Colossus Bets are not your normal bookmaker. Founded by former city boy Bernard Marantelli and launched in 2013, the London based firm offer pool betting games, which allow customers to predict the scores and outcomes of sporting events. The amounts stakes are placed into a pool and winning players receive the pool amount less any deductions. There are also a number of guaranteed prize pools for different events. Colossus Bets Sports has had a good amount of publicity due to high profile ambassadors such as Michael Owen, but does this new way of betting on the football work, and how do the firm compare to their conventional competition?
The sports page is well designed and utilises a black, orange and white theme. On the left hand side of the page, customers are able to access all of the different pools and competitions, with the upcoming pools listed at the top. The centre of the page plays host to a number of sliding banners which give more information about the products on offer. Beneath is a quick guide on how to get started and play use the website and on the right hand side of the page customers are able to log in.
There is a specialised mobile app so that customers are able to enter the various competitions whilst on the move. The design is clear and intuitive.
The website can be viewed in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese.
How Does It Work?
The flagship bet is the £10,000,000 Colossus. The prize fund is not determined by the number of entrants, the figure is a set amount. Customers have to correctly guess the scores in seven matches as chosen by the firm. Those that are able to do so will pocket £5,000,000 between then, or the whole amount if there is a solitary winner. They then have the opportunity to win the £5,000,000 bonus the following week by selecting the correct score of a single game as chosen by Colossus Bets staff.
To put in perspective the possibility of correcting 7 correct scores, the most common score line in football is 1-1. The odds for this result are usually around 11/2 (6.5), and therefore the chances of every game finishing 1-1 would be around 490,221/1. (Obviously in mismatches, the draw is much longer). The bet therefore appears to be good value as the pay-out is £5,000,000, but obviously all the games ending 1-1 is an absolute best case scenario. The odds can quickly escalate – if every match finished 2-1, which is usually are 9/1 (10.0), then the accumulative odds come to 9,999,999/1, making the £5,000,000 pay out poor value.
Customers are not confined to picking just one score per game in their quest to win the jackpots. They can bet on as many outcomes as they like, but stakes can increase exponentially when doing so. For each line, the stake is £2, therefore when playing The Colossus, predicting two scores per game would increase the stake to £256. Why? Well two scores per line is 2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 128, multiplied by the stake of £2.
It doesn’t always have to be such a big leap though – picking one score for 5 of the games and then covering the last two games with 4 different scores is just a £32 bet – 1x1x1x1x1x4x4=16 x £2 stake
In addition to the £10,000,000 prize, there is also a consolation prize, for those players who are accurately able to predict the results of all seven matches, even if they do not manage to get the correct scores.
There are also a range of other pools that can be played, with the prize pool for many of these determined by the number of entrants. As the number of people playing gets bigger, then the prize pool increases accordingly. Some of the games include picking correct scores, whilst others simply involve predicting the outcome of a series of matches. If the pools are not won, then they roll-over to the next set of fixtures, thus increasing the prize funds. Games such as the ‘Pick 4’ (requiring customers to select 4 correct scores) are still fun and there is a more realistic chance of winning.
What Does Cashing-In Mean?
Colossus Bets give customers the opportunity to cash in their ticket. This means that individuals can effectively trade out of their bet. They may have correctly guessed 5 out of the 7 scores and with two games to run, may wish to take whatever money is offered by the company. Obviously cash outs offer relatively poor value pay outs in relation to the odds, but this option is appealing to many.
How Do They Make Their Money?
Through pool betting. The takeout per pool is 30% and with minimum stakes of £2, £1.40 from each bet goes towards the prize fund. Obviously the more in each pool, the more money the winning punter/s and Colossus Bets stand to make. The company bears no financial burden for these bets and it is therefore just a case of marketing their product to maximise the entries.
The Colossus £10 million bet is obviously a little different as the company do not make their bets as a percentage of the entry fees. Instead, they take all of the stakes and just hope that no one manages to correctly guess all seven results. In reality, by the time someone does win it (if they ever do), then there will have been enough staked to cover the pay-out. The likelihood of winning the £5,000,000 pool and then following up by correctly guessing the bonus result the next week, is absolutely minute – but the fact that customers can win so big for such a small stake is, of course, appealing.
Security & Integrity
Colossus Bets are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and use independent adjudicators (a big four accountancy firm) to ensure the validity of their pots that exceed £1 million and that the company’s declaration corresponds to the actual entries. An encrypted electronic file is sent across with a list of all the entries in the pool and this should give customers some peace of mind that the company is acting responsibly and ethically. Colossus Bets also make a point of keeping customer funds in a separate bank account from the corporate funds and therefore payments made in and out of that account are solely related to customer winnings and losses on bets offered by the firm.
How Does it Compare to Conventional Betting?
The 30% take out may initially seem a little steep to some, but when breaking down the figures, it is actually very generous.
Colossus Bets point out that with the conventional bookmakers, Correct Score betting markets are priced up to around a 125% book. This means that every bet is only around 80% of its true value. Therefore, when looking at the ‘Pick 4’ pool, the take out would be around 59% (80% x 80% x 80% x 80% = 41%) if betting with a high street firm.
The take out is in line with most multi-leg pool bets, such as the Tote Scoop 6, which attracts hundreds of thousands of pounds plus from horse racing punters on a weekly basis. The pool system also offer much better value than the National Lottery which has an average take out of 50%.
Bonuses are thin on the ground, but they do operate a Refer A Friend (RAF) scheme which gives customers who introduce someone to the site, 5% of amounts bet and 2% of amounts they cash in and win for 12 months. If bringing a large staking punter to the site, this can be lucrative, especially if they were to win the full £10,000,000 Colossus!
Customers are able to make payments to their account by Visa debit or credit card, Mastercard, Maestro and through Paypal or Skrill.
Colossus Bets can be contacted via an online form, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by telephone (+44 20 3393 3362). For customers who wish to correspond by post, their business address is:
4 Bloomsbury Square
Is the Site Recommended?
Colossus Bets bring something new to the world of online football gambling and provide an innovative service which is sure to be popular for years to come. It is better value than the lottery and betting on correct scores with a bookmaker, and the ability to cash out winning bets that still have selections to run is a nice feature, as it still enables big wins on bets that may potentially ultimately lose. The innovative idea appears to have a sound financial model and backing, and their service can add extra excitement to match days. There are a wide range of different bet types, so there are realistic opportunities for customer to get decent pay outs.