Ladbrokes is one of the most well known gambling companies in the UK – offering online betting, and brick and mortar betting shops. Ladbrokes accepts worldwide clients (with some limitations of course), and offers clients the possibility of engaging in sports betting activities, casino activities, and poker. How does this related to financial skill betting?
Binary Options have become much the range recently with numerous providers popping up offering Binary Options to prospective clients. However in response the gambling industry has popped up offering a variety of new financial bets, Ladbrokes is one of the leaders in this particular field. However one of the advantages of financial betting from Ladbrokes is that Ladbrokes offers a range of different types of financial bets, all in a Binary form (all or nothing bet). I will do my best to explain the three different types of financial bets on offer at Ladbrokes.
- First off their is Range Odds/Range Binary Betting, this type of financial bets offers a number of different ranges on which one can place bets. So for example if you pick a daily FTSE100 bet you will be confronted with a range of different possible price ranges all with different odds. Say the Index has opened at 6000, you may have the opportunity to place a range bet of 6010-6020. Meaning that if the Index closes within the particular range you specified you win the fixed odd bet, the less likely the outcome the greater the odds. This seems to me to offer traders with innovative methods the possibility of making some decent profits.
Secondly there are Moving Odds/Moving Binary Bets, these bets are more like the standard binary bet you would find at a typical binary option site. But differ in the fact that they allow you to not just bet on a simple/up down bet. But they can also bet on a high and low value, allowing them to take a position on the market substantially falling or rising. This allows the trader the possibility to exceed the type of return they would get at standard Binary Options site. During the time period of the bet the high, low and mid levels stay the same but the odds change to reflect the likelihood of each different outcome. While this adds an extra degree of complexity it also allows a person to hedge their positions over the course of a day (assuming their entering into a daily bet).
- Finally there is the option of a Static Odds/Binary Bet, this works exactly like the moving odds bet apart from the fact the high, low and mid level positions move throughout the day, but the odds are fixed each time you open a bet. This kind of Binary Bet is most similar to the type of Binary Bets offered at Binary Sites such as OneTwoTrade etc. But it still has had the added complexity of allowing you take a more extreme position on a particular financial instrument.
While Ladbrokes financial betting is more complicated than the standard Binary Option platform, this gives those who use the platform a better and more complicated instrument to trade. Unfortunately there aren’t many instruments available on the Ladbrokes website but I have to say that financial bets at Ladbrokes offer an exciting instrument and one many would be interested in. I would personally have to say that I believe Ladbrokes Binary Bets to be superior to standard Binary Options. Of course Ladbrokes is known for more than its binary options platform, a century old bookmaker with a full online casino, poker and sports betting offering rivaling other well known UK based gaming companies
I have recently seen a lot of attention being paid online to automated Binary Option trading products. These products claim that they can automate Binary Option trading in a way that will be profitable for the user. The most publicized of these programs is Option Bot, which is essentially a piece of software which claims to allow individuals to successfully trade Forex Binary Options. However I’m very dubious of the claims made by the Bots producer.
How does the bot work? Essentially Option Bot follows 15 different currency pairings and monitors their recent price movements giving you alerts when a currency pairing has moved a sufficient number of Pips in one direction during the selected time period. Both the period of time and the significance of the movement can be altered by the user. However, in the demo video the user has the Bot set to monitor for 3 Pip movements in either direction within the last 15 minutes. The creator of the bots then suggests that the user opens a trade in the opposite direction of the alert.
So for instance, say the Bot has noticed a particular currency pair rise by 3 Pips in the last 15 minutes. The user of the Bot should then place a 15 minute Put (Down) trade in that particular currency pairing. The idea seems to be that if the price of a currency pairing has moved a significant amount in the last 15 minutes, then there is likely to be a price reversal in the next 15 minutes. But does this make for a good trading strategy?
I would have to say NO. While such a strategy may work occasionally when there is little volatility in a particular instrument there are going to be occasions when the Forex markets are going to be very volatile. It also doesn’t have a way of distinguishing between general price fluctuations and trending. For instance if a currency pairing was to go on an extended rally a trader could lose several traders in a row using such a strategy. All of this makes me very suspicious of the program and the creators claimed 90% success rate seems very dubious to me.
