A new Internet-based football pools game – Pools4all.com – was launched thuis week, and is Britain's first new football pools company in 62 years. Pools4all faces a single dominant competitor as it enters the market which currently has only one leading player in the form of Sportech's recently rebranded New Football Pools product.
"It's entirely coincidental that we are launching in the same season as the only other player is changing their brand, but we don't mind. We want everyone to get excited about the rebirth of football pools," said Pools4all Managing Director Tony Poskitt. "This could be seen as a David versus Goliath battle; but it's not really. Ours is quite a different game in that it's based on forecasting correct scores rather than results or draws.
"In addition, we offer pools-based on leagues or divisions throughout English, Scottish and even European matches rather than a selection taken from all leagues at once, so football fans can bet on the leagues they know well rather than ones they don't."
With Pools4all.com the player forecasts the outcome of football matches in separate ‘pools' of around 10 matches. The closer the player gets to the right score, the greater the points and chances of winning the pool outright. Players pay GBP2 a go and winnings will depend on the number of other players in a pool, but could go to over GBP100 000 a week.
Pools4all features a full range of matches including the English, Scottish and top European Leagues, meaning all football supporters can use their knowledge to forecast the outcome of games involving their teams. Mid-week matches are to be introduced later. As Leagues and Championships in other parts of the world are added to Pools4all, the forecasting of games all year round will be available, meaning there is no downtime for Pools4all or the player.
A pool closes 10 minutes before the first match kicks off and the results are published and the points totals are ready shortly after the final whistle of the final match. If a match is postponed, Pools4all will bring into play the "Peoples Choice" being the most popular forecast made for that match by all the pools players.
The trio behind Pools4all – Poskitt with Technical Director Dave Plumpton and Financial Director Niels Cook – came up with the concept five years ago when they worked together in the Kazakhstan oil fields.
"Nights were long and boring in Kazakhstan and we started this pools game using a spreadsheet," Poskitt revealed this week. "There was a hard core of oil men who started playing and the popularity grew and grew. As word spread of the game and more people on rigs around the world started playing, we realised we were onto something good."
Pools4all.com is a new company based in the Isle of Man and licenced by the eGaming Commission.