Captain's log 2020

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arbusers
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Captain's log 2020
« on: December 01, 2020, 05:55:17 AM »

This is the arbusers.com annual review of the smart betting scene for the year 2020.

It is conducted in goodwill with the hope that it will contribute to the understanding of this particular field. We post a similar review each year, so we have a time-lapse of the smart betting scene. We advise that you take a look at the review of the previous years in our forum or youtube channel.

You can read the text, or watch the following video. But whatever you do, feel free to comment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrNF98MSjaA

The use of the word Captain has no intention to imply that we are the leading characters of this community that expands beyond this forum. We encourage all members to post their opinion and thus contribute to this effort.

Without a doubt, the spread of Covid 19, and its consequences, was the biggest event in the smart betting scene for the year 2020. It came like a meteorite, whose impact caused successive shocks and continues to reshape gambling and smart betting to a large extent. This is an ongoing process, interacting with other processes within the industry and beyond.

But before describing these shocks, let’s have a look at the period before the pandemics.

As highlighted in our previous year's review, bookmakers managed to contain bot action and get rid of many smart bettors. It seems that many players were dependent on bots and only had 1 source of income. The majority of these players are now retired. The longer they stay out of business, the harder it will be for them to return to the betting arena. We observed total capitulation and hopelessness from some members of our forum.

To add to this gloomy environment, payment processors continued raising their fees and elegantly, or in some cases brutally, denied offering services to clients that they suspected would engage in dubious actions.

That was the situation when Covid 19 hit. Those who were following the developments closely were able to feel that something big was on its way at the beginning of February 2020, when the gambling conferences had limited participation and a significant drop in the number of attendees. Already, traveling restrictions were implemented in the far east, and many managers were desperately trying to get their families out of dangerous countries and provinces.

When Covid 19 hit Europe, no country was prepared to deal with it. Quarantines brought a shortage of turnovers and profits. Betting activity was diminished. A run for cash was spread everywhere. Shareholders seriously questioned the ability of companies to stay alive. Companies had to prove they can stay alive for months, if not for years, without revenues. The only pragmatic way to convince their shareholders was by presenting real cash. This vicious run for cash brought many actors to their limits. Everyone was looking for guarantees, in an industry where a big part of the action was based on trust and goodwill. With little exception, any deal based on trust and oral agreements was not honored. Those who acted maliciously destroyed their reputation forever and forced others to go bankrupt.

At the same time, the lack of betting events reduced betting action. Almost all championships in all sports were stopped, some of them even without declaring a champion. According to the data that we have at our disposal, betting action was reduced by 93%.

It worths saying that some betting action was channeled to online casinos poker and esports, but the vast majority went to … stock markets. Stockbrokers adapted to the new reality quickly, and their marketing campaigns were targeting gamblers, instead of investors. The vocabulary they now use in their marketing has nothing to do with investing, and If you hide logos, you really can’t see any difference between casino and stock advertisements.

The run for cash created the need to revisit the Terms and Conditions of each bookmaker, to identify where funds are guaranteed and where they are not. The results were surprising, as the devil hides in the details. It is a fact, that some bookmakers and some managers were treating client’s funds like… Fugazi. Fairy dust that doesn't exist. Something, not on the elemental chart. It became clear that it was only when the money landed in the client’s pocket or bank account that it became real. Even money in bank accounts could be potentially jeopardized under specific circumstances.

In this horrible situation, a well-known payment processor, the one that almost all smart bettors have used at least once, decided to, once again, raise fees. That was the worst business decision that we have ever encountered in our 17 years of experience. Fixed mindsets prevailed once again. A fee sensitive community like arbusers did not welcome this decision. It was evident that many members of our community were about to lose their job or even retire. Many influential members of our forum publicly declared their will to punish this corporate ethos, by moving part, if not all, of their business to banks. We lobbied hard and we did anything we could possibly do to reverse this decision. We presented facts and estimations indicating that potential losses and risks were far bigger than potential profits. We believe that other communities did the same independently. As a result, fees were reduced significantly, but not to their previous levels. Growth mindsets took a big breath.

The run for cash and the lack of betting action became existential threats for agent style betting. Money circulation among far east bookmakers, brokers, and agents stopped abruptly. 2 out of 4 supported agents weren’t able to pay clients promptly, resulting in delays and the use of unwanted payment methods. The situation normalized later, but still, there are leftovers stigmatizing them. Special praise must be given to the agents who were able to continue what is called ‘’business as usual’’.

