There are a ludicrous number of bookmakers and casinos available online nowadays. Provided you only sign up with ones that I’ve recommended on here then you should be ok, bearing in mind that they’ll all be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and therefore have to meet certain requirements. Even so, there are still a huge number of sites that you’ll come across during your travels, so you’ll almost certainly have a good amount of experience when it comes to looking at the different types of websites on offer from bookies and online casinos.
The very best ones feel unique, with their own style and personality that you can feel coming through the pages as you use them. If you’ve been on enough websites, however, you’ll doubtless have noticed that some of them feel like clones of each other. The layout will be identical, the style the same and even the sports covered matching up with each other; in fact, only the name of the operator will be different and maybe they’ll have their own colour scheme. That’s because there is now a huge market for what are known as White Label providers, which essentially give companies the skeleton of a betting site and allow them to put their own stamp on it. I’ll explain it all in more detail on this page.
Sportsbook White Label Providers
Established in 2007, FSB have gone on to become one of the most respected names in the industry. They’re based in London, which will appeal to a certain demographic, and when they were set up they were given the backing of one of the founders of Betfair. That helped to give them legitimacy in the industry and nowadays they have more than twenty-five major players on their books.
FSB is one of the cheaper options, which is why they appeal to many new companies on the market. They’re a little bit ‘no frills’ in a ‘get what you pay for’ type way, but they still offer most of the top features that bettors have come to expect from their online casinos and sportsbooks. If you were thinking of setting up a bookie that will target a mobile audience then FSB’s no frills approach might pay dividends.
If you’ve ever been onto the 10Bet website then you’ll recognise SBTech’s offering almost immediately. They are much more ‘high-end’ in what they produce than FSB, but with that comes an additional amount money that you’ll need to pay to get their services. They have made it their aim to give customers a decent amount of choice in terms of the setup of their sites, so you can have a couple of bookmakers that use them but look totally different to one another.
If you’re looking for a provider that is an award winner, that will give you a site that is unique and yet simple to use and you don’t mind paying for the privilege then SBTech will be the company for you. They are known for being innovative with what they offer punters, so the likes of Pulse Betting, Partial Cash Out and Bet Editing all came from them. They’re the ones to watch if you want to be at the cutting edge of betting software.
If you want to get a sense of what BetContruct brings to the table then check out Vbet, who they’ve worked with for some time. They try to offer a service that is forward-facing and innovative, so if you want something truly unique then they’ll be the company for you. They’re actually not the most expensive on the market either, so you’ll get a decent bang for your buck compared to some other companies.
One thing that you’ll want to think about is the demographic, with BetContruct’s sleek and stylish appearance better suited to a younger betting market. They’re based in Southampton, if your personal preference is to use a British company, and they ensure both transparency in terms of what you’ll be paying for as well as a good amount of flexibility when it comes to how the system works and the options you can go for.
Last but not least is OddsMatrix, which is the sportsbook arm of the parent company EveryMatrix. They’re best know, as the name would suggest, for their odds and statistical information that they provide to countless different betting companies. They do offer a White Label aspect to their service, though, so they’re one that you might want to bear in mind if you’re looking to get a new site up and running.
OddsMatrix promise customers a speedy bet settlement system, which is something that always appeals to punters. They’re alongside FSB Technology in terms of being at the budget end of the market, but that’s not to say that you don’t get quality. Aside from anything else, the link to EveryMatrix will allow you to link in a casino and gaming section to your site, which will make it something of a one-stop-shop for a punter’s betting needs. The final thing worth mentioning is that they’re relatively new, so even the most run-of-the-mill package will still look unique compared to many other sites out there.
What Are White Labels
If you were to open an online betting site right now then you might think that you’d have an insurmountable task in front of you. You’d be worried that you’d have to build a site, figure out how to assign odds to sporting events and come up with a system to allow customers to place bets and withdraw winnings etc. The reality is quite different from that, however, thanks to the burgeoning industry of White Label platforms.
