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This article was published on June 19, 2010

Betable lets you bet on anything with your friends, family and colleagues.

Betable lets you bet on anything with your friends, family and colleagues.
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Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos, designing, listening to good music and making lurrrve.

First, a little background.

I’m getting married in just over a month, August 1st to be precise. I’ve been working (sorta) hard to get in shape but it’s these last 6 weeks that I aim to be push myself over the limit in the hope that I’ll be in somewhat better shape for the big day. More on that in a moment.

A couple of days back, while watching France take on Mexico in the World Cup, I wanted to spice things up with a small bet on the match. I’d never gambled online before and so had no idea where to go and so as in most cases these days, I asked on twitter. For the record, SkyBet, Labrokes, 888Sport and Smarkets were recommended but it was a site called Betable that caught my eye.

Betable is a unique take on social gambling. It stood out not because of its World Cup focus but because it did indeed seem like an simple way to bet amongst people you know, whether they be colleagues, friends, family or your social network buddies.

Betable also makes it very easy to create your own bets. So easy in fact that out went the idea of betting on something boring like a football match and in went the idea of creating my own crazy idea.

Sign up was a breeze and within about 10 minutes I had a bet set up. On what you ask? To run 24 miles, essentially a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon before I might add. I completed a couple of half marathons back almost 10 years ago but believe you me, a lot hass changed since then. To be honest with you, I was still only half committed to the idea of actually doing the 24 miles. It was the the most viable challenge that came to mind – I’d always wanted to complete a marathon – but really I just wanted to see how easy it was to set up a bet.

So I had a bet set up, with no money on it just yet. When you create a bet on Betable, you don’t actually need to bet on it yourself – although you would assume you would want to. I spent a few minutes browsing other random bets on the site  “Will Spain make it through the group stage?” and “Will Lindsay Lohan be convicted of violating her probation during her court hearing on July 6, 2010?” were a couple, nothing too serious you see and none of the  pots were over the £100 mark.

I eventually left the site and had almost forgotten about the marathon bet I’d set up (not actually betting on it remember) and carried on watching the Mexico/France game that had just got a lot more exciting. About 20 minutes later, I receive an email notification from Betable to let me know someone had put money on me not completing the 24 miles(!?). Then another a few minutes later with someone betting I could. Then a comment asking how I would prove I had completed the 24 miles – which is when I realised this was real…I answered, with RunKeeperPro, which you can use to track my run in real time online.

Before I knew it, almost 10 people had betted and I was in a minor state of shock that real money was being placed on the line.

I’ve now come round to the idea and so in less than a month, on the 15th July, I will wake up and run a marathon having never completed one before. Crazier things have happened I suppose. And while I’d appreciate you betting on me or against me, the real point of this story is to introduce you to Betable. A (currently UK only) community betting site that transforms those frustrating to organise friendly bets into something trackable and easy to get going.

If you win you’ll get 100% of any money wagered back and then the remaining money in the pot, “the winnings,” are split among the winners after a 10% commission to Betable. If you lose, well, you lose.

The company launched in May and is funded by Atomico Ventures who previously founded the likes of Skype, Joost, Kazaa and more recently Jolicloud and RDIO.

Check Betable out here.

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