It is no great revelation that the UK sports betting industry is one of the most competitive around. Bookmakers’ adverts now dominate live sports coverage as they jostle for business during the weekend’s Premier League action and many top clubs including West Ham United, Everton and Newcastle United are now sponsored by major betting companies.
In such a competitive environment, the landscape is always evolving as bookmakers look for new ways to attract new customers. In recent times, features such as live in-play betting and cash-outs have all been adopted by the major bookies. But it hasn’t always been this way. Before the switch to online gambling, bookmakers were often accused of being set in their ways and slow to adapt!
One of the latest innovations to emerge from the industry is the ‘bet builder’ feature. The idea behind this service is to allow punters to bet on markets that may not be featured on the bookies’ main list. They can do this by making a unique bet request via popular social media channels or through the bookmaker’s website or app.
Depending on which bookmaker the client uses, the feature may have a different name. For example, Betway have gone down the hashtag route and dubbed their bet builder service #betyourway. However, the feature is widely known as ‘Request a Bet’ or ‘Build your Own Bet’ amongst punters.
With the bet builder feature, bettors can ask for a price on any outcome that comes to mind. So, anyone who thought the game between Manchester City and Liverpool on January 3, 2019 would produce three corners, six yellow cards and a 2-1 scoreline could have asked the bookies for a price beforehand via their Twitter or Facebook page.
Bet building is not an entirely new concept. In days gone by, punters could phone their bookie and ask for a price on an unusual bet. But this type of custom betting was never promoted in a big way. Once a niche service for seasoned gamblers, bet building is now being actively promoted to a wider audience.
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Another feature that has been introduced is the same-game multi-bet. This allows bettors to build their own accumulators from bets within the same event that could not previously be combined. Until recently, this type of bet was only available via the bet builder system mentioned above. But now, bets can be combined on the online betting slip where a price is automatically generated. The number of bets that can be combined varies from six to 20 depending on the bookmaker used.
In the future, more and more custom betting options will be available directly on the betting slips giving punters thousands of betting options on a single event. There should come a time when any combination of bet you can think of will be available without having to make a specific request to the bookie.