This horrible situation gradually slowed. It was the freshly printed money by the central banks that stopped the cash run and brought share prices back to higher heights. Governments bought the corporate debt, even of the lowest investment-grade level, which others call garbage. At the beginning of May, some sports events resumed, and betting action was partly normalized. By the end of August, a recovery was ante portas. However, the deterioration of the situation in Europe brought new lockdowns in October and November, and again there were fewer sporting events available to place bets on. On the positive side, it is clear that no quarantines will be inflicted, not because someone cares about human life, but because the financial burden is simply unbearable.

In November, Pfizer and Moderna pharmaceuticals announced the development of surprisingly effective vaccines, with an efficacy rate that is almost 95%.  However, experts have questioned how effective this will be in the real world. In addition, the body of Covid19 non-believers is expected to move to the anti-vaccination movement.

Besides Covid19 and its consequences in the industry, it worths mentioning that Matchbook had its license in the UK suspended, after failing to properly comply with anti-money-laundering procedures, amongst other infractions. The UK Gambling Commission began investigating Matchbook for questionable practices, ultimately deciding that it was not adequately monitoring its relationships with business partners and wasn’t performing required due diligence checks. Matchbook was allowed to resume UK operations following a suspension lasting some months.

Furthermore, Bet365 decided to stop accepting deposits and withdrawals from PaySafe-wallets. This was a direct hit to locusts but also had a negative impact on legitimate players who are were no longer able to use e-wallets, even though in some countries there might be exceptions. A new domino is about to fall as it was revealed that Bet365 was the biggest client of PaySafe Group. It is in the best interest of all parties to stop this domino now before it is too late. The consequences will be paid by everyone and not just locusts. All goodwill actors are working as we speak, to bring back e-wallets, safeguarded from toxic activities.

And finally, Paysafe stopped cooperating with a number of affiliates. The reasons for this decision are currently unclear, and an independent observer should not base his critical thinking solely on what one side claims.

We perfectly understand that bookmakers must comply with regulatory directives and orders. But at the same time, we have often highlighted their hypocrisy in using the fight against tax evasion, terrorism funding, and money laundering as moral curtains to justify the crackdown on smart betting. We can now add what is called ‘’responsible gambling’’ to the tools that bookmakers use to stop sharp action that harms their profitability. What a shame!

The smart gambling scene is now flooded with people that have absolutely nothing to do with gambling. ‘’Guys’’, evangelizing tactics and formulas that no longer work. Book and course sellers who claim they can create streams of passive income. Software developers and failed freelancers that found the Holy Grail in smart betting. Bloggers and Youtubers who pretend to be professional gamblers, while in reality they simply get paid for clicks and videos. Self-proclaimed ''Robin Hoods'', who effortlessly turn pocket money into millions while drinking coffee, and having their feet up on sofas. Dudes with only epidermal knowledge of smart betting, pointing fingers like Messiahs, while raising their eyebrows in front of simple mathematical data. People with a lot of blah blah and no real betting record.

Fugazi. Fairy dust that doesn't exist. Something, not on the elemental chart.

Have no doubt, the smart betting reality is a tough one. It demands immense mental work and the combination of various multidisciplinary skills. It demands a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. The smart bettor is predominantly defined by the time they are willing to sacrifice in order to educate themselves. In some cases, smart bettors must adopt a persona to continue operating within their social and business environment. You simply can’t achieve all of this while drinking coffee and having your feet up on sofas. The more it changes, the more it remains the same. There is no such thing as a free meal, but if you are reading these lines, you already know this.

We conducted this annual review in goodwill, hoping that it will contribute to the understanding of this very particular field of arbitrage and smart gambling.

Thank you for reading, feel free to comment.
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Alfa1234
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2020, 10:02:04 AM »

Thank you for the log and info.  I would like to add that, although there were no new quarantines in October and November, many countries did impose travel restrictions and closed all betting shops again, undoubtebly impacting of lot of member's businesses.
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kapetan1122
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2020, 11:53:23 AM »

Like always in depth analysis and some behind the sceen info,thank you for it.
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arctrading
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2020, 12:48:42 PM »

Very good read again Arbusers! Thank you!
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Wolfie
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2020, 12:56:09 PM »

Thank you for this yearly review ! A very accurate way of showing the reality of the situation we are in.
What i have noticed in addition is that in the quarantine time some bookies became smarter. Since there were not much events and very few mug punters for the first time they noticed the number of smart punters. This resulted in some local bookies starting to limit very fast just like big bookies.
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CharlieSheen99
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2020, 01:00:29 PM »

I miss some information about alert services.
And some information about the new markets that are opening the business, like US.
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CharlieSheen99
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2020, 01:01:54 PM »

Anyway, thank you for your effort, Arbusers.
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balls of steele
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balls of steele

Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2020, 01:13:14 PM »

I miss some information about alert services.

