Sky Bet & bet365 Still The Punters’ Favourite Online Bookmakers

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Ask your average punter who their favourite online bookie is and the odds are that they’ll say Sky Bet or bet365. Both firms have competitive odds and a good selection of betting offers, making them a staple of matched betting sites. Add to this, their user-friendly websites and betting apps and it’s clear to see why both firms are held in such high regard.

Sky Bet & bet365 Post Positive Financials

Just last week, both Sky Bet and bet365 posted positive financial reports. Revenue is up 38% to £516m at Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG). The customer base has also increased, with a 31% rise taking the estimated user base to 2.6 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were also up 38% to £146m.

It’s even more impressive at bet365 where total net revenues from the gambling business surpassed the £2bn barrier, giving an increase of 39% on the previous year. There was a 27% rise in money wagered, helped by an active customer increase of 35%. The company’s operating profits totalled a staggering £503.9m.

Elsewhere in the industry, William Hill enjoyed a 5% rise in first-half revenue and Ladbrokes-Coral had a 14% revenue increase. However, this included the Italian and Australian business, with UK stakes being closer to 10% up, year on year. It’s not been as good for Paddy Power-Betfair, with online revenues down 3% compared to the same period last year.

Advantage Over Rivals

Paul Leyland, lead partner at gambling consultancy Regulus Partners told SBC News;

“There are four things these two have in common. They are held privately, they are UK-based, they have clearly identified a customer segment that they aim at and none of them have been involved in (large-scale) M&A. The key is that none of their competition have all four of these factors in their favour. Some have none.”

SBG is managed by private equity house CVC and bet365 is owned by the Coates family. This allows for a long-term focus, with no pressure to please shareholders. Sky Bet’s Leeds base and bet365’s Stoke offices give each firm cohesion, backed up by a well-rewarded and highly motivated workforce. Both brands have a clear presence in football betting, with the main focus of the business directed towards that particular audience. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can handicap a business and this looks to be a problem at the moment for Paddy Power-Betfair.

UK Online Gambling Market Growth Good News For Matched Betting

There’s been a bit of doom and gloom in the gambling industry of late. With clampdowns by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) and Gambling Commission. This lead to the value of a fair few betting offers being reduced and some promotions removed altogether. However, there is still much to go at when matched betting and the fact that some of the bigger operators are doing well suggests that there will be more to come.

If you haven’t heard of matched betting, it’s a means of using online bookmaker promotions to generate expected real money earnings. It is a completely legal practice and the money you make is tax-free. Those in the know use it to make a little extra cash to put towards holidays or other treats while some people dedicate more time and earn an extra income.

The bookies want your business and are willing to offer free bets and bonuses to tempt you in. These can be new customer offers when you sign up or reloads, which are given for repeated play as an existing customer. Matched betting allows you to exploit these offers and turn them into expected profits.

Take a generic bet £10 get £10 free bet sign up offer for example. When betting normally you would need to spend £10 to qualify for the free bet. When matched betting, using a betting exchange to place a lay bet against your bookmaker bet reduces the qualifying cost to a matter of a few pence. A lay bet is to bet something won’t win, enabling you to cover both possible outcomes.

Once you’ve qualified for the free bet, you can then repeat the process. By placing the necessary lay bets and because you are no longer placing a bookmaker bet with your own money, a cash profit can be generated.

As a rough guide, a typical free bet is worth 80% of its value. So a £10 free bet can be made into £8 cash, a £20 free bet into £16 cash and so on. Bear in mind that there are stacks of online bookmakers with offers to utilise and many have ongoing promotions for existing customers too.

Matched betting is made easy because of the software solutions and guidance available on various matched betting sites. If you were to try and do it off your own back, then it would be a very tedious and drawn out process but the likes of Oddsmonkey, Matched Bets and Profit Accumulator make it a doddle.

These leading sites have odds matching software, which identifies close matches between bookmaker odds and exchange prices. They also have matched betting calculators to take care of complex sums and working out. Clear and easy to understand user guides and videos will walk you through the process, from signing up and placing your qualifying bet, to extracting a profit from your free bets and bonuses.