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While the US has Las Vegas as its gambling mecca it is Great Britain which has the most widespread and accepting relationship with gambling of any country in the world. While going the races with your dad might be a fond memory of a special occasion for some, in the UK all you need to do to place a bet on any number of sporting events is head down to the local bookmaker which can be found on any high street. With the regulation and licensing of online gambling, this access to betting and casino games is now more ubiquitous than ever. There is no longer a need to leave your home, simply click on your mobile casino app and gamble in the privacy of your own home while watching Netflix or doing your taxes. ✓What Does This Mean for Young Britons? Growing up with this ease of access to gambling be it in town, at your pc or on your mobile phone does raise the question of whether the UK runs the risk of its young people becoming too familiar with gambling. Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission said: “Protecting consumers is at the heart of everything we do, and it is important we understand the ways in which children and young people gain exposure to gambling, the products they are playing, and what factors influence their relationship with gambling.” While it is a hobby there is the risk of losing one respect for the addictive potential that is inherent to the fast-paced risk-reward cycle that makes gambling so thrilling. Especially in the 16-30-year-old age bracket where many financial and societal patterns are being formed and instilled. To gain a practical insight into the mindset of young Brits and their major influences when it comes to gambling the Gambling Commission had global insights agency 2CV survey the target segment using “a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods” to paint them a real-life picture of “this demographic in their own words and reflecting their own voice”. ✓Snapshot of the Survey Results In addressing the intent of the Commission's inquiry 2CV surveyed two market segments sequentially. The first group consisted of having online participants aged 16-30 take part in a series of community exercises over a 10 day period that would test their understanding of gambling and what formed those opinions. The second test was a straightforward survey aimed at 16-25-year-olds. The survey covered their current experience with casinos and sportsbooks, how young they were when they first gambled and several other key indicators to gain an understanding of who and what shaped their view of gambling. The highlights of the report indicated the following: Engagement with gambling throughout childhood and early adulthood aligns to a familiar set of life events and milestones, such as family holidays, first jobs and increasing financial independence. Engaging with gambling or gambling style activities during childhood is common, but participation is primarily passive. Exposure to the positive and negative extremes of gambling (e.g., witnessing big wins or big losses, or being exposed to very positive or very negative attitudes about gambling) at an early age can lead to an increased interest in gambling in later life, and in some cases riskier or more harmful gambling behaviour. Friends and family played an influential role in shaping gambling behaviour, whilst advertising and marketing has less of an influence on young people’s tendency to gamble. Young people are most vulnerable to experiencing gambling harm after achieving independence from their parents and moving out of home. As people grow older gambling behaviour does not stay the same, rather it fluctuates according to personal (and peer) experiences of wins and losses, and alongside changes in lifestyle and responsibility. To ensure that these findings are as true as possible to the experience of the broader UK gambling population all participants were divided across the country’s regional demographics based on gender and socio-economic status. ✓The Family Dynamic While there is an ongoing debate about nature versus nurture in the development of habits and mindsets the 2CV reports shows that the familial views and interactions with gambling impact the development of younger people. It is interesting to see that where family members were seen to be voracious gamblers or actively encouraged the participants to gamble less than 10% of them had a healthy relationship with gambling, while in both cases more than 30% showed a high risk of addiction. ✓Follow The Leader We know all too well the pros and cons of the herd mentality of is an inherent part of the human condition. This is especially strong in younger people as they are creating future support structures. In a region where gambling is so easily accessible, it is not surprising that those friendships play a huge role in forming gambling behaviours. The interesting vacillation point here is that while isolated adults are more likely to fall foul of compulsive gambling disorders, it is more likely that they could develop a reliance on gambling as a form of escapism through social gambling during their formative years. This is supported by the final point in the earlier highlights list where ones changing view on gambling comes about with age, be it for better or for worse is up to the individual. ✓Marketing Is Underplayed Unfortunately, the report