Betfair Alternatives: 3 Betting Exchanges Like BetfairJune 19, 2018 9:00 am
Betting exchanges are big business these days. More punters are using them because they recognise the unique advantages that they bring to gambling for the savvier punter.
Our team conducted a comprehensive comparison of betting exchanges and Betfair came out on top but what if you don’t want to use Betfair? What alternatives are available?
With that in mind then I’ve put together this article that will discuss the three closest rivals to Betfair in the betting exchange market. We’ll look at their pros and cons and hopefully show you that a viable alternative to Betfair is out there.
What Are The Best Betfair Alternatives?
Back in the sandy, mists of time Betdaq was one at point Betfair’s only competitor. If I tell you it was in second place whilst holding only 7% of the market however, that should highlight what a strangle hold Betfair has in the world of betting exchanges.
It is presumably the fact they are the second biggest Exchange that led to Betdaq being purchased by Ladbrokes in 2013.
It’s a strange purchase if you think about it, as the Betting Exchanges were set up as direct competition to the traditional bookies. Ladbrokes buying Betdaq therefore is kind of like a turkey investing its savings in a cranberry sauce company.
- The main pro is that Betdaq, despite Ladbrokes ropey stewardship, remains the second biggest exchange. That means that after Betfair, they have the most markets with the most liquidity. This means that you are most likely to find that specific bet you are looking for right here.
- I understand that both Betfair and Betdaq are the only exchanges with public API, which means you can build bots and applications. I have no idea what that means, as when I was a kid the Internet came on a disc and made beeping noises. If having a public API means a lot to you, just know that has Betdaq one.
- Unlike Betfair, there is no premium charge for the most successful punters. This could appeal if you are planning on making A LOT of money.
- The main con is there is very little difference between Betdaq and Betfair. Yes, there is no premium charge but that is only levied on maybe 1% or less of the Betfair users anyway, so it means very little to not have it here.
The commission on winnings – 2% to 5% depending on loyalty points – is exactly the same at both of these exchanges. Betfair however has far more markets, far higher liquidity. So why would you pick Betdaq if there is no advantage and it has less markets to bet in?
It’s almost as if Ladbrokes want it to fail…
New Customer Offer: Betdaq
This company floated along with the drive and intent of a fart in a hurricane until it received a serious cash injection from a group of investors in 2011. Their money was used to add much needed liquidity to the company, and the markets have organically grown ever since.
Matchbooks stated aim is to become Betfairs main rival, but of course every company who isn’t the market leader has the intention of challenging them, so take that with a pinch of salt.
- The biggest pro is quite clearly the low commission rate on winning bets – currently just 1.5%. That means more of your winnings flow into your pocket, which can only be a good thing.
- Matchbook has developed a strong niche in American sports. So if you want to bet on 8 foot tall men playing glorified Netball, Rugby with helmets on, an even more boring version of cricket or ice hockey (which is bloody brilliant) this is the site for you.
- It still has way less markets than all of the other exchanges. This means that there is strong chance that if you go on looking for a specific bet you may not find it – especially in the less popular (i.e. not Football) markets.
- Liquidity is very poor when compared to Betdaq and Betfair so it really is only suitable for small stakes back and lay bets.
I’m not going to recommend Matchbook to you but if you want to see for yourself visit: https://www.matchbook.com/
The newest challenger to the crown, Smarkets was only formed in 2008. It has however grown rapidly in that time, and the growth has been entirely organic so the punters who use the exchange must be happy with the service as they are coming back and bringing more people with them.
- The biggest pro is a flat 2% commission on winnings. This is better than everyone except Matchbook.
- They are growing rapidly, and already handle over a £1 billion pounds worth of exchanged bets per year. They must be doing something right to have that level of growth.
- Again, it has far less markets and liquidity than you will find at Betfair. But that’s true for all of the competitors, which they are just that – competitors, instead of the big dog in the yard.
- Their welcome offer really is low value and doesn’t compare to their competitors.
- It has a stupid name. Seriously, say it out loud 5 times.
Again… whilst Smakerts are building some momentum in the space I’m still not comfortable recommending them to you. I’d much prefer to use Betdaq but again if you want to see what their about visit them at: https://smarkets.com/
There we have it, the three pretenders to the crown. As you can see though the differences between them all may be subtle, but they are there, which means that each company is likely to a different level of appeal depending on what type of gambler you are.
The casual gambler for example may prefer Matchbook, with their low overall commission. For the professional gambler looking to make big profits, Betdaq could appeal, as it has no premium charge for the biggest winners.
There are good offers out there for new members to all of the above sites however, so a good piece of advice could be to just set up a small account – £20 say – with all of them, and see which one feels right for you.