New betting websites and casinos are entering the global markets on a regular basis as an already crowded sector gets even larger. Over the course of a calendar year, you could expect at least around 20 new players as they look to gain a foothold.
Admittedly this is a very lucrative area for those that can make their mark but just how do they compete with the established brands? Enter the betting market and you will be up against the likes of William Hill who have been around since 1934 or Ladbrokes, who were first involved in horse racing way back in 1886.
Both of those are true household names and they are able to spend lavishly on advertising budgets to keep their name firmly entrenched in the betting community. There are plenty more such as Coral and BetFred with long histories so just what does a new bookmaker need to do to get itself noticed?
The New Kids
There are certain benefits to being new: regular bettors will always be curious about a new brand and to see what it has to offer. Daily players are likely to have anything up to 100 accounts – possibly even more – although many of those may be dormant.
To further enhance their chances of gaining some early sign ups, the new sportsbook should be looking to offer a generous welcome bonus and this is an area where they can definitely compete against the big boys.
Let’s look at some of the opening deals that were being quoted by established brands at the start of 2018: 888sport were giving players 3 x £10 free bets if you open and bet with £10.00. Others are very similar with Coral offering £20.00 in return for a £5.00 stake and William Hill doubling your initial £10.00 to £20.00.
Those are fair deals and easy to claim but when compared to other bookmakers – particularly those focussed on mainland Europe – they aren’t that lucrative.
Two relatively new operators have taken advantage of that: Betway give you a no-nonsense 100% matched bonus up to £30.00 while 10Bet offer up to £200.00 as a generous ‘Hello’.
In fact, those two bookies should be a great example to the really new boys: Start with a great welcome deal and you can win a good batch of early punters.
Once a customer sets up an account, there are several key factors that will make them stay. Firstly, the bookmaker has to offer them a wide range of markets. OK so everyone quotes for football but do they cover all the matches from around the world and are there enough side markets to keep the player interested?
For a major football match, the established bookies could be quoting more than 100 side bets so it must be important for them to go into such detail.
The same applies for other sports and it helps to cover some niche events such as pool, snooker and maybe even chess while some politics and entertainments markets are also useful. Growth areas such as eSports also need to be covered to meet demand for one of the fastest moving sectors of the industry.
Not all bookmakers will do this and this can be a disadvantage for the newbies.
Secondly, the odds must be competitive. Customers want value in all areas of their consumer life and when it comes to betting, that means strong prices in all markets.
One of the disadvantages for new bookmakers is their absence from the main comparison site Oddschecker. This is where the majority of punters go in order to see who is quoting the longest odds for a particular event but it’s full of established names such as Ladbrokes, Coral and 888sport.
There are exceptions such as Sun Bets and Sport Pesa but in general, in order to check out the new online betting sites, the bettor would have to log on and try each one individually but few will have the time or the patience to do so.
Ongoing promotions are also important for those looking to back up their welcome offer with some more value. Look at the likes of William Hill, Coral and 888sport and you may well find up to ten promos going off on any particular day of the year. This is an area where the new boys do struggle to compete as many have just one or two regular deals.
However, those isolated bonuses can be very generous so it’s worth hanging around. Big Bet World are a good example here with an Acca Boost offer called SuperPay Bonus which could enhance your profits by as much as 80% on winning multiples.
Into The Unknown
The big disadvantage for a brand new betting site is their low reputation as they come into the market. It can take some time to build that up but it will develop as customers test them out and hopefully leave positive reviews about their experience.
Clever marketing campaigns can also help and while there won’t be a huge advertising budget to start with, there are other outlets and Betsafe’s clever YouTube channel is a good example of what can be done to get yourself noticed.
But there is certainly hope and we’ve already mentioned Betway as a good example of this. Established in 2007, the company quickly established their brand and in less than ten years they have set up a big TV advertising campaign while a log term sponsorship deal with English Premier League side West Ham has also attracted a wider audience.
They now feature on the most popular odds comparison site while their list of markets and competitive odds sees high customer retention among its account holders.
It certainly is a hugely competitive world but for those who have established a sportsbook in the last two years or will be looking to do so in the near future, there is plenty that can be done in order to make their voices heard.
