Everybody knows that there are certain dangers and threats that have always been present across the gambling industry in general. In fact, the likelihood of the world ever entering an era when dodgy dealers don’t exist is pretty much zero.
On the plus side, things in general are not nearly as bad as they used to be. For one thing, increasingly strict legislation and public awareness in general are making it more and more difficult for shady individuals and enterprises to get by. But at the same time, the advent of online casino gaming and bookmaking has given dodgy dealers across the world a new platform to play with.
…and play with it they certainly do!
A Growing Problem
If the whole thing has so far passed you by, there has been a string of reports as of late regarding apparent ‘expert’ tipsters and pundits making huge amounts of money by deliberately providing people with misleading advice. Despite handing out what appears on the surface to be legitimate guidance on which kinds of bets make sense, they are in fact deliberately steering punters in the direction of outside bets that simply won’t come out in their favour.
Why is this happening? Well, at its heart it has always been something of a presence the bookmaking industry has had to deal with. The reason being that in ensuring that those who place these bets lose consistently, not only does the bookmaker take home maximum profit, but the tipster also walks away with a generous commission.
In fact, evidence would seem to suggest that of the total loss the bookmaker receives, some of these troublesome tipsters are pocketing as much as 30%.
Unsurprisingly therefore, critics are lashing out at both the industry and the government, insisting that immediate and intensive action needs to be taken to prevent all this from happening. Specifically, the kind of legislation that makes it fundamentally illegal to offer misleading advice for the sake of profiteering.
Incredible as it may be, there is currently little to no legislation whatsoever governing the provision of advice or the circumstances under which it is provided.
Pressure groups and charities are now calling on the government to take official action, in the form of new legislation that would make it illegal and impossible for these kinds of dodgy dealers to operate. The problem being that while ever the web and online gambling exist as they do in general, it is going to be borderline impossible to bring these kinds of things under total control.
To a large extent, it all comes down to abuse within the affiliate marketing system. When it comes to online gambling and casino gaming in particular, affiliate marketing plays an extremely important role right at the core of the industry. The smallest and largest businesses alike rely on the efforts of affiliate marketers to recommend their services and send new customers in their direction. And in doing so, the casino or bookmaker wins new business and the affiliate is paid a percentage.
Unfortunately, far too many affiliates are providing new customers with bogus information, misleading them into signing up or spending their money and profiteering from their loss.
All of which is compounded by the fact that quite literally anyone could get into affiliate marketing within the space of the next hour or two. All you need is a cheap and simple website, an affiliate account and the kind of content that’s difficult to overlook by gamblers and casino fans in general. The traditional approach has been to peddle all sorts of wild and wacky bonus offers, in order to grease the wheels and encourage fans to sign up.
These days however, some of the unscrupulous affiliates on the market are going to extreme lengths not only to convince newcomers, but to fundamentally ensure that they will lose.
“Online gambling companies need a constant stream of new players, as a huge proportion of their customers experience significant harm and lose more than they can afford,” said Matt Zarb-Cousin, of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling.
“Affiliate sites disguise themselves as tipsters, but when they earn a percentage of customer losses they are clearly only pretending to be on the side of the gamblers.”
In many instances, the affiliates in question are using social media as a means by which to communicate their information to the widest possible audience. They set up a social media account, build an audience of at least a handful of followers and summarily present them with the kind of tip or ‘inside information’ that is simply too good to resist.
The fans and followers then act on this information and 100% of them lose. 70% of this cash going straight to the service provider and the other 30% heads into the pockets of the tipster. All for doing nothing other than provide fraudulent and misleading information.
Common Sense Consideration
The single biggest problem with all of the above is that for the time being at least, it is a problem that is comprehensively impossible to police. It’s not as if it’s the kind of thing the authorities can constantly be on watch for. Instead, it tends to be brought to the attention of the authorities only when one or more people have already fallen victim to such incidents.
By which time, the fraudster has disappeared into the ether.
Of course, there’s the argument that casinos and online bookmakers should be investing more effort in ensuring their authorised affiliates are in fact above board. Nevertheless, it is likely that some would continue to slip through the net.
As such, the only sure-fire way of avoiding these kinds of incidents is to let your common sense be your guide. Think carefully; if a genuinely professional and knowledgeable tipster had a solid gold insight to offer, why on earth would they be providing it free of charge? Why wouldn’t they just bet every penny of their own money on it and make out like a bandit?
And why do most of the world’s professional pundits charge a hefty price for their advice and support?
The simple fact of the matter is that when something seems too good to be true, it most probably is. So shy of carrying out the necessary research yourself and fully confirming the authority and professionalism of the tipster in question, it’s probably best to stay away from them entirely.