Betting Experts Answer: What needs to change in the Gambling Industry? | Part 2

Welcome to the 10th question in our series: “Betting Experts Answer The Industries Biggest Questions.”

Like any industry, gambling is far from perfect. So, we asked 11 experts the question:

Q10: What is the one thing you would like to see change in the gambling industry?

Check out Part 1 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of pro sports bettor - Spanky, betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno, former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, Jake from the Business of Betting and Nenko from the Church of Betting.


I think the obvious reply, from the punters point of view, is for fewer account restrictions, though I don’t see why that would, or should change. A bookmaker is free to decide who it wishes to transact with and frustrating as it is, there’s no enforceable way of making bookmakers accept chunky bets from punters who will beat them; they are businesses and it is bad business to lay sharper punters.

However, some operators have become particularly lazy in regards to pricing, considering it almost a secondary concern. Sharper market making would have the effect of giving operators more confidence in their pricing and therefore less likely to restrict punters so aggressively.

Further to this, I’d like to see obligatory two-way markets, so if you offer the “yes”, or “over” you are also committed to offer the “no”, or “under”. This is the case in Italy, though there are some rather uncouth workarounds that operators there employ. They may well offer Ibrahimovic to score at 1.83, but the ‘not to score’ offer could well be 1.01. These heavily biased two-way markets are not going to work in a less restrictive and more competitive marketplace.

By avoiding using certain scraped ‘compilation methods’, it may be possible to focus rather more carefully on ensuring that a market is priced correctly. Player prop. markets would benefit hugely from a truly two-way experience. Even if that meant that margins inflate to offer some security. I think most punters would happily take a 9-10% overround across a swathe of player props than be simply restricted to betting one-way.

bet365 have been proponents of offering two-way player props, albeit on a rather select basis. Offering both sides of the coin is also beneficial in helping improve market efficiency. Offering one-way prices that are cut drastically as soon as they are bet provides no real clue as to the likely fair price. By offering two-way markets, it is possible to analyse what the true mid-point should have looked like, helping shape future lines.

I’m a firm believer that sharper pricing is the only way in which the industry can maintain its momentum. Poorly priced lines are simply too easy to pick off and result in huge numbers of account closures, given the eye-watering cost of player acquisition, this is an incredibly inefficient mode of operation.

Follow @JeevesOdds on Twitter.


Governments and gambling regulators need to vastly improve transparency across the industry. I'll elaborate.

It's no secret that gambling vendors have the upper hand. Online Bookmakers earn from their 'overround', while Casinos earn from an 'edge' (which depends on the specific game or slot being played). This is their advantage and, effectively, their charge for running the service. It's public knowledge.

The problem isn't the mathematical advantage gambling vendors have. It's that so many of them use shady, dishonest tactics to further increase that advantage to earn more money. Players are at constant war with online Bookmakers and Casinos, fighting over who owes who what. While gambling sites must fully protect themselves against fraud, it's too often used as an excuse for not paying legitimate customers their winnings. Only the relevant authorities can step in to put a stop to unnecessary disputes and build a more transparent industry.

Here's what I'd like to see across the board:

Upfront verification- currently many sites are more than happy to take deposits and accept bets... up until winnings are withdrawn by the player. But if ID checks are there to prevent fraud and verify age, then why are losing bets discounted from the process? To preserve integrity, ID checks should be made upfront BEFORE money is deposited into an online betting site. If there's any discrepancy whatsoever (address, name, IP address), that needs to be investigated prior to any transaction taking place. Ideally, once passed, vendors would be in breach of their licence for asking for more documentation for a fixed period (six months, for example) unless exceptional circumstances require it (e.g. a money laundering investigation).

Strict payout times- regulators should require that vendors consistently meet strict payout deadlines and quotas (e.g. minimum of 99% of customer withdrawals processed on time within a calendar month), or face an investigation which may result in their licence being suspended or revoked. Payout delaying tactics are well-known within the industry, so there needs to be real consequences for being caught using them. The more authorities push back on bad vendors, the higher overall standards will become.

