Despite a significant track record in the betting industry, the Ole Group may not be a name many of you are familiar with. It is in fact the leading Asian football brokerage and has been for over 10 years.
The group deals with all the biggest syndicates in the world and services many full-time professional traders.
If you are a high roller who bets big, then the platforms offered by Ole Group will certainly be of interest to you. Prices are comparable with the likes of Pinnacle but without the stake limitations so often seen there.
Customers can also benefit from a trusted method of accessing the secret world (for many of us) of the low margin Asian bookmaker platforms.
Lending me a helping hand to reveal all is Savak Limbuwala, Head of Marketing and Operations for the European arm of Ole Group.
Savak, welcome to Soccerwidow. Let’s talk firstly about the newest of Ole Group’s operations, Eastbridge, which is a free-to use, no restrictions sports betting service.
Hello Robert, yes, Eastbridge has been around for two years now and for UK residents operates in a similar manner to Pinnacle, laying bets directly, and managing markets with low margins in order to offer best prices to our customers. We specialise in Football, Tennis and US Sports, which is where we can offer best prices and substantial, pooled liquidity.
Is it fair to say that Eastbridge is not for the average punter?
Yes, Eastbridge is a phone and Skype service for professional punters, syndicate groups, high rollers, and high net worth clients. Our customers deposit funds in the normal way through bank transfer, card or e-wallet but contact us personally to strike their bets.
We hold a UK license, which is good news for our European and UK clientele looking to fill the void left by Pinnacle’s withdrawals from certain territories over the last twelve months.
Winning clients are not restricted and our service is entirely free to use and we have no minimum turnover thresholds. In fact, we believe we are currently the only licensed operation like this available to UK residents.
What exactly do you mean by ‘high rollers’?
Well, there is no practical reason why a client cannot have a seven or eight figure bank. There is no maximum withdrawal amount either, although clients moving larger funds tend to do so in multiple smaller tranches. Obviously, we cannot control the charges they may incur from their own banking arrangements for deposits or withdrawals but there are no hidden charges made from our side.
If you are a ‘broker’ and receive no commissions or fees from your customers, how does the business model work?
For UK clients we operate like a traditional bookmaker, laying the bets ourselves and therefore profit as any normal UK bookmaker would, although our margins are very small to maintain the high prices we are able to offer.
In relation to clients from outside the UK we are a broker to the Asian books we support and our income is in the form of rebates on turnover, again very small in percentage terms, but received regardless of their profits or losses. And because we deal with several big Asian books, our eggs are not all in one basket.
Which sports do you specialise in?
Using Asian books means we are especially sharp on the Asian Handicap, Total Goals and Corner markets in soccer betting. Tennis markets are also very strong. The full range of US sports is also well serviced such as basketball, baseball and American football, but understandably, we cannot cater for customers from North American territories.
And I’ve heard that you also offer free business-to-business solutions?
Our API service is the fastest and most reliable aggregated feed available in the market and is available to non-UK/US clients. Again, we offer this for free to companies due to the turnover rebates paid from the books we support. In this way, I believe we cater for a wider range of client and offer a broader suite of solutions than any of our competitors.
And that brings us on nicely to two more of your services, Vodds and Mollybet. What’s the deal here?
Vodds.com is our own brand new online Football betting platform, like any traditional bookmaker’s but the difference being that it is once again based on the brokerage model funded by rebates from the bookies concerned.
The odds available are aggregated from currently eight Asian books including Pinnacle and SBOBET.
Effectively, it’s a one-stop shop for placing bigger stakes than you would perhaps be limited to using just one of these bookmakers at a time. It’s also a one wallet solution and includes full-time and half-time 1×2 betting options. Many of our Eastbridge clients also use Vodds for their smaller scale betting.
Do you mean this is the equivalent of any online bookmaker as far as the punter is concerned?
Yes, the only difference is that your stake will either be matched to one bookmaker taking the whole line or several bookmakers each taking a percentage of the risk. The pooled liquidity here should still satisfy clients with four or five figure stake requirements and upwards.
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Apart from Pinnacle and SBOBET, the majority of gamblers are going to be unfamiliar with the ‘dark and mysterious’ world of Asian bookmakers.
Who are they exactly? Why should punters trust them?
There is no real reason not to, many of them are larger than most European books and all are licensed in Asia. For example, Crown, Bet-IBC, LX168, GA288, BetISN, and SBC to name but a few. They are trustworthy because ultimately our customers are dealing through us to get to their products. We are the main European broker for these companies.
And what about Mollybet?
Mollybet is a third party platform similar in nature to Vodds. Again, we are a broker for this facility. This platform also offers Tennis and US Sports, as well as Football.
Savak, thanks very much for your time and I’m sure many of our readers will be interested to investigate Eastbridge, Vodds and Mollybet further.
Thanks for yours, Robert. Our various helplines are always open to field any enquiries about the mechanics of our operations.
So, in summary:
- Eastbridge: Phone and Skype betting service/brokerage for high roller clients offering best prices, unequalled liquidity, no restrictions, and all absolutely free of charge.
- Vodds: Online betting platform accessing Pinnacle, SBOBET and a range of difficult to reach Asian bookmakers offering high odds, high liquidity, and again free to use.
- Mollybet: Access to a second Asian bookmaker brokerage platform as an alternative to Vodds; free of charges.
By all means leave any feedback about using these services in the comments box at the bottom of this article.