very homogenous and frankly it’s a bit of a race to the bottom. Bet with us and win lose or draw you will gain something for your loyalty rather than getting your money back if your horse runs eighth in a race.”

The next few months will go a long way to defining the success of CrownBet and its rivals performance this year with the all-important spring horse racing season and footy finals generating a huge share of the firms’ annual revenue.

Executives like Tripp are also keeping an eagle eye on Canberra.

Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell has been handed the task of reviewing the federal government’s outdated Interactive Gambling Act which governs the way technology can be used within the industry.

O’Farrell’s review, due in mid December, will also weigh how to provide more safeguards for the industry, given problem gambling rates are three times higher among online gamblers than traditional betting methods.

Gamblers will also be looking for guidance from the review over the controversial in-play betting system, promoted by international players William Hill and Bet 365, which allows punters to bet live on sports via their smart phones.

You can bet on the outcome of an event in Australia after it has begun but only via the phone or in person. However, British company William Hill claims that as long as punters keep their smart phone microphone on, it still adheres to the rule that live bets during sporting events are made by phone only.

Tripp says he wants to see a level playing field for all operators.

“The European operators continue to tread a very fine line in the way they conduct their business. We need to do everything in our power to ensure the government and obviously our customer base are happy with the middle ground that is found within the review.”

In 2013, the Department of Communications report into the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 called for industry to establish an advertising code of conduct to ensure advertising is not contrary to community standards and expectations.

A spokeswoman for the Australian Wagering Council, the peak body that represents the online sports betting and wagering industry in Australia including current members Bet365, Sportsbet, Unibet, the William Hill Group Australia and Betfair, says they are fully supportive of the recommendation and it is committed to working with industry, regulators and the wider community to ensure a code is developed sooner rather than later.

But she says that any discussion on the impact of advertising on problem gambling should note the recent report from Gambling Research Australia, The Marketing of Sports Betting and Racing, which concedes it is not possible to determine whether a causal relationship exists between problem gambling and exposure to gambling advertising in general, or to wagering and sports-related gambling advertising in particular.

“It’s important to note that legislation in each state and territory regulates the use of inducements and AWC members comply with those regulations. Statutory prohibition on the use of inducements in some states has seen a natural decline in the use of inducements across the wagering sector,” she says.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, the chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform that reported in 2013, says the proliferation of sports betting is a serious cause for concern.

“People are especially sick of wall-to-wall gambling advertising, particularly during G-rated television periods. Moreover the problem is only getting worse with the advertising spending going up and the amount being waged increasing dramatically,” he says.

Wilkie says the committee released a report into sports betting two years ago which provides a number of recommendations but both the “current and former governments have failed to act or do anything meaningful to address the problem”.

“For a start gambling advertising needs to be reined in and stopped altogether during daytime TV. Inducements and credit must be banned. And effective harm minimisation measures should be mandated.

“The current government inquiry into online gambling, including sports betting, is a sham seeing as three of the four terms of reference are only to do with protecting Australian online gambling businesses from their overseas competitors.”

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sports-betting-companies-spend-big-on-ads-but-the-regulator-is-watching-20150925-gjv6xa.html

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My mate Mikey nailed a nice return on the AFL this week, where he bet $25 @ 41-1 on the Richmond Tigers making the 8 back on the 22nd July 2014.  At the time Mikey laid the bet the Tiges were 12th on the AFL ladder and 3 games behind the team in 8th spot, and only 2 weeks before that they were equal last with only 3 wins from 13 matches.  But they had just beaten Port Adelaide comfortably who were 3rd on  the ladder which meant they had now won 3 games in a row.  The other factor against the bet was that no team in the history of the AFL had ever made finals after a 3 and 10 start to the season.  So in reality the odds should have been much higher!

When Mikey texted through his bet to me, which we’d been joking about putting on, I thought he was being ambitious, but it wasn’t impossible to win, and to bet $25 with a possible return of $1025 seemed reasonable given Richmond’s position (I’m also a mad Tiges supporter). Some of our friends weren’t so favourable though when I mentioned Mikey’s bet, where everyone basically said he was crazy and there was absolutely no chance the Tigers could make the 8, that we were dreaming, and most said so using much more colourful language.

