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New social betting platform Betconnect aims to get around bookmaker restrictions

Betconnect: aims to get around bookmaker restrictions
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A new betting platform launches this week with the aim of eradicating the persistent problem successful bettors face in placing bets with traditional bookmakers.

The beta version of Betconnect was released on Monday, and the app presents itself as a social betting platform, on which 'pro' punters can have their bets matched in a peer-to-peer format, with the effective 'layers' gaining the knowledge required to make a successful trade, should they so wish.

While the peer-to-peer aspect of the transaction largely mirrors the operation of a betting exchange with liabilities set by the user, the app allows three options – termed copy, follow or lay – the first two of which would allow the user to trade off their liabilities at equal or bigger odds with traditional firms.

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"Once a punter accepts a pro's bet request, they have 15 minutes in order to make that decision [copy, follow, lay or reject]," said Mark Weaver, Betconnect's co-founder.

He added that punters are under no obligation to lay upon accepting a bet request, noting that: "Like all successful social platforms, punters are rated and ranked based on their participation and engagement. Rejecting a bet request once it is unlocked will have a negative impact on their punter rating and ranking, in the same way as no-showing for an Uber ride or not paying an eBay seller."

Betconnect cite the financial trading app eToro, which allows users to copy the trading portfolios of successful market traders, as an influence. Many will also see parallels with the agents, or bet-placers, already used by some professional gamblers to get their bets on with otherwise reluctant bookmakers.

The founders prefer the first reading and point to their no-obligation model and the option for punters to set their preferred liabilities as making for a more user-friendly environment.

"The primary inspiration has not come from within the betting industry," said co-founder Dan Schreiber. "The likes of eToro have proved the concept and appetite of people to be guided by experts in a financial trading transaction. We are applying the same concept to betting. Punters are able to join Betconnect, browse our directory of pros, and connect with the ones whose bets they are interested in."

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The social element is alluded to in the name. Primarily, Betconnect sees its model as a means of linking successful bettors with recreational punters. Pros are held to account through the publication of their profit-and-loss statistics, which is said to allow punters freedom of choice over who they follow, as they would have on any other social network.

"The response has been extremely positive from both pros and punters in our beta testing so far," said Weaver. "Punters are telling us that we are enhancing their betting enjoyment as we make it a truly social experience for the first time. Pros are once again able to bet without fear of account restriction or closure due to their success."

A full launch of Betconnect has been pencilled in for November. 

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Punters are telling us that we are enhancing their betting enjoyment as we make it a truly social experience for the first time
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