underplays the impact of advertising, popular culture, and influencers on enticing younger audiences. The Gambling Commission heading on the topics writes it off with a footnote: “Advertising is primarily a trigger or ‘nudge’ to play as opposed to the reason to start gambling, however more targetable marketing channels – such as social media and email – are more influential.” Yet with the extensive research being done into the impact of video game loot boxes on instilling gambling triggers in children, the bans on certain types of influencer marketing across Europe and limitations placed on venue advertising there is clearly more to this than the 2CV report was able to highlight. Additional exercises or survey questions around video game spend on loot boxes, watching Twitch streamers who either play online slots or are sponsored by betting companies like Barstool Stops and how they were introduced to these mechanisms would have been a nice addition to this already insightful project. ✓Put Your Best Foot Forward Based on their analysis of the two projects 2CV has recommended the following focus areas of for the Gambling Commission moving forward: Education for parents should focus on protecting children from the extremes of gambling (positive and negative experiences) – responsibly modelled play doesn’t appear to have the same impact on people’s future behaviour. Education for young people on what ‘normal’ play looks like will have wide-ranging benefits – enabling young people to benchmark safe play more accurately for themselves, for family and friends. Education and early exposure to gambling ought to be ‘neutral’ (not overly negative or positive) to minimize the risk of unsafe play – e.g., understanding of odds and probability of loss. A more holistic approach to tackling problem gambling within friendship groups rather than individuals will have a longer-lasting benefit – highlighting the influence of friends on play. We can only hope that the Commission sees the value in pursuing a more socially aware campaign of education and support, rather than following the Ministers suggestions we which all revolve around limiting player choice and financially penalising the businesses who operate in the sector.
Online and mobile sports betting is seeing an amazing resurgence in interest around the world as more nations legalise online gambling. For many betting fans across Great Britain and parts of Europe visiting a bookmaker or growing up with one on every other corner is a normal part of life, making brands like Ladbrokes and William Hill widely recognised. In the US sports betting is just as popular with many states allowing legal betting. A New Jersey Supreme Court victory in May 2018 gave each state the right to allow or refuse to allow betting within its borders. Despite the global appeal and in most cases approval for the pastime, online betting is a fairly new option given that most jurisdictions focus on placing in-person wagers. In this guide to online betting, we will cover the basics of online betting. This will include some noteworthy terms, understanding decimal and other odds, what the most common bets are and how online sports betting bonuses work. ✓Online Sports Betting Basics To begin with it is important to understand why betting online is considered gambling but is legal in many regions where online casino gambling is deemed illegal or remains unregulated. The primary reason for this is the difference between games of chance and games of skill. When playing an online casino game, the random number generator (RNG) is the sole determining factor in deciding whether you win or lose. You have no chance to sway the odds in your favour, and there is always some doubt over the trustworthiness of the system controlling the outcome. The logical concern being that since someone owns the RNG-engine they could manipulate the outcome of any game. This is why it is not only the casinos who vie for licensing in regulated markets. Leading software providers such as Microgaming, Evolution Gaming and Playtech apply for their own licenses which allows for the regulator to inspect the accuracy and independence of their payouts. On the other hand, online betting is seen as a skill based bet given that you can look at stats and other pods of information to determine your stakes, the bookmaker uses these stats to offer various odds per game and of course the players use their skills when competing. These factors combine to make betting online not only an intriguing hobby but also one where your diligence plays into how successful you can be at it. ✓10 Betting Terms Worth Knowing If you are new online betting there may be some terminology on the betting sites and information sites you visit that sounds confusing. What does it mean when a bookie offers a “no vig” bet? What is the difference between a line bet and a parlay? Here are 10 betting terms that will help you navigate this entertaining market: Action – When a betting site refers to ‘action’ it is speaking of the bet or wager that is being placed on a contest. Vig – The ‘vig’ is the amount of commission a sportsbook takes from the wagers placed with it. It is also called the ‘juice’ in some regions. Odds – Odds not only display the likelihood of an outcome but also show the available value of a bet. When a bet offers “odds against” it means you will win more than your bet amount if you win on that wager, but