Punt Club - a social network that caters to punters' clubs - went live last week just in time for the Spring Carnival and is offering its share in a 2yo thoroughbred as a prize for anyone who registers for their newsletter.
"People often joke about what part of the horse they get when they buy a 10% share," says Punt Club founder Jason Neave, "so we figured honesty was the best policy."
Punt Club offers an online solution to the complex but popular Australian tradition of running Punters Clubs. For the uninitiated, these clubs generally involve a group of friends pooling their money each week, and taking turns to bet that money as they aim towards a goal – whether they’re funding a footy trip, a day at the races, a share in a horse, or a trip to the world cup.
Neave thought there was a business opportunity in helping groups of mates bet together after returning from a club trip to the West Indies for the World Cup Cricket in 2007. "We didn't win much, but we didn't lose that much either - and somehow $20 a week (there were 20 in the club which ran for two years) turned into a kitty of almost $50,000 that paid for the trip. It was awesome fun but hard work to organise - if you can imagine trying to keep track of deposits and bets and wins and losses from 20 members you’ll be able to pity the poor bloke that has to look after the finances - PuntClub.com offers world-first technology that solves all of that.”
Online sports betting has become big business. Already a national pastime, having a punt on the horses or the footy is now easier than ever and the industry is seeing double digit annual growth as more people log on to back their favourite. “Yet it’s still this isolated, and commoditised, experience”, says Neave. “I’ve got a couple of online betting accounts, but betting solo simply doesn’t compare to betting with your mates and having a laugh. I kind of compare it to drinking on your own – bloody antisocial!”
Social networking services have also boomed in recent times, and Neave is betting that the combination of these two growth industries will pay dividends. “Punt Clubs have been around a lot longer than Facebook, but social media integration certainly makes it easier for friends to share the punting love.” explains Neave. “Club captains can invite their friends on Facebook to join, members can ‘like’ other bets, they can back a good looking bet with their own funds, or they can sledge their mates if a bet looks like a waste of club money – and the finances are all managed automatically”.
Punt Club’s betting service is fulfilled and supported by industry stalwarts Sports Alive, with Betting Manager and Australian bookmaking identity, Gerard Daffy, declaring big things on the horizon for Punt Club. “I reckon the lads are onto something – and Spring Carnival could be the perfect launching pad for them. Hell, I’m starting a club!”
Neave and the crew at Punt Club are certainly hoping he’s right. Who’s going to bet against them?
PuntClub.com is a social sportsbetting startup that lets groups of mates run their punters clubs online, without the admin nightmare usually associated with such an exercise. Incubated in Adelaide, South Australia, by digital agency The Distillery, Punt Club looks forward to the day when every sporting club, office social group, or bunch of mates, runs a punters club in the same way they run their footy tipping competitions.
Sports Alive was created as a result of an amalgamation of several of Australia’s leading bookmakers including the popular Sports Acumen and Global Sportsbet. Licensed in the ACT, Victoria, Sports Alive offers a wealth of experience from industry identities such as Gerard Daffy, Bob Gwynne and Mal Polson, and is the only bookmaker in Australia to offer spread betting. Sports Alive offers it’s White Label platform as part of its broader B2B Wholesale operation which services a range of clients including Betfair Australia.
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