Well the Tigers continued to win game after game, while teams above us lost crucial games and couldn’t handle the pressure, and on Saturday in the last game of the home and away season, they pulled off a mighty victory over the competition leaders the Sydney Swans by 3 points to make it 9 wins in a row and with it they secured 8th spot on the ladder.  We were watching it live at The Rose in Fitzroy in a packed house of Richmond fans, and Mikey felt sick from about the first bounce onwards, but the Tigers didn’t let us down and neither did Sportsbet, who dutifully paid out on the bet soon after the game ended.

The fairytale ride for Richmond fans isn’t over yet with the first week of the finals seeing the mighty Tigers play Port Adelaide over there in SA, but the icing has already been put on the cake with Mikey landing a nice return on his speculative bet.  I can only hope that other Tiger fans loaded up on them back in June or July and were also celebrating Tiger-styles Saturday evening, and it has given me renewed confidence that my Dusty/ Jack/ Tigers – Brownlow/ Coleman/ Flag – treble will become a reality in 2015.

Beaner

The Martingale betting system has been around since the 18th Century where it originated in France, and is a simple one in principal.  You place a bet on a 2-1 outcome.  If you win, you double what you bet.  If you lose, you double your bet, and you keep doing this until you win, where you will win back all your losses plus make a profit of your initial bet.  After the win you reset and start again.  The Martingale system also assumes that you have an infinite bank roll and that there is no table limit or a limit to how much you can bet.  Let’s take a look at an example:

You bet $10 at 2-1 to win $20 – a $10 profit.

Bet $10 – lose

Bet $20 – lose

Bet $40 – lose

Bet $80 – lose

Bet $160 – win $320

Now if you look at the bet amounts, they are $10 more than the sum of all previous bets, which is how much profit you are going to make when you finally breakthrough for the win. $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 = $150 (lost), plus the $160 you bet = $310, and you win $320 for a $10 profit.

This system was commonly used to play roulette betting on either black or red, but you don’t get a pure 2-1 return as there is a zero or double zero on the wheel which yields no win for either red or black.  This is the house edge imbedded in the odds, so you also have to overcome that when chasing your profit.  You may also find that if you suffer a losing streak you will quickly reach the table limit for how much you are allowed to bet.  Say you happen to lose 10 bets in a row; with the 11th bet you will be wagering $10240 to make a $10 profit.  And losing streaks happen! So if you can find me a gambler who is willing to bet $10240 to be $10 up, you’re finding me a fool.

$10, $20, $40, $80, $160, $320, $640, $1280, $2560, $5120, $10240 for the 11th bet.

Sports Betting Variation

This system can easily be applied to sports betting, using the multi-bet with favourites with a win/loss result to get to your 2-1 or more odds for each bet.  There is some merit in this if you think you can tip winners consistently, and you may also feel that you have some control over the result as you can pick the teams you want in your multi-bet.

Let’s look at the simplest ways to get to 2-1.  These are some of the variations you could use for a 2-leg multi if you wanted to cap the fav at 1.7 to get just over the 2-1 odds:

1.7 x 1.2 = 2.04

1.65 x 1.25 = 2.06

1.6 x 1.3 = 2.08

1.55 x 1.35 = 2.09

1.55 x 1.3 = 2.02

1.5 x 1.4 = 2.1

1.5 x 1.35 = 2.03

1.45 x 1.45 = 2.1

1.45 x 1.4 = 2.03

Of course you could back 1.7 x 1.7 to get odds of 2.89, or back just the one outsider at 2.2 if you thought it had a good chance of winning, but basically you’d want to ensure that you’re 2-leg multi yields more than 2-1 each and every bet.  Why only 2-legs?  Well there are 4 possible outcomes for 2 head to head matches, but 8 possible outcomes for 3 head to head matches.  To get a return of 2-1 on a 3-leg multi which has 8 possible results is increasing your risk of losing dramatically.

Another approach is to bet on a single soccer match, with the fav at about 2-1.  Now this may seem more difficult as there are 3 outcomes for a soccer game (home win/ draw/ away win), but as mentioned there are 4 outcomes for a 2-leg multi, so you are actually reducing your possible outcomes by one by betting on a lone soccer match.  Now a 2-1 fav in the soccer isn’t guaranteed to win, but you know what, how many short priced favs in the soccer have cost you a multi-bet when the match has ended in a frustrating draw or even an upset loss.  Never forget there are no certainties and you are gambling with every bet, so you may as well risk a good return on your wager.