The simplicity of such trading systems lead to many new to trading purchasing such programs in the hopes that they can make significant returns on their investment. Option Bot is currently on sale for $75, though I do not suggest that anyone goes out there and purchases the product. However the product is available for a 7 day free trial and I suspect that those who try the product for a trial period will have my suspicions regarding this Binary Options trading system confirmed.
The non-exchanged traded Binary Options industry has expanded vastly since their inception in early 2008. The growth in the number of competing Binary Options platforms has been powered by a number of platform providers providing cost effective and easy to implement platforms. Whether such growth can continue indefinitely seems questionable but today we are going to outline the offerings of the three largest Binary Option platform providers.
SpotOption is the trading name of s.o SpotOption Ltd. The company was founded in early 2008 and sees itself as one of the leaders in the Binary Options marketplace. Currently SpotOption powers over 80 different Binary Option platforms making it the biggest Binary Options platform provider. SpotOption also holds the honor of being the first Binary Options company to become regulated under CySEC after they changed their position regarding the regulation of Binary Options. Again SpotOption can also claim to have provided the platform for the first Binary Option provider to become CySEC regulated. SpotOption provides a 360 solution providing everything from the platforms front end, trading engine, risk management, payment processing, customer relations and a content management system. Meaning that those who opt for a SpotOption provider can get hold of a platform that almost runs itself.
For a good example of SpotOption platform one should check out Banc De Binary, who happen to hold CySEC regulation and our one of SpotOptions biggest brands. SpotOption supports data from a number of different financial feeds including Leverate, Reuters and Bloomberg allowing the platform providers to pick which data feed they utilize. However, SpotOption claim that the real strength of their platform is their risk management they provide. SpotOption provide a five tiered risk management system which they claim can help ensure platform providers make a consistent 10-12% profit. The Client can access all the features they need through the CRM including information on customer leads, depositor management, back office features, accounting and affiliates. SpotOption also provides one of the cheaper platform solutions which is partly why it is so popular.
Launched in 2009, Techfinancials was launched by a group of financial experts who wanted to enter into the lucrative Binary Options marketplace. Techfinancials supports a much smaller number of operating companies, though their clients do include a number of big names including 24Options. Techfiancials see Binary Options as instrument which will allow individuals the ability to access the financial markets and envisage CFD companies offering Binary Options alongside their traditional Contracts for Difference. The Techfinancials Binary Option platform is powered by Techfinancials unique Ocra+ engine which uses a unique algorithmic model to price Binary options, which then allows traders to close positions/rollover open positions during trading. The Ocra+ engine also allows Binary Options trading to be plugged into the MetaTrader 4 engine which is a pretty nice feature of the platform. Again Techfinancials have a comprehensive back office features largely adapted from online gaming world allowing users of the platform full access to various features including affiliates, marketing, admin and various types of banking functions. The Techfinancials platform is available in both white label and in operator format. For further information on the platform check out their website.
MarketsPulse, prides itself in providing Binary Options solutions for already established FX Trading companies and has clients both regulated by the Japanese FSA and Australia’s ASIC. This means the platform is aimed towards those who already have active FX trading services and MarketsPulse is unique in the fact that it doesn’t operate a Binary Options platform powered by their own software meaning they do compete with their clients for customers. They also claim to have a unique Binary Options algorithm powering their risk management systems as they are the only Binary Option platform which can offer clients up to 90% returns on many different Binary Options. However, the MarketsPulse solution is considerably more pricey than the solutions offered by the other major providers. The platform also has the bonus of being able to support any data feed. The platform also allows its users a full backend to allow the company running the service to access everything that they need. While the offering by MarketsPulse is pretty impressive it is going to be out of the price range of most people who want to open a Binary Options brokerage.
- Platform: Powered by the SpotOption, the industry’s largest platform provider.
- Regulation: TopOption is a trading name of Safecap Investments Ltd. the operator of Markets.com, Finexo, ECMarkets and ForexYard who have held a Cysec licence for a number of years. TopOption’s platform provider SpotOption also holds a Cysec licence which they acquired in 2011.
- Unique Features: TopOption offers 1 to 1 coaching and was the first Binary Options platform to operate with their own Cysec licence and not under the SpotOption label.
