It’s now 18 years since the betting exchange phenomenon first took off. Flutter and Betfair were the first companies on the scene, launching what became known as peer to peer betting platforms in early 2000. Flutter launched originally with the intention of providing a platform for friends to bet against each other in their weekly tennis or squash matches. It was sometime and several million dollars later that they moved into the bigger betting exchange space. But with Betfair rapidly growing, a “merger” between the two companies seemed inevitable, with Betfair being the dominant partner. With its “death of the bookmaker” marketing campaign proving to be a huge success, the betting landscape had changed forever.
Fast forward 18 years and Betfair now enjoys the lions’ share of the online betting exchange market. Other competitors have entered this arena and departed, leaving only Smarkets, Matchbook and Betdaq to currently compete against this behemoth.
So what are the benefits of gambling on a betting exchange compared with gambling against a bookie?
Being able to bet against a selection winning is integral to the betting exchange model. When you lay, you effectively become the bookmaker and let other users place a bet against you. This was one of the reasons traditional bookmakers were up in arms when betting exchanges first launched. Their argument being that you should need an operating license to be a bookmaker.
The opportunity to become a layer gives you huge flexibility, particularly by no longer needing to pick a winner to make a profit. Additionally, you have the ability to trade out of your bet and make a profit, no matter the end result. We are all familiar with the phrase “cut your losses”, on a betting exchange if you find your bet is not going the way you had intended, you have the option to get out of the position and take a smaller loss. With a traditional bookmaker, this isn’t possible. Some bookmakers do offer a cash-out option but this is never at a fair market price.
When a betting exchange is at its competitive best, the market over-round will be very close to 100%. This means the market is a very fair one with every selection having a different percentage chance of winning, which should equate to 100%. With a bookmaker, this percentage will almost certainly be higher than 100% to ensure the bookmaker has a guaranteed profit should they be able to lay all selections equally. This became one of the key benefits of a peer to peer betting exchange as the lack of an over-round enables them to almost always offer better prices.
As I touched on earlier, being able to both back and lay a selection has some great benefits. Being able to trade on markets is one such benefit. Just like financial markets, prices in sports betting markets can fluctuate dramatically. It presents traders with many opportunities to profit. You no longer have to place a bet before an event and wait for the outcome. You can profit from the whole lifecycle of the event. The main betting exchanges and other third party gambling sites have provided various tools at various prices to help users with their trading on these markets. At bet.me we provide a comprehensive suite of free tools such as real-time charts, ladder & grid views, hedging, one–click trading etc. Designed to help traders become more effective and increasing their opportunities to profit.
Bookmakers restricting betting accounts and even banning certain punters from placing bets has been a bone of contention and a subject of huge discussion for many years. But who can blame them. After all, they have a business to run, shareholders to answer to and Profits to make. If a trader is unhappy, he or she can choose not to use them and instead take their custom to a betting exchange. There are no limits to the amounts you can bet on exchanges. Providing there is money in the market to be matched, a trader can stake as much as they want. A Betting exchange has no vested interest in who wins and who loses and no account closures for successful gambling.
A common complaint levelled at betting exchanges is that they are complicated and require far too much effort to get used to them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Betting exchanges provide better and fairer odds and many different trading opportunities to make profit, that can’t be found with a conventional sportsbook. At bet.me we go one step further and offer a comprehensive range of free betting tools to help make things even easier and of benefit both to the novice gambler and the more sophisticated gambler.
So perhaps the question isn’t why should I use a betting exchange, it is why wouldn’t I use a betting exchange?
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