Why Pinnacle Sports sucks for the average bettor
Now that I have removed all advertising from my site, I can happily bash bookmakers without worrying about them closing my affiliate accounts. Sadly all the reviews you read about sportsbooks are mostly bullshit, as the people writing them have a vested interest in you signing up. Not me. I’m free to write the truth about each and every bookmaker.
I have been a big supporter of Pinnacle sports on this site. They continue to offer great prices and high limits. Over 50% of my bets last year were placed with them. But over the past year they have done a few things that didn’t sit right with me. I first asked them to explain why they say everyone gets the same high limits while clearly disproving it. I then asked why they offer lower odds on Parlay bets then straight bets. I have also mentioned that they now send certain bets to a trader and cancel bets, Pinnacle denied this ever happens but a number of readers have also seen the problem. There also seem to be issues with some UK customers as I believe they are trying to get a license there at the moment.
Their most recent move has been to increase the industry standard of one times turnover on deposits to five times turnover on deposits. They even have the audacity to say
failure to meet our industry standard deposit roll-over threshold (five times deposit amount) will incur a 3% processing fee on the deposit and any applicable withdrawal fee.
This is just an out and out lie by them. The industry standard they speak off has always been and still is one times turnover. Now there are a number of reasons I have heard of why they have done this, but the simple real reason is so they can make more profit.
One of the these reasons is to stop money laundering, so what they are really saying here is “you can money launder through our site, but give us a fair cut”. Another reason which I can understand is that people are simply depositing to get reward points (Neteller or Credit Card), turning over once and then withdrawing and redepositing. Pinnacle does pay a fee every time someone deposits. Credit Card companies charge about 1% and Ewallets usually a little more. Pinnacle could stop this by talking to the Ewallets and not allowing points to count (as Betfair and others have done).
— Daily25 (@stevemor) August 23, 2014
Why is Pinnacle crap for the average punter?
So why do I say that Pinnacle sucks for the average punter? Before I can state why, I will first need to make some assumptions. My idea of a typical punter is below.
Assumptions of the average bettor (from talking to employees of Australia’s biggest bookmakers)
- Average bet size of $30
- Average of 6 bets per week
- Usually withdraws at the end of every week
I will also add a few other provisos to make the maths as easy as possible.
- Bets line bets only (Pinnacle 1.952, other books 1.91)
- no multis
- will happily take up bonus offers
- will not take Horse racing into equation as Pinnacle does not bet that
- punter will only use the one website (doesn’t shop for the best odds)
- punter hits line bets at 50%
- flat bets
Now you have to understand that the average punter is a losing punter. They place a few bets on the weekend and withdraw whatever is left on Sunday afternoon. We now have some figures to work with.
note: this is a very simple breakdown of an average punter and may be far from what they are really like. But the average stake size is correct and the amount turned over each week is also very close.
The (very simple) maths
With 6 bets per week and $30 spent on each bet. The average punter will bet $180 a week. The average punter also doesn’t look for value, so will place all his bets at the one place. Using all this data we can assume that he will win 3 bets per week. Again, this is on average over a whole year.
Return at your average Australian bookmaker
3 line bets @ $1.91 for $30 a bet lost = -$90.00
3 line bets @ 1.91 for $30 a bet won = +$81.90
Total loss for the week = $8.10
Total loss over a year is $8.10 * 52 = $421.20
Return at Pinnacle
3 line bets @ $1.952 for $30 a bet lost = -$90.00
3 line bets @ 1.952 for $30 a bet won = +$85.68
Total loss for the week = $4.32
Total loss over a year is $4.32 * 52 = $224.64
We have a clear winner right. If only our average punter would place all his bets at Pinnacle, he would only lose $224.64 a year. He would be $196.56 better off. But it’s not so simple is it. Remember that Pinnacle customers need to turnover their deposits 5 times before they can withdraw. So straight away our punter is at a disadvantage betting there. The same $150 deposit he puts into the Australian sportsbook on Friday and withdraws on Sunday will need to stay in his Pinnacle account for 5 weeks. So over the year he will make $9,360 in deposits to the Aussie bookie and only $1,872 to Pinnacle. If our punter was using a rewards credit card then he would make an extra profit off $60 by sticking with the Aussie bookie. Still, Pinnacle is $136.56 in front.
Pinnacle boasts that it does not offer bonuses and says their odds more then make up for that. But most Australian bookies offer a $500 deposit bonus (many offer much higher). This needs to be turned over the industry standard once and only winnings from the freebet are added to the account. These bets can easily be matched off on betfair to retain 70-80% of the bonus. So at worst this free bet is worth $350 to our average punter. So now the Australian bookies are looking a lot more attractive with a lead of $213.44. But it doesn’t stop there.
Australian bookies are in a very giving mood at the moment as they all fight to sign up as many customers as possible. They not only give a very nice welcome bonus, but every week they have many ongoing bonuses. They have free bets, refunds, value bets, and even return losses when something weird happens (this week alone I received $700 back when a horse went berserk in a race, the bookie decided to pay out the winner and refund all the other bets). Being extremely conservative here, I would say there is another $500 of value for your average punter by taking up a few of these offers. So now the Aussie bookie is looking really good and is easily $713.44 better off then Pinnacle in a year. There has never been a better time for Aussie punters (well maybe a few years ago, but its still amazing).
Whereas the average punter has zero chance of making a profit at Pinnacle, with credit card rewards, signup bonuses and ongoing bonuses, your average Joe could very easily come out ahead each year by betting at Aussie bookies. While I hate giving any credit to the Australian bookies, it’s a pretty clear choice for any aussie punter.
If all you want to do is place a few bets over the weekend for a bit of fun, then stick with the Aussie bookies. Luckily there is no rule that says you can only bet at one bookmaker. So you should be getting the best of both worlds. Take the better odds when you can at Pinnacle (knowing that you can’t withdraw until you turnover the very non industry standard 5 times), and take up the offers at the Aussie books. This is where I would usually pitch you about my service that shows you how to make the most from all these bookmakers offers and also how to use Pinnacle to your advantage, but as the service is not accepting new members right now, you won’t have to listen to me blab on about it.
Why Pinnaclebet has an uphill battle
Pinnaclebet is Pinnacles attempt to join the Australian market. I feel they have a huge uphill battle ahead of them. As they do no advertising and offer no incentives to join, only current Pinnacle customers might make the move to the Australian version. They may get new customers via word of mouth but will not build up much of a base. The current corporate bookmakers in Australia really have nothing to fear from Pinnaclebet. It just doesn’t offer value to most people.
Yes Pinnacle is the world’s best bookmaker…. for high turnover bettors. For the other 98% of people it’s better to go with the ones that offer bonuses and the industry standard 1x turnover.
I’m sure most of my readers are Pinnacle lovers, so you can attack me in the comments below. Have at me.