- Instruments: Over 200 different instruments including Stocks, Commodities, Indices and Forex.
- Minimum Deposit: $100 and minimum Option size $100
As TopOption is powered by the SpotOption platform things are pretty much as you would expect. If you have used a Binary Options platform powered by SpotOption before you will instantly recognize the layout and you should be able to start trading in no time. Those who have no experience with Binary Options trading should be able to learn how to use and trade Binary Options in no time. Due to the fact that TopOption is powered by the SpotOption platform there is nothing particularly unique about the TopOption platform as their are a number of other platforms which offer similar features etc. This being said the design of the TopOption platform is pretty nice and is easy on the eyes which is always a plus. However as far as I can tell their is no mobile trading platform on offer at TopOptio which is a little disappointing.
Being a SpotOption powered platform there is nothing particularly unique when it comes to the trading platform. However, TopOption offers one to one tuition regarding the trading of Binary Options. I can’t answer how good this one to one tuition really is, but it is still may be a nice feature for those who have no clue about trading or Binary Options. More interestingly TopOption was the first Binary Options platform to be fully MiFID regulated in its own rights, previously all platforms relied on the regulation of SpotOption who powers the software of the platform. However recently other Binary Options providers have gained full regulation most notably Banc De Binary.
I can’t find many neutral reviews of TopOption yet, so its hard to judge the quality of the customer service. But generally Safecap Investments Ltd. gets pretty decent coverage regarding their customer service. I had a brief live chat with the operators at TopOption and they seemed helpful and nice enough. TopOption also provides a number of different ways to contact the customer support at the company. The location of where TopOption is based is also very transparent, so my first impressions seem pretty positive.
TopOption is trading name of Safecap Investments Ltd. who hold a full Cysec licence. As Cysec is part of MiFID this allows TopOption to accept clients from throughout the Eurozone. It also provides investors with up to 20,000 Euros compensation should Safecap Investments Ltd. go under. This provides you with a decent amount of protection should Safecap Investments fail. Currently Safecap Investments Ltd. has a completely clean regulatory record with Cysec.
Overall, while I don’t rate Binary Options as a product preferring CFD’s or Financial Spread bets, I would have to say that TopOption is probably one of the better Options for those who want to trade Binary Options.
- Powered by the SpotOption platform
- Regulatory Authority: Appears to be unregulated unless it is relying on the CySec regulation of the platform provider SpotOption. Massive Consulting Ltd. appears to be registered to a residental address in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
- Unique Features: Nothing in particular apart from a sign up bonus
- Instruments: Offers 200 Instruments including Commodities, Stocks and Currencies
- Minimum Deposit: Micro Account $100
The platform is a typical example of the kind of platform found by those who use the SpotOption platform to operate there binary options business. The platform is reasonably attractive but it is not as attractive as many of the other platforms that also use the SpotOption software. Anyone who is unfamiliar with Binary Options trading will be able to use the platform with very little effort and anyone else who has used another SpotOption platform will probably feel a serious sense of Deja Vu. The platform is perfectly functional and will let anyone with even the most basic understanding of how financial instruments. However I’m not personally a great fan of the color scheme used on Goptions as it appears rather grating to my eyes. There is nothing in particular that sets the Goptions platform apart from the numerous other platforms using the SpotOption software. It also lacks the support of smartphone trading which available on some of the other SpotOption competitors such as OneTwoTrade. While all in all the Goptions platform is perfectly functional and may satisfactory for many traders needs it is hardly going to set the world of Binaries alight.
What is particular weak with the Goptions offering is the overall lack of special features. A number of educational tools are offered but these aren’t exactly particularly useful and are really not going to provide a trader with anything particularly valuable. They also offer a sign up bonus of up to 100%, however the terms and conditions involved in this particular sign up bonus aren’t made explicitly clear which makes me rather wary of this particular offer. So when it comes to special features for me it appears the Goptions appears quite light on the ground. This may not be a big deal to some people who just want an easy and reliable platform to use.
