Smarkets Review 2017 – Read our Bookmaker Rating in 5 Mins
The betting exchange Smarkets began in 2008 in London with a team of 35 financial experts and software engineers focused on delivering a highly-engineered, innovative gambling platform. Founder and CEO Jason Trost started the betting exchange when he looked at the outcomes of an American presidential election and realised that traditional betting sites did not offer much customer participation.
Having worked as an equities trader, Trost realised he could offer customers an interactive betting exchange with higher returns than traditional bookmakers.
Smarkets is not exposed to the risk of losing bets, it takes just 2% commission for the users’ net winnings on each market. The betting site is committed to promoting transparency in the sports gambling industry.
Smarkets covers popular sporting events, as well as niche sporting event, political and entertainment events. You can bet on football, rugby, cricket, golf, basketball and also sports like volleyball and handball.
Is Smarkets safe? We say absolutely. Regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gambling Authority, Smarkets is a reputable and safe bookmaker for placing bets and trading in a wide variety of different events.
The result of the OpenOdds Smarkets review
Smarkets takes an entirely new approach to online gambling. As a peer-to-peer betting exchange – the Skype of sports gambling – OpenOdds found that the user is given more interaction with betting on a wide variety of real time events, right up until their ends. From sports to politics to current affairs, the OpenOdds' Smarkets sportsbook review finds it to be a sophisticated and modern betting provider and an alternative to the traditional gambling site. As it works by applying principles behind financial trading to the online sporting industry, the user gets better odds and higher margins.
Unlike a traditional bookie, Smarkets allows its users to bet against each other. As betting exchanges are essential for match betting to work, the Smarkets user is able to interact with the entire betting process.
OpenOdds found Smarkets to be one of the most innovative betting providers and noted that it is favoured on betting platforms as a safe, straightforward, easy to use betting exchange, consistently offering favourable betting odds, low commission and good liquidity.
Smarkets review: innovative and interactive – enjoyable online gambling
- Transparency and no hidden costs: Smarkets takes just 2% commission for the users’ net winnings on each market.
- Customers can set their own odds and bet against each other, right up until the end of the event.
- Bets placed on underdogs can be very lucrative thanks to Smarket's fantastic odds.
- By using the latest financial technology, this bookie can offer the latest betting odds at competitive prices and pay out higher margins in regards to OpenOdds' betting odds comparison.
- Speaks to the younger, tech-savvy gambler as it is the latest betting service available that uses technology to make the betting platform cheaper, with better liquidity and more sociable.
Smarkets OpenOdds comprehensive rating report concerning this top bookmaker
All bookmakers, thoroughly tested by the OpenOdds team, must prove themselves in the following 10 review categories.
- Betting odds
- Customer service
- Sports covered
- In-play product
- Payment methods
- Other products
- Betting limits
1.) Bonuses: Time will tell if you reap the rewards
Many online betting websites offer a variety of different sign-up promotions and new user bonuses. How does Smarkets compare to the best free bets offers? Here again this bookmaker differs from other online betting providers like online casinos and other well-known sports sites, as it only offers one bonus exclusive to first-time users. In order to receive the betting promotion, new bettors are required to deposit an initial sum of £20 upon registration to receive the Smarkets bonus. Smarkets will match the initial minimum deposit of £20 by 50% and give new bettors a starting sum of £10. Users must bear in mind however that there is the attractive feature of the flat rate industry-low 2% Smarkets commission and the best betting odds. Users in a betting exchange are themselves becoming the bookie, so greater market analysis is also required. Your welcome bonus will automatically refund to your account following your first loss.
2.) Betting odds: The ball is in your court
Similar to other Smarkets reviews, we wanted to see if the odds Smarkets offer are more competitive. Our Smarkets review has shown that the Smarkets odds are, in fact, very competitive. This is down to a lot of data, but also your own hard work.
Smarkets thinks about odds in the same way a trader would think about stocks: you want to buy low and then sell high. Bets can be traded between 0% and 100% and it is the user on the betting exchange platform that decides upon the probability of an outcome, and sets their own odds. With Smarkets, no matter what the sporting or political event, the underlying factor is that the user is able to make the call and set what odds seem likely and work in their favour. There is a bit more legwork involved for the user as they have to analyse factors that may or may not affect the outcome of an event. Essentially, odds are thought about in terms of probability. Due to the amount of people using the betting exchange, and the fact that they are trading their knowledge and information on the likelihood of the outcome of an event, Smarkets can be used as an accurate and predictive tool for media outlets in the run up to the event in question.
3.) Customer service: Happy to help whenever, wherever
Smarkets, as a startup, know how valuable holding onto a good reputation is for their success and longevity. For this reason amongst others, they make their customer a priority. Smarkets reviews all doubts or queries and gets back to customers at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world. When you’re logged in to smarkets.com, you can chat to one of the team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively you can call their London-based customer service hotline on +2017 617 7413 or drop them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can of course also be reached by sending a tweet or DM to @smarkets. By all accounts, the Smarkets support team are clued-up, willing to help and extremely friendly.