From here it is simply a matter of choosing your starting stake, and being disciplined in your betting to stick to the system.  To lose money, you’d have to endure a losing streak where one of the two favs loses for a prolonged period of time in the 2-leg multi approach, or your 2-1 soccer fav keeps getting rolled.  If you know your sport and have a good strike rate as a tipster, then this system could be for you.  But buyer beware; it doesn’t take long in a losing streak to be betting large amounts of money, and if your bankroll isn’t very deep, you could find yourself in a hole very quickly.  You’d also want to find out what the max bet is with your sports bet agency to know how many losses you could endure based on your starting amount.

Let’s say you had a bank roll of $2000 and decided to start with a base bet of $50.  Now assuming the worst and you have a horror run with 5 losing bets, you won’t be able to place the 6th bet to try and recoup your losses thus far, as you would be required to bet $1600 but only have $450 left.

$50, $100, $200, $400, $800 = $1550 down after 5 losing bets.

This is assuming a minimum of one upset a week for 5 consecutive weeks, but if you’ve read the blog or have any experience in sports betting, there is absolutely no guarantee that a favourite will win, no matter how short the odds are.  UPSETS HAPPEN!

I don’t know about you, but I’d be starting to crack after only 3 consecutive losses starting with $50, where I’d have to be betting $400 just to make a $50 profit.

So if you are a gun tipster and think you can avoid the upset regularly, then the Martingale approach to sports betting will make you money over time.  My personal belief though is that you are still gambling, and it only takes the one seemingly impossible losing streak to wipe out all your gains and more when you either exceed your bank roll or you reach the max bet the bookie will take.

Beaner

Kenny had a good win for the Champ Bros synd on the weekend betting on the EPL using the ‘Place Bet’ system variation of the soccer draw theory.

The system was derived from a horse racing system where you only bet on the place, and run combinations on the returns to win more money if they all get up.

Going back to the basics of the soccer draw theory, there are 3 outcomes in a game of soccer; home win/ draw/ away win.  In the EPL soccer games, the draw usually pays around 3.30 with most sport betting agencies, so you are getting a greater return than the possible outcomes, which we class as a ‘good bet’.  This is the best scenario you can hope for when placing a bet; just ask any professional poker player.

When choosing our games to bet on for the draw, it is easy to exclude the matches where a strong team is playing a weak team, and it is also easy to check the ladder and see which teams have drawn the most so far into the season (also considering Home and Away results).  The EPL has just completed week 10 of 38, so some trends are starting to appear which gives us more data to make an informed guess at the results.

NOTE:  Anyone who says they can predict winners or how many goals will be scored etc. in the soccer is purely just making an educated guess.  And some of them do get lucky at times and get it right.  The bottom line is though, there is no formula for any sport that picks winners consistently.  Any gurus promising this and backing it up with statistics are probably only showing times where they had good streaks when they promote themselves.  And any betting system promising a guaranteed return is lying and will be flawed in some way.  That is the one thing I can guarantee, as the math never lies.  Over time, the sports betting agencies will beat any system as the nature of sport results is random, the odds rarely reflect how close a match actually is, and the rake or vigorish the bookmakers extract on every bet gives them an edge that is nearly impossible to overcome.  When we say we are making an informed guess, that’s what it is and we don’t bullshit ourselves that we can predict results in any sport, as we’ve been doing this long enough to understand that it is hard, damn hard, to pick winners and use a system to make money from sports betting.

So when Kenny texted me this morning, “Actually looking at the results, I picked the only 3 draws for the round, pretty arsey”, he wasn’t kidding.

Anyway, the system requires you pick 3 soccer matches to draw, where Kenny picked Stoke v Southampton, West Ham v Aston Villa and Everton v Tottenham.  Personally I probably would have picked Hull v Sunderland over the Everton game, but Everton are the draw kings of recent years so it was an astute choice by Kenny in the end.

These were the draw odds for the 3 games:

3/11/13 Stoke v Southampton – 3.25

3/11/13 West Ham v Aston Villa – 3.30

4/11/13 Everton v Tottenham – 3.25

How we adapted the place bet system was to bet $10 on each result, $5 on the 3 double combinations and $5 on the treble, which is $50 in total.

