Sports betting is rapidly expanding across the United States at the pace of a burning vape pen as the big four professional sports leagues try to control the exploding online gaming industry through proprietary data and licensed distribution deals with legal sports books conducted via Sportradar while companies such as MyBookie run their legal offshore operation to the delight of gamblers worldwide without consent from the leagues. Just today, the NBA announced a new sports betting partnership with William Hill. The gambling world was also informed today that Flutter Entertainment, previously known as Paddy Power Betfair, joined forces with Sky Bet in a $10 billion deal making them the international king of sports betting. THE Sports Techie community blog chatted with David Strauss, Head Oddsmaker at MyBookie, about their business as an entertainment company and why they welcome competition from the likes of DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, the leagues, and others. Their Vegas style Sportsbook and Casino websites are legally licensed by the Government & Laws of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles. The USA is in a current trade dispute with Curacao and the World Trade Organization rules in their favor, not the USA’s making MyBookie legal.
The People’s Sportsbook
Launched in 2012, MyBookie uses terms like trust worthy and reliable because of their SSL site security and fast payouts to ensure players know they are credible at a time when major conglomeration is occurring in the industry as well as new sport bet businesses popping up all over North America, many without their own proprietary technology, large bonus offerings and highly secure customer funds. When people call in, MyBookie does not say no.
The self-proclaimed People’s Sportsbook is growing beyond the founders wildest dreams as players around the world sign up over the internet to take part in live sports bets, casino games, racebook such as horse racing, and even bitcoin betting opportunities that are quadruple the betting options offered in Las Vegas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania where sports gambling in the US is legal. Ten states now offer sports betting.
MyBookie accepts Straight Bets, Parlays, Teasers, Buying and Selling Points, If Bets and Action wagers involving U.S. pro and college sports action, including the NFL, NCAA, NBA, MLB, NHL as well as golf, tennis & NASCAR Events. Their lines display in American, Fractional or Decimal Odds. I asked how they set the odds if they are not obtaining data as an officially licensed sportsbook. All he would say is the information is readily available to makes the lines. Perhaps they use odds set by Vegas and tweak them, that is just an educated guess by me.
Game and in-game live wagering was handled for 10,000 events last month by MyBookie said Strauss. He is in 100 percent agreement on live betting being the future. Strauss believes it is a better way to gamble. DraftKings for example has limits on live wagering because of the risks to pay out if it all goes south. FanDuel is also not in the habit of taking on $2,000 live NFL bets but MyBookie does.
The 2019/20 NFL season is already a quarter of the way over. MLB postseason play began last night with the NL Wildcard game while the AL Wildcard game is happening tonight, followed by the best of five game Division series. The oh-so-long NHL hockey season is underway too. MyBookie is poised and ready to take on all your website and mobile app bets.
I perused MyBookie’s social media handles on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and quickly noticed whoever is running these feeds is on top of the latest in breaking sports news while masterfully using guerrilla marketing tactics, witty content and heavy sarcasm to generate exposure and ultimately grow the brand. I am not sure if they are actually tweeting and instagraming legally because of the constant use of professional sports leagues, teams and players likeness but hey, MyBookie takes on all bets from their Curacao HQ even if it is illegal to make that bet in the state you are located in such as here in Georgia. Never wager what you cannot afford to lose and be sure to do so legally.
Strauss lives in Montreal, Canada but hails from the British Columbia province. David says he speaks uber French and uber Spanish which means just enough to get by with his Central American software programmers and local Quebec neighbors.
I found David easy to speak with and unlike most chats, he was wide open about both his job and career, and not so worried about saying the wrong thing or making sure I did not misquote him as many of my interviewees do. He was not able to comment much about the company technologies and other top secret stuff but that was expected. We are both Seattle Seahawks fans too but unlike me, he completely shuns social media.
I laughed when he spoke about his own ‘rage wage‘ betting habits that his wife dislikes. David’s wagering bread and butter is hitting the Max bet button for prop bets that can run $1,000. Strauss has three TVs in his office and uses NFL RedZone to stay on top of scoring each weekend. I wondered aloud if there was a conflict of interest with his personal betting and My Bookie and he said all the bets he places are of his own opinion meaning there is no ‘Bookie Fixing‘ going on (I made up that term on the fly and got a chuckle out of David). He added, “I would not touch that with a ten-foot pole,” nor does he believe anyone in a position such as his would either.
In terms of regulations, David said MyBookie has, “Yearly checks (in Curacao) to make sure everything is on the up and up.” He added, “Because of the regulatory processes, MyBookie can take on large bets and are not limited as the competition can be.” I mentioned this time in the industry seems like the Wild, Wild, West and he responded, “At times it can be.”
Strauss has been in the sportsbook world for 15-years and has done his part to revolutionize the offshore gaming industry. He’s worked for the likes of Bovada in Antigua, BetUS and Canadian company SportsInteraction, in a variety of roles including customer service, proposition wagering operations as a bookmaker, head of the Security department, and Senior Risk Manager, respectively. David started with MyBookie before the 2018/19 NFL season to take charge of the wagering operations.
David runs a betting syndicate used to reduce profits from his competitors. Because he is an advantage bettor, David likes to use ‘The Math’ as a competitive edge ensuring personal and professional profits yearly.
“If there are odds on a 4th division soccer match,” says Strauss, “MyBookie will take bets.” He said they offer, “What they (customers) want, when they want it and how they want it,” meaning you can use their secure website or free mobile app to place bets 24 hours a day. First time users are eligible for a bonus. Frequent players are incentivized with a rewards program. Customer service is handled in the English language around the clock.
