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Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who owns this website?

This website Smartgambler, our horse racing website Pro-Punter and our poker website The Holdem Lounge are all owned by OZmium Pty Ltd, a privately owned company based in Melbourne, Australia.

For short profiles on the main directors and other information, visit our corporate website, OZmium.

2. What is your main business? What do you do?

OZmium provides mostly free information services aimed at helping sports bettors and horse racing punters to gain a statistical edge over the bookmakers and become long term winning bettors. We also provide all sorts of free betting aids like probability calculators for various games and sports, tables showing the best casino games to bet on, etc.

Over the years we have recruited handicappers from all over the world to work for us in pursuit of an edge in various types of sports betting. Handicappers are judged by whether they can demonstrate an edge against the bookies over a statistically meaningful number of bets. The sports we provided handicapping for changed from time to time as a good handicapper in a new sport became available, or one had to leave. Nowadays we have moved away from selling betting packages and AFL football is the only sport where we still run a subscriber betting group, mainly due to demand from the long term members.

Our main corporate income streams are from advertising and most importantly, bookmaker commissions. The latter are achieved by referring punters to bookmakers that we think offer a good service and offer attractive new account bonuses and other periodic promotions to their clients. The vast majority of punters who are referred to bookmakers via links on our websites are just web surfers making use of the free information and betting tools on our sites.

3. Where can I read about what the AFL betting 'package' contains?

Here.

4. If you can get an edge over the bookies, why don't you just bet on AFL yourselves instead of giving out the plays?

We do. Several of our handicappers in various sports have been big bettors and our Managing Director regularly bets on AFL and other sports.

Our AFL handicapper is an academic who is motivated not so much by the gambling aspect as by the intellectual challenge of beating the bookmakers. For him it was part of his academic research.

As an aside, betting, even with an edge, is still gambling and many people have responsibilities that are not suited to the cashflow vagaries of professional gambling. It is actually not very surprising that many handicappers market their expertise as well as, or instead of, betting.

5. What proof do I have that your AFL handicapper really has an edge? Can I see past results?

There's no proof and no past results because Professor Clarke's computer model doesn't tell you what bet to make, just how it assesses the odds and the value. How clients use the information is up tp them and varies due to different risk tolerance and other factors.

We also don't rely on claimed past results because we know it is not unusual for businesses in this industry to fake them. One common technique is retro-fitting, where a 'system' is created that would have won heavily based on results that have already occurred. The past results always look great of course, but future results are unlikely to be as good the retro-fitted past ones.

Results supposedly monitored by 'independent' proofing sites can also be suspect, as often there is an undisclosed relationship between the handicapping business and the proofing business, and we have found that if the proofing site is genuinely independent it will usually want to charge quite a bit for its services.

We believe the best way to differentiate ourselves from other AFL betting services is our loyal clients. You are most welcome to ask to speak to as many of these as you want. We have lawyers, doctors and so forth who have professional reputations to maintain and whose identities can be verified. You will be able to tell very easily that these are genuine people. Many of them made comments in e-mails recorded in the testimonials section back when we maintained one, and these are worth looking at.

6. Do you give free trials of your AFL package?

Not any more. We used to and it definitely wasn't worth the hassle. We attracted too many people either with short term perspectives who needed money immediately, or had no intention of ever joining, or who passed on the information to all their friends. We are pitching ourselves at the higher end of the market, to serious or professional gamblers. If the price of our AFL package is too high for someone to join on the basis of what they read on our site, then they are probably not a big enough bettor to make the investment worthwhile.

7. Why should I trust you rather than one of the other handicapping services on the web?

Most of our services are free. There are a lot of bad or even dishonest handicapping services and very few good ones. The industry has a pretty poor reputation and deserves it. You can draw your own conclusions about us from the following observations.

Integrity and service issues:

Our Managing Director is contactable in person by e-mail and telephone contact can also be aranged. We are not a fly by night, Gold Coast PO Box type of company!

We answer e-mails promptly.

Our corporate details are transparent and verifiable and can be found at ozmium.com.au as can profiles on our main directors and consultants.

Our handicappers have often been well known and their credentials verifiable. Professor Stephen Clarke and Professor Ray Stefani for instance are easily found on internet searches as they both have internationally published academic papers. Other experts previously or currently connected with our business such as Dr Tristan Barnett (Probability based attacks) and Andrew Scott (Blackjack) have profiles easily verified by a search.

Accuracy and value for money issues:

As mentioned previously, most of our services are free.

We are one of the few handicapping services that allows members of a betting group to communicate (via our special insiders' e-mail forum.) This creates a group spirit and camaraderie and allows members to make new friends and share their expertise. It's valuable, as we have some highly successful gamblers in our AFL group. Many companies are too paranoid to let their clients talk to each other.

8. I can't seem to find your prices. Where are they?

Our AFL package pricing is here

9. Which of the sports you have handicapped over the years is the best to bet on?

There is no definitive answer to this. Our results from the different sports varied from year to year. Our AFL football and our horse racing groups had the most members, but this perhaps mainly reflected the popularity of those sports in Australia where we are based. Tennis was also quite popular for a while.

Horse racing is hard to win at consistently because of the relatively larger take by the bookies, who often run their books to greater than 125%, compared to around 5% or even less on most other sports. However, in racing, because of the large fields and long odds available which increases complexity, there is a greater difference in the skill level of punters and therefore greater potential to exercise skill to overcome the bookies theoretical edge. You just need to be much better relatively than the next person to win consistently.

Tennis has traditionally been a good sport to bet on for various reasons. Many punters lack in-depth knowledge of any but the highest profile players and even some of the bookies seem to regularly get it wrong. There are lots of variables in tennis including motivational factors, injuries, court surfaces, weather conditions, fatigue and so forth, so it lends itself to skilful analysis. However, bookies are much more accurate now than they used to be.

AFL football has been quite profitable for us over the long haul. The market seems to attract a certain percentage of emotional money, which is not smart money. The bookies tend to be pretty accurate these days, but weight of money occasionally causes some strange lines which can be exploited.

Golf provided us with excellent long term profits, but it requires great discipline and patience because many of the bets are on long shots (taking one individual against the field) and there can be long losing runs followed by a big winner. In this respect it is even more demanding of a strong character than horse racing. Like tennis, we have had some excellent golf handicappers, but they are hard to hang on to and golf tips have not been available through us for some time.

In the final analysis, all major sports are beatable with sufficient skill, and that's what we are here to promote. The best idea usually is to choose the sports you most enjoy following. That way, winning money is not the only source of enjoyment!

10. You seem to promote a lot of online casinos and other gambling products. Do you genuinely endorse them all?

No. Most of them are paid advertisements and we don't endorse them any more than a newspaper endorses the commercials it carries. We just povide real estate for them hang out their signs.

However, some of the products we promote are done so via affiliate deals that we initiated ourselves because we thought the offer for the consumer was good. The two Australian corporate bookies we promote fall into that category because we have chosen ones that have an attractive new account bonus or other features that we think can give punters a worthwhile head start. Take their free money and get yourself an extra edge!

11. Do you have any job opportunities in your company?

No, we're not really a big employer. Our business model is to automate things and try to minimise overheads and create passive income streams where possible. When necessary we use consultants, not salaried employees.

 


 

If you have a question that may be appropriate to post in this section, please e-mail our Managing Director, Guy West.

 


 

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