Yes, he forgot to say that BetBurger is collapsed and BetSlayer is no longer supported by the forum.
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arbusers
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2020, 03:18:29 PM »

Yes, he forgot to say that BetBurger is collapsed and BetSlayer is no longer supported by the forum.

That is correct. BetBurger's performance is not according to the expectations of most of our members. This should be highlighted.
And yes, BetSlayer is no longer supported as it seems the interest from our members was minimal.
Thank you for pinpointing.

And some information about the new markets that are opening the business, like US.

I believe this was covered by the previous year's review. There is nothing more to be added from the player's point of view. Each state has different laws and this comes with a big legal burden for all bookmakers. As a result, only 3-4 big players are operating on the national level and they get the maximum benefits.
I can only speculate that the new Presidency will come with a new law on the Federal level.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 03:24:11 PM by arbusers » Logged
dealer wins
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dealer wins

Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2020, 09:01:12 PM »

Great read as always.

For me 2020 has been about a 3 month fight with Betfair, and dropping 3 of the sports I bet on and stick with the 2 I know best,.

It gives me much more freetime, less stress etc.  It halves my income, but I am enjoying the less intense life and dont need the extra cash.
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cem
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2020, 11:45:43 PM »

Thank you for the log.
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x-casino
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2020, 06:17:31 AM »

Thank you for this excellent review. Thank you for the video too, that actually feels like a documentary film.
But there is something not right there. I have the feeling there are allegories in your review. Someone who is not that deep in this smart betting scene will not understand what you are talking about. Maybe it should be presented in a simpler way.
I understand that several people are waiting with their fingers in the trigger to fire lawsuits, but at some point, we should put names in faces. Who are these people that didn't honor their deals? Who went bankrupt? How about the guys, the dudes, the Robin Hoods, the failed freelancers, and the YouTubers? Who are they? OK, I understand that AsianConnect and PremiumTradings are those who had liquidity issues. I understand that Sportmarket and BetInAsia should take the kudos, but these should be named by you.
Once again thank you for the excellent review.
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VidaBlue
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2020, 09:16:06 AM »

Thank you for this. Those were some enjoyable 13 minutes.
The smart gambling scene is now flooded with people that have absolutely nothing to do with gambling.
Personally, I haven't noticed such thing recently. In your opinion, is this a development due to the particular circumstances this year or is it just a general tendency for bloggers and youtubers?
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arbusers
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2020, 01:02:26 PM »

I understand that several people are waiting with their fingers in the trigger to fire lawsuits, but at some point, we should put names in faces. Who are these people that didn't honor their deals? Who went bankrupt? How about the guys, the dudes, the Robin Hoods, the failed freelancers, and the YouTubers? Who are they? OK, I understand that AsianConnect and PremiumTradings are those who had liquidity issues. I understand that Sportmarket and BetInAsia should take the kudos, but these should be named by you.
Once again thank you for the excellent review.

If you are active in the ecosystem, you don't need names, you can easily understand what I am talking about. But as you said yourself, there are people with their finger in the trigger. Really, we do not have the time to spend with them.
Ask yourself, which bookmakers/agents/brokers were unable to pay promptly? Which bookmakers delayed payments for a long time? Which bookmakers reduced their stake to ridiculous levels? There is a list of these questions, but to make your life easier, the ultimate question would be, who didn't work ''business as usual''? Then you have your answers. As for the guys, dudes, freelancers, etc, this is how they introduce themselves really. You can't see them in our forum, because we are keeping them out, but if you look at the fringes of the smart betting scene, you will easily find them, or most probably they will find you.
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arbusers
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Re: Captain's log 2020
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2020, 01:14:56 PM »

The smart gambling scene is now flooded with people that have absolutely nothing to do with gambling.
Personally, I haven't noticed such thing recently. In your opinion, is this a development due to the particular circumstances this year or is it just a general tendency for bloggers and youtubers?

It is a general tendency. This is not only about betting. Youtubers, influencers, bloggers, etc, are a trend that goes on for years. And it becomes annoying, because someone with a genuine interest in a (i.e) smart betting career, might be lured by Software X or Book seller Y, both promising the moon and the stars, only to get disappointed by the poor results and say goodbye to a dream.
The list really never ends. Travel experts, cooks, traders, investors, you name it.
Take for example the word ''University''. Look at the number of titles that I can give to a youtube channel:
Travel university,
Cooking university,
Trading university,
Bitcoin university,
Crypto University,
Betting university,
Value betting university,
Investor university,
Beauty university,
Some of these titles already exist, and they can all claim anything. A successful marketing campaign would make them the #1 stop for someone's dream. But this could be the last stop as well.
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