Have you ever found yourself in the middle of an online betting session on a horse racing website, when all of a sudden, a pop-up appears on screen demanding you to install a third-party application in order to access content?
If so, you’re familiar with the frustrating experience that is commonly referred to as ‘betting adware’.
The phenomenon behind betting adware is that the entity that owns the sportsbook for the particular website (the “Bookie”) makes money off of advertising. So, when they want to promote their product, they’ll force users to watch irritating ads or click on some kind of link that takes them to the same place (i.e. a third-party app).
This is particularly troublesome if you’re a person who relies on tools like Google Chrome or Safari to browse the web. Because not only will those applications warn you if you try to visit a site with advertising (usually in the form of a red “X” in the top left corner of the browser window), but they’ll also block the ads before you even get a chance to see them. So in a nutshell, if you’re on a mobile device or using one of these tools, dealing with betting adware can be downright irritating. (I’ve even heard of people using ad blockers on their mobile devices just to avoid this issue.)
The Root of the Problem
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many high-quality sportsbooks have been affected by the ongoing drop in sports betting. Particularly hard hit have been smaller, independent online bookmakers who struggle to survive. In light of this, it’s understandable that bookies would want to increase their revenue during these uncertain times. And one way of doing that is by placing more ads on your screen. More ads generally means more money for them. (In case you’re curious, some of the largest online betting companies in the world have between five and seven ads per page as of now.)
Why are online bookmakers placing ads on your screen if they don’t make any money off of them?
The simple answer is because they want to monetize the user experience. (Yes, some of these ads are quite amusing and don’t seem like they’re there for the purpose of irritating you.)
But if you really want to get technical, it comes down to the fact that these ads aren’t “disguised” as content like regular web ads. Instead, they’re essentially injected inline into the page as part of the HTML code. So, when you get to a website that has this type of adware, you’ll see lots of them as soon as you log in to the site. (Unless, of course, you decide to block ads before you get a chance to use the site. Then, you’ll only see the ones on the login page.)
And what’s more is that since these ads are injected into the page, they remain even after you close the browser. So, if you come across an online bookmaker that puts ads in this way, you’ll be seeing them even when you’re on your computer’s home screen or lock screen. Worrying about this when you go on holiday? You might want to disable your home computer’s screen lock or put it on airplane mode so that you don’t get any interruptions from ads.
How to Deal With It
If you’re regularly plagued by ads on a website, the obvious way of dealing with it is to simply avoid going there. (This, however, can be quite difficult if you have an addiction to online betting or casino games in general.)
Fortunately, there’s a better way. If you really want to get rid of this ad-induced frustration, all you need to do is utilize tools that can block these types of ads. I’ve personally found that the best option for mobile users is AdGuard. (Try it today)
What’s more is that AdGuard is a free app and operates on a “white list” principle. This means that it will only block ads from being shown to you on sites that you’ve explicitly allowed to display advertising. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with device or browser security measures like Smart Security or Safari’s Intelligent Scrolling, but for ad-induced irritation this is more than reasonable. These types of security measures keep hackers away from your personal information, so it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want unauthorized ads to be shown on your screen.
The best part about AdGuard for mobile users is that it allows you to create custom rules for the kind of ads you see. So, if you get bored of the ordinary ads that appear on most websites, you can block them and only show images, videos, and content-related ads. (You can also decide which parts of the webpage you want to see, like the header or footer.)
Speaking of AdGuard for mobile users, if you download the app from the Apple App Store, you’ll have the option to create a custom name for your ad-guardian (a nickname, if you will). This is an important feature that differentiates the app from the regular version. While it’s not essential, it’s always nice to have a handle for your ad-blocker so you can refer to it easily when needed.
Even though online betting has largely stalled due to the pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities in the sports betting space. Particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to keep a close eye on the opportunities that exist outside of the formalized sports betting landscape. (Many high-quality bookmakers have gone completely underground during these uncertain times, which is why you might not always find the games you want to watch advertised on the big sports websites.)
With that being said, if you’re looking for an alternative way to get your fix of horse racing, you should check out sites like HasaSports. (Yes, that’s the same company that owns hahasportsports.com. However, this is one site where you won’t find any annoying ads.)
You’ll have to register for an account in order to access the Betting section. After logging in, you’ll see a page filled with the latest odds for every racing event. What’s great about this section is that it doesn’t load any annoying ads. (There’s also an easy clickable “No Adverts” button if you get irritated by the regular ads on other sites.)
Another promising alternative is RacingBet. This is a UK-based bookmaker that was established back in 2014 and handles both in-house betting and online odds for hundreds of horse races per week. Like HasaSports, RacingBet doesn’t show any ads, either.
Another alternative that I’ve been enjoying lately is BetStars. This is a reputable bookmaker that’s based in Gibraltar and Malta. Unlike many other bookmakers, BetStars doesn’t demand you to register in order to access their services. However, you do have to opt-in to their newsletter in order to get the occasional horse racing offer that might pop up in your inbox.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you get past the ads on websites that you visit regularly. If you find that some of these suggestions don’t help (such as when using Google Chrome on a mobile device), then it might be time for a change in your web browser’s privacy settings or installing an ad blocker. Good luck out there.