Betting exchanges differ in small ways to conventional bookmakers, but to matched bettors, betting exchanges are crucial.
Often when you hear people talking of betting exchanges they mention the almighty Betfair. It’s without a doubt the most used exchange – but, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best.
Smarkets was founded in 2008 by Americans Jason Trost and Hunter Morris. It angles itself more as a technology company than a gambling one. This is great for matched bettors and it means their software is powerful but also easy to use at the same time.
Technology and User Experience
In January 2017, Smarkets released their new mobile friendly website. The website as a whole is vastly improved. Better user flow, layout and navigation so you can find things easier. It’s also much more responsive. These add up to make the user experience more satisfying. When you think of it from a basic perspective, the website is just a medium between you and what you want (what bets you want to place), so any complications along the way just frustrate things. The better the website is the less time it takes you to get what you need done.
As I touched on earlier, technology improvements are Smarkets whole deal, so expect more great updates in the future.
Lower commission than rivals
One of the biggest selling points for Smarkets and the thing that draws people to them in the first place is their 2% commission. This leaves more money in your pocket when compared to Betfair who take a 5% commission. With matched betting being all about small margins and small wins, this difference can play a big part in the long run. If you’re backing and laying multiple bets a day you could be making £10 or more each day just by using Smarkets.
First off, let me explain what liquidity means in betting exchange terms. Smarkets works by being a medium between you and another punter, you place the bet, the other party lays the bet. If there is no other party to lay your bet then it just doesn’t work. Betfair historically has been better for market liquidity as there’s simply more users on their site and therefore more people willing to lay your bet (ie. Bet against you). However, as Smarkets goes from strength-to-strength and grows its user base, their liquidity has increased. Nowadays, you’ll hardly notice any difference in liquidity between Smarkets and Betfair – and no difference at all when it comes to big sporting events.
One thing Smarkets does fall down on is its reliability or stability. Or, in layman’s terms, how often it’s down. It’s often offline or elements of it not working properly. When compared to Betfair, it does add up to be unavailable a good bit more.
Smarkets is definitely the “up and comer” of the betting exchange world. It offers great user experience and lower commission when compared to its rivals – which is its selling point. But, doesn’t have as good liquidity when compared to Betfair.