York City footballer launches ?social bet-work?
Professional footballer Dave McGurk has kick-started an online venture that aims to take on bookmakers and change the way sports fans bet on their favourite teams.
Bets of Mates (www.betsofmates.com) enables friends to join for free and have a flutter against each other in a fantasy football-style league setting. However, unlike a traditional bookmaker, there is always a winner.
The concept behind the site is that for every stake, each participant receives 100 points which they can distribute on different bets, with a win, lose or draw prediction. The player with the highest score in the league ultimately wins the game. However, there is always a winner even if the prediction was not exactly right, as well as cash dished out to runners up.
Bets of Mates is also equipped with social network-style message boards and alerts, making for an engaging, competitive environment between friends. Initially the site will focus on domestic football leagues but plans are afoot to expand into other sports including darts, cricket and rugby.
Dave McGurk, a defender with York City FC, said: “Like all good ideas, Bets of Mates was conceived over a few beers and the football on a Saturday afternoon. My business partners and I had been talking for some time about how there was a need for a betting service that combined the banter and competitiveness of friends along with a guaranteed prize fund – unlike an accumulator bet where one wrong result can mean no winnings.
“Since the launch we’ve had phenomenal interest with strong week-on-week sign-ups. This is down to Bets of Mates challenging the status quo when it comes to sports betting and offering something refreshing and new.”
McGurk started his career with the Darlington youth team set-up and broke into the first team during the 2001–02 season. He has always been passionate for the sport and had a vision of creating a sociable betting environment and a place where individuals can take part without the involvement of bookmakers. Also behind the venture are McGurk’s friends – and now business partners – John Hughes and business development manager Adam Haywood.