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Place Your Bets.

If you’re a football fan – that’s “soccer” for those of you living on the other side of the pond – you’re most likely aware that the first match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is only a few days away. On June 12th, at 17:00 local time (20:00 UTC), host nation Brazil and Croatia meet at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.

While I’m not a football fan myself, the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup means it’s time to once again officially open my bi-annual betting bonanza. Every second year, either for the FIFA World Cup or UEFA European Championship, I transfer a little money to a betting site and place a few random bets. Since I know very little about football in general and virtually nothing abut the national teams playing against each other, the results of my bets are purely based on luck.

But last time around I came out $150 USD on top – this was football bets mixed in with a little bit of Formula 1 (which I do know) and the odd horse race (which I know even less about than football) – so it’s not totally impossible that I’ll end up in the black this year as well.

Last year, all my betting needs were covered by bet365 and I see no real reason to use another bookie this year. But to spice things up a little and get all those nice statistics you know I love, I’ll register my bets at a lovely little site called Bettin.gs.

Bettin.gs is the brain child of Samuel Ericsson, a talented, Swedish interaction designer who happens to be a former colleague of mine, who now has gone rouge freelance from what I can tell. While Bettin.gs isn’t a bookie by itself, it’s a tool for players to keep track of their bets, earnings and losses. It’s particularly handy if you bet across multiple bookies. In that respect, I’m not in the key demographics for the service, but it will still provide me with a lot of useful statistics.

What had been really nice would be to be to able to place the actual bets directly from the Bettin.gs site, but I can only imagine the integration nightmare it would be to connect to all the bookies. Many of them probably don’t even provide an API, but I see no real reason why they shouldn’t: Bookies just want to make money, where the bets come from is no doubt something they couldn’t care less about. Perhaps there are legal obstacles that prevent them from accepting bets from external sites. What do I know.

Anyway. In a few days, the fun begins and you can follow my journey towards becoming a betting billionaire on my Bettin.gs profile. Or, you can witness my crash and burn and put our home up for a second mortgage to fuel my betting addiction. We’ll see.

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