Best Online Betting Exchanges in UK | List & Comparison 2019
Last updated & tested: 2019-11-17
Online Betting exchanges are sites where you can place bets against other people on a variety of events and they differ from a traditional bookmaker in a number of ways. A regular bookmaker will offer inefficient odds, whereas a betting exchange site makes money via the fees it charges. Are you looking for the perfect betting exchange site that accommodates UK customers? Then perhaps the variety of 5 different betting exchange sites suggested in this article matches something you’re looking for.
The basics of betting at online betting exchanges
There are two basic types of bets that you can place at a betting exchange. The first is a black bet, which is a bet where you are predicting that something will happen. For instance, this could be that a particular football player scores a goal on the weekend, or that a specific Formula 1 driver wins the championship.
The other bet is known as a lay bet, which is the complete opposite of a black bet. With a lay bet you are predicting that something is not going to happen. For example, you might bet that a particular football team isn’t going to win, or that the total number of corners in a match will not exceed 10.
List of 5 top online betting exchange sites – What are the best betting exchange markets?
Since merging with flutter.com in the year 2000, Betfair has managed to maintain market dominance in the betting exchange site industry. At the moment, it is the second largest exchange site and has 7% of the market share. The commission at Betfair is 5% of the bet amount and this will decrease depending on the size of your bet. There is no free bet offered when using their betting exchange service. However, if you want a free bet then you can take advantage of their sportsbook offer of a £30 free bet (which you can find out more about in our OpenOdds Betfair sportsbook review). Since Betfair is one of the oldest online betting exchanges you can trust them with your money. If you’re a punter who is looking to place large bets, then Betfair offers the advantage of decreasing commission rates and good quality liquidity.
One of the best things about the Betfair online betting exchange is the quality of the software. It’s easy to use and you can place a large number of bets in a small amount of time. The minimum bet is only £2, which means a lot of betting strategies can be tested and the minimum deposit is an affordable £25.
At Betdaq the commission is also at 5%, and when you increase the size of the wager the size of the commission decreases. You can take advantage of their £200 welcome bonus, which is one of the best sign up bonus offers you are going to find for an online betting exchange. However, what this site lacks is liquidity, which can be a real disadvantage for some punters. Also if you’re looking for an exciting design then you aren’t going to find it here. The website design is rather boring, but it does work completely as expected.
Betdaq was founded in 2000 by Dermot Desmond an Irish businessman, however the site did not start trading until September of 2001. Recently in 2013 Betdaq was sold to Ladbrokes for a price of 30 million Euros. The site claims to handle over £75 million worth of transactions every week. As is common with most betting exchange sites, Betdaq makes its money via commissions and not by altering the odds of the bet in their favour.
Where can you place the best betting exchange bet online? In the betting exchange world, Smarkets is making a big impact because of the flat 2% commission rates that it charges on all transactions. This is much lower than what you can expect at Betfair and Betdaq where the cost is typically 5%, unless a particular bet size is reached. This betting exchange was founded in 2008 by Hunter Morris and Jason Trsot, who are both Americans. Their offices are located in central London and have the backing of various European investors such as Deutsche Telekom, Passion Capitol and Stefan Glaenzer. This is a pure betting exchange as all bets are peer to peer as opposed to traditional sports betting which you can find at a bookmaker. The Wall Street Journal has listed Smarkets in one of their top 10 startup lists. Smarkets has been the proud sponsor of Queens Park Rangers FC since August of 2015.
Liquidity across this site is great and especially with football related bets. Also the user interface and quality of the software is great at Smarkets. You’ll find that placing bets and understanding the odds in front of you is uncluttered. Since Smarkets is challenging the industry leaders, it is ambitious in its attempts to impress their client base. Finally, the speed of the user interface does not impede your action so you can very quickly stop a bet on live action to capitalize on winnings very quickly.
The commission fee at Matchbook is a staggering 1% on losing and winning bets. This compared to the rest of the betting exchange industry is very competitive. However, do keep in mind that on other betting exchanges such as Betfair winning bets are not subject to the commission charge. You also get a £20 free bet when you sign up for the first time.
Their website has a basic and clean design that allows customers to place bets without being put off by loading times or clutter. If you are the kind of person that believes less is more then you can enjoy your time at Matchbook. The liquidity at Matchbook is also very competitive when compared to the rest of the industry. They have attempted to improve this aspect of their product on a yearly basis. Matchbook is 100% trustworthy because they have a license from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) and the UK Gambling Commission. As a high volume bettor you will come to enjoy this betting exchange.
This brand name is very well known as a top sports bookmaker and poker site, but it also offers a betting exchange service. Ladbrokes like the majority of other betting exchanges charges a 5% commission fee, and this rate decreases as the size of the bet increases. Also upon signing up you’ll receive a £25 free bet. Also you can combine this betting experience with a betting app that allows you to place bets while out and about.
The Ladbrokes betting exchange has the same overall concept as all betting exchanges. Customers with different opinions gather to place bets in the hopes of making some money. The interface at Ladbrokes as expected is of an industry leading quality. Also since the brand is well-recognised and trusted you shouldn’t be concerned about making a deposit at this betting exchange. They are well regulated and have the appropriate licenses to conduct their gambling operation. If you haven’t tried the Ladbrokes Betting exchange yet, then give it a go to take advantage of their £25 free bet.
A history of online betting exchange sites
For more than a century, if a punter wanted to place a bet then a bookmaker was the only choice. The odds are set by the bookmaker and the party betting had little control over the kinds of bets they could engage in. However, in 2000 all of that changed with the invention of betting exchanges. They allow punters to create bets that are only limited by their imagination. Betfair is the pioneer of the industry, and a few more betting exchanges have arrived since then as you can see from our list above. However, currently there are still far more traditional bookmakers when compared with the number of betting exchanges out there.
However, as you can imagine this industry has had a few controversies over its short lifespan. At first there was the introduction of premium fees, which punters were not happy about. There was also a bunch of horse race fixing and footballs scandals where betting exchanges were used as the medium to place bets. Fortunately, betting exchanges have survived these controversies and today they make up a very large section of the online gambling market. You can expect to see an improvement in popularity and quality of these sites as more companies enter the marketplace and induce a wave of competition.
Whether you are new to the world of betting exchange sites, or you have some experience, it is worth giving the various entries in our top 5 online betting exchange sites a try. They are all welcoming of new UK customers and have something different to offer. Only by trying each one out can you begin to decide which online betting exchange site is the ideal environment to place bets at.
Most of you might flock to Betfair at first simply because it is the market leader, pioneer and has an established reputation. However, don’t dismiss the other online betting exchange sites so easily. Other companies offer a different experience that you might enjoy more and if you don’t, then at the very least you can take advantage of the bonus that they are offering.
We hope that the list of top 5 online betting exchanges sites helps you figure out where to place your next bet so that your chances of winning and having a good time are increased.