Who are UKAST?

Chris Sowerby
Former head Reviewer of Betting Rant & Founder of Tipstars

Until a few years ago I was very much on the punter side of the fence. My career had been in finance and consultancy, leaving my interest in sports, sports betting and tipping as a side-line. Probably like you, I developed, tested and ultimately binned many different systems to beat the bookies. So, I turned to tipping services to try and find that holy grail, letting someone else do the legwork.

This met with varying degrees of success and a few episodes of money down the drain after being caught out by less than scrupulous services. What I did learn during this time was that my own actions and approaches were contributing to the less than impressive return I was getting from following these services.

Back in 2016 I had a complete change of direction which ultimately allowed me more time to focus on sports and sports betting. Then in 2017 I got the Head Reviewer role at the Betting Rant and this allowed me closer contact with the tipsters themselves, as well as providing a much deeper knowledge of the tipping world in general.

When I started to combine my experiences as a punter with those in my role at the Betting Rant I began to see where value could be added for both punters and tipsters at the same time. So, in January 2018 I embarked on some early exploratory work on a site that would provide impartial information for punters and give genuine tipsters a platform to promote their service with an independent, third-party verification of their performance.

Tipstars was officially launched in January 2019 to deliver those aims. Unfortunately, the workload required to maintain such a detailed and in-depth service proved too much for one person and I had to close the service on health grounds.

I’ve long advocated the need for a form of regulation in the tipping industry, if for no other reason than to protect the tipping world from itself. You may have read some of my articles and blogs on the subject, in which case you will know that I believe that at the moment, the industry has an opportunity to put its own house in order, if it doesn’t take that opportunity then I fear that imposed control will not be long in the offing and that will undoubtedly be more onerous and consequently much more expensive.

The longer the industry believes it can continue and prosper in its current state, the more likely it is to implode on itself. 

In an ideal world every tipping service would sign up to such an association. In reality that is unlikely. But at least if a scheme is in place and services choose not to sign up then punters can at least ask themselves the question “Why not?”

I’m delighted to be involved in the launch of UKAST and hope that we will be able to provide a level of self-regulation, promote the interests of the tipping industry generally and provide genuine services with a mark of legitimacy when advertising to potential members.

I am always happy to hear the views and comments of tipsters and punters alike and you can contact me directly at chris@ukast.org.

Peter Philipson
Former reviewer - More Money Review
Current head reviewer - Best Betting Review

After a near lifetime in the financial world and a spell working on website design I became a reviewer at More Money Review after a salutary experience with a lay betting service. But on the sporting front I apparently was attending cricket matches from the age of 6 months and have been hooked on the sports genre ever since. Am not quite sure if hitting John Emburey for 6 or a birdie on the 18th at The Belfry counts as my sporting highlight though! And if there has ever been a better all round footballer than George Best I have yet to see him.

Until being made redundant I had not been a remotely serious punter and with the advent of the internet allowing investment from the comfort of your own home I naively took the view that services promoted would have to be compliant with a set of rules regarding performance claims. Hundreds of pounds later I was pleased to be able to check out other services and provide the public with guidance on the standards of around 1500 services and systems.

In addition I was asked to investigate some direct scams that MMR members had fallen victim to and again was able to open some eyes that might otherwise have been taken in. The most high profile of these was a fraudster called Chris Beek who took his clients for more than £1m and to my personal knowledge has caused life affecting misery to some. He is now enjoying a 5 year rest at the pleasure of Her Majesty the Queen.

When More Money Review morphed into Betting Rant I carried on the quest but was then approached to set up a new review site so allowing Chris to get involved at Betting Rant! Best Betting Review is approaching a year old as we launch here and already has allowed me to highlight a range of services and betting products. A longer term view is now taken with perhaps fewer reviews but a more useful appraisal.

In 2014 I discussed with MMR the idea of a regulatory body for sports tipping but they did not see this as fitting with their business plans.

So when Chris also mentioned the need for this type of organisation last year I was pleased that it might become a reality and we have now managed to organise ourselves to fulfil the need. Nobody can guarantee future results will match those of the past but we can say that UKAST members will be operating in a reputable way putting their clients at the forefront of their business.

I am happy to discuss any relevant matters with all of you – just email me peter(at)ukast.org

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