it is less likely that this outcome will occur hence the bigger reward for your risk. Even (Money) – When a bet is deemed ‘even money’ the reward for winning is equal to the cost of the stake. As mentioned above this shows that there are no favourites in the contest as either team winning is equally likely. Teaser – A ‘teaser’ is a bet where the odds are boosted or swayed in favour of the person taking the action but in return the bookmaker offers a lower than standard payout for that bet. Hedging – This is where you place more than one bet with different bookmakers or on two games with different odds so that a loss on one of them could still see you make an overall profit. In-Game – This is when an online sportsbook allows their customers to place bets on a match after the game has begun. No Action – This is not a great thing to see but there are times when a game must be cancelled and, in this case, it will be labelled ‘no action’ and all wagers will be returned. Consensus – This stat shows you which percentage of bettors are either for a or a against a particular outcome. You can then choose to bet with or against the public leaning. Bad Beat – With sports betting as in online poker there are times that it looks like a game is a lock, then with a flip of its wrist fate turns the tables on you and your bet loses. When this sure thing becomes a losing ticket, it is called a ‘bad beat’. There are a host of other common phrases or abbreviations which you will see across betting platforms such as “Lucky 15” or “acca” but as these all relate to various types of bets; we will address those separately. ✓Types of Online Bets You Can Place The betting options available at online and mobile sportsbooks can be a little overwhelming at first. The scope of the bets you can place goes far beyond win-draw-lose, especially when you begin to delve into specific sports and their unique betting choices. Here is our list of the most common bets you will find when joining an online sportsbook: Line Bet – These are the easiest bets to get to grips with as you get to choose a simple outcome for the content. The most common of these is the ‘win bet’ where you choose which team will win and bet on them. Line bets can also include which team will lose and predicting a draw. Over/Under – This bet type will see the bookmaker combine the estimated scores of the two teams during a match and then you get to bet on whether you think they will exceed this total (over) or fall short (under). Point Spread – Here teams are given a point-based head start (underdog) or handicap (favourite). For example, Team A starts the match with +5 and Team B with -5, for the sake of the bet. You bet on which team you think will win the spread, taking into account the 5 point variance. Handicap Bets – This is similar to ‘point spread’ betting except you get to ‘buy’ points either for or against a team at the expense of a lesser payout if your betting slip wins. Parlays – These bets are also known as accumulator (acca/aka) bets, and all they are is when you choose to include two or more line bets on a single bet slip. To win you need to predict all bets on the slip correctly. The advantage is a boosted reward that exceeds the value of betting on those games individually to offset the additional risk. Teaser – This bet type combines parlays and spreads by allowing to buy multiple wagers and the pay to shift the odds in your favour. This type of bet is extremely popular in NFL and NBA betting because of the massive point variances these games offer. Pleaser – This works like a ‘pleaser’ bet but instead of shifting the odds in your favour you shift them against your bet. This makes the odds of winning lower but increases the overall payout if you win. Lucky 15 – This is a complex parlay bet that is very popular in the UK. It requires 15 bets comprised of 4 single bets, 6 double bets, 4 trebles and 1 four-fold accumulator bet. However, bookmakers will often add bonuses and odd boosts for this bet due to its outrageousness. Single/Doubles/Trebles etc – These are specific bet combinations offered by a sportsbook offering two, three, four and more bets with better than average odds. These have to be used in combination when playing a bet like the ‘Lucky 15’. Futures – These bets allow you bet in advance which team will win a league or competition. Prop Bets – These bets show the more tongue-in-cheek side of online betting. Prop bets or ‘special bets’ are wagers that are offered more for entertainment value than being a serious bet. An example would be betting on the colour of the referee’s lanyard that holds his whistle or whether the person opening the match stumbles before the first whistle blows. We recommend checking the betting section of your favourite sportsbook for the bets they offer on your specific sport as some sports have dedicated bets that you can only learn about as you become more aufeit with online betting. ✓How Decimal Odds Work when Betting Online When you visit an online sports book, you will see the available odds displayed in one of three ways, here we will explain what these are and how to read them: Decimal Odds – European sportsbooks prefer to display the available odds as a decimal point. In this case offering 1.5 on a match means you will get €1.50 back for every €1 you stake, which is a profit of €0.50. An even money bet is shown as 2.00 which means you will profit €1 on a €1 