Sports betting and sports betting apps have been around for over two decades. Social betting apps on the other hand are a far more recent phenomenon in the world of online sports betting and have really shaken up the way punters go about their sports betting.
Combining the concept of sports betting and the ever-increasing use of social media, they’re a novel way of punters sharing ideas, tips and working together.
To not only make the whole experience more enjoyable, but also as a method to finding the best bets out there in an attempt to beat the bookies.
As is the case with any very new concept, social media betting is yet to have one, unique definition of what it actually is. To further muddy the waters, not all social betting sites are the same in terms of how they work, what they do and what the whole concept entails. But here are the three definitions that best sum up what this is all about.
The above definitions are the three most common ways of explaining the concept in a nutshell. But here’s a more in-depth explanation of each of them and what you can get out of them.
This is the wider definition of social sports betting.
Following the Twitter account of a betting site is an example of this, as is punters re-tweeting Tweets sent out by the bookmaker. Or replying to Tweets, or even customers posting a new Tweet of their own about a particular betting market, promotion or just their thoughts on a particular sports story or topic, with a betting angle to it.
Yet another example would be in a marketing sense where social betting sites Tweet about a competition that can only be entered via social media, inviting customers to predict what minute the first goal of a particular match will be scored, with bonuses or other prizes on offer for the customers who get it right.
One more example is that of betting sites posting screenshots of betting slips that have won at unusually high odds. Like 10-way accas or huge bets that were placed that also returned huge pay-outs when winning.
But of course, this doesn’t have to come from the side of the betting site.
Another form of social betting is to give power to punters by allowing them to request betting markets that aren’t available yet or to request new runners in a particular market.
Irish betting giants Paddy Power for example, invite customers to use the #WhatOddsPaddy hashtag to do just that. Rather than customers requesting markets or runners via e-mail or a phone call, they use Twitter. It’s an easy way of the punter doing so and a win-win way for Paddy Power to increase engagement with its customers.
Or to put it another way: free publicity.
A customer placing their own screenshot of a betting slip (whether they tag the name of the operator or not), and whether it won or lost, is also an example of social betting.
The ever-colourful and outspoken US boxer Floyd Mayweather is a big advocate of this, often posting screenshots of winning betting slips sometimes going into the millions of dollars as a way of letting his followers know what he’s been up to in terms of betting.
Or to put it another way: showing off his wins.
The second definition involves customers placing bets against each other with the betting sites acting as an intermediary. or middle man.
For example, a group of four friends may constantly be trying to one-up or outsmart each other when it comes to predicting who will be the first goal scorer in a football match.
They can set up a competition whereby they each make 3-4 unique guesses as to who might score the opening goal in Chelsea v Liverpool.
The social betting site, let’s call them PeoplePunters, will organise everything, hold the money and then pay out the agreed wager once the result is known, to the winner.
PeoplePunters will then charge a small commission for setting the whole thing up. In this sense, they act in a way similar to a betting exchange in that they have no interest in the final outcome or hold a liability; they just take a cut for their troubles.
Why is this appealing to punters? The most obvious reason is that it ensures that losers pay up and that winners get paid what they deserve. Other reasons include adjudicating on disputes or the fact that the group of friends may not live close to each other and may not be in a position to settle the wagers.
Then there’s communal betting.
The same group of friends may decide that each one has the chance to nominate a particular bet once a week and that they’ll each back it for 10 GBP, whatever the bet is.
The social betting site will then take care of placing the bet with an operator and distribute the winnings accordingly if it comes good. The four friends will obviously need to fund the account among themselves in order for the bets to be placed.
There are no shortage of tipsters out there who are happy to share their thoughts on whatever sport or sports they like to bet on. That could be because they like to be part of a community, or perhaps more pragmatically, as a way of trying to win a particular tipping competition against other users.
The tipping competition’s prizes could be sponsored by the betting site or it could be the case that each customer taking part in the competition pays a fee to enter.
The nice thing about tipsters sharing tips, with whatever motive, is that there’s great transparency.
Whereas Floyd Mayweather may only share screenshots of his winning bet and not his losing ones, social media betting sites will track every tipster’s bets and display their stats. So everyone can sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of who can be trusted.
Here are some of the best social betting apps to be aware of.
Finding all the best tips from a team of experts on football, horseracing, tennis, cricket and other top sports on a social betting app is of course, a good example of social betting. And one SBK are very good at.
