Although betting exchanges are considered to be relatively new and perhaps something most bettors are not familiar with, they have been around since 2000 and they continue to attract the increasing interest of customers as they are different from the traditional online betting provided by the majority of the bookmakers. The main feature that makes betting exchange sites differ from traditional betting sites is that they allow players to bet against each other as well as set odds. This may seem odd and even complicated to the ordinary bettor but it really isn’t, so let’s see how it works.
A betting exchange is an innovative gambling concept in which punters are allowed to connect and make offers to each other using an online platform. This means that there are two different kinds of players involved in any bet made on an exchange. The first one is the player who simply selects an outcome and decides a stake, which is pretty much the same thing he would do if the bet was placed with a traditional bookmaker. This is known as back betting and it involves a player placing a bet on an outcome to happen. The second kind of player is the one who is betting against an outcome. This is known as lay betting and practically it means that the player is playing the role of the bookmaker.
An example will definitely help make things clear and easier to understand. Let’s suppose that there is a cricket match between South Africa and India and one player believes that South Africa will win. Instead of betting on this team to win, the player is able to place a bet on India not to win. This bet is matched with another player on the exchange. This is a major difference between exchange betting sites and traditional bookmakers. When a player bets with a bookmaker the bet is immediately accepted at the offered odds whereas in the betting exchange, the player has to wait to have the bet matched with another player.
This means that the odds are not necessarily fixed when it comes to betting. Unlike with a traditional bookmaker, a player can request his own price to back or lay a team. Since more than one player is involved in each game, this creates a variety of prices offered and amounts available just waiting to be matched. This gives the opportunity to any player to actually choose the odds he will place his bet on and determine the amount of money he is willing to risk in order to win the desired amount.
The betting exchange platform makes a profit by charging a commission on the player’s winnings. This commission is definitely lower than the usual margin of the bookmakers, hence a betting exchange offers enhanced winnings. On top of that, there is no limit to the amount a player is allowed to stake on a certain bet as long as it can be matched. This is not the case with traditional bookmakers who will usually place a limit on the accepted bets or even decide not to offer them any more for whatever reason.
Nevertheless, there are also some drawbacks when it comes to betting exchanges. First of all, there are surely fewer markets on offer compared to traditional bookmakers. Then, there is always the possibility that there will be no player willing to back your lay bet. When betting on traditional websites you have the option to place parlay bets whereas on exchange betting sites you can only have one single bet to back or lay that cannot be combined with any other.
Regardless, the betting exchange keeps attracting players and growing. The world’s leading betting exchange platform had an annual revenue of 462 million last year which is a good indication of the growth the industry is experiencing.