The Truth About Twitter Tipsters & Bookmaker Affiliations

Over the last couple of years there’s been some negative media attention on the “Twitter Tipsters” — the guys that tweet sports betting tips to their followers. Vice Sports published an article which whole-wholeheartedly slated them, questioned their credentials, their honesty and what they actually offer to punters.

Do Twitter Tipsters deserve the criticism?

I have some experience in this field, so I’m able to offer a fresh perspective.

 

Bookmaker Affiliate Schemes

Firstly, let’s take a look at how Twitter Tipsters earn a profit.

What Vice Sports drew attention to in their article was that the ‘Affiliate Tipsters‘ earn money when the very people they are advising lose theirs. This is absolutely true for affiliates under a Revenue Share scheme, and this arrangement helps to explain why so many Tipsters are motivated to constantly share their so-called “knowledge” with the public.


How the “Revenue Share” Model Works

A Bookmaker’s affiliate scheme involves a referrer (the Tipster in this case), who will be paid a monthly commission when referred players collectivively lose money. This is in the region of 10-40% of the net revenue.

Bare in mind that Bookmakers — and by extension, Revenue Share affiliates — only earn when their players lose. So there’s every incentive for the affiliate Tipster to build a base of customers that loses rather than wins.

It sounds cynical, but the best scenario affiliate Tipsters could hope for is that punters sign up to Bookmakers through their tracking links and lose large sums of money by following their bets. This leads on to the big question about social media Tipsters…

 

Why Social Media Tipsters Lose

Just like with winning, it’s also difficult to predict what’s going to lose in sports betting. If it were that simple we could easily earn a living from sports betting by Laying “losing” selections on Betfair. So I don’t believe that social media tipsters are purposely giving losing bets.

But here’s the issue I have: Tipsters should be recommending you the best odds. These are found on a betting exchange or a sharp Bookmaker. Instead they’re recommending retail Bookmakers, where you’ll get inferior odds, and will grind a loss in the long term.

The bottom line is that Bookmaker affiliates earn a lot more from the hefty share of Bookmaker losses than a share of the (relatively minuscule) commission earned on winnings from the Exchange. In other words, there’s little motivation to promote betting exchanges over Bookies.


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Note: Some Tipsters charge a % on winnings. This carries its own risks. Learn more from my post: Will Tipsters Make Me Money?

 

Psychology of Social Media Gamblers

Here’s an interesting counter-argument: how do tipsters continue to maintain such large followings if they lead players to a loss?

It comes down to psychology. There’s no shortage of punters looking to blindly follow tips on Twitter, without ever doing the required research into a Tipster’s long term profitability. It’s not uncommon for gamblers to observe one or two legitimately winning tips and then attempt to replicate that.

Furthermore, some gamblers will keep faith even if they’re losing — putting the losing run down to a bad streak rather than a flawed system.

There’s also a lot of underhanded tactics going on. Some social media Tipster have been known to involve mates, colleagues, associates, and false identities to propagate positive feedback on their page to entice more followers.

Sure, some followers will see the cracks appearing sooner than others. But those people alone aren’t enough to slow down a huge collective of keen gamblers.

 

The (Positive) Social Element That’s Ignored

There’s no end of punters looking to be spoon-fed selections for upcoming events. But, you know what — who am I or anyone else to criticise that?

While there are obvious flaws in following Tipsters on Twitter, it’s understated that a lot of punters do simply enjoy betting within a community. Twitter is the perfect platform for both Tipsters and sports bettors to offer an opinion on sport, to brag/celebrate about winnings in front of a crowd, and to soak up losses together.

While gamblers are characterised as being dangerously optimistic, I don’t believe that all followers of Twitter Tipsters are victims, per se. Only a low percentage genuinely believe they’re going to earn huge profits; the vast majority are just gambling for fun.

 

My Experience As A Twitter Tipster

I used to fire out betting stats on Twitter. Does this make me a hypocrite?

My approach was slightly different to most social media tipsters. I always stated that the stats I provided were there to assist bettors in making informed bets. Nothing was speculative, it all came from an automated system.

Importantly, I never guaranteed profits and quoted Betfair prices because they were the best value. For lack of a better term, the Punter2Pro Twitter was a “betting aid.

However, becoming a betting aid and providing (seemingly) unrivalled statistics had limited success on Twitter. Whie feedback from professionals was positive, the majority of gamblers saw my account as overbaring, and “too much effort”. After all, another Twitter account would guarantee its followers would be rich within a month — why bother with Punter2Pro?


the suggestions were based on market data.

Twitter Tipsters


Who knows, maybe it just needed a little more time to catch on.

Anyhow, due to the data collection required, providing automated tips was an expensive project to run so it eventually came to a halt.

If you’re looking for the most popular Twitter betting accounts, check out the article: Top Twitter Tipsters To Follow

 

Finding Profitable Tipsters

As I regularly preach on this blog, following Tipsters doesn’t always align with the principles of value betting.

The biggest problem with Social Media tipping is accountability and honesty. Profit-and-loss sheets are rarely kept, and some are fake/incomplete.


