So, what exactly are these somewhat mysterious individuals and organisations, and how can you take advantage of their services?
This article will give you the lowdown on the relatively exclusive world of betting agents, also known as betting brokers.
First we need to define what a sports betting agent is. Simply put, a betting agent is someone who acts as a connection between you and one or more bookmakers. Instead of placing bets directly with the bookie you can pay the betting agent who places the bet on your behalf.
This provides a number of distinct advantages over regular bookies, particularly for more seasoned and professional bettors. First off it makes things a lot easier as you only need to open a single betting account to bet with multiple bookmakers, rather than opening an account with each one. As well as saving time and hassle this means you can be totally anonymous, which is useful for successful bettors who may have been banned from bookies for winning too much.
The other big advantage is betting agents give you access to sportsbooks and odds you might not be able to bet with otherwise. This is particularly relevant if you want to bet on sports in the Asian market which are not generally covered by regular mainstream bookmakers.
Where to Find Betting Agents?
Finding a sports betting agent to work with isn’t as complicated as you might have thought. A simple online search will throw up numerous websites which either list the most popular betting brokers online or give you direct access to the most popular ones.
Although individual betting agents exist, the most reputable are larger organisations such as Sportmarket, Bet-IBC and 3et. These sites have a similar interface as a regular online sportsbook so they are simply to sign up to and use. They are usually regulated, so you can rely on them to keep your money safe. And they have long-term relationships with the bookies that offer the best odds.
How Much Does a Betting Agent Cost?
The cost of using a betting agent can vary considerably depending on factors including how much you are planning to bet, the size of your deposits and more. Most agents earn money through commission, in that the bookmakers pay them for each customer they bring.
Despite this, betting agents usually add a charge to each bet placed. So when you bet with a betting agent you will often pay an extra fee just to use the service. Although this means the bet will cost you more than just the amount you bet, it is usually worth your while as you are likely to get better odds than you would if you placed the bet yourself.
Can Betting Agents Arrange Better Bonuses for you?
The betting agent’s relationship with the various bookies they work with is crucial to their success. The bigger and more established agents have cultivated close connections with the bookies that both offer the best odds and allow them to avoid the regular deposit and bet size limits that are placed on regular customers.
This close relationship can also extend to bookies giving sports betting agents access to more attractive and lucrative bonus offers than regular punters can get. Bookies love a high roller and give better bonuses to players who regularly deposit large amounts. Considering that betting agents generally only accept large deposits, there is every chance they will be able to procure better bonuses than you’ll see advertised on the bookie’s site.
Do Betting Agents Give Better Odds?
Access to better odds is one of the biggest advantages of using a betting agent rather than betting directly with the bookmaker. The agents have their fingers on the pulse and work directly with many of what are known as sharp bookies.
These sharp bookies are aimed at more professional gamblers and are much quicker to change their odds in reaction to changing circumstances.
Betting agents are constantly monitoring the odds changes, so you can get them before they change again.
Difference Between Betting Agents and Betting Brokers
It may come as a surprise, but there is actually no real difference between a betting agent and a betting broker. They are just different names for the same thing. A broker, or agent, is the person or organisation that will place bets for you so you don’t have to. Sometimes an individual person who works alone might call themselves an agent rather than a broker. But for the most part these terms are completely interchangeable.
How Can a Betting Agent Help You Increase Profit?
Now we get down to the nitty gritty. Increasing profit is clearly the main reason to use betting agents. So you’re probably asking yourself how you can make more money from betting with an agent than you would have done if you just went and placed the bets yourself?
The first way is by getting access to the more valuable odds than you would have done if you went alone. Betting agents not only keep an eye on the changing odds but may have deals with the bookmakers which give them even better odds in return for sending them a volume of players.
Another way you can increase profit is through arbitrage betting. This is where you place multiple bets with different bookmakers on the same event in order to cover your bets. Done properly you should be able to guarantee yourself a profit. Many mainstream bookmakers work together to prevent arbitrage betting, but if you are using a betting agent you are unlikely to have a problem using this tactic.
On top of all this, betting agents allow you to circumvent the regular deposit and bet limits that are imposed on regular bettors.
This means you can bet much higher amounts than you would have otherwise been able to, allowing you to make a higher profit if your bet wins.
Pros & Cons of Working With a Sports Betting Agent
While there are distinct advantages to working with betting agents, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls. Here are the pros and cons of getting involved with betting brokers.
Access to the best odds out there
Betting agents have direct relationships with the best sharp bookies online, so they will almost always offer the best odds on a specific market on any given event. Many now offer accas and bet builder odds as well as singles.
Opportunity to bet with international bookies
The world is awash with international online bookmakers, but most people can’t access them if they are not located in the country where the bookie is based. This means you won’t have access to bets on events that are specific to that country or region, especially in Asian markets. Using a betting agent allows you to bet with these bookmakers.
Higher deposit and bet limits than with regular bookies
Most regular high-street bookmakers have very strict deposit and bet limits. This is partly due to government regulation aimed at preventing players overspending, and also the bookies use them to protect themselves against massive wins that could bankrupt them. However, if you use a betting agent you should be able to deposit and bet at far higher volume than you would if you used your own account.
Cons of Working With a Sports Betting Agent
Fees and Charges
Whenever you use a sports betting agent it is important to be aware of the fees and charges involved. Although the extra amount you pay will usually be offset by the advantages like attractive odds, you need to calculate your risk before placing any bet.
Rapid Odds Changes
At the end of the day all bookies are aiming to make a profit, so you should always keep an eye on the odds changes. If you are not a professional gambler, or at least a very experienced bettor then betting agents may not be for you, as you need to be very careful to bet when the odds are at their best and know when and how to take advantage.
If you are a seasoned bettor looking for the best and latest odds then sports betting agents can definitely be the way to go.