Social Betting: The Evolution of the Bar Bet

There are a whack of new betting apps about to hit the market, including FOX Bet – yes, a new online sports betting operator by the TV network – and something called Wager. It’s Wager that caught our attention: The premise is peer-to-peer betting, where you get to set the stakes.

So what the hell is social betting? Here’s a look at some apps, how it works and what possible benefits it could have above the average bar bet.

If you want to explore social betting further, start with a reputable betting app that’s also a registered gambling operator in the country where you live. Some of the most popular suggestions out there, mostly UK-based ones, are BetYou, Snapbets, Tedbets and Wager.

Wager was launched more recently (in 2019), but other ones like Tedbets have been around since 2014.

The premise behind social (also called peer-to-peer) betting is the ability to set your own bets with friends and contacts. It’s a lot like your traditional private bet, but offers the security of an escrow account and dispute resolution where private bar wagers sometimes lead to bar fights.

Enter your bet, choose the odds and a deadline, then create the bet and send it to your friends from there.

Some betting apps allow for bets to be public, others instead allow for private bets that can only be seen by the participants.

Protection for Bets

Wagering apps like BetYou have protection mechanisms in place to ensure that nobody gets to backtrack when they’ve placed their bets. (If you’ve ever had someone back down after they’ve won a wager in-person, then you’ll know why this is the first benefit to the use of social apps versus not using them.)

Their FAQ states that their auditors will step in when you believe you’ve won a bet and the administrator of the bet doesn’t agree with the stakes. Where an agreement can’t be reached, both parties are refunded their money.

Added protection is offered through their payment system. All the bets are handled there, and when you win, money is accordingly paid out. While the operator usually takes their cut of the bet, it’s not as much as you might think.

There are also some betting apps that use “user ratings”where ethical betting and no disputes will increase the rating, and anything not above board will lower the rating on a reputation-system basis.

Of course, one of the most important things that set social betting apps apart from “friendly wagers” is the fact that illegal (or otherwise irresponsible) bets can be reported and, we would assume, get checked by moderators.


Money bets with friends can be considered illegal in many countries: Where sports betting and online wagering is legal, laws will usually specify that the party administrating the bet has to be a legally registered bookie.

Social wagering apps allow for this gap to be closed so that bets with friends will instead become bets placed through a licensed online gambling operator. This way,  bets are legal and money is protected – and it might even reduce the likelihood of stupid, reckless and dangerous betting in the process.

by Alex J Coyne
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