Betting exchanges, the choice of the shrewd modern punter. They have only been in operation since just after the turn of the millennium, but are an invention that have revolutionised the gambling industry and the way we bet. So what is all the fuss about with these betting exchanges? Why are sign ups growing all the time and why are the traditional bookmakers always complaining about this form of betting, the new kid on the block?
Betting exchanges are an innovative betting solution, increasing the methods and avenues for customers to generate profits from gambling. Prior to the advent of the exchanges, those who wanted to strike a bet would have to do so with a traditional bookmaker. The bet was placed on a selection to win, and if individuals were lucky enough to be successful, then they would be able to collect the winnings. Exchanges came and upset the applecart. Simply put, betting exchanges facilitate peer to peer betting, and make their profit by taking a commission. They enable customers to strike bets with each other, opening up endless new betting strategies and approaches.
The benefits of betting exchanges over bookmakers are far reaching. Betting exchanges have really ruffled the feathers of the traditional firms, as they enable individuals to bet on selections to lose. This practice is commonly known as ‘laying’, and was previously an act restricted to companies or individuals with a licence. Now, if you do not fancy a horse to win a race, or a golfer to win a tournament, as an individual you can support your opinion by betting on that runner/player not to be successful. Prior to the exchanges, the only way to bet against a selection which you did not fancy, was to simply back the majority of the other options in the event – an arduous and complicated task.
The odds on offer on the exchanges are consistently better than those available with bookmakers. The margins on markets are normally between 0.5-2%, whereas the bookmakers generally operate at 10% and above.
The fantastic option of being able to back and lay on the same event has transformed the way individuals are able to bet. Add into the mix the fact that most events now have live betting, and the options to profit are various. There is not the necessity to wait until an event has completed before guaranteeing a profit. If you back Nottingham Forest to beat Derby and they are winning 2-0 at half time, their odds will be significantly shorter. By striking a lay bet, you are able to guarantee a healthy profit, without the blood pressure raising in the second half if Derby stage a fight back. This option simply is not available with traditional firms.
Getting started with a betting exchange is easy. Sign up for an account and deposit money in the same way as with traditional bookmakers. Some will feel comfortable sticking to back (win) bets that they are more familiar with. That is absolutely fine and everything operates similarly, apart from the fact that you are getting better odds and thus returns! Others will wish to experiment with trading strategies and laying, with everyone have different preferences and niches.
Choosing your exchange is the next task. Everyone knows the name of the first and biggest betting exchange. As pioneers they quickly developed a large customer base and consequently gained a large turnover, with high liquidity on markets. You may well have an account with them already, but it’s always wise to have a backup.
Luckily, there are a number of viable alternatives on the market, some of which have competitive sign up offers and often lower commission rates. You can expect all the usual commission reductions for loyal customers, and look out for cross-exchange offers such as the option to transfer loyalty points from one exchange to another!
Current sign up offers for the exchanges can be found on our dedicated pages: