If you’re bored of the same old offers then our list of new betting sites should be right up your street. Because these companies don’t have the history or reputation of the high street bookmakers it means they have to work harder to get your business. This could be through unique features or by running generous promotions. Either way, it’s good news for us punters.
How Easy is it to Start a New Betting Site?
If you’re new to the gambling industry then you may not be aware that there are literally hundreds of different sites all offering sports betting opportunities. In fact, the choice these days is bigger than it’s ever been, mainly due to the fact that most companies operate solely online.
The popularity of online betting coupled with the technological advances relating to the industry means that it is easier and much more viable for companies to start up their own online betting sites quickly and relatively cheaply; but gone are the days of unregulated or even loosely regulated markets – companies have to prove they are trustworthy and honest.
The starting point for most new companies is licensing; if they don’t have a license then they aren’t legally allowed to offer their services to punters.
Licenses, as you can imagine, aren’t all that easy to come by. In fact, many gambling commissions have made it very tough indeed for new companies to obtain a license, which in turn goes a long way to protect the player.
Unfortunately, as is often the way with these things, there have been several rogue bookmakers that have started up over the years, often taking advantage of certain loopholes in the system or even just brazenly going it alone and flaunting the rules. The downside to this influx of new online betting websites is that many punters aren’t aware that these licenses exist, never mind whether or not a certain bookmaker holds one.
The formula these rogue bookies used was pretty simple; make a fancy looking website, have a solid marketing plan to get people through the virtual doors, and then extort.
Thankfully, these days companies such as the UK Gambling Commission – who are the regulatory body within the UK – are super hot on shutting these sites down before they even get going. News spreads fast online in the gambling community, so finding the crooks is a lot easier than it once was.
Whilst the UK Gambling Commission allow companies to offer their services within the UK, there are many different commissioning bodies based around the world. Where each individual betting company is based and which market they want to target will determine where they need to obtain their licenses (they can hold more than one).
With all licenses there are a few key rules that the company will need to adhere to:
- Social responsibility – The social factor is probably the most important and this includes things like; misleading marketing campaigns, underage gambling, spotting problem gamblers and also allowing the people who need help to get help. A huge amount of responsibility is passed down to the bookmaker these days and they are duty bound to provide help to the people that need it.
- Anti-money laundering – As huge sums of money are going to be exchanged each day, an equally huge emphasis on anti-money laundering needs to be in place. Bookmakers are forced to carry out rigorous checks on who’s gambling and with what money.
- Technical standards – This relates more to casino, poker and bingo where many games are automated, but it is the gambling company’s responsibility to make sure that games are fair and punters know the risks for each game. The increase of online and mobile betting has seen a huge shift in how this is policed.
Design and Layout
The next step comes with the design and layout of your site. Since the competition has massively increased over the last decade or so, it’s never been more important that a potential betting site looks the part and functions accordingly. If it is slow to load or glitchy players will simply go elsewhere.
There are two routes that companies can take for this:
- Unique, custom design, essentially starting from scratch.
- Use of white label designs, allowing bookmakers to get up and running quickly.
Unique designs are something that all bookmakers would really like to have. They want their company to stand out from the crowd and be able to offer things that other bookmakers can’t. However, unique designs, especially for sports books, come at a price, and usually a huge price at that.
The likes of BetVictor and Paddy Power are probably about as big as you will find online, but both with very different looking custom built websites. Over the years they have been able to add to and fine tune their sites to work towards the goals each company has set for themselves, and behave in a specific way depending on what each company is trying to achieve. Whilst we don’t know the exact cost of either site, it’s more than likely that tens of millions have been invested to get them to where they are today.
A start-up sportsbook isn’t going to have that sort of money from the off, so the solution is to use a white label company. This will mean that they rent or purchase a skin from that company and then add their own branding. The layout will be fairly familiar, and sometimes almost identical to other sites, and they will be limited in terms of what they can achieve with the design, but it’s a much more cost-effective way of doing things.
Two of the more popular white label betting companies include FSB Tech and Oddsmatrix. It’s likely that you’ve never heard of either, but we bet you have seen their designs before. Between them, companies such as 21 Bet, 188 Bet, Genting Bet, DafaBet, Boylesports, Sporting Index and Tipico are all using their software.
Whilst the name above the door might state one thing, more often than not your favourite sportsbook will be part of a bigger group. These groups are pretty common nowadays, as acquisitions and buy outs become more prevelent.
You’ll often find that groups utilise sister-sites to create a bigger network. These might start out as casino or poker groups and then acquire a company to run their sports betting side for example. The deals that are made here can be worth hundreds of millions of pounds, but are an easy way for companies that specialise outside of the sports betting sector to come in and enjoy almost immediate success.
New Sites v Established Brands
As we have already stated, over the last decade or more there have been a plethora of new sites wanting to get in on the action. The industry is worth a reported $450billion a year, with this number continuing to rise, so it’s understandable that people want in.
As a new site you are starting from scratch, which makes it very tough to make any money in what’s already a highly saturated marketplace. The flip side is that you only need a very small percentage of the ‘pie’ to bring in some serious cash.
There are a number of advantages to using a new bookmaker though. The main one is that often these smaller sites have to work harder to get players through the door, which is great for the consumer as you are more valuable to them. They are able to work closer with each punter and tailor things like bonuses and offers to suit their needs. Departments such as banking and customer support don’t have to be as big due to fewer player numbers, which means they should be able to run more efficiently and on a more personal level.
You’ll often see the smaller sites offer up higher bonuses as well. Bonuses have long been a great way to get players to try a new brand, so this makes sense. Often punters will see the big numbers on offer at a new bookie and opt for this over small bonuses or free bets from already established brands.