Lies, damned lies and statistics…but how the spread firms swear by them. How it is so hard to compete with statistics-based markets…because the market-makers always have more up to date figures. The space-age technology a market-maker has at his fingertips While spread betting offers the opportunity for unlimited profits, any punter wanting to play the markets should fully appreciate the enemy they face and the resources the latter have at their fingertips.


The four firms in the sports spread betting business run along similar lines. Typically they have 30 traders, ranging in seniority, who are the people who answer the phones throughout the day and accept clients’ bets when they call in. The profile of a spread trader is similar across the industry. Aged in their 20s or early 30s they are nearly all male. Some have come over from city trading, some from fixed-odds betting. Increasingly there is a graduate entry, who are trained up by the firms.


Their typical wage is between £35,000 and £60,000 although performance-related bonuses can allow them to earn up to 50 per cent more than their basic salary. The bonuses are determined partly on everyday behavior— punctuality, how they deal with clients and such like—and partly from how much money they make for the firms in trading.