Tips For Using Social Media Tipsters

If you decide to follow the selections from a Twitter Tipster, you ought to at the very least:

  • Verify the performance of the account yourself — preferably over a lot of “shadow” bets.
  • Limit you stake sizes to a small amount.
  • Shop around for the best odds yourself as opposed to backing where the Tipster tells you to (crucial).
  • Avoid following anyone that gives advice like “nevermind the losses, let’s re-load and go again tomorrow Lads!”
  • Treat success stories — such as evidence/screenshots of winnings — with a pinch of salt. Many Tipster Twitter accounts involve associates. You can’t believe everything you read.

Take Historical Records Lightly

Be aware that it’s easy for a Tipster to fake a historical record of bets without detection.

I once documented my experience with an online tipster service which had a professional-looking website, payment gateway and immaculate track record. Yet I came to find that the profit/loss records were deceitful. This particular service documented odds which existed at some point in time — but were infeasible to obtain in real life.


Imagine odds settled at 5.0 (pre-race) but peaked at 9.0 earlier in the day. This service consistently recorded odds of close to 9.0 as their advised odds. This heavily bloated the profit.


The moral here is to verify that the odds and results quoted by any Tipster are actually achievable in practice. It’s vitally important.

 

My Conclusion on Twitter Tipping

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving/receiving betting advice. It actually brings a sociable element to what’s often solitary.

But there are a lot of social media Tipsters using affiliate links for bookmakers, primarily motivated to raise turnover — not to guide their players to a profit. So it’s common to find Twitter Tipsters saying things like:


“we’re releasing all our tips tonight lads — load up your Bet365 accounts and we’ll take them down!”.


But as I’ve made clear in this post: following advice like this isn’t going to be profitable. Bet365 would not allow their own affiliates to “take them down”.

Needless to say, I’m not a believer in following Twitter Tipsters. But it’s the Bookmakers that facilitated this whole game to begin with, and allowed it to spiral out of control to the point that gambling regulators have now had to step in by outlining more stringent advertising rules for social media.

So my advice is to always carefully assess Twitter Tipsters on an individual basis, or simply look elsewhere.

You might want to…

 

Toby @ Punter2Pro
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Tony McCord
Tony McCord
5 years ago

Toby – do any tipsters (or even subscribers to one) ever try to defend themselves when they see you post stuff like this? I’d like to see someone give genuine proof of winning, season on season.

Toby
Reply to  Tony McCord
5 years ago

No, not really. I’m open to seeing proof of winning Tipsters though.
Most of the readers of this blog seem to be more interested in arbing, matched betting, trading strategies etc.

Kevin Jacobs
Kevin Jacobs
5 years ago

some twitter acc’s have proper MASSIVE followings.
its mad how many gamblers buy into it.

Toby
Reply to  Kevin Jacobs
5 years ago

Yep, tens of thousands… It’s very popular.

Michael Møller
Michael Møller
4 years ago

Hi Toby

It is not the first time I read about this issue, but I do think it is a bit to much black and white. Even though you call it twitter tipster then it takes the mind to all tipsters who have affiliate links for Bookmakers

A “normal” tipsters wouldn’t intentionally give loosing tips while the loss in subscription would long term exceed the gain in a 30% affiliate bonus. Even though the you get 30% as long the punter are with the bookmaker.

I would go the other way and say it is a tipsters job to help his/hers members to gain as much profit as possible. Explaining how to use the bonus benefits from all bookmakers as a great start to increase your members bank and they will remember you for it.

I think and hope most tipsters are using back/lay in the major matches to avoid getting limited by your favorite bookies. Why not give your members the same options or at least leading them to Odds Monkey or a similar service. Then you help members both to get all bonus and avoid getting limited

Also include a bookmaker link with the suggested selection is a good service. But now it looks suspicious when a tipster is giving our a link to his/hers selection.

I got a out of topic but your article is not the first about the subject even though yours are the most neutrale yet my blood got a little warmer then normal.

Regards
Michael

Toby
Reply to  Michael Møller
4 years ago

Hi,

Thanks for your comment.

I tried to be fair in what I wrote. In this situation I felt that it was best to take a fairly strong stance in case any readers got the idea that Tipsters are the way forward. In my opinion it’s not the way to go – but granted, i can’t speak for every single one. There’s thousands of Tipsters out there in the UK alone.

It’s true that Tipsters often promote some decent free bets to their followers. I was just trying to emphasise that under usual circumstances you wouldn’t want to use Bookies when the best odds are at Betfair. The majority of Twitter Tipsters consistently push the Bookies at all times, and very rarely give mention to the exchange – even to long-time followers…

… Assuming most are genuine, then are they just blind to the fact that the odds are inferior at Bookmakers? Perhaps they don’t prioritise ‘value’ – which is essentially almost everything I write about on this site. Hence why I’m not a big believer.

Plus, when value is at the Bookmakers, it tends it go quite fast. I’ve heard that for some genuine Tipping services you have to be incredibly fast, otherwise the opportunity rapidly vanishes.

I guess I’m just trying to make a point to those who follow Tipsters shouldn’t have high expectations in any case.

Cheers