On March 3rd, 2015, Pinnacle Sports announced new ownership with an ambitious strategic vision for significant global expansion backed by cutting-edge product development. After the deal – concluded in August last year – it is expected Pinnacle Sports’ expansion into regulated markets, including Asia, along with significant upscaling of IT infrastructure. This announcement gave us the perfect excuse to write this article about Pinnacle Sports, summarizing their key advantages over most of its competitors.
There’s very little official information about the new ownership deal. Pinnacle Sports has issued this press release on their web site. They have also twitted “Very excited to announce new ownership and strategic vision” at their Twitter account. And that’s all. The identities of the new owners remain a mystery.
If you surf the Web looking for more information about this matter, you won’t find anything relevant; just the same words on Pinnacle’s statement over and over and over; and the confirmation that the sale was overseen by Las Vegas based M&A firm Alternative Trading Partners (ATP). No details about the deal value or the buyers, who were advised by London law firm Mayer Brown. Even the biggest gambling sites have nothing else to say about it.
Almost all gambling forums have open threads about this topic. Many bettors have great expectations about this deal especially about Pinnacle Sports’ announcement to expand into regulated markets, hoping the bookmaker will return to UK or even to the US. However, radio silence on this topic. On the contrary, other bettors are concerned about the possibility of new strategies that could change Pinnacle Sports’ open mind regarding high stakes bettors, winners or arbitrage bettors. However, Paris Smith, Pinnacle Sports CEO, assured that the fundamental principles that make the brand so unique will not be compromised.
Pinnacle Sports was established in 1998 to offer a unique gimmick-free alternative to other bookmakers. By simply focusing on offering the best odds and by welcoming winning players, the company has established an unparalleled reputation with players. This professional approach has helped Pinnacle Sports become one of the Internet’s largest online gaming operators.
The company is fully licensed and regulated by the Government of Curaçao which requires the company to have the funds available to honour the winnings of its customers at all times. The Pinnacle Sports brand is a product of PinBet Malta, Susan Court B1, Triq il-Prinjolata, Ta’Xbiex, Malta.
Let’s point out Pinnacle Sports’ main advantages:
- Best value odds
- Winners welcome
- Highest limits
- Arbitrage friendly
These principles put Pinnacle Sports far away from most European bookmakers who seem to fear sharp bettors.
In the next paragraphs we will explain these advantages. And we will do it borrowing Pinnacle Sports’ own words, taken from their website. We have just organised all ideas in a single article; we totally agree with their concepts. The whole betting community hopes they will remain unchanged.
Best value odds
Pinnacle Sports offers the best value by adding the smallest “margin” to its odds. It’s similar to how retail works: shops add a mark-up (a margin) to the real cost of the product to make a profit. And while some shops are cheaper than others, Pinnacle Sports always offers better value – adding less of a margin – than other bookmakers.
Margins are expressed as a number above 100%, with 100% meaning that there is a market with no “edge” for the bookmaker. For major soccer markets our margins are 2% compared to an industry average of 6%. Offering the lowest margins, customers get better odds. And while the individual odsds are important in one-off games, the difference in margins – aggregate odds – has a huge impact on long-term profitability.
Margins are an easy way to see that Pinnacle Sports offer the best odds, even when compared to Betting Exchanges (when their commission is taken into account). When you make a basic comparison of Betfair’s odds adjusted for 5% commission on winnings against Pinnacle Sports gross margins it is clear who offers you better value.
Another big drawback of exchanges is the lack of liquidity – the amounts available to bet. With exchanges, liquidity is simply a reflection of the number of ‘layers’, i.e. people who want to offer odds. These diminish in proportion to market popularity, and mean that you might not be able to bet as much as you want. The liquidity also impacts market efficiency and ultimately, limited liquidity means even worse odds.
Pinnacle Sports’ Winners Welcome policy is very straight-forward. They do not limit, discriminate or close accounts of successful players, and here is why:
- Their business model is focused solely on maximising volume irrespective of whether this is generated from profitable players
- They need sharp players to help tighten their odds as they do not take positions
- They have the confidence in their traders to focus on managing odds, not players
In order to maximise player volume, and maintain a healthy business, Pinnacle Sports offer the highest bet limits online. Their 2014 World Cup final limits should convince anyone sceptical about their claims to offer the biggest betting limits online. The handicap limit for the final was offered at $1million (or equivalent in different currency) per bet.
Crucially players can bet at the maximum limit, wait just a few seconds, then rebet for the same amount, to build almost unlimited positions. Their limits are the same for everyone – they do not discriminate. This guarantees market liquidity, one key reason why they offer better value than exchanges.
Limits are clearly displayed at all times on the betting pages for any given event on the members’ side of Pinnacle Sports, and are exactly the same for all players. How many other bookmakers are that transparent?
Though their maximum betting limits are the highest online, Pinnacle Sports also cater for the smaller bettors, offering minimum stake amounts of just $1 (or the equivalent in your local currency). No matter how small your stake, you should still bet with the best odds available to maximise your return.
- They do not discriminate against arbitrage players.
- They do not apply limits subjectively.
- They will not close accounts because of arbitrage activity.
Their unbeatable value odds make Pinnacle Sports the most prominently featured bookmaker for arbitrage opportunities. While other books take a negative view of arbitrage, the confidence they have in their trading staff is one of the reasons why they do not fear arbitrage action. As long as bettors abide by their general rules, Pinnacle Sports accept the bets, and don’t discriminate whatever the motivation – they manage odds, not players.
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