What is a Betting Exchange?
Just when internet betting was starting to become popular, two entrepreneurs invented a revolutionary new betting product. Until then, your only option was to place a bet with your traditional bookie, on a selection to win. That was soon to change.When online betting exchange sites such as Betfair became available as early as 2001, they allowed gamblers to play the role of the bookie. An online betting exchange was like a stock market of sorts. They gave the opportunity to trade sports bets like they were stocks.
Effectively what this means, is that when you sold a sporting selection, Betfair match you with another punter who wants to back the selection to win. Therefore, you are playing the role of the bookie.
Betting exchange sites
There’s a very high barrier to entry for online betting exchanges though, so to this day, only 4 exist. We’re going to give you the rundown of our small, but comprehensive betting exchanges list.
So at number 1 in the list of the best betting exchanges is Betfair. They were the pioneers, and this is the reason in many ways that they are still number one.
You see, a betting exchange is largely only as strong as the customers it has. Without customers, there is no money in the markets. Without any money in the markets, you can’t place a bet.
Betfair haven’t rested on their laurels though. They have used their early strength and invested their money in continually improving their product. They have the best platform, and the greatest number of markets. And of course, the best liquidity.
One downside is that they use this mini monopoly to their advantage and have higher commission costs. They also have a premium charge for the most profitable customers.
Such was their growth, they even introduced their own sportsbook alongside the exchange. And then in 2015, they merged with Irish giants Paddy Power to become the biggest gambling company in the world.
Click here to sign-up for a Betfair Exchange account
This may be a surprise inclusion at number two in our list of best betting exchanges. But the new boy to the market has really grown in popularity.
It is clear that Smarkets has been able to target Betfair’s weak points. This has led to a growing number of customers with big wallets joining their platform. They are not shy with marketing the fact they take just 2% commission.
These large customers are known as seeders, and they’re the ones who are generally responsible for providing a lot of the liquidity to markets.
Aside from having good liquidity, the Smarkets platform is very easy to use and has a good range of betting options.
Click here to sign-up for a Smarkets account
For many years, the Betdaq exchange was the number one competitor against Betfair in the list of betting exchange sites.
Unfortunately, they just didn’t quite have enough to make it over the final hurdle, and they fell away soon after.
This has damaged their liquidity, and the technology of their platform is seriously lacking. The one good thing they have going for them, is that they were taken over by Ladbrokes who have the financial muscle to help them rise once again.
In fact, you may notice that Ladbrokes has an exchange site, too. This is exactly the same platform as the Betdaq one, with the same markets and same liquidity. The only difference is the branding.
Click here to sign-up for a Betdaq/Ladbrokes exchange account
There is nothing particularly wrong with Matchbook, it’s difficult for an exchange to really differentiate itself. At the end of the day, the markets on offer will be similar, as well as the odds.
But it is really dependant on the liquidity on offer, and it feels like the Matchbook liquidity isn’t as good as the rest. This gives it bottom place on our betting exchange sites list.
What we will say though, is that it is worth having an account with all of them, as all are capable of having the best prices on their day.
Click here to sign-up for a Matchbook account