Around the middle of July 2017, Geoff Banks piped up on Twitter that bookmakers are currently being targeted by bonus ‘fraudsters’ and ‘terrorists’ and that it was having an unfair impact on the genuine punters the bookmaking industry looks to serve.
This began a Twitter spat with interested tweeters-by and the ‘nasty’ members of the matched betting website that Geoff was giving grief about.
In a recent article giving air to Geoff’s feelings on the matter, The Guardian refused to give any publicity to the website which was causing Geoff so much distress. I can confirm for you now that said website was not Profit Maximiser. Definitely not Profit Maximiser. (It was Profit Maximiser. Or Profit ‘Maximizers’ as Geoff liked to call their members when he was giving the site some extremely good publicity to his 9,000+ followers on Twitter.)
But it’s not like The Guardian would have ever promoted matched betting sites such as the likes of Profit Maximiser before…
…or even dared hint at the multi-accounting that has so exasperated Geoff. Ahem… Oops.
By the way, if at this point you’re not aware of what Matched Betting is, you can read my guide, here. But essentially, it’s the simple method of extracting real money from free bet bonus offers that bookmakers regularly offer through laying them on a betting exchange such as Betfair or Smarkets. There are numerous websites out there that help punters extract this risk-free profit – as seen in my Matched Betting Service Comparison.
But I’d like to argue that Geoff ‘The Beaten Bookie’ Banks is wrong to berate the ‘terrorists’ who ‘cyber attacked’ his website and to illustrate this I’ve given him 3 ideas as to how he can proactively counteract it in the future:
Idea #1: The Beaten Bookie Should Set a Limit on New Registrations
Geoff Banks isn’t an idiot. In fact, I think we’d all agree that bookmakers are a bunch of pretty smart people. So why give off about Matched Betting sites like Profit Maximiser instead of busting the chops of his staff who allowed his firm to be taken advantage of?
Any smart bookie who wants to discourage a flood of matched bettors sets a limit on how many people can take part in their sign-up promotions. It’s been done before by firms in the industry, so why didn’t his company foresee this (quite obvious) potential problem?
Idea #2: It’s Fair Game. If You Can’t Handle the Fight Don’t Enter the Ring
For point two I’d like to refer to a quote in the aforementioned Guardian article which helped Geoff spout his views into the ether:
“There is nothing illegal or wrong in people taking advantage of bookmakers if they are silly enough to make free bet offers. One person can take up as many offers as they like and bookmakers should not expect loyalty or anything else.”
Begs the question then, Geoff, why offer free bets when it’s evident that educated bettors can take advantage of ‘silly’ bookmakers?
Idea #3: Find a Unique Selling Point to Stop Your Firm from Falling Even Further Behind Within the Industry
I think a lot of the big bookmakers are still adapting to the ever-evolving digital landscape – ie the increase in the technological advances of the internet era and the birth of the Betting Exchange. Which, by the way, happened over 17 years ago now and yet the haggard old bookies are STILL complaining about it.
Some bookies have floundered whilst some have achieved better success than others. Betfair obviously have their pioneering Betting Exchange and Bet365 have their all-digital business model. But let’s take, for example, Paddy Power. What would you say is their USP (Unique Selling Point)?
- It’s not their odds. I’m pretty sure everyone reading this would agree on that.
- It’s not their website either. It’s nowhere near as beautifully designed and accessible as Bet365’s.
- It’s most definitely not their slow and clunky mobile app (this is one similarity they share with your own app, Geoff). Which is, again, blown out of the water by Bet365’s sleek and sophisticated piece of technology that provides an outstanding user experience for the user.
Do you know what it is yet, Geoff? It’s simple – it’s their marketing!
Paddy Power have a brand and voice that outreaches the vast majority of their competitors. With their 670k followers on Twitter they have almost double the amount of Bet365’s follower base and around 5 times the amount of Betfair. And over 600,000 times more than Geoff Banks’ company’s own Twitter….ahem.
This is because Paddy’s brand voice is distinct, visceral and pitches its tone with perfect timing to their target market.
So, when you complain about punters not showing any loyalty to bookmakers these days maybe you should reflect on your company’s own brand and why they don’t show any loyalty to you. It’s not about the odds or the offers. People very rarely bet with Bet365 or Paddy Power because they promote great offers – it’s about their USP inside the industry. Bet365 with its great outstanding user experience across all digital platforms and Paddy Power, because, y’know, their brand persona has helped to define themselves as if they’re just every 18-35 year-old male’s best mate.
Geoff may have done a benefit to matched betting sites like Profit Maximiser by giving them a good bit of free promotion with this spat. I doubt the Gambling Commission will truly care about the complaints submitted to them because they’re never going to be able to stop bookmakers offering free bets – and bookmakers wouldn’t want to stop offering them whilst there’s still millions more punters out there for them to capture.
In hindsight you may have just exacerbated the problem of matched betting for the industry. Rule #1 for Bookmakers in such a tough industry, Geoff – Don’t talk about Matched Betting clubs.