So based on 3.30 for each draw, if you get 1 draw, you win $33, if you get 2 draws you win $66 plus one of the doubles which is $54.45 ($5 x 10.89) = $120.45, but if you get all 3 draws you win all bets placed, which would be $179.67 ($5 x 35.937) + $163.35 ($54.45 x 3) + $99 ($33 x 3) = $442.02.

There are many ways the $50 could be divided up to place these bets, but Kenny likes the idea of getting a good return on the 1 draw and then betting smaller amounts on the higher odds, as these are harder to win, so less money should be risked.

The system allows for smaller returns when picking 1 or 2 draws regularly, and then you get the bigger payoff if you select all 3 draws correctly, which is exactly how the horse system works too.  With no other returns, you would have to pick the 3 draws correctly every 8.84 weeks to break even, but as it is likely you will get other smaller returns along the way, therefore you would have to pick the 3 draws correctly about every 10 weeks on average to make a profit.

If you wanted to be super aggressive, you could place the entire $50 on picking the 3 draws straight out as a treble, so at the odds of 3.30 for each draw, the return would be $1796.85 ($50 x 35.937), where you would have to achieve this once every 35 attempts to make a profit.  The danger of course is that you could go years without winning and get no returns on your investment for a long time.  Alternately, you could get it right much more regularly and make some good money.  Risk v Reward.

 

So in the real EPL world this week, Kenny tipped the 3 draws he bet on correctly and won the following from his $50 outlay:

Single Draws – $32.50 + $33 + $32.50 = $98

Doubles – $53.625 + $53.625 + $52.8125 = $160.06

Treble – $174.28

Total $432.34

The soccer draw theory is the ‘good bet’ theory that we have faith in, and Kenny has stuck with his ‘Place Bet’ system variation all season, which this week reaped the Champ Bros synd a healthy dividend.  Good work Kenna!

Beaner

It is interesting to think that it was actually illegal to bet on sports in Australia for a big part of our history.  Betting in the 19th Century was common on sports such as boxing and athletics, then in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century there was a broad campaign against gambling, and widespread bans on sports betting were imposed around Australia, which remained in place until the 1970s.

During the 70s, sports betting restrictions were slowly relaxed.  TABs experimented with betting options on sports events, including the Sydney to Hobart yacht race and one-day cricket matches from the World Series of Cricket, but this did not prove popular.

On-course bookies were then given freedom to take bets on Aussie Rules Football games, and the TAB also introduced Footy TAB.  Again, the small winning pools and limited betting options failed to capture the interest of the serious punter, who continued to be keener on placing large bets with SP bookies (‘Starting Price’ bookies, who were often unlicensed).

Sports betting started to grow in the 1990s when the government approved sports betting agencies to start operating out of Darwin in the Northern Territory.  By 2000 TABs and bookmakers were taking bets on numerous sports in all states and territories.  While sports betting in 1999 accounted for only 0.2% of total Australian gambling expenditure, it has grown significantly in the years since with the introduction of on-line and mobile betting, aggressive advertising campaigns and an influx of overseas sports betting agencies into the Australian gambling market.

In March 2008, with James Packer’s Crown Limited bankrolling it, Betfair won a unanimous High Court decision which deemed it unconstitutional to prohibit bookmakers from advertising in one state and operating in another. Betstar’s Alan Eskander claimed it was the most important thing to happen in 150 years of bookmaking in Australia.  Advertising has grown enormously since then, where the main agencies now have a major presence on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet.  Many of the biggest sports bet companies also directly sponsor sports codes and teams, and their advertising is visible on the team’s websites, sporting grounds and scoreboards all across the country.

The following is a list of some of the Australian sports betting agencies and their relationship with sporting codes and clubs around Australia:

TAB Sportsbet is official partners with the AFL and the FFA.

Sportsbet is the official partner of the Newcastle Knights, Sydney Roosters and Collingwood football club, and is the approved betting partner of the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and Rugby Australia.

IASbet.com is the approved betting partner of AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and Rugby Australia.

Sportingbet is an approved betting partner of the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and the V8 Supercars, and is a proud sponsor of the Carlton Football club and the Brisbane Broncos.