In addition to just the plain tips, there’s also expert insight that explains the reasoning behind the tips, through stats or other means.
But there’s another reason why SBK’s app is one of the best social betting apps out there: it usually has better odds than those at any other Sportsbook because the prices are taken from the Smarkets exchange.
Because as we know, betting exchange prices are almost always bigger than those on Sportsbooks
We’ve already mentioned the fact that customers can request their own betting markets or bets using the #WhatOddsPaddy hasthtag.
Another cool thing Paddy Power do is let customers compete against each other at Fantasy Sports in their Daily Fantasy Sports Game which includes NFL, football, NBA and golf betting website. Customers enter a competition ahead of a particular game or tournament, pick their team, compete against others and the winner is paid out accordingly.
So rather than just competing against your mates at Premier League Fantasy Football for example, you can take on the world (or at least other Paddy Power customers) for big money.
In a bid to increase engagement, not to mention increase their number of Twitter followers, Betfair are rewarding customers who perform a particular task and then Tweet, Retweet or share a post on the @Betfair Twitter account.
There are rewards, more precisely bonuses, on offer.
For example, sending a screenshot of you listening to their Football…Only Bettor podcast could have resulted in you winning a 25GBP free bet to your Betfair account if your name came up in a draw.
On other occasions, they select a particular horserace and followers who post their selection by responding to Betfair’s Tweet and see the horse romp home, will be in a draw to win, you guessed it, a 25GBP free bet.
Ladbrokes are very active on social media and that includes the chance to win prizes such as tickets to football matches or boxing fights, just for re-Tweeting a Ladbrokes Tweet.
Then there’s their Uber-popular 5-a-Side social game where you compete against other Ladbrokes customers.
Verified customers enter a tournament for just 50p ahead of a particular football game.
They then select a formation, pick 5 eligible players and then get awarded points for each contribution their players make.
Like scoring a goal, making a tackle or keeping a clean sheet.
Just like with Fantasy Football, the better their players do, the more points they get and the higher up the Leaderboard they go. The higher up, the better the prize.
Every day Unibet will select a featured Bet Builder on football carefully put together.
They’ll then Tweet the selection displaying the different bets making up the Bet Builder.
In addition to followers having access to the selection, Unibet will very often apply a Bet Boost to the selection as an added bonus.
So, whereas the Bet Builder may come to odds of 12.0 (mathematically), they’ll boost it to 13.0.
With online betting, speed is (sometimes) of the essence. This is particularly true when it comes to betting in-play.
So Betway customers can be thankful for the # BetYourWay builder.
In addition to working the same way as it does at other social betting bookies in that you can request single bets and Bet Builders, it allows other customers to see bets that have been requested by other customers.
So, you can see the bets requested by others and bet on them directly in real-time. Meaning you don’t run the risk of the odds drastically changing in the time you took to put your own Bet Builder together.
There are lots of advantages to social betting. Here are some of the big ones.
And now to some of the possible downfalls of social betting…
Let’s remember that a social betting app is no different to a sportsbook betting app. Or any app for that matter. So the process to download it is the same as ever.
Social betting is only going to get bigger. After all, both online betting and social media are growing by the day, so you can bet your last dollar that when merged, its popularity will just keep on rising.
Exchanging thoughts about betting is fun, insightful and helpful. Some tipsters can help you make money. Requesting bets via social media is fast, free and efficient. Taking part in free-to-enter competitions can see you reap rewards, with no risk. Being part of a betting community can be comforting and rewarding, if done the right way.
So, there are plenty of benefits to it as long as you don’t overdo the whole thing and as always, keep your betting stakes sensible.
To an extent, yes. Given every top betting site engages in social media in one form or another, you could see they’re all social betting sites in that sense.
Not necessarily. A UK betting site offering a Sportsbook, exchange, Poker or other form of betting like that needs to have a license. But a site that just shares tips without offering a betting product of its own, doesn’t necessarily need a license.
It closed operations in the UK in July 2022. It was running at a significant loss in the UK and Wynn Interactive, who owned 71% of it, decided to shut it down and focus on running sportsbooks in the US market.
Paddy Power, Betfair and Ladbrokes are all very active on their social media accounts, have created a good sense of community and have special social betting products. So, all are recommended.
Reasons include: sharing tips, following tips, discussing potential bets, betting against other customers and playing Fantasy Sports against other customers.