All that you wanted to know about bookmakers

Let’s take you through the top 10 facts you should know about all the bookmakers in the business.

Constant tracking of different accounts linked to each other
A large majority of bookmaking firms spend considerable percentage of their budget on expensive IT processes, to extract details of people betting with them. It’s basically with the intent of immediately cracking down on anyone running multiple accounts with them. Any reputed online casino or bookmaker can easily track down places from where the bets are being placed, and are restrict or close anyone suspected of using multiple identities for bet placements. Actually, the patterns become self-evident and are easily trackable! Furthermore, bookmakers may even go to the extent of checking home addresses using a tool like Google Earth, or for finding out the net worth of genuine punters.

Monthly culling
It isn’t uncommon for bookmakers to spend a good amount of time discussing and analysing any accounts that catch their attention for unwanted reasons. Normally, they hold monthly meetings which featured discussions surrounding names showing up in their top 100 losers, winners and the highest turnover clients. Pertinent questions are asked about all names that make it to the list. Could anyone be arbing? Could it be the case of a tipping line account? Is there some way that a punter could be beating the SP? Is anyone betting on a wide variety of sports or specialisations? All questions are discussed, and anyone falling into any of these categories, is most likely to face some sort of restriction/s.
A vast majority of bookmaking firms have assumed a sort of accounts-driven mentality, which forces them to trade sports bettors instead of individual markets. It’s pretty easy for them to scissor out and create a 10% account (enabling them to back things and win 1/10th liability in a given market), or 1% in case of arbitrage bettors (by closing their accounts for all purposes and intents).

Luring sports bettors to bet on high margin products
Sports betting industry revolves around high margin products and how bookmakers market them. It’s much easier for bookmakers or for any online casino to shell out 200 K on a software firm for development of a popular roulette brand, instead of hiring and maintaining a racing traders’ team that works incessantly to grind out a meagre 4% profit via mythical betting prices on low-grade races. It doesn’t make much sense for them to take on shrewd bettors who are all in it for winning purposes, when they can take home a guaranteed margin by flogging online roulette, online games etc. that promise a guaranteed high profit.
In a nutshell, the entire basis which forms the foundation of bookmaking has transformed and off-line/online bookmaking firms are doing their best to exploit it for as long as they can.

Factoring stakes in all those areas where sports bettors may be profitable
As sports bettors have smarted up over a period of time, and have become more sophisticated, bookmaking firms have done the same. An astute racing bettor may discover that his morning racing bets have been limited to a certain amount at an early bird price, but come the afternoon, he might be able to win a far bigger amount, once the market has established itself and the bookmakers have arrived at their optimum prices.
Any bookmaking firm which is shelling out money on a fresh out-of-college trader, is not expected to depend entirely on the prices he comes up with. He is most likely to have arrived at those prices with an 8 AM hang over, at a time when markets are illiquid and prices can be manipulated easily. It is only when everyone has revealed their cards, the bookmaker can have more confidence in the prices, and the bets can be increased accordingly then.
The same way, anyone who’s been betting for a long time may think he can possibly bet 20% of the stakes on horses, and almost unlimited bets on English Premier League (where market is solid and prices are clearly defined owing to nothing but pure market forces). Bigger bookmaking firms have gotten extremely good at this. They quickly channel their turnover to places where there’s more money on the table, using minor sports only as shopping windows. To give you an example, Bet365 is one of the pioneers of this approach. It positions racing as something which involves plenty of losses, at attractive prices (made available to all in small sizes, excluding a few VIP clients).
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Indulging in intelligence exchanges through social media and intra-industry phone calls
Sports betting industry is no longer the tiny world that it once used to be. Bookmaking firms are scattered all over the world for taxation purposes, right from Stratford to Gibraltar to Costa Rica to Guernsey to Malta. In fact, there’s a tight network of bookmakers who’re often known to each other and freely exchange info related to specific clients.
If you get to overhear account management teams at any such places, you’d come across many ethically dubious conversations, apart from active indulgences on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to ascertain the true nature of certain accounts, as well as to verify their validity.

