Sure bets for sports betting operators

In a new twist on advertiser casino sign up bonus give-aways, online casino sports betting operators are happily paying out bettor wins in a trade-off that wins them new customers.

Online sports betting sites are giving customers can’t-lose propositions. The operators have been hyping these bets on sports broadcasts, drive-time air waves and social media. In one recent come-on, FanDuel opened their Michigan sportsbook by giving 159.5 points to NBA’s Detroit Pistons in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

After Detroit won, the sportsbook paid out $2 million – well worth it, in their eyes, based on the 47,000 new bettors that they signed up for their service in the state.

Sure Bets

Such “can’t miss” propositions are one of gambling operators’ biggest tools in building market share quickly.

A Sure Bet means that the bettor benefits from the differences found between the odds set among the bookmakers. Almost everyone makes a profit, regardless of the outcome of the game/match. In days gone by, only professional gamblers could recognize a Sure Bet by examining differing odds but today, thanks to the Internet, non-pros can also get in on the action. Websites and software packages are easily accessible and they make a Sure Bet easily recognizable.

When placing a Sure Bet the bettor uses the Arbitrage system that spreads money across all possible outcomes of an event. Thus, the bettor is guaranteed a profit, regardless of the final outcome. You can place one bet on every possible outcome of a sporting event and be sure that one of your bets will win. In this way you cover all the losing bets. In a best-case scenario, you’ll win money and at the very least, you won’t lose any money.

Instead of the bookmaker setting the odds in its favor, where it would take a margin of the odds given to earn money, the bettor sets the margin after investigating the odds offered by different bookmakers. Whenever you see a discrepancy in odds from two sportsbooks, you can apply the arbitrage system and place bets at both sportsbooks, with the amounts based on the odds given. That guarantees you a payout.

Sure Bets aren’t a great way to make a lot of money fast unless you are placing a lot of bets or betting a large amount of money. But for casual bettors who just want to enjoy the thrill of the win, a Sure Bet is, pretty much, a sure thing.

To find a Sure Bet you can do the research yourself as you compare the odds for the same sports event. That’s the most time-consuming method. Alternatively, you can obtain software or find specific websites that help you identify the Sure Bets. Some of the websites are free but the results aren’t always accurate and the profits aren’t always worth the time and effort.

There are also problems and risks related to Sure Bets. They include changing odds, betting limits and bets voided by the bookmaker. Sometimes, these errors and fluctuations are noticeable only after you’ve committed to your wager.

Sportsbooks Focus on Sure Bets

Sportsbooks have identified Sure Bets as a Sure Bet for their marketing strategies. By offering initial money-losing propositions, they can draw new bettors to their services and make up for the loses quickly. For Super Bowl 55, DraftKings advertised a “Big Game No Brainer” opportunity that paid out double if either Kansas City or Tampa Bay were to score a single touchdown in the Feb 7th game.

Bookmakers say that the sports betting market is maturing more quickly than they had anticipated. The pandemic has, if anything, accelerated the market’s growth. Kip Levin, CEO of FOX Bet said, “The tipping point is here. What we went through last year is the driver.” said Kip Levin, the chief executive officer of FOX Bet. Levin says that, even with the cancellations, postponements  and player substitutions, more than $1 billion in revenue was taken in by 14 betting states in 2020. This, says Levin, shows that sports gambling has the potential to bolster the economy. “State officials recognize this and now they need revenues for their state.”

Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have legislated sports betting in their jurisdictions. The laws differ from state to state – in some states, only retail sports betting is legal while in other states, sports betting is available both online and on-site. So far, only one state, Tennessee, offers online sports betting only. Sports betting was valued at $1 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow to $6 billion by 2023. If all 50 states adopt sports betting legislation, within 2 years revenues could surpass $19 billion annually.

The New York Times quoted Chris Grove, partner at the Eilers & Krejcik gaming research firm, as saying, “Sports betting now is like water and finding its way into everything, especially now when operators are trying to attract new customers. In a mature market like the United Kingdom, a mid-tier bookmaker will spend about 40 cents of every dollar acquiring and retaining new customers. Here we’re seeing a 100 percent or more spend on each buck.”


Sportsbooks spent more that $200 million last year on television advertising and in 2020 they increased their spending on TV advertising by 82%. Operators say that they are planning to double that amount in 2021 as sports betting comes to five additional states  with several more, including New York State, California, Texas and Florida, considering bills that would legalize it in those states as well.

Sportsbook operators are aware that they need to walk a fine line when drawing in new customers. Spokespeople for FanDuel and DraftKings have acknowledged that they are learning from the mistakes that they made when they first tried to bring Fantasy Sports to the market. In the beginning, both companies blanketed TV channels with their advertisements. They spent more than $100 million each in 2015 with $27 million of it during the NFL’s opening weekend alone.

That type of aggressive marketing pushed both companies’ valuation to $1 billion but it also attracted the attention of several state gaming regulators who challenged whether fantasy games were legal. Both operators were damaged by customer backlash and legal challenges.

Director of DraftKings Sportsbook John Avello said, “We spent a lot of money. It was not the wisest thing to do….Now we do it smarter.”

At FanDuel, Chief Marketing officer Mike Raffensperger said that they were following in the footsteps of digital companies like Uber and Netflix in pioneering new markets but this time around, the company intends to partner with sports networks and exploit social media as their main marketing strategy.

Sure Bets will almost certainly continue to be a part of these companies’ strategies as well. “What the public thinks is going to happen in a game, which team is going to cover the spread, has become part of the larger narrative of sports,” Raffensperger said in a New York Times interview. “Betting on games has become part of the sports ecosystem.”


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