Gottabet – for fun of course

It’s crass, silly and probably unfathomable to most people, but I have a habit of making prices on every day things in casual conversation.

See, I lost you already.

For instance, whilst having a few IM chat’s prior to tonight’s England game I was asking/making prices in England goals (2-3) and first goal time (17-25). What that means is that I was willing to “sell goals at 2” and “buy goals at 3” or in English – if you thought England would score more than 3 goals tonight then you would have taken my price of 3 with the result that I would have paid you for every goal over 3 that England scored at a rate (pounds per point/goal). Conversely if you felt England would choke, then you would have taken my price such that I would have paid you if England had scored less than 2 goals. I would make money if the number of goals was between 2-3 goals, which was my spread, assuming that I took an even number of offsetting bets.

Similarly, if you thought England would score quickly and in less than 17 minutes, then by buying from me at 17 I would have paid out for every minute under 17 minutes. Alternatively, if you knew England were useless you may have correctly bet that it would take them longer than 25 minutes and I would have paid you for every minute over that.

You can do this on all sorts of things – how long the bus will take to arrive; number of runs; number of peas in a serving from the cafeteria.

This type of “spread betting” is big business for firms like Sporting Index, Cantor Index and Betfair, where the latter service is entirely peer-to-peer betting (pre-dating in vogue services like Zopa by years)..

Anyway, I mention this because I was interested by a new site called Gottabet, which Sam Sethi of Vecosys covered here. It records, administers and collects peer-to-peer personal bets.

Have you ever told a friend “I bet you can’t do this”? At the office, in the pub, while watching TV… Rather than leaving them as casual comments, you can go straight to Gottabet and record the bet, enlist others to participate and then settle up.




I’m with Sam Sethi in believing this could take off. There are considerable numbers of bets made every day in all sorts of circumstances and this provides an easy mechanism to record and administer them. Why would people bother? Well, there’s the bragging rights for a start, with a visible record of the bet and the outcome. Also the collection process is dealt with.

Sure, many of you may think this is childish behaviour, but that’s fine. It’s called being a sports fan and a bloke for starters. Moreover, if you take an investors stand-point you should think less about whether you would use it than would it resonate with others. After all, I think Twitter is fairly pointless – would I invest in Twitter? Possibly, given the evident demand (albeit doubt I’ll get the chance). Would I invest in Gottabet? Subject to them having a credible “go to mass market” plan, probably.

Whilst I don’t believe it will be as popular as betfair for a bunch of reasons, it does serve a large existing market that might readily adopt this. Will I use it regularly? Wanna bet?

Comment posted by heeb
at 3/31/2007 7:14:00 AM
i agree! but you’re right, it probably won’t reach betfair’s mammoth scale seeing as not everyone cares about OTHER people’s styrofoam cup balancing skills. It could get a bit much. There’s reward for the user, not the reader.

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