If you bet on the Premier League, you’re likely familiar with a handful of the top brokers. There’s a group of bookmakers that dominate the market, taking the majority of all English football bets, and are inevitably global multinational corporations with thousands of branches and vast websites. But, they’re not the only option when betting on the 3pm games. Independent bookmakers are a real thing, and they may just offer the customer something better odds.
What is an independent bookmaker?
An independent bookmaker is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a smaller bookmaker that isn’t just one outlet of a larger franchise. Its profits aren’t leaked back to a larger holding company, but instead are kept within its own premises. These are to BetFred and WilliamHill what your local artisan coffee shop is to Costa and Starbucks.
They’re a little harder to find, of course, but now and again you stumble upon some gems. Given that the Premier League is the biggest football division in the world, almost any independent bookmaker – no matter how small – will provide bets on English football (they just might not offer bets on lower divisions like the bigger companies do).
The history of independent bookmakers is significant too, because this is how gambling first started when it was illegal – it would be independent bookmakers operating underground. Today they’re legal, but somewhat remain to have that underground feel sometimes.
The benefits of independent bookmakers
There are a few very real benefits to independent bookmakers. The main one, and the one that directly impacts your chances of success when betting, is that they tend to have better odds. When trying to pick winners or outcomes for the weekend’s fixtures, there’s a feeling that the Premier League is increasingly competitive with all of the TV money circulating. So, getting the best odds is paramount to standing a chance of success.
Secondly, they’re known for their big, generous bonuses. This is because it’s an uphill battle fighting against larger companies with huge marketing budgets. So instead, they use their money in a different way: bonuses. Generally, bonuses are actually focused on Premier League fixtures because this is the most popular league to bet on it – it’s what attracts new customers. So if you see a free bet or boosted odds, it’s commonly for an English football fixture.
Finally, independent bookmakers usually have much better service. Poor customer service is a big problem with large bookmakers, who often outsource their customer service because they simply get so many queries. This disconnect comes across to the customer, and when your money is on the line, customer service becomes very important. Independent bookmakers tend to do in-house, higher-quality service for this reason.
How do independent bookmakers offer such great odds and service?
The reason behind independent bookmakers’ ability to provide better odds is simple: they have lower costs. They don’t have a thousand shops across the country with high rents and a big payroll. Instead, they have a low-cost, online platform with fewer employees and less rent. These lower costs are translated into better odds.