Betfair is the approved betting operator of Cricket Australia, AFL, NRL, ARL, PGA tour Australasia, the FFA, Australian rugby and tennis Australia.

Centrebet are the proud sponsors of the St Kilda football club, the Manly Sea Eagles, the Penrith Panthers, the St George Illawarra Dragons, and they are the approved betting partners of the NRL, AFL, cricket Australia, tennis Australian and the PGA tour.

Tom Waterhouse is an approved betting partner of the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, and Australian rugby.

Unibet is an approved betting partner of the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, PGA Australia and Australian rugby.

Luxbet proudly supports the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Cronulla Sharks, and is an approved sports betting operator of the NRL, AFL, tennis Australia, PGA golf and cricket Australia.

Bet365 don’t appear to have a relationship with any sporting code or club as yet.

A 2011 gambling report in the Economist indicated that, on average, every adult Australian loses just under $1300 per year. As a nation, we drop $22 billion per year on the punt, nearly five times what we spend on foreign aid. Furthermore, it was estimated that the revenue generated by sports betting in Australia would top $600 million by the end of 2011, up from $264 million in 2006. It is estimated that the sports betting share of the Australian gambling industry is growing annually at 24 times the rate of horseracing.

In Victoria alone, total gambling losses were estimated at $5.49 billion in 2011-12, which equates to just over $15 million a day. $2.49 billion of this was spent on poker machines, which means $3 billion dollars was spent in Victoria on other types of betting like horse racing and sports betting, which is just over $8.2 million dollars a day.

On the 1st August 2013, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that sports bet operators could no longer promote live odds during sporting events, although normal sports betting ads could still be shown during the breaks.  This was no doubt in response to the uproar caused by bookmaker Tom Waterhouse’s efforts in sponsoring the NRL and Channel 9 in 2013 (for a reported $50 million over 5 years) and actively spruiking live odds during the NRL games back in March 2013 as one of the expert commentary team.  The NRL walked away from the deal after the controversy it caused, although they deny that the deal fell through due to the public backlash caused by Tom Waterhouse’s presence in the commentary box.

It is easy to see how much the sports betting industry has grown in Australia in recent years when you look at how many sports betting options there are now available to the punter, along with what markets you can actually bet on.

On Sportsbet, there are 30 different sports/ events you can bet on, and for the 2013 AFL Grand Final this weekend between Hawthorn and Fremantle there are 238 Markets.  238 different betting options for one game!

Along with the numerous sports and games like poker, most sports bet bookies also now take bets on pretty much any other event with an unknown outcome.  These are the Novelty markets for Sportsbet on 26th September 2013 (these are no joke):

Current Affairs Pope betting (who will be the next Pope after Francis I), Airport betting (the location of Melbourne’s 3rd airport, which airport will get approved next between Sydney and Melbourne, when the 2nd Brisbane airport will open), who will be the next permanent CEO of the NBN Co, when the Melbourne Star Wheel will be officially opened, which city will host the 2020 World Expo, which will be the first country to leave the European union, what the Apple share price will be at the end of the year, who will win the 2013 Noble Peace prize, who will be cast to play Edward Snowden in the film about the NSA whistle blower, what the starting price (in US dollars) for Twitter will be on the NASDAQ, and by what means Julian Assange will leave the Ecuadorian embassy.

Entertainment there are markets on Australian TV for the winner of Big Brother, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Australia’s Got Talent, X Factor, and which character will be killed off next in the TV show Offspring.

Financial what the new official interest rate will be when announced by the RBA on 1st October 2013.

Hollywood who will play the next James Bond, the main Academy Awards winners, who will play Berlusconi in the movie about him, and how much Wolf Creek 2 will make at the Australian box office in the opening weekend.

Music who will win the 2013 Mercury music prize, who will be the next artist to remove their music from Spotify, who will be the next Australian to sell 1 million copies of a single in the US, and who will be the first to leave One Direction.

Novelty Bets how many PS4s will sell in the first 10 days, there are 5 royal specials (baby George’s first words, sex of their 2nd child, name of the 2nd child, when the baby will be born, and who the next monarch will be), which country will have first contact with alien life, when will Shane Warne and Liz Hurley get married, what Dave Hughes next TV role/ job will be, and what the name of Simon Cowell’s baby will be.

