Tony “The Lizard” Bloom
Arguably the UK’s most notorious sports bettor, Tony Bloom, is the owner of Starlizard, a company that describes itself as a betting consultancy.
Starlizard is also the sole adviser for Bloom’s betting syndicate who, every weekend, have £1 million riding on any given football game.
This makes Starlizard the biggest betting syndicate in Britain and it is believed they make roughly £100 million a year, but that would be an average year.
Due to the secrecy surrounding the company, little is known about their total earnings, although it’s quite safe to assume it’s in the billions of pounds.
Starlizard’s 160 employees use complex statistical models to generate football odds that are more accurate than those offered by bookmakers.
These ‘sharper’ odds are then sold to their clients so they themselves can beat the market! His much respected advice generates £13.8 million annually from customers.
The real life version of “The Golden Ticket”
Starlizard’s employees sign strict non-disclosure agreements upon joining the company and once they have worked past their ‘probation period’ they are invited to a free stake in Bloom’s syndicate a.k.a. The Golden Ticket!
If his bets are successful, Starlizard’s employees can earn payouts ranging from £100 to £500,000, but if they are not, the pot of which they draw from must be topped up out of their own pockets.
A former staff member who endured a long tenure with Starlizard only recounted one significant period of losses, but across the year they always came out on top.
According to another former employee, you can quite easily make £10,000 every six months.
From gambler to value bettor
It’s quite a stunning record the Brighton & Hove Albion Football club owner has acquired over time considering the associated risk of betting, but it didn’t start out that way for Bloom.
Whilst studying mathematics in Manchester, the Brit concedes that he was a hopeless gambler, who thought he was strategic, but he was essentially guessing.
Years later, he realised that if he wanted his hobby to turn into something profitable, he would need to do it properly and form a strategy.
Here was the birth of Starlizard, generating odds internally to identify value bets.
In other words, highlighting instances where bookmakers have under or overestimated the odds on a market. Bloom specialises in Asian Handicap betting, where he looks to exploit inaccurate lines on football matches.
It’s all about turnover
It’s impossible to know how much Bloom stakes on his bets and his overall returns, but it’s quite easy to say it’s at least in the hundreds of millions every year.
According to former employees, Starlizard’s syndicate are looking for a return of 1% to 3%, which means they’re turning over ridiculous sums of money.
To make £100 million on a 3% margin the syndicate would have to be wagering £3.3 billion!
With this sort of money floating around on any given weekend, Bloom has a great effect on the market, highlighting the importance of secrecy within his business.
Especially when it comes to some of his competitors, his biggest being Matthew Benham, who is featured on Week 2 of 10 People Who Got Rich on Sports Betting, read here.