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EUBYTES


too much will only compound the psychological effects of a bad run. Finally, the last important barrier of entry is logistics:


There are plenty of profitable punters out there that don’t know where to turn to if they want to bet amounts that make the effort of building and maintaining a good betting model worth their while.


GC: I understand that when it comes to betting operators, not everyone is happy to accommodate your expertise as a customer. Without naming any names or specific cases, can you give me an idea about your experiences to this end? JM: Sure, and this is in fact the logistics problem I just mentioned. Most bookmakers, especially European ones, will limit you quickly to small maximum wagering amounts, once their risk department determines that you will probably be profitable – and as such a likely liability to them. Some will even expel you entirely. In other words: If you’re winning, they won’t let you. They only accept you if you’re losing. The European exceptions to this generally are betting exchanges, as they charge a commission based on turnover and don’t lay the bets of the customer.


GC: Without necessarily taking into account what you have just told me, how do you see the betting markets in Europe compared to the international markets? JM: The one thing that European betting markets have going for them are betting exchanges. There aren’t any good contenders in this niche outside of Europe. The reason for that is probably that the most important bookmakers from Asia and Curaçao already follow a business model that is based on low margins and high volume, similar to how an


36 JANUARY 2019


exchange operates. These bookmakers rely on their odds makers to turn a profit, rather than simply limiting successful customers like European bookmakers tend to. Obviously winners aren’t welcome with every Asian book


either, but there are a few that don’t mind winning customers because they help them set more efficient odds. The turnover and profit of those bookmakers dwarf the European markets by a long shot. In terms of price movements, the European markets usually just follow what has happened in Asia, not least because professionals are forced to bet there in the first place.


GC: From a regulatory perspective, as a lobbyist I always have the challenge of helping decision-makers understand how new technology affects business. Of course, there is often, if not always, that syndrome of governments being one step behind technology which doesn’t always help a market to grow ideally. What is the technology which will affect the betting market, if not all of gambling in the future? JM: Bitcoin already has affected gambling markets significantly, as there are already sizeable operators that deal in Bitcoin only. The catch here is that none of them require you to register your name or address, all you need is a loaded wallet and an e-mail address to open the account. In theory you can already bet anonymously there, as well as move bitcoin directly from one bookie account to another. In a sense we are already witnessing a libertarian


revolution in this area, even though most people are blissfully unaware of it at this point. The genie is out of the bottle in many ways, and from a regulatory perspective I imagine it will be a nightmare to deal with for governments, if it’s even possible at all.


glowonconcept/Adobe Stock


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