Option Contract Returns
As the site is powered by the SpotOption Ltd. software the Options contract returns are pretty much what you would find on many of the other SpotOption websites. This is due to the fact all of the SpotOption powered sites use the same risk management software. However I did feel that some of the option returns on Goptions were slightly poorer than on some of the other SpotOption powered sites. However this is just a hunch and is just based on my personal impression when I looked over some of the binary options sites using the SpotOption software.
GOptions seems to pretty reasonable in terms of the customer service provision. There is both the option to phone a US and UK based phone line. Alternatively you can contact the people at GOptions through there 24/7 Live Chat feature which seems work pretty effectively, though it does take a couple of minutes to get through to an operator. Though it doesn’t appear to be particularly 24 hours with the live chat feature only operating between 6am and 10pm GMT which does seem to point to the site being based in the United Kingdom. There is also an email contact form if people would rather contact the site through the form of email which is always an option, especially for those who are less confident when it comes to chatting live to someone they don’t know. However the main negative for is the lack of address listed on the website. A listed address appeals to me as it appears to be attempt at providing some transparency, it is also provides a place to make inquiries if the worst comes to happen.
It appears that GOptions itself is unregulated. This would certainly be the case if Massive Consulting Ltd. is in fact a British based company. As a British registered company would be unable to either acquire a British Gaming Licence or FSA regulation to provide Binary Options in the format offered by SpotOption. It appears that GOptions is either operating unregulated or that it is assuming that the fact that SpotOption is a regulated entity also means that they are covered by SpotOptions regulation. However whether this is the case is unclear as the change in regulation has only occurred recently. Whether White Label companies are in fact protected by SpotOptions regulation is unclear, whether they in fact are depends on how the white labels operate. If they handle the clients money directly themselves it would appear that they are. However if they simply receive a revenue share from the clients who use their site it would appear that in fact they may be covered by the CySec licence of SpotOption Ltd.
All in all, I would say the GOptions appears to operate a satisfactory binary options service, though I do not feel that GOptions personally offer the best service around. Whether they are covered from a regulatory point of view also appears somewhat unclear.
- Regulatory Authority: Unknown- Appears to be unregulated. Though a registered company in Cyprus meaning that the company may have submitted a request for a licence to carry on operating within the Jurisdiction.
- Instruments: Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Currencies
- Unique Features: Support for Russian Speakers, longer term option contracts
- Minimum Deposit: Undisclosed
The platform will be instantly familiar to anyone who has traded binary options using a SpotOption platform before and those who haven’t will take no time to get to grips with the platform as it is extremely easy to use. The Platform offers its users a number of different views when trading Binary Options, with my preferred view being called the open view. However the platform doesn’t provided much in the way of technical tools in order to help the trader decide whether he should open up a position. All in the all the platform is pretty reasonable and I like the color scheme that has been used on the SmartDengi website. However there is nothing that sets the SmartDengi platform apart from its rivals and unfortunately it doesn’t offer provision for those who wish to trade on the go from a smartphone which is unfortunate.
SmartDengi is practically devoid of special speakers unless your first language is Russian (Dengi stands for money in Russian so SmartDengi =SmartMoney). The site is availiable in both in English and Russian and provides assistance in Russian language for those who want it. There appears to be no special sign up or deposit deals and not much special in the way of training or new trader support. Also rather disappointingly it appears that SmartDengi doesn’t offer the option of allowing those interested in their service to open a training account allowing the customer to see if the service is right for them.
Option Contract Returns
The Option Contract returns found on SmartDengi are typical of the returns offered on the SpotOption platforms which all use the same risk management software. This leads to many of the sites to offer very similar returns depending on what action their customers have entered into. However what is interesting about SmartDengi is that I have seen a number of longer term options offered on the site with returns up to 530%, however the expiry date of these options was long way off and the chance of the Option coming good was also extremely low. But this could be off interest to those who want to a longer stance on Options than typically available.
The Customer service experience on SmartDengi doesn’t appear to be that great. A telephone number is offered for those who wish to speak to SmartDengi in Russian, however it appears that there is no English language telephone number for customers to contact. They instead have to contact the company using an online customer complaints form, which is far from ideal. One other thing that makes me nervy about SmartDengi is that the company has not listed its address on its website which makes me very wary about using the company. Putting up the companies address presents a commitment to transparency to me which is something important too me at least.
