We're only 14 games in to the World Cup and already a clear trend is emerging: Europe's biggest state-monopolies are ripping off customers by offering them substantially worse odds than private operators.
The Swedish monopoly Svenska Spel is the biggest culprit, offering 36% worse odds than private operators. This means that if you stuck £10 on the correct outcome of each of the 14 games so far, betting with Svenska Spel would see you £76.80 worse off than if you'd have bet with private operators.
Right2bet plans to compile the odds offered by the biggest European monopolies on every World Cup game and to compare these to the odds offered by private operators. So far, supposing you placed a £10 bet on the correct outcome of each match, you'd have made the following betting with each monopoly:
Danish monopoly (Danske Spil): £243
French monopoly (FDJ): £225
Greek monopoly (OPAP): £224
Dutch monopoly (De Lotto): £219
French monopoly (PMU): £210.50
German monopoly (Oddset): £191.50
This compares to the £261.70 you would have pocketed betting with private operators.
Right2bet plans to use this information to alert consumers, regulators, and politicians of the raw deal monopoly-punters are getting. This comes at a poignant time as governments across the EU are forcing through legislation to hinder, and in some cases block, private operators offering their better services to punters.
Not only do punters get worse odds if not allowed to bet with private operators, but they will ultimately suffer from a lack of player protection. Whilst socially responsible operators will stop taking bets from citizens whose governments have declared it illegal to do so, there will still be many socially irresponsible private operators willing to take the bets.
Importantly, these irresponsible operators will likely offer odds considerably better than the monopolies. Given this, and the natural tendency for punters to flock to where the best odds are, a black market based around irresponsible private operators will develop.
Unfortunately, these irresponsible operators will not offer the same high level of player protection offered by other private operators; meaning that the punter will again lose out. Politicians must encourage, not hinder, the progress of responsible private operators so that punters can get both better odds and greater protection.