“Horse racing is popular three days of the year,” said Strauss. The action comes from older gamblers that want to bet on the Kentucky Derby, Belmont and Preakness. He later added the Breeders Cup to the mix.
Strauss also sees what he called the ‘Super Bowl bettor’. Many people are big event players whether hitting the site to bet on the playoffs, March Madness, the World Cup, or a championship boxing or MMA match.
Their rise in the NFL is a good example of substantial growth. I asked if folks bet on the terrible teams such as the Miami Dolphins or Cincinnati Bengals. He said over the first four weeks of the season no one wanted to bet on the bad teams like the NY Jets that came in as 20 point underdogs. Yet, he said, both the tanking Dolphins and the previously undefeated Buffalo Bills (versus the Pats) covered this past weekend.
I asked about eSports wagering and he replied they do not take much action on that yet. Strauss said, “It is not as popular as one would think.” Some sportsbooks have a considerable eSports offering and take high limits, most however don’t take $2, $3 or $4 thousand dollar bets. David stated there is not much oversight in the gaming world and he worries about match fixing.
It turns out casino gaming is not nearly as popular as the sportsbook. What Strauss often sees is players wanting to double up their NFL winnings playing blackjack, poker or slots.
In term of the cryptocurrency market, David says it is growing in popularity with more and more wagers and pay outs in bitcoin.
MyBookie claims to have broken the news that LeBron James was leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and heading to Los Angeles and backs it up with the fact they made it a 98% chance he’d sign with the Lakers. They also pushed the story of Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors a week before the trade with the San Antonio Spurs was formalized. The marketing team at MyBookie had fun with the recent Antonio Brown signing by the New England Patriots and created a Bill Belichick as “Jaws” parody video on YouTube starring Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Drew Brees in facial cameos.
Ways in which MyBookie competes include initial and reload bonuses, plus promotions designed to bring you back, again and again, for both fun and profit. They also run free player cash based contests. The company goal is to offset returning losses at intervals. They do this by scraping the database every night and placing free play money into accounts, Strauss emphasized how they are not in the market to break people, instead they operate for entertainment purposes. The nature of gambling is swings and he wants to help you get out the ruts and assist players back on the winning track.
Leagues claim they want more fair distribution of information and to be the source of data feeds to providers. Strauss feels the real reason is to get proper info to bettors so no on is surprised. The Bill Belichick strategy of not wanting to dish out player injury status or starters is because he does not want to tip off opponents, a fact Strauss applauds as a fan but frowns on as an oddsmaker. The risk is on DFS and now sports betting houses to obtain the most up-to-date and legit info from the leagues and providers to make it fair for all. Of course, this does not always happen.
This season, the NBA wants a list of all players exact size and birth dates. They also are requiring the starting lineup two hours before game time. Last year teams could wait until tip off to submit it.
Major League Baseball now requires the official team roster and starters to be shared by a team’s PR team rather than the old days when a beat reporter or some other media source would uncover it and share the info with readers and viewers.
I brought up Pete Rose and Strauss commented how Charlie Hustle got in trouble for betting on his own games to win as a manager. He did not bet on the Reds to lose. “This sadly caused him to be ostracized,” said Strauss. Think about that some more because he is banned from the Baseball Hall of Fame as a result.
Twitter for many years was one of the best sources of info for sharp gamblers to find out juicy tidbits to help make more sound gambling decisions. The leagues now wants to even the playing field by controlling the flow of info.
Are injury lists believableable? For the most part, yes. When a questionable tag is placed on a top QB, it gets heavily bet and the line gets adjusted accordingly. Same with being listed as probable, doubtful or out.
I termed MyBookie as an OEM and David agreed saying, “We have a developmental team in-house located across Central America, Antigua and Costa Rica.” Many of their competitors are essentially a VAR meaning they implement OEM betting solutions and equipment as a purchaser.
Strauss spoke about newer sportsbooks say in New Jersey and says most are, “Cookie cutter operations.” He said many newbies are getting their tech from European operators in the form of a skin to promote products. He also claims MyBookie’s website technology is far superior. As a result, competitors often have much lower limits in the USA and will not raise them much.
I asked what sets them apart from others in the space. He replied, “Not getting complacent, everyone in charge wants to expand, not sit back off of successes,” The fact that the company was created by online gaming pioneers is a major plus. They are owned by many stakeholders from all over world that are industry veterans but he would not elaborate more about them. There is no exit strategy at the moment. Strauss was not sure how MyBookie got its name. He did add, “The timing was right, it was the perfect storm.”
David finished up saying, “We welcome the additional competition from DraftKings and FanDuel, it’s lonely at the top!”
Sports Techie, is MyBookie the source for betting information? You will have to try it yourself and let me know since I have not used their services yet.
In terms of what is coming in the near future, they plan to roll out a cash out system that gets you out of bets before games are over.
Additionally, look for golf action as an each-way wagering opportunity where you can split bets to lesson the risk as is already being done across Europe. His development team are working on this futures type event wager where you can bet on a player to win and also bet on the second and third place players much like win, place and show wagering in horse races. This is not currently prominent in North America.
I wanted to get his perspective on Daily Fantasy Sports. DFS is not their area of expertise but he did say with fantasy sports you are playing against sharks who use game theory to help pick the winning players. He says the key is to pick players others do not pick. It is best to pick a player that no one wants that scores 20 points rather than a player everyone picks that scores a 25. Ultimately, you need to build a unique team that scores high but it is a long term losing proposition.
Because I truly care, please call 1-800-GAMBLER should you need help with a sports betting problem.
Thanks to David for taking the time to speak with me about MyBookie, himself, betting on sport, and their cutting edge sports tech.
Know your limits and enjoy your sports bets.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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