Pageants Miss World winner

Politics there are 13 different markets for Australian and world politics, ranging from who will lead the Labour party to when same sex marriage will be introduced in Australia.

Sports Novelties who will be the 2013 BBC sports personality of the year, will QLD win 10 State of Origins in a row, who will win the South Pole Challenge, and which A-League club will have the most Twitter followers.

Weather 2013 Global Average Temperature anomaly.

Now the first thing that springs to my mind with these betting types is that for some of the markets, the outcomes will probably be known by someone before it is officially announced, and the fact that you can bet on it leaves it wide open for manipulation or corruption. And corruption in sports due to sports betting has been, and is going to be, an ongoing issue in all sports world wide.

Australians have almost forgotten that Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were caught up in a bookmaking scandal in India, and Hansie Cronje who was captain of South Africa was fixing matches and then later died plane crash, where there are suspicions he was murdered.

The most recent revelation of corruption in Australian sport was during September 2013 in the Victorian Premier League soccer, where police arrested 10 people associated with the Southern Stars Football Club, nine players and the coach, for their involvement in match fixing worth around $2 million dollars.

Australia sees itself as an honest country, but the mix of money and sport and greed has always allowed for sport to be compromised, and with sports betting becoming so widespread and commonplace in Australia, it seems likely that the VPL incident will not be the last of its kind in this country.

Beaner

References

Costello T & Millar R, Wanna Bet?, Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards, 2000.

http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2011/november/1320384446/jonathan-horn/caught-game

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-01/restrictions-on-broadcasting-of-live-betting-odds-now-in-place/4857242

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-20/nrl-fails-to-agree-with-waterhouse-over-sponsorship-deal/4699252

This post is going to have a look at the varying odds the major Australian sports betting agencies are paying for a soccer game, and how even the best of these odds are still stacked against you.

English League 1: Preston v Oldham 10th September 2013

Home Draw Away
Bet365 1.95 3.50 4.33
Unibet 1.83 3.40 4.20
Centrebet 1.89 3.40 3.95
Sportingbet 1.89 3.40 3.95
Tom Waterhouse 1.88 3.38 3.96
Sportsbet 1.91 3.40 3.80
IASbet 1.91 3.40 3.80
Luxbet 1.87 3.35 3.85
TAB Sportsbet 1.85 3.50 3.65

From this table it is easy to see that Bet365 is giving the best value for this match, with the highest fav odds, equal highest draw odds and the highest upset odds.

If you bet $10 on each result with Bet365, you could win $19.50, $35 or $43.30, compared to $18.50, $35 and $36.50 with TAB Sportsbet.  The biggest difference between the two agencies is obviously in the upset payout.

As discussed in the previous post on the EPL soccer, 2 out of the 3 outcomes for Bet365 are returning a profit on this match.  3 x $10 bets is a $30 outlay in total, and a draw or the upset are going to return you $35 or $43.30 respectively.  The win pays $19.50, which would be a loss of $10.50 (35% loss), the draw would be a $5 profit (16.67% return) and the upset a $13.30 profit (44.33% return).

Is gambling against the fav worth it in the soccer?  Even though it looks tempting, for every time the fav does win, you have to recoup that loss of $10.50.  This would take a bit more than 2 draws or a bit less than one upset to get back in front.  Now if you know your soccer and are an astute tipster (or just plain lucky) you could bet on the draw and upset only in select matches.  This would save you $10 from betting on the fav to win, but you risk losing the entire $20 if the fav does get up.  So now you have to recoup the $20 every time the fav gets home.  This will take 4 draws or 1 ½ upsets to break even again.  So if the 1.95 fav (on Bet365) happens to win 4 times in a row, you have got a lot of chasing to do to get back in front.

So what if we just bet on all three outcomes?  All things being equal, over time you would still probably make a slow loss, as you are requiring the draw or upset to happen just about as frequently as the fav winning, with the more upsets the better due to their higher return.

Let’s have a look at some simulated results over 10 matches to get a feel for what you need to happen to make a profit.  In 10 games you would have outlaid $300 ($30 x 10 games).

Fav wins 5 times in 10 games

Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 5 draws and 0 upsets.