It appears that SmartDengi operates unregulated at least at the time of writing. Recent regulatory changes in Cyprus will require that ChargeXP investments apply for licence if they wish to continue operating from the said jurisdiction. Generally if a site is regulated they tend to make a song and dance about the said issue. However many seem to feel the new regulations do not apply to them due to the fact that they operate essentially a white label using the SpotOption platform (SpotOption hold a CySec licence), which seems at least somewhat dubious to me. Though if operating a sole white label of SpotOption and not handling any financial transactions the need for regulation for the entity itself is less apparent. Until we see the new regulations fully come into play it will be hard to see whether SpotOption platforms do in fact need to garner there own independent regulation.
Overall, SmartDengi may not be in fact the place where the Smart money is. While it doesn’t appear to be a bad example of a platform provided SpotOption there are other sites I would prefer to use which also run using the SpotOption platform. However this being said the site might be attractive to Russian speaking customers.
- Regulatory Authority: Operated by S.O Spotoption Ltd. (according to website, however live chat said it was a white label) who on the 9th August 2012 received a CySec licence. However no mention of CySec regulation to be found on site and the site appears to accept US clients in breach of regulatory statute. Regulatory status unclear.
- Instruments: Forex, Stocks, Commodities and Indices
- Unique Features: Demo Accounts and 50% Deposit Bonus (Correct at time of writing)
- Minimum Deposit Required: None Stated, Wire transfers below $300 occur a $30 charge
As the platform is powered by the SpotOption software, the platform is similar to many of the other platforms provided by SpotOption. So anyone who has undertaken business with another platform powered by SpotOption will instantly recognize and be able to use the platform. As you can see from the screenshot of the Binary Meta view the platform is attractive enough and provides some nice graphs. Though the platform lacks any really tools for technical analysis. There is nothing much else to report as the website is a pretty standard affair. Disappointingly no provision is made for those who wish to trade on the move with the platform being unavailable in any of the major smart phone formats.
At the time of writing GTOptions offered both demo accounts and very attractive first deposit bonuses to its clients. With up to 50% bonus being offered to those who made there first deposit, provided certain terms and conditions were met. And having a demo account option available is always a plus as it gives the individual the opportunity to try out Binary Options and see whether they are for them before making the full plunge into trading binary options for real cash. While not particular special the site also offers a number of resources aimed to help traders make decisions.
Option Contract Returns
The homepage advertises Option Contract returns of up to 90%, but looking around the site I didn’t find any contracts offering that higher return the majority of the contracts offered returns of around 70% which would require that you correctly predicted the movement of a particular instrument with an accuracy of over 60%. Whether this is realistic is questionable however, I do not feel that GTOptions offers returns any better or worse than the majority of the binaries industry.
The overall level of customer service seems to be satisfactory, though there is no 24/7 online live chat available often a staple of Binary Options service provision. Instead Live Chat is only available at certain times of the day and the queue for an operator However phone numbers are available on the website allowing the customer to ring up the company with ease. It is also refreshing to see the companies full address listed on the website as this gives greater transparency to what is actually going on. Also a number of email addresses are also provided if that is how you prefer to get into contact with the site.
I’m slightly confused about the regulation of GTOptions.com, as the site is the property of S.O Spotoption Ltd. which has a CySec licence which was granted on the 9th August of 2012, it appears that the website may be covered by that particular licence. However no mention of the site being regulated by CySec is made anywhere. To add to this confusion the site appears to accept customers from North America which technically it cannot do as CySec regulation only allows a company to accept clients from within the European Union. This has led me to be very confused about the actual status of GTOptions and my chat with the live support didn’t make this any clearer as it appears the site is not actually operated by S.O Spotoption Ltd. but another entity. I finally managed to get it out of them that they are a white label of Spotoption Ltd. therefore whether GTOptions is covered by CySec regulation is very unclear. They seem to feel they can operate under the regulation provided by SpotOption however I’m not sure that this is correct.
Overall, I would avoid GTOptions as I am confused about where they stand from a regulatory point of view.
1. GFT Binaries
GFT offers Binary Options but with a difference the Binaries offered by GFT come in either the form of a spread bet or Contract for difference. While this differs from the way many of the other providers offer binary options, it better models how binary options are actually exchanged in real life. Another plus is FSA regulation due to the fact the binaries are offered in a spread bet or CFD format. I would place GFT at the top of the list for anyone within the European Union who wishes to trade binaries.