wager. Fractional Odds – This method of displaying the odds is popular in the UK and uses simple fractions to show the potential profit on your bet. For example, odds of 5/1 simple mean that you stand to win £5 for every £1 you bet. If you’re betting on the favourite to win however the odds will be shown as 1/5, meaning you will win £1 for every £5 you bet. American Odds – American sports betting uses $100 as the base unit for calculations. This means that odds shown as +200 mean you will need to bet $100 in order to win $200. Odds of -200 mean you need to bet $200 to win $100. This doesn’t mean you need to always wager $100 or more; it is just an easy unit of measure to calculate odds with. Thankfully most online betting operators include a toggle on their websites which will allow you to change the way in which the odds on the site are displayed. This will help you stay in control of the bets you’re placing regardless of where the operator is based. ✓Online Betting Bonuses Explained one thing we can always rely on when gambling online is access to a range of enticing bonus offers and promotions. Much like an online casino, sportsbooks offer their new and existing customers a range of bonuses to choose from including: Free Bets – All you need to do is create a new player account and claim the relevant bonus code to receive a number of free bets. These bets generally cannot be split across multiple games but must be used at once. Winning will also only see you receive the profit back, not the original free bet amount. Deposit Match Bonuses – By making your first real money deposit at a sportsbook you trigger a percentage-based match in bet credits which will be added to your account. These can be bet as you please, keeping in mind the relevant playthrough requirements of the offer. Enhanced Odds – These are bets with special odds, boosted in your favour which are awarded to new or existing customers as part of a promotional offer. No Vig Bets – Qualifying bets placed by players will not have any commission deducted for the sportsbook. No Risk Bets – Sportsbooks will offer new customers a promotional window within to bet and receive their losses back. These losses are generally capped at a specific amount like €500 and can take up to 48 hours to be credited back to your player account. As with an online casino bonus there is a wagering requirement attached to a sports betting bonus however this is often only between 1x to 3x the bonus amount. In some instances, these online sports books also offer casino bonuses - as they now offer a range of online slots and tables games for you to play between matches - where the same super low playthrough requirement is on offer.
The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and leading independent online gambling market data and intelligence firm H2 Gambling Capital joined forces to do an in-depth analysis of the sport betting industry. David Henwood, Director of H2, said: “Our assessment of the various regulatory models in operation around the world has determined the key factors that are most likely to generate a successful well-regulated betting market: unlimited licensing, competitive GGR tax, wide product offering, integrity provisions and balanced advertising parameters. That position and our betting product and integrity evaluation is based on the most extensive and detailed collection of market data that has ever been assembled. The report’s findings are therefore unique and illuminating.” The intent of the study was to use live data from existing sports betting markets to codify the earmarks of the ideal online betting market in the current market. To pull this all together the resultant report offered the following six data sets: A ranking of the current active betting jurisdictions Ten regulatory pillars for a strong betting market An evidence-based discussion of the availability of betting products A report on potential high-risk markets Key data points from evaluating €115 billion in bets placed A data-led evaluation of match-fixing and its financial implication Khalid Ali, CEO of IBIA, said: “The study and its contents can rightly be justified as unprecedented. H2 has conducted a detailed examination of product data covering €115bn in turnover, along with its own market data. The result is a report that provides a never seen before insight into global consumer demand, integrity risks and regulatory practices. In doing so, it reveals the core facets of a successful regulatory framework for betting.” The quality of the resultant study has subsequently garnered the praise and the support of the top global gambling jurisdictions including the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS), the Brussels-based European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), the Spanish Online Gambling Trade Association (Jdigital) and the Netherlands Online Gambling Association (NOGA). Keeping It Short and Simple If you are someone who enjoys delving into rich data sets loaded with graphs, scales, and various commentaries then we highly recommend downloading the full 74-page report from the IBIA website. They have not locked it behind a paywall and it is freely available for any interested parties. However, for the sake of brevity we will be focusing on three key areas: which markets scored best and why they did so, the foundation of a strong betting market, and what H2 discovered by