In order to better understand what I’m talking about, think of an online casino. Were you to head to your favourite casino’s website you’d see that it’s populated with loads of different games from countless different software providers. If you’ve played many casino games on the internet then you’ll almost certainly recognise names such as Playtech, NetEnt and Microgaming. They make casino games and slot machines etc. that they sell the rights for to different online casinos, which is why you’re able to play your favourite ones in any number of different online sites. They are packages that can be installed nice and easily and that do everything a website needs them to.
White Label sportsbook platforms work in essentially the same way, allowing a new site to set up, install the software and have their own bookmaker site up and running in no time. Everything from the features that you enjoy using the most like Cash Out and In-Play betting through to the interface you use to place bets in the first place can be provided by one of these companies. Depending on how much or how little you want to farm out to them, you can get them to run your customer services platform, offer various promotions and even hold the gambling license instead of you. All you’ll need to do is to decide upon a colour scheme and branding for your new site.
- Full White Label – Many new sites run what is called a ‘full solution’, this is where the platform provides the whole interface, all the odds feeds, features (cash out, in-play, etc), payment options, customer service, promotions and they also hold the gambling license for the operator. This is what we would commonly refer to as a ‘white label’ or skin. Differences can be made to the design and various features and promos selected to try to make the site unique, but in reality most of these are almost clones.
- Partial Solution – Some larger and more established operators will run some aspects themselves but still use a software platform for the nuts and bolts. For example, the brand may have their own license, customer care and promos but they might use a platform for the odds, stats, and in play features.
- Feeds Only – The larger operators will sometimes use feeds from platform providers, this might be stats or odds for a specific markets, but on the whole the brand is independent and stand alone. You may find that the bigger companies might even have services coming in from several different providers at once.
The obvious advantage of using a full solution White Label platform software provider is a new betting company doesn’t really need to do anything apart from pay the provider fee that they’ve asked you for along with ongoing commission. They can take care of the rest, doing as much as you want them to in order to get your new bookmaker site up and running. They are literally allowing you to throw up a website in a matter of days, not needing to worry about any of the behind-the-scenes aspects of things.
One of the biggest limitations to entering the UK gambling market is obtaining a license, using a platform such as FSB along with their licence can allow you to set up a new sportsbook in weeks instead of months or years. The consequence of this is the platform is liable and this massively restricts the things the brand can offer, such as bespoke promotions. Therefore you tend to find brands become more independent as they age, first getting their own license then bringing features like banking, customer service and even eventually odds in house. A white label provider can kind of be like adding stabilisers to a bike for a new sports betting website.
All features are pretty much ready to go out-of-the-box, so it won’t take you long to move from having an idea to become an online bookmaker through to actually doing it. There’s no guarantee of success, of course, but if you use one you’ll put yourself in the best possible situation in terms of being able to bring in customers quite quickly.
There is, as far as I can see, one major disadvantage of using a White Label platform: similarity to other brands. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been on a site that looks identical to another one and wondered whether the two companies are linked. In some cases they are, of course, but it’s more likely than not that they’re simply a website that has been set up using a White Label provider and that’s why it looks so familiar to you. If you want to create a unique brand then this probably isn’t the best way to do so.
The question you’ll want to ask yourself is whether or not you’ve actively considered not using a site because it looks similar to another one you’ve already joined. I’m willing to bet that the answer to that is ‘no’ and that you’ve been happy enough going along with a site that you recognise, if for no other reason than you’ll know how it operates. Still, the lack of originality is one thing that people thinking about opening up a sportsbook of their own need to consider before they pull the trigger.
It is fine to use a white label solution to get off the ground but eventually customers need original features and something different to stay and play.
White Label Customisation Options
There’s a whole gamut of possibilities open to someone thinking of using the services of a software provider to help them with their new site. I’m going to carry on talking as if that person is you, so the first thing you’ll need to do is to decide what you want them to do. There is, as mentioned, an option whereby they will run the entire thing for you, from the website and operating platform right down to the very gambling license itself.
