In the UK, The industry of betting online is insanely competitive, with more and more operators added to the landscape with each passing year.
Punters should, of course, be thankful that there is no betting company that has a monopoly on the industry. There is, for example, no betting company equivalent of Amazon or Apple.
Instead, we get a wide choice of operators, each with different unique selling points and things we like and dislike.
But, to say that there is no monopoly in the betting industry certainly doesn’t mean we lack dominant operators: Ladbrokes Coral PLC, Paddy Power Betfair LTD, Betfred LTD, William Hill PLC and Bet365 Group had 2017 revenues of close to £10 billion, which was more than the rest of the betting companies combined in the UK.
That’s a significant amount of dominance when you factor in that other players, like 888sport, 32Red, MrGreen, Betway and so on, are not exactly what you would call small fish.
Big bookies have better resources
The numbers aside, is there anything that distinguishes the big brands from the rest?
Well, they might have bigger and more frequent marketing campaigns, but there are some tangible things that might make a difference to some punters.
For example, as a general rule, the maximum payout limit will be much greater at one of the established names rather than the smaller ones.
Take both William Hill and Paddy Power, who have a maximum payout of £2 million, and compare it to Grosvenor Sportsbook, which is capped at a measly £250,000!
The simple math basically says that established names have more resources to cover those payouts, so they have a higher threshold for payouts.
There are always exceptions to every rule, but generally established names will also have a wider range of sports covered, markets within those sports, payment methods, stats, blogs and so on.
It all comes down to resources, regardless if that means cash in the coffers or the number of personnel employed to expand the offerings of the site.
But, we can pinpoint some negative sides of going with one of the big-name bookmakers.
For example, the fact that some big bookies, like Ladbrokes and Coral, Paddy Power and Betfair, have merged means that there is less competitiveness in the odds between those two betting brands.
Going further, there is a scramble for these big names to emulate each other, so the promotions and features – build your own bet, Acca Insurance, Free Bet Clubs – tend to feel quite similar.
Casino software can be more diverse with small brands
Even going outside sports betting, you can find a similar scenario with these big brands.
Consider that every one of those huge UK betting companies listed earlier uses Playtech software for their online casino games.
Signing exclusive deals with software developers like Playtech just adds to the uniformity of the sites, with literally the same games taking up most of the collection.
If you compare that with independent operators, and you can check out this mFortune review to get a flavour of the difference, you will see that they can offer a greater diversity of games from less well-known developers by often using their own in-house software.
In the end, it’s often a matter of personal choice. You may like the way the big brands operate, or you may feel it’s a matter of the smaller operators being better tailored towards your tastes.
There is no right answer, other than having a bookie who you trust to make your experience enjoyable and, hopefully, profitable.