Indulge in arbitrage betting and you’re most likely to face restrictions
Anyone who has worked in the sports betting industry for long would be aware that the normal cut-off point when it comes to winners is in the vicinity of 30 K, before the bettor is restricted or is even taken up for discussion. Such capping used to be considered fair, as the involved time was long enough for figuring out if a punter was genuine (simply on a roll) or someone very astute who’s been doing everything right and betting only on the wrong prices.
All those days are a thing of the past. A large majority of bookmaking firms don’t tolerate winners very easily. To put it in a better way, these firms aren’t there entirely for sports bettors alone anymore. Practically speaking, they’re in the business of scoring maximum margins in the best possible way. It doesn’t really matter to them if you’re a winner or a loser. However, they can get extremely paranoid about anyone indulging in arbitrage betting. Such bettors are cut off immediately no matter what kind of impact that’d have on the firm’s profit and loss statement. The pricewise followers are also looked at with the same kind of disgust by the bookmakers, as these kind of bettors often walk in with hundreds of geniuses of their type, every Saturday, taking a 26.0 or 25/1 odds on something, which is trading at 17.0 or 16/1 at some other bookmaking portal or online casino.
Accountants get pretty aggressive if any such bettors are allowed to walk away scot-free. Traders can be judged very harshly and quickly in any such instances. Showing any sort of leniency with a long-term view of highs and lows of the sports betting, is a thing of the past.

Prices are linked directly to exchanges
There are many online bookmaking firms that no longer treat the term “traders” in the true sense of the word, just like the old days. They simply use technology for mapping Betfair prices and are regularly offered automated prices, below the ones set by Betfair. This leads to plenty of price changes in any sports event or race, as it is bots behind the pull in and pull out of the prices, without any money changing hands between the real bookmakers.
Quite obviously, arbitrage bettors are completely done away with, when it comes to such a strategy. However, it also opens up a window for striking a sports bet at a much competitive price, having only an actual opinion layer in between.
Automation provides great advantage in the form of a money saver. However, where it matters most is in the case of in-play bets related to sports like football or tennis, where hundreds of markets can be offered instantly, that would otherwise not be possible any which way. Once again, it is Bet365 which has been a pioneer of this strategy, generating major interest in new markets, and attracting betting interest from new sports bettors (with the help of big prices). It’s all about making sports bettors bet at the right price, slipping in a layer, so as to achieve maximum margins at minimum risk.
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Recreational punters are in great demand
All major bookmakers in the sports betting industry are usually focused on locating non-price sensitive punters. These type of punters who’re merely in it for fun purposes, just to elevate their interest in some televised match, and to boast about their wins to their mates, are actually the new bread and butter of online bookmakers. The same applies to the constantly growing Saturday accumulator bettors’ brigade!
All such recreational sports bettors are lured with attractive prices, money back offers, free of cost bets and many similar perks by online/off-line bookmakers. The whole idea is to hook them on and then keep them as loyal losers. There’s no better online bookmaker in business than Bet365 which has pulled off such strategy with elan. It has even surpassed ex giants like Coral and Ladbrokes, using pretty aggressive PR activities, targeted solely at young sports bettors who are simply in it for a big win or a quick fix.



Traders are somewhat a thing of the past
As also mentioned above, aggressive automation of the sports betting industry has slowly lead to death of skilled traders. If we rewind back in time, it was once impossible to place sports bets without the help of some experienced and seasoned trader in any given customer base and/or sport. They were instrumental in educating punters about sports or races one could bet strongly on, and the markets where one needed to tread carefully. They didn’t used to cost much too (to the bookmakers).
However, if you look at the modern times, bookmaking firms are aggressively engaging college dropouts, paying them around 20 K, with a shared flat in Gibraltar, before they’re juiced up properly and left with no option but to make their way back to the United Kingdom. All that these workers are made to do is function as exchange price followers, who update prices from machines, and instantly restrict anyone who manages to beat the Betfair prices, marking such sports bettors as arbers.
However, there are still few excellent head traders in the sports betting industry; those loyal men who have over 20 years’ experience under their belts, having solid understanding of the business. But these traders are getting increasingly marginalised and pressured into speaking the company lines, if they wish to stay in the business. They’re no longer allowed to have opinions, or do something that makes them stand out from the crowd. There’s no scope of competing with Fixed Odds Betting Terminals or FOBTs.

Age of super bookies
All the factors detailed above, and many more are resulting in creation of a new breed of bookmakers, known as super bookmakers. They’re a result of mergers between bigger bookmaking firms, mainly for expense and taxation purposes. Hundreds of bookmaking shops close on a regular basis, merging with their bigger counterparts. This is because all the sports betting action is rapidly moving on to Internet and the sports betting society in general is making a transition into a cashless industry.