Tomorrow will see up to 100,000 people descend on Epsom Downs to watch Britain’s richest horse race. The Derby is one of the world’s ‘blue riband’ sporting events, first held over 245 years ago and with a check for over £875,000 on offer for the winning owner. As is often the case, it’s a completely open field, with any one of a number of horses in contention, if the latest odds are anything to go by. Along with the four-day Cheltenham Festival and The Grand National, The Derby is one of the biggest potential paydays for the betting companies, and as such the competition to grab a share of the millions of pounds spent by the gambling public is fierce.
The developments of the digital world have meant we can now place bets in a tap of an app. We can even follow the race live from wherever we are in the world. Some gambling apps even allow us to predict the outcome of races by running them in virtual reality. The push to grab every penny of the gambling public continues to drive technological development.
One way that gambling companies have looked to increase their reach is to offer affiliate programs for individuals and companies to drive traffic to their official website in exchange for a commission. Although these programs are well-policed, it doesn’t stop some rogue individuals claiming association with a gambling brand in an attempt to procure someone’s personal or even financial details by offering special offers or money-back promotions. For major brands, the need to monitor websites that claim to be affiliates is becoming a constant necessity. Whilst phishing tends to be an issue associated with financial institutions, it affects online gaming and gambling companies as well.
In fact, the major issues that face online bookmakers are almost identical to those that the banks and other financial institutions have to deal with too. Cyber-criminals understand our pursuit of a bargain goes as far as looking at the best betting odds online, and will use the same tactics as genuine brands to grab our money: setting up fake Adword profiles to try and divert search traffic, using social media to drive gamblers to look-a-like websites through URL shorteners, and adding rogue apps into the most popular App stores.
We should all be wary of websites that promote offers that are far and away better than can be found elsewhere. Just as we have price comparison websites for all aspects of financial products, so too are there websites that compare odds on various sporting events. These websites will give you a good idea of which organization is offering the best odds, as well as links to the official website.
By the way, since you’re asking, Minding looks a dead cert for the race tomorrow – just make sure if you do back it, it’s through official channels!