The fav winning 5 times returns $97.50

The draw 5 times returns $175

Your total return would be $272.50 (a loss of $27.50)

 

Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 4 draws and 1 upset.

The fav winning 5 times returns $97.50

The draw 4 times returns $140

The upset once returns $43.30

Your total return would be $280.80 (a loss of $19.20)

 

Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 3 draws and 2 upsets.

Your total return would be $289.10 (a loss of $10.90)

 

Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 2 draws and 3 upsets.

Your total return would be $297.40 (a loss of $2.60)

 

Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there is 1 draw and 4 upsets.

Your total return would be $305.70 (a profit of $5.70)

 

Over 10 games, the fav wins 5 times, there are 0 draws and 5 upsets.

Your total return would be $314 (a profit of $14)

 

Fav wins 4 times in 10 games

Over 10 games, the fav wins 4 times, there are 6 draws and 0 upsets.

The fav winning 4 times returns $78

The draw 6 times returns $210

Your total return would be $288 (a loss of $12)

 

Over 10 games, the fav wins 4 times, there are 4 draws and 2 upsets.

Your total return would be $304.60 (a profit of $4.60)

 

Fav wins 3 times in 10 games

Over 10 games, the fav wins 3 times, there are 7 draws and 0 upsets.

The fav winning 3 times returns $58.50

The draw 7 times returns $245

Your total return would be $303.50 (a profit of $3.50)

 

If the fav wins 6 times, you can’t even break even with all 4 upsets and no draws.

The fav winning 6 times returns $117

The upset 4 times returns $173.20

Your total return would be $290.20 (a loss of $9.80)

To be able to make a profit betting on all 3 outcomes at this odds level with Bet365, which is the best odds on offer by an Australian sports betting agency (that I have found), you need things to go your way.  If the fav wins 6 or more times out of 10 matches, you can’t make a profit.  If the fav wins 5 out of 10 games, you also need a minimum of 4 upsets to make a profit.  If the fav wins 4 out of 10 times, you also need a minimum of 2 upsets to make a profit.  If the fav wins 3 or fewer times out of 10 matches, you will make a profit regardless of the result.

Looking at the odds again on Bet365 (1.95/ 3.50/ 4.33) which are the best odds on offer from the 8 bookies studied in this example, it would nearly be impossible to make money betting on all three outcomes.

Just betting the favourite

With a return of 1.95, the fav would have to win 6 out of 10 times to guarantee a profit (6 x $19.50 = $117, a profit of $17 every 10 x $10 bets).  If the fav only wins 5 times or less out of 10 games, you will make a loss.

Why is it so?

Vigorish!  This will be covered in detail in the next post, and it is one of the most important factors when trying to make a profit from sports betting.

Duplicate Sports Betting Agencies

Let’s have a look at the odds table again:

English League 1: Preston v Oldham 10th September 2013

Home Draw Away
Bet365 1.95 3.50 4.33
Unibet 1.83 3.40 4.20
Centrebet 1.89 3.40 3.95
Sportingbet 1.89 3.40 3.95
Tom Waterhouse 1.88 3.38 3.96
Sportsbet 1.91 3.40 3.80
IASbet 1.91 3.40 3.80
Luxbet 1.87 3.35 3.85
TAB Sportsbet 1.85 3.50 3.65

After seeing the duplicate odds for some of the sports bet agencies above, on a hunch I went through a selection of random sports to compare Centrebet and Sportingbet and they both were offering the exact same odds.  This was the case for Sportsbet and IASbet as well.  I also found that this was the same situation for the new company in the Australian sports betting market, Ladbrokes from the UK, and another agency that popped up at the same time, Bookmaker.com.au.

If you compare these ‘sister’ sites, you will see that the terminology for how they describe the events is exactly the same, as well as the events available to bet on and the odds they are offering, and after some research I discovered that they are both owned by the same company and are operating under two different names.  Centrebet and Sportingbet are both owned by British gambling powerhouse William Hill, whereas Sportsbet and IASbet are owned by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

This may well be a strategy to entice more punters to sign up with both agencies due to the free bet deals they offer new members, where the punters wouldn’t even realise they are essentially the same bookie.  Whatever their motivation, I think it is unnecessary and quite insidious, as it is flooding the Australian market and preying on the punter with a potential (or existing) gambling addiction.

Beaner