Betting Experts Answer: What needs to change in the Gambling Industry? | Part 1

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 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of odds compiler - Jeevan Jeyaratnam, Toby Aldous from Punter2Pro, Pete Ling from Smart Betting Club and author - True Poker Joe.


The ecosystem for customer acquisition. So much of the potential for the industry hinges on this. Like many things currently, bookmaking is suffering from over optimisation and poor incentives. Increasing costs of acquiring new customers means that product and customer satisfaction take a back seat to marketing saturation. Risks can’t be taken and big marketing spend has a “good” track record in the eyes of stakeholders. The reality is that we as a society place age limits on when someone can gamble and this is arguably a good thing. Yet we make little effort until recently to prevent the bombardment of those under that age with gambling advertisements.

I would prefer bookmakers to attract customers with their product quality and not their promotion and marketing spend. Affiliation is particularly problematic. Marketing is rewarded by new account sign ups and it is hard to change that reward structure as they really are responsible for just getting punters in the door. Affiliation on the other hand has a remuneration structure that is flawed. Rewarding affiliates by how much their introductions lose will only incentivise low quality high volume content provision in order to try and catch sadly those with the most addictive personalities. This should be prevented and by legal recourse if necessary. Either reward by account opening or by turnover but not by losses. Turnover has its own problems (incentivised over betting by the affiliate) but at least does not actively incentivise the creation of loss making content.

I would also not allow promotional behaviour that requires the customer to place another bet to realise the value of the promotion. Free bets are designed to create the buzz of repetitive betting. Promotions should add value at the point of bet placement rather than incentivise placing more and more bets. So money boosted odds or an extra place payout would be my preferred type of promotional tool. I would also advocate against deposit bonuses which can encourage betting beyond your means. A lot of promotions are simply designed to promote over betting rather than give the consumer extra value on their initial bet. In a world without free bets, deposit bonuses and draw down affiliate deals the relationship between trading, product and marketing can be much healthier and ultimately better for the consumer as well even if the removal of their free bets might hurt at first. When the cost of getting a new customer is higher than the average lifetime losses of a customer it is time to think again.

Check out Matthew’s podcast ‘Inside Betting’ here.


The market is in need of transparency. I think more sportsbooks need to post limits and treat their players with equality when it comes to play. Most say they are bookmakers, but they’re really not. They create a platform to accept bets, and then use player ratings to decide who gets to stick around, who gets their limits bumped and who gets booted. If they have to kick players out for winning, are they truly bookmaking and doing their job of balancing their markets, or are they setting up a model to take advantage of players with a lack of discipline and a track record of zero or very few withdrawals?

It’s not my place to tell people how to run their business - that is a business decision for them, however I think it gives the sportsbooks a huge advantage when they can pick and choose their spots and the limits a specific customer gets. Imagine going into a restaurant and being given a different menu than everybody else with the same items but the prices were adjusted to a premium because you were financially well and everyone knew you had money. It’s not right, it’s not fair. I know it’s a lot to ask for, but with more regulated markets coming into the space, I’d like to eventually see this change.

Follow @BetLikeHarout on Twitter here.


Legislation forcing bookmakers who will not accept action from a bettor with positive expectation to explicitly show this in their terms and conditions.

Follow @12Xpert on Twitter & check out the 12Xpert website here.


Probably like most I would like to see a minimum bet law introduced. It seems like it is becoming more well known that winning sports bettors are getting limited or banned by bookmakers. The more negative publicity bookmakers face because of this, the more likely it is that one of them will step up and use the fact that they accept winning players as a marketing tool. However seeing Blacktype bet attempt this and fail probably means it's not something we're likely to see in the near future.

Follow @SmSportstrader on Twitter & check out the Smart Sports Trader blog here.


I would like to see a more efficient market for odds in the future. One important component for that would be more p2p action. The betting exchange business model seems to have slowed down a bit, which is quite sad in my opinion. Maybe some of the smaller players will surpass Betfair and introduce some innovation into the field. Possibly blockchain has a lot to offer in that regard too.

I realise there cannot be a hundred Pinnacles out there and don’t want to bash the European-style bookie, but I would appreciate to have more markets that I can actually play on, opposed to markets that are just there for the showing, but are practically not usable. At the end of the day it all depends on the punter – if this is what people want, this is what they will get. So, I guess I am hoping more for a change in the way the average Joe approaches the betting markets. It is already happening, with the data revolution I think the average punter is way sharper than a few decades ago, but it will certainly take time.

Follow @ChurchOfBetting on Twitter & check out The Church of Betting website here.


I would like to see a path for start-up and smaller companies to partake in the industry. Given the high barriers to entry, especially on the operator side, exploring ways for many more businesses to enter the space could result in exciting evolutions across products and offerings. Creating a sustainable gambling environment will hopefully be aided by more smart minds and businesses being capable of entering the space in the next decade.

Follow @BettingPod on Twitter & check out The Business of Betting Podcast here.


More bookmakers. Less dressmakers.

Follow @Spanky on Twitter & check out the article The Ringer wrote about him here.

Check out Part 2 of our answers here, where we get the opinions of odds compiler - Jeevan Jeyaratnam, Toby Aldous from Punter2Pro, Pete Ling from Smart Betting Club and author - True Poker Joe.

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.

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