4.) User-friendliness: How do you make a Smarkets sports bet?
At OpenOdds, we watched a few tutorials to get the hang of Smarkets, For those not familiar with how betting exchanges work, it can be tricky to get your head around. Although it has to be said, it’s a pretty different betting experience altogether, so perseverance is key. For each outcome, Smarkets offers 2 different amounts, one in green and one in blue, the green telling you up to how much you can back something, and the blue telling you how much of a lay bet you can place: to bet against. The odds are clearly set out and you can see the popularity of those backing and those against. This gives a clear idea of the market value of the bet, and can make predicting the outcome a little easier. Something that we really liked at OpenOdds was that if you’re unsure what the odds and figures refer to, and how much you could spend, by hovering over the amount, stake, or odds, a box would appear explaining in detail what you can do.
5.) Sports covered: what sporting events can you place a Smarkets bet on?
Pretty much anything. Smarkets, is a peer-to-peer betting exchange, if there is a market for it, there is a bet for it. Smarkets offers all of the popular sporting events like horse-racing, football, tennis, American football, baseball, basketball, cricket and golf. Yet it also goes a step further by offering more niche-market events that have less of a following – but more of a margin as a result – namely: volleyball, rugby, ice hockey and handball. Smarkets should definitely be considered in the same league as other sports betting bonuses.
The thing we liked best was the real time odds on offer, the data that Smarkets software uses offer instantaneous and real-time odds, and unlike other sites, betting doesn’t close when the event begins, it closes when the event ends.
6.) In-play product: real-time odds in real-time games
We gave the quality of Smarkets' in-play product a high Smarkets rating. From Argentina’s Premier Division Football, to the French Open’s last set, with Smarkets In-play, you will be able to get into some sporting action at any time of the day. You can see how up-to-date the odds are as they change considerably over a short-space of in-play time. The user needs to be aware and ready to make their timely bets, as and when the odds are best in their favour. The variety of in-play options available are lengthy, from deciding neither team will score first half, or both will score in the last ten minutes, the user will feel as involved with the game as if he were the bookie…or the player.
7.) Payment methods: hassle-free payments
Like most betting providers, Smarkets makes deposits & withdrawals simple and straightforward. Customers can use Mastercard, Maestro, Visa Debit/Credit, or Solo. Other payment methods can also be used, such as bank transfers, neteller and skrill. Once you have deposited your £20, you are free to begin using Smarkets with any of the above mentioned payment methods, the minimum deposit from then on is £10 for a credit or debit card, or £20 for the other payment options. For payment withdrawals from your Smarkets account, only Mastercard and other credit and debit cards charge a handling fee. Withdrawals take between 1 and 6 working days, with the exception of a bank transfer that can take as little as 5 and as long as 10 working days.
8.) Other products: prediction gambling
Everybody wants their opinions heard, and Smarkets is becoming a tool for waging your own thoughts on the outcome of political events. The betting exchange is the go-to place to show your opinion and predictions for upcoming election results. In doing so, this is allowing the market to see the probable outcome of the event. Betting on the outcome of political events is not as popular as it was in the past, however with more outrageous campaigns (Trump, anyone?) and shock outcomes like Brexit, people are now becoming more inclined to see the possible returns in political prediction gambling. Smarkets: you saw it here first!
9.) Security: Is Smarkets safe?
Smarkets will not disclose any personal information to anyone not concerned or connected with the service you are being provided with. By law it may be required to disclose your personal information to authorities such as the Malta Gaming Authority. Supplying your information details to authorised credit reference agencies is a mandatory part of the registration process, this is done for your own security as a means of confirming identity and payment methods. Otherwise, information that concerns security, data protection and communication are easily found on the website, pointing to its being a reputable registered betting provider.
10.) Betting limits: responsible bookmaking
Smarkets is committed to responsible gaming, and as such offers its clients a deposit and loss limit on their account. Once you have set the limit on your account, there is a period of a week before it can be increased. Should you wish to reduce limits, this will take effect immediately. Users can also set time-outs on their accounts, ranging from one day to one month, in this time, users will not be able to access their account until the established period of time is over. Alternatively, users can self-exclude for a minimum period of 6 months. Following this time, users can request access to their account. Depending on the bet and the odds you wish, there are limits imposed on each. These odds and amounts can be increased and changed should you match the bet with another user.
While Smarkets is not the first betting exchange available, it can definitely be considered an industry changer. By defining itself as fintech, it automatically sets itself apart from other gambling sites. Through technology, it offers its users a fun, new, and competitive way to bet. Where many may say you’ll never beat the bookie – with Smarkets that no longer applies! Having replaced the bookie altogether, you are the master of your own odds!
Smarkets: Opinions & Experiences of actual users
Did you agree with the Smarkets sportsbook review that the team at OpenOdds came up with? Used Smarkets and have a totally different opinion or something to add? Write your own Smarkets review, assign a Smarkets rating and let us know how you feel. We value users’ opinions and will use them to make our reviews as comprehensive and accurate as possible, and stay up-to-date on the best online bookmakers.