reviewing more than €1.3 billion worth of bets. 1. Which Jurisdiction Offers the Best Betting Model? The aim of the study is to not only review the current state of the online betting market but to also provide a model for regulatory bodies to use as a guideline. However, to achieve this H2 had to first determine which key metrics would be used to critique online betting as we have it today. To this end the company decided to utilise the following five data points: Regulation (scored out of /30) Taxation (scored out of /20) Product (scored out of /20) Integrity (scored out of /15) Advertising (scored out of /15) Each data points weight is represented by its overall contribution to the score of 100. As you can see ‘Regulation’ was weighed out of 30 while ‘Advertising’ was weighted as ‘15’. This shows the overarching importance of strong regulation and the need to score well in this area to be considered a valued betting market. ✓The Top 5 Betting Markets H2 used these scoring criteria to evaluate the 19 countries where online betting is offered. In total 18 of the 19 countries, they appraised all scored higher than 47 points out of a possible 100 points. Only 6 markets managed to attain the “attractive market” score of 80+ points: Great Britain – 91 points Malta – 88 points Denmark – 86 points USA (Nevada) – 85 points Sweden – 83 points USA (New Jersey) – 82 points The reason for Nevada and New Jersey having slightly different scores comes down to state-level decisions around taxation (19 pts vs 17 pts), the choice of betting providers (18 pts vs 16 pts) and a slight shift in the integrity score in favour of New Jersey (12 pts vs 13 pts). The only market to score a single-digit result was India who barely scraped together a rating of 9/100, with its existing regulatory framework scoring an abysmal 3 points. 2. The 10 Core Pillars of a Strong Betting Market By creating a matrix that balanced the highest scoring regions against the lowest scoring regions, H2 was able to define ten core values and offerings that were ubiquitous across the leading regions and either missing or abused in the weaker scoring zones. Based on this evidence they proposed the following market requirements: Betting must be available to bettors through both land-based venues and through licensed and regulated online partners. This provides freedom, choice and lowers the chances of them using unregulated sites. The licensing of betting providers must be either unlimited or set at a level that maximised operator and player interest. This negates the decision by some markets to offer monopolies to government gaming groups. Licensing fees must be in alignment with the costs of regulating the market. Safer gambling and player protection programs must be at the forefront of the jurisdiction development plans. The best balance for taxation lies in the 15%-20% of gross gaming revenue (GGR) range. Limited or no additional fees and taxes should be levied. Bettors need a wide variety of betting options including single-event bets, parlays, prop bets, fixed odds and more. Again, this safeguards them from being lured to unregulated betting sites. Allowance must be made for the operators to provide as many markets as possible, not be restricted by arbitrary limitations. The Gaming Authority needs to develop a robust set of protocols and processes aimed at promoting betting integrity. Advertising and sponsorships need to be carefully controlled to avoid abuse. This is of particular importance when it comes to celebrity endorsements, event sponsorships and social media accounts aimed at younger audiences. Finding the correct balance of these core tenets is not something that can be done overnight, however, based on this study most new and existing markets could begin to build their ‘better mousetrap’ by dissecting the regulations of the top scoring jurisdictions and evolving them to meet local needs. 3. Lessons Learnt from €1.15 Billion in Bets As the saying goes “the devil is in the details” and by not only reviewing the regulations on paper but digging into actual player behaviours, H2 was able to truly gain a sense of how well the market functioned, protected its players, and incentivised prospective business partners. To do so H2 employed its vast research and analysis resources combining both manual and AI-driven reviews of the betting behaviours evidenced in total bets placed worth €115 billion! The key takeaways from this analysis showed that: Betting integrity is incredibly high across the global market at 99.6%. This means that for every 2700 sporting events taking place around the world only a single alert is raised, many of which prove to be false positives when investigated. With only 1% of global turnover coming from in-play bets the assumption that only offering pre-game betting is safer has been proven to be a false assumption. 20% of all football-related betting alerts are generated by land-based betting venues disproving the assumption that online betting is more prone to fraud. The global regulated sports betting industry only loses €21 million per year to match-fixing. The basic stats go a long way to refuting the position held by many of the regions which rated poorly as to why they are hesitant to offer online betting, allow certain types of betting options, and as is the case with some countries, refuse to offer betting at all to preserve the sanctity of their sporting leagues.