If that seems a bit much then you might want to think about just certain aspects of your new sportsbook that you want them to run. Perhaps you want the provider to let you use your own interface and design but to cover everything else. Maybe the one thing you’re most concerned about is also the most costly: generating your own odds. If you don’t know an odds trader then you probably won’t know where to even start on that front, so asking a White Label platform to do it for you can be a lifesaver. You’ll still be able to set your own margin, so the odds you offer won’t necessarily be the same as another site provider by the same company.
Maybe you’re an odds trader that knows how to run a website but you want to outsource the customer service side of the business. That’s certainly a possibility and whilst the customer experience might be a little bit paint by numbers, having at least some form of contact point is better than nothing. There are many other aspects of an online bookmaker’s site that need to be dealt with, but certainly one of the most important is banking. Aside from any other reason to get a software provider to do this for you initially, one of the main reasons is the fact that they’ll have built-in fraud prevention systems, which is good.
From promotions through to Live Streaming and statistical analysis, software providers can do as much or as little as you want them to. Arguably the key aspect of what they’ll be able to do for you is to sort out your gambling license. Companies need to be able to demonstrate that they’re putting the customer’s safety first and foremost, so having a software provider that knows how to do this can make all the difference. You can always move to a license of your own in the future, but initially you might save yourself a lot of bother by getting a software provider to take care of it for you. After that you can think about other things, such as whether or not to offer a casino as part of your package.
There are three major classifications of client in the white label solutions game:
- Existing Bookmakers Moving Online – These are independent operators that may have a shop or small chain of shops and now want to set up a website. They have the experience, the ability to set odds, promotions, etc., but they don’t know how to run an online betting site and they probably won’t have the right version of the license, a remote operators license. Many will therefore use white labels to begin with while they get off the ground.
- Existing Online Casinos Launching a Sportsbook – Many years ago bookies were bookies and offered sports bets and casinos were casinos and offered games. Those lines are not just blurred they are well and truly gone. Therefore may casinos that have been around online a long time are now launching sportsbooks but using white label providers to run it for them. Getting a slice of the pie, mainly by providing an easy means for existing casino players to place sports bets without going somewhere else, but for minimal effort.
- Investors And New Entrants – There is a lot of money in online betting, but it is also exceptionally competitive. Therefore investment groups spring up with new betting sites almost weekly it seems. These are often made up of people from the industry that have gone off themselves and you can often spot them because of the heavy marketing and focus on branding. A white label is a must for these types of new betting companies, at least while they get some experience. While these guys tend to have a lot of money to throw at the wall they are also the ones that tend to find it the hardest.
Pros and Cons Of Sports White Labels For Customers
There are always benefits to trying new things and there are always benefits for going with what you know. Here is a brief look at the pros and cons of a betting with a new white label or managed brand over an established operator you may already have an account with.
- Small Niches – Many new brands know they can’t compete with the multi-billion bookies so they focus on one or a few sports, markets or bet types. If this is a niche you already like to bet in you can at times find better value and more options for specific things.
- More Offers – If you like to claim sign up offers then the more brands the better right? This can also apply to retention offers, many white labels have the same or similar offers and so multiple accounts can mean you can get access to lucrative offers over and over.
- Better Overall Features and Service – It my seem counter-intuitive but you can often get better all round service from a white label. This is because the platform itself is running the nuts and bolts for many providers and therefore they are often able to provide better customer support, banking, more resources and sometimes even unique features that stand-alone bookies can’t do on their own. SB Tech are very good at providing novel and interesting betting features for example.
- More Risky – In the sense that they may not be around in a few years time, therefore if you are looking to only sign up to one or two sites and you want to be rewarded for your loyalty it may make sense to try a longer established more traditional operator first.
- Neglect – There are many new sites that set up with huge intentions but are never really followed up over time, as investors move on or they realise how competitive the market is, leaving the brand to go stale.
- Less Personality – If you share your odds or features with other sites you are inherently less unique and no white label can avoid this.
- Lower Overall Coverage – Very few white labels will pay the costs to run a full solution with all the bells and whistles, therefore you will often find if you like to have everything in one place; lots of markets, steaming, partial cash out, trackers, bet-builders, store cards, etc., you are better off with one of the big high-street operators.