Are Social Media Tipsters Any Good?June 7, 2018 9:00 am
You’ll often see them popping up on your social media feeds – clogging your Facebook timeline and filling your twitter feed with inane gibberish.
No, it’s not your girlfriend’s mum; we’re talking about the growing phenomena – and influence – of the social media tipsters.
As their popularity grows and they begin to enter the mainstream, they are now facing more and more questions – how do they operate, how do they make their money and who’s interests do they actually have at heart?
Well for this article we’re going to have a bit of deep dive into online tipsters, and particularly if you can trust them.
How Do They Make Money?
So the first thing to acknowledge is that these people are not charities, they are in this to make money.
Now that may of course not be their primary motivation. Some of them enjoy the online interactions with their followers. Some enjoy the gaming aspect of sitting down and calculating odds and generating tips and some just fancy themselves as good gamblers (whether rightly or wrongly!) and want to spread a little of the love.
All fine and noble but the vast majority still make money from their activities, and it is how they make this money that has caused a bit of a furore online recently.
The online tipsters make money from gambling companies in one of two ways:
- A bonus paid to them for every person who opens an account with the betting company – or companies – who are affiliated with the tipster
- A cut – usually 30% – of the losses that punters incur on that account.
So for example, they throw up a link to William Hill to place a bet because William Hill has a great sign up offer. You follow the link and set up an account, and the tipster receives a payment – say £20.
They are basically advertising William Hill at this point, so that doesn’t seem too shady to me.
But, you sign up and, say, deposit £100 and bet it on a series of football bets that weekend – and none of them come in. The tipster will receive £30 of your hard earned – that, to some people, is a conflict of interest.
But is it?
In some ways yes, in some ways no. Look at this way, the tipsters make their money from exposure, ideally from word of mouth advertising which is both cheap and highly effective.
How do they get that good word of mouth? By giving good tips. Say you take a tip that comes in big on a Saturday afternoon. You’re going to tell your mate, Big Gary, about this tipster, and how he won you some serious cash. Big Gary duly trots off to the follow the tipster on twitter, opens an account with one of the betting companies that they promote and the tipster earns his commission for sending another punter their way.
Look at it the other way, and the tip he gives you is rubbish – whether by design or by accident, we’ll discuss below. But irrespective of why, if the tip is bad you’re not likely to recommend the tipster. If he proves to be terrible, you’re not only going to not recommend him, you’re going to find someone else to listen to, right?
Do They Really Want You To Lose?
Well… yes they do, but it’s not really a simple yes or no answer. As we discussed above they want you to win, so you are happy with their service and you recommend them to other people. These other people recommend to other people and all that sweet, sweet commission money rolls in – yum yum yum.
But the elephant in the room is the 30% of profit they make on your losses too. If you’re as bad at gambling as I am, that 30% chunk of my failures could probably go a long way toward a nice sunny holiday every year, so it’s understandable they want you to lose more than you win.
It’s a bit of a bind for the tipster – they want to be right enough of the time that they build a big following, they want you to be wrong enough of the time that they get a slice of your salty tears from every failed stake.
The ideal solution is that you win every time with their tips. You then get cocky and place additional bets with your winnings, which don’t come off. They get the kudos of winning you a pile of money in the first place, and they also get the additional income from your failed secondary bets.
That then leads to another question…
Why Aren’t Their Tips Profitable?
If the tipsters got everything right, there would be no need to question them. The fact that their tips fail – and fail often – gets people wondering if they are setting up people for failure to get that 30%.
The truth is their tips don’t come in all the time because gambling is bloody hard! There is a reason that these tipsters are scrabbling around for commissions from the betting companies whereas the people who own and run the betting companies are lying on a beach in Mexico lighting cigars with £50 notes.
If a tipster is so good at gambling that they have a 90% plus strike rate, only a idiot of Boris Johnson sized proportions would be giving those tips away online for a tiny commission – and also the threat of the odds worsening as more and more people pile onto your recommendations.
So the tipsters out there are a bit if a mixture. Some are good, some are bloody bad – and some are crooked, and give out poor advice. Its up to you to work out which ones, but it should be reasonably obvious – if their tips never, ever come in they are either bad, crooked or both – don’t bother with those mugs.
Why Have The Mainstream Press Got It Wrong?
The betting companies are in general getting a bit of a kicking in the press right now – especially the left leaning press. Fixed Odds Betting Terminals and the incredible damage and misery they are causing lower income neighbourhoods is a big cause right now, so journalists are looking for other sticks to beat the gambling industry with.
Online tipsters seem a good target, because of their financial connections to the gambling companies, and their potential conflicts of interest.
However, as we discussed above, this is really not as straight cut as the media would like to make out – especially because it kind of seems as if the people writing these pieces don’t actually know much about the process of gambling, and every failed tip is marked up as a deliberate attempt by the tipsters to steal your money.
At the end of the day, whether you follow their advice or not it is up to you. Hopefully now though you can make that decision a little more informed about how these guys operate.