Winners allowed- it seems fitting that in a world where gambling companies have the edge over the vast majority of punters, winning players should not be banned. While gambling sites could argue that too many winning players would run their business into the ground, there are people out there who have completely ruined their lives (and lives of others), through problem gambling. It's not an unreasonable obligation to allow profitable bettors a low maximum stake.

Bonus overhaul- bonuses are abused by advantage players, meaning that legitimate customers are now caught in traps laid by the gambling companies in response. Most bonuses are misleading, have ambiguous/contentious terms, and are minus EV (meaning players are expected to LOSE money by taking them). This, sadly, only increases disputes. Regulators need to consider the negative impact promotions have on the industry, and take aggressive steps towards standardising bonus formats. Ideally gambling sites would agree to follow a bonus template with simplistic rules that cannot be modified or added to. Then, if they refuse to pay customers out based on the framework agreed, then they lose their rights to use bonuses as a means of enticing new customers in the future.

Visible edges- the online gambling industry has somehow evaded the responsibility of fully informing gamblers of what they're getting themselves into. Just think: in the UK you can't buy a burger from McDonalds without seeing the specific calorie count listed on the menu board, or purchase a packet of cigarettes without "smoking causes cancer" printed onto the box. But doesn't gambling also pose a health risk? Where are the prominent warnings about the losses one could make? In this day and age, players should see the relevant edge clearly presented next to every betting market and Casino game they're on - not just the token "gamble responsibly" effort.

Sure, some authorities are beginning to implement some of the above. But there's still a very long way to go before the gambling industry achieves real transparency.

Follow @Punter2Pro on Twitter & check out the Punter2Pro website here.


An obvious answer would be refining the balance between bookmaker and bettor as the former holds far too much power with still not enough accountability and regulation. How can it be right that they are able to encourage losing gamblers to bet up to 5X the normal maximum bet size, yet then limit winners to a tiny fraction of that, or in some cases closing their accounts altogether? It isn't and it flies in the face of their commitment to 'responsible gambling'. I have noticed this practice creeping into the US as European bookmakers start to get a foothold in the market and imagine it's only going to get worse for US bettors.

Whilst this practice of restrictions and closures needs changing, I am sure it will be mentioned by many of your other experts, so the one thing I want to see change is the usage of bookmaker affiliate programs that pay-out a share of the losses a player incurs with a bookmaker. For example, some bookies pay out 30% of the losses made by customers to the referring website. This encourages and incentives bookmaker affiliates to behave in an unethical manner, because it is not in their interest to refer winning bettors or indeed winning tips to the bookmaker. It is why you see so many free tipsters or free websites that offer free tips and content of low quality because they know there is money to be made from this approach.

Follow @SBCinfo on Twitter & check out the Smart Betting Club website here.


A tolerance for winning players. This will take legislation, because European-style bookmaking will otherwise take over the world. There should be complete transparency in offers and limits to all customers. The biggest problem is that the lawmakers, being in on the sports betting profit, will always side with the sports betting corporations.

Follow @TruePokerJoe on Twitter & check out his book ‘Sharper: A Guide to Modern Sports Betting’.

Check out Part 1 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of pro sports bettor - Spanky, betting analyst - Joseph Buchdahl, Smart Sports Trader - Ryan Bruno, former odds compiler - Matthew Trenhaile, Jake from the Business of Betting and Nenko from the Church of Betting.

Love getting the opinions from experts in the betting industry? Then subscribe to the Trademate Sports Podcast, where we interview the most important people in the sports betting industry.

Here are the other questions we have got our industry experts to answer so far:

  • Q1: Top 3 tips for betting beginners? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q2: How do you define “finding value” in betting markets? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q3: How do you determine whether your betting results are based on luck or skill? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q4: Kelly criterion or flat staking: Which stake sizing strategy do you consider to be the best and why? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q5: What is the best method to use to make money from sports betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q6: How difficult is it to beat the sports betting markets? How efficient are the odds? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q7: How to manage risk when betting? Part 1 & Part 2.
  • Q8: Is there a best sport to bet on? If so, what is it? Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
  • Q9: Assuming you have an edge, at what point can you start accurately evaluating your results and say that variance has played out? Part 1 & Part 2.

Get The Best Articles and News To Your Inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated.