Pinnacle Sports is one of the biggest bookmakers in the world. The company was founded in 1998 and its turnover is estimated to be more than $1 billion annually.
The online betting website has customers in over 100 different countries and was the first major gambling company to feature eSports betting on its website back in 2010.
Since then a number of websites have followed Pinnacle Sports lead and started offering eSports betting as they were quick to realize the market potential of this growing industry. Pinnacle Sports currently offers one of the widest selections of eSports games and tournaments.
Apart from eSports, the company is renowned for offering betting on a wide array of sports and sports related tournaments. The coverage includes most of the top most events in the world as well as part-time soccer tournaments and amateur leagues. Pinnacle Sports also launched online casino games in 2004 and offers a number of popular games including blackjack, video poker, roulette and baccarat.
The Pinnacle Sports website is not available in some markets. One of those markets is the United States. The US passed a law in 2006 to stop unlawful internet gambling and put a restriction on the usage of certain payment methods including credit cards and fund transfers. As a result Pinnacle was unable to do business with some banks and the company decided to suspend its US operations effective from January 2007. This was a very tough move for the company, since at the time its decision, the US market accounted for more than 60% of the company’s market.
Pinnacle Sports: eSports Coverage
Pinnacle Sports offers a dedicated eSports section on its website which can be accessed by clicking the eSports link on the top of the homepage. Since the initial offer in 2010, the eSports market has become the company’s 7th largest in terms of the volume of bets placed. The company offers bets on all of the top eSports games including StarCraft 2, Dota 2, League of Legends, Hearthstone and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The company offers bets on an extensive range of tournaments involving these games and provide bettors with the opportunity to place a wide range of bets in these tournaments.
Some of the different types of bets that are offered include bets on naming the outright winner of the matches, future bets on the outcome of an event and how many games will a team win. There are also handicap bets available wherein a handicap is assigned to a team which alters the odds of the team winning. The site also provides Parlay bets which are essentially two or more bets combined on different events. Payout in such cases occurs only if all the bets are won.
Unlike other bookmakers who offer signup or reload bonuses, Pinnacle Sports was the first company to offer a reduced price margin, which means the company earns a lesser margin on the bets placed but instead focuses on deriving its profits from a higher turnover.
Pinnacle Sports: eSports Betting Formats
The company offers eSports bets in two formats namely decimal and American, with the decimal format given more prominence on the site.
The decimal format is when the odds are lower; the probability of a team winning becomes higher. This means bettors earn low amounts when they have low odds and higher amounts when the odds are high. The American format is when a positive or negative number if assigned. Underdogs are given positive numbers while favourites receive negative numbers. When a negative number is chosen, the bettor is given the original amount placed and an additional $100, whereas when a positive number is chosen, the bettor is given back the amount that was bet along with the profits from that amount.
Pinnacle Sports allows live betting for some eSports tournaments. Live betting is allowed throughout the tournament from the early stages to the finals. The live betting section also highlights differences on how live betting is different than pre-game betting and gives tips and strategies that a bettor might employ while betting live. The types of bets that can be applied during live betting include who will win the event, betting on individual maps and handicap betting.
Pinnacle Sports: Deposits & Withdrawals
There are multiple ways of depositing money into an online betting account. This includes using credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallet accounts like Skrill and Neteller and vouchers like Ukash. Withdrawing money can also be done using multiple options like bank transfers and via e-wallet options like Neteller and Skrill. All transactions are instantaneous except for bank transfers which can take up to 5 working days to process.
Pinnacle Sports: Mobile Apps
Pinnacle Sports has so far not ventured into the mobile apps market and hence there are no official apps for iOS or Android phones. The company has instead created a mobile version of its website which can be accessed through a browser on a smartphone. The company recommends that iOS users access the site via their Safari browser, while Android users have more options and can use browsers such as Chrome and Firefox.
Pinnacle Sports: Customer Support
The customer support section of Pinnacle Sports has limited options and does not feature a live chat option. Users who have difficulties or need a problem resolved will have to be patient and fill up a form on the contact page. They will have to enter their email address, describe their problem and select the department that they want to send the message to. The form also allows a user to upload an attachment and take a screen shot.
Pinnacle Sports has acknowledged the fact that its customer support services are outdated and needs improvement but has purposely decided not to upgrade its customer support features for now as the company has decided to cut down on the extra costs and return that money back to its customers.
Pinnacle Sports: Problem Gambling
Pinnacle Sports focuses on providing a fair and fun gaming experience. The issue of problem gambling is something that every online gambling and betting website has to address and Pinnacle Sports has been certified by GamCare, a counselling service for gambling addiction.
The company has put a number of checks in place to prevent gamblers with an addiction from gaining full access to the site. Some of those checks include limiting the amount of time a problem gambler can stay on the site, allowing them to impose restrictions on themselves and restricting the amount of money they can bet on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
Pinnacle Sports: Concerns
Pinnacle Sports has not invested into its customer support and this could eventually hurt the website in the long run. The company does not offer any sign-up bonus and this could be hurting its acquisition of new customers as just about all of its competitors are offering attractive sign-up bonuses to obtain new customers and capture as much market share as possible.
Pinnacle Sports: Market Reputation
Pinnacle Sports has been around for a long time and has a solid reputation in the market. The biggest plus is that the odds offered by the company are arguably the best in the market. The company is currently the leading provider of betting options on the eSports market and is very much ahead of its competitors when it comes to the eSports betting market. The payout option is extremely fast and the variety of banking options available give customers a hassle free experience. Pinnacle Sports is credited for having advanced the popularity of the eSports industry and continues to expand its eSports gaming offering.