Banker Turned Bookie Prepares to Handle History’s Biggest World Cup Bets

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The world’s richest professional sports betting syndicates use the services of bet brokerage company Samvo.

Few people have heard of Samvo Entertainment Ltd and, when you think of it, the name of the company doesn’t give away much about the business it conducts. But ever since newspapers revealed a few impressing things about it, more and more people are showing interest in Samvo sports betting.

Samvo is a bet brokerage company that caters to some of the richest professional gambling syndicates located around the world. The firm was founded 10 years ago by Frank Chan, a former investment banker from Hong Kong. Today, the company acts as a middleman, seeking the most favorable odds world-wide and placing wagers on behalf of paying customers.

According to recent gambling news, the firm’s clients pay an average of $25,000. But company representatives told reporters that bets often exceed GBP 1 million.

Tapping the Asian market

One thing is certain; a customer willing to put that kind of money on the line will not be going to Las Vegas, or doing it through any online betting site in the UK.

What Samvo is really selling is access to the Asian markets, namely to bookmakers in Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Manila, Phnom Penh or Vientiane. These Asian cities are known to have the world’s largest and most liquid sports betting operations. IBCBet, SBOBet and Singbet are the biggest among them and they each handle bets worth more than $2 billion a week.

Football teams which are popular around the world, as well as high-profile tournaments such as the Champions League or World Cup may draw more than $1 billion in wagers. For a single match, that is. In just a few days of football betting, the Asian market handles as much money as Nevada’s sportsbook industry does over an entire year.

This year’s World Cup is expected to draw a record amount of bets and Samvo will be using modern and sophisticated technology – similar to what financial markets use – to handle the biggest World Cup bets in history.

Banker becomes bookmaker

Chan worked as an investment banker for years before he decided it was time to change his career. He had his first contact with the online gambling industry in 2003, while on a trip to the UK. The banker was just discovering this freshly-opened market, one of the fastest-growing at the time.

Ladbrokes offers the following odds on the final score of the first match in the World Cup (Brazil vs. Croatia):

  • 1-0 – 9/1

  • 2-0 – 5/1
  • 2-1 – 10/1
  • 3-0 – 15/2
  • 3-1 – 14/1
  • 3-2 – 45/1

After studying the online sports betting market more carefully, Chan found out that odds on English Premier League soccer matches varied considerably from one bookmaker to another. These discrepancies were signs of market inefficiency and Chan figured he could be the clever man who takes advantage of it.

However, he was not a fan of the casino industry. He confessed that he had little admiration for gambling operations, despite his father being a back-alley horse-race bookie who later became rich by running a junket business. But with the profits he envisioned, all his reservations soon went away.

Chan started to analyze the sports betting industry by placing his own wagers at competing companies. It was only a matter of time until he got to realize the potential of this market and come up with a new idea: why not place wagers on behalf of high-rollers and collect a fee for his services?

Future plans

Today, Chan runs one of the largest sports betting operations in the world and football season weekends are the busiest. The action starts at 5 pm London time, because this is when the Asian markets lift all restrictions on bet sizes.

The company’s performance across thousands of matches and many more wagers makes Samvo one of the best names in the industry. As far as clients see it, the firm specializes in exploiting mispriced matchups over the long run.

Despite the huge success of his business, Chan believes the bet-brokering market is past its prime. But he does have new and exciting plans for the future: building a high-volume electronic trading platform, which would eventually turn his company into a giant digital middleman.

Whether these plans will be implemented sooner or later, the company will certainly have a very busy and profitable month. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil kicks off tomorrow, so hurry up and place your bets!

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