2. IG Binaries
Coming in a close second IG Markets has also begun to offer Binaries to their clients. At IG Markets Binaries are offered in the form of a contract for difference rather as a direct binary this again has the advantage of allowing the product to be regulated by the FSA. The only reason IG comes in second place for me is I just prefer GFT. Though I don’t feel there is much between the two companies. IG Markets makes for a great alternative for those who don’t want to trade binaries with GFT.
3. SpotOption Ltd Sites
In a recent change of position CySec has decided to regulate binary options making it the first member of MiFID to regulate the industry in Europe. However the regulation doesn’t apply to all the white label sites run using the SpotOption platform and only to the websites that are directly owned by S.O SpotOption Ltd. An example of which would be GTOptions. However the new regulations in Cyprus will mean all companies operating Binary Options platforms from Cyprus will have to apply for a licence by the end of November in order to comply with the new regulations.
A white label platform provided by SpotOption Ltd, OneTwoTrade has made the decision to become regulated by the Maltese Gaming Commission while this doesn’t provide the same kind of protection that a financial regulation would it does provide a degree of protection and it is a lot better than having no protection.
- Regulatory Authority: Regulated by Cysec
- Instruments: Commodities, Stocks, Indices and Pairs
- Unique Features: Attractive easy to use interface, Education materials, 2.5% Interest on deposits placed with Banc De Binary
- Minimum Deposit: $500
Banc De Binary offers a web based platform it has to be said the platform is both attractive and easy to use. The online platform can be tailored to suit your needs for example the One-Click option is designed so the trader can place a Binary Options trade with one click. Whereas the 60 Seconds option is designed for those who wish to trade Binary’s with short expiry times. Finally there is the BinaryMETA option which claims to allow you trade Binaries how the professionals do. In truth binaries offered and used by those in the financial markets are priced differently from those at Banc De Binary, where you are making a fixed bet with a counter party. The BinaryMETA platform just offers the user a more sophisticated platform which more advanced charting options. The Banc De Binary platform is also available as a download for iPhone users allowing you to trade on the move. This iTrading application as Banc De Binary calls it isn’t terribly impressive but it is perfectly functional for those who wish to trade from their iPhone.
When it comes to special features a couple of things should probably be mentioned. Firstly Banc De Binary offers one of the more complete educational programs, including a number of resources that can be downloaded and used to help you get to grips with Binary Options. The other thing that may be of interest to some is the fact that deposits held with Banc De Binary accrue 2.5% APR, which is quite impressive. Making competitive with a number of the lower interest savings accounts available world wide.
Option Contract Returns
Option Contract Returns seem to be in line with the typical industry standards in fact many Binary Options sites use the same risk management programs so this should be generally expected. The typically return on an option seems to be around 70%. It is important to remember that binary options providers such as Banc De Binary are the counter party to all of the customers trades therefore making it vital that the returns offered will generally result in a loss for the customer in the long run. However this doesn’t mean that every customer will come out as a loser in the long run, but such an outcome is highly probable. For information on this check out my post Can you really make money from Binary Options?
Customer Service at Banc De Binary seems to be something the company takes seriously with Banc De Binary offering a range options to reach them 24/5, including calling them over Skype which is not something I have seen offered before. It seems that they are pretty upfront with their approach to customer service which is always something good to see. You can also contact Banc De Binary by means of telephone or their live chat feature.
Update 24th January 2013: Banc De Binary Gains Cysec Regulation
After launching a Cyproit office in late 2012, Banc De Binary has gained a full Cysec licence allowing them to accept clients from throughout the European Union under MiFID. This is a big step for Binary Options with Banc De Binary following the lead of its platform provider SpotOption in gaining Cysec regulation for Binary Options. This allows Banc De Binary to accept and cater for clients from all 27 European Union Country’s and will lead to many people becoming more comfortable with the idea of depositing money with Banc De Binary. To see the full news story on Banc De Binary’s Cysec regulation Click Here.
Overall, Banc De Binary seems to be a good quality Binary Options site.