Online Betting is a Lost World

Whatever moral issues you may have of the subject aside, from a venture investor perspective it is fascinating and somewhat saddening watching the many interesting businesses being built elsewhere around online betting. Here is another example:

Sporting Index, which is owned by the private equity firm HG Capital,
expects to take 500,000 bets during the World Cup, generating $22.2
million, in revenue, said Wally Pyrah, a director of Sporting Index.

All of that from taking spread bets around a single event. Remarkable.

[via N.Y. Times]


  1. what’s equally fascinating is the technology around analyzing and “gaming” the online betting systems (actually not gaming the systems but understanding how to do well when you are competing against others).
    we wrote and put online a web-based predictor and betting recommendation system for the World Cup here:
    you can read about markov chain monte carlo simulation and how to determine smart bets.

  2. “Lost world?” Seems more like “found money.” Banks have moved into this industry in Europe. They apply the same risk leveraging principles to “contracts for differences” in financial markets, effectively creating mass-customized hedges.

  3. not sure that “single event” quite does the world cup justice.

  4. The self-righteous pricks in congress need to stop legislating against the gambling industry and embrace and tax it. (This could hold true of most the so-called “sin” industries.)
    Income aside, legalizing sin means regulating it in meaningful ways.

  5. They will never be able to ban online gambling. It would just be like prohibition against alcohol. Look how bad that turned out. I feel thats its only a matter of time before they legalize and regulate the industry. By regulating the industry they will get billions of dollars in extra tax revenue. I can’t see them letting the countries like Costa Rica and the Carribean take in potential tax money that should stay in country and not be exported.