PINNACLE SPORTS IS NO LONGER A PLAYER
The departure of Pinnaclesports from the UK market in November 2014 as a result of the new 15% UK Point of Consumption Tax (POCT) levied on offshore operations left a large hole in the betting landscape as the Curacao based bookmaker was widely recognised as having the sharpest odds.
Pinnacle was priced at 102% - giving just a thin 2% margin on leading markets - and was demonstrably the best place to go for a punt on an underdog with prices that were often 30-40% higher on an outside option.
PROTECTED MARKETS - UK JOINS THE LIST.
In comparison, state backed monopoly operations in Europe that have been protected by local legislation will often frame their markets at 112%, 115% and even 120%. There is little doubt that competition provides a sharper market and, as a result, better betting odds for punters.
The UK market is now "protected" with local licensing and tax restrictions, but it is still a very competitive market with at least ten big name brands operating in the High Street and online.
SO WHO IS THE BEST PRICED BOOKMAKER?
As part of the weekly betting spreadsheet, I collect and collate the best odds from our 15 recommended bookmakers, and list the best prices and predictions for the top leagues in England, Spain, Italy and Germany.
When I fetch the odds, I make sure that the odds taken for the English Premier League are only taken from bookmakers that have a license with the UK Gaming Commission (UKGC) and that have also made it onto our recommended bookies list.
Looking at my data from the start of 2015 (when we dropped PinnacleSports from the list) I have 149 EPL games so far, and have broken down the best priced odds into H-D-A segments. The results provide a clear leader.
BetVictor (link to our review) stood out with a whopping 57% of the best prices in the EPL since the first of January, with a slight tendency to offer best prices on the away sides. The BetVictor pricing on this headline market was 102.5% which is just 0.5% lower than PinnacleSports and superb value for a fully licensed bookmaker paying UK taxes.
In second place was Bet365, an outfit with a quality reputation, and probably more regarded as a "recreational" bookmaker in that they offer a big $200/€200/£200 joining bonus and have regular promotions or specials. The Bet365 margins are running at 105% but that's still enough for them to be best price nearly 20% of the time.
Third place was Ladbrokes with 9% best price, and much more likely to be big on home sides for some reason, while Irish bookmaker Paddy Power and UK outfit Coral tied for fourth spot with 6%. Interestingly all three of these bookmakers were at a margin of 106% or thereabouts.
So there it is - if you are betting on 1X2 markets in the English Premier League out of the UK and want a quality licensed bookmaker and the best prices then these five bookmakers lead the charge and BETVICTOR are a stand out place to have a betting account with just 102.5% over-round.
* The mathematically astute will notice that my table comes to 97% of best prices - three other bookies also appeared in the list for a total of 19 prices ... but are not recommended.