How To Choose a New Betting Site
When we look to sign up with any bookmaker, we’re all after different things. Some of us are just bonus hunters, looking for a quick opening deal before moving on, while others are happy to hang around for the long term.
Whatever your own preferences may be, we always suggest that you look for a bookie that offers a good mix of choice, value and trustworthiness and that’s even more important when signing up with a new outlet.
Unfortunately, in terms of value, it isn’t easy to just head to an odds comparison site and see how the prices stack up against the established brands. It takes time for a bookmaker to get up on these sites so we suggest just checking a few prices yourself and a good barometer for any bookie can be found in the football result markets.
In regards to choice, this is much easier because you can simply look on a bookie’s home page and see which sports they are offering without the need to actually sign up. If you are the type of punter that likes to get involved with side betting then you can also go deeper and check to see how many additional markets are being quoted for the event in question.
That value can extend to ongoing offers such as acca boosts and free bet clubs. Customers should be rewarded for regular play and a bookmaker will be more attractive if a number of established promotions are available.
Choice and value are relatively simple to determine but trustworthiness is a little more complicated. In some cases, a new sportsbook may be backed by a big brand: for instance, 2018 saw the introduction of Mansionbet with many punters happy to get on board because the operator was part of the wider, long-established Mansion Group.
If there isn’t this type of link available, a good tip is to check for license origin. Some players prefer to see a license on the Isle of Man or Alderney as opposed to other locations which are further afield. Wherever the company happens to have its license, they should always display its details in full on the home page. Transparency is vital so do look out for this.
There are more things to look for in a new bookmaker and we would suggest that you always check the terms and conditions of any offer in full. A welcome bonus of £100.00 sounds very generous but it will usually come with some wagering requirements so do be sure to check these to make sure you are comfortable before going ahead.
The same applies to ongoing deals for existing customers and while these tend to be less restrictive, they can easily be checked. Bookies will always have the full terms and conditions of any offer laid out and it’s wise to scrutinise these when considering a sign up.
A choice of funding methods can be important to many players too and there is a trend for some of the new sports betting sites to ignore eWallets and only offer deposits and withdrawals via debit or credit card. Sportnation and Mansionbet are among those new outlets which will only take plastic but it does at least give most of us an opportunity to get on board.
Elsewhere, operators such as NoviBet and Letou will also allow funding by Skrill, Neteller and others so if this kind of flexibility is important to you, you should keep it in mind.
Effective customer support is also going to be crucial if you are to have a good relationship with your bookmaker. Fortunately, it’s very easy to check this out before you commit to a sign up so feel free to test the live chat operator (if there is one) and / or fire over an email and see how quick and helpful the response is.
Most Popular Banking Options
We’ve touched on payment methods briefly but it’s worth giving financials their own section as this can be a very important aspect for some.
At the very least, all new online betting sites should give you the option to deposit and withdraw using debit and credit cards because without those, they wouldn’t have any customers. Bank transfer might also be useful but not essential while it would be desirable if the bookie concerned added some of the more popular eWallets.
In the betting industry, Skrill and Neteller are the most popular methods and should be the minimum offering from those sportsbooks that include eWallet funding. Paypal is more generally recognisable but they are very restrictive for the gambling industry and tend to only be included by the established brands.
Other, smaller providers include PaySafe and EcoPay: These are niche operators but including them may give a little more flexibility while helping to increase a customer base.
One important point to note: If Skrill, Neteller or others are provided, it’s likely that you will not be able to take up any bonus offers if you fund using these methods. You can always check the individual terms and conditions of the promotion in question but we always recommend using a debit or credit card to be on the safe side.
The question of responsible gambling is constantly in the news and all bookmakers should look to support organisations such as Gambleaware. Those bookies that have enough funds to advertise on TV also have recognisable slogans such as ‘when the fun stops stop’.
We endorse those aims and would also suggest that you check any new bookmaker to see if they openly have a responsible gambling message. Even if you are fortunate enough to never need any help in this area, this is just one more way to check the trustworthiness of any betting company.