Why Bookmakers May Be Better Than Exchanges
If you’ve been in the betting business for some time, you’d know that the odds offered at betting exchanges are normally better compared to conventional bookmakers. However, despite this being the popular claim made by many betting exchanges, the reality can be slightly deceptive.
First of all, liquidity plays a huge role in determination of betting levels in any given market. Quite surely, if Bet365 is offering 2.20 odds for Manchester United to win a match against Chelsea, and there are better odds available at a betting exchange like Betfair, let’s say 2.30, you need to look if you can really place the desired bet size at those odds (of 2.30). It may be certainly possible in a high liquidity market, for instance, an F1 race, but the same may not be possible in obscure sports or leagues, where the liquidity is just not enough.
Secondly, the claims of offering better odds must be seen after factoring in the commission rates you’ll be asked to pay at betting exchanges. Yes, you may get odds of 2.30 for Manchester United to win a game against Chelsea, at Betfair, which may seem to be far better than 2.20 of Bet365, but once you take the commission charges into account, the eventual odds may turn out to be quite similar, sometimes even inferior to that offered by the bookmakers.
This is something very important that you must keep in mind. Various betting exchanges offer all kinds of commission rates, depending on the specific market, tournament and sports league you wish to bet on. For instance, Matchbook charges 0% commission on a select few football markets, when other exchanges charge anywhere from 2% to 5% on all winning bets.
Why it may be better to go with a traditional bookmaker instead?
Although it may appear that betting exchanges certainly have a superior product and service compared to the conventional bookmakers, there are some areas where casual sports bettors prefer to go with the latter.
First of all, it’s important to note that a betting exchange’s format doesn’t allow them to offer the same kind of promotions, free bets etc. with the same regularity that is available to conventional bookmakers. If you’re someone who relishes benefiting from those weekend promotions on those English Premier League games, then betting exchanges aren’t the ideal places for you to place your bets on.
Secondly, it must be noted that even though some betting exchanges allow users to request or offer multi-bets, it’s quite rare for multi-bets to get matched on a betting exchange. Hence, if you’re keen on placing multi-bets on a specific football game on a weekend, you’d be better off wagering with some conventional bookmakers like William Hill or Bet365.
Last but not the least, although the transparency and dynamism of betting exchanges promises a great deal of excitement to sports bettors, majority of punters find it overly sophisticated and confusing. So, if placing a happy and casual bet on a certain family weekend is your idea of enjoying betting, a conventional bookmaker would be a far better option for you.
In-play betting was actually born on a betting exchange, and that before Betfair came along, in-play markets of events like football, tennis, horse racing etc. were a thing that punters could only dream of. They could place only pre-event bets, which would get locked in before the start of the event. If a key player didn’t make it to the final lineup or an early goal was scored, there was no way that a bettor could limit his losses. The emergence of betting exchanges saw a major surge in popularity of in-play bets, with almost every conventional bookmaker forced to offer live betting feature.
As also mentioned earlier, the dynamism of betting exchanges ensures that sports bettors get a great deal of flexibility. Gone are the days when a punter could only back just one outcome. Betting exchanges made it possible for punters to both lay as well as back the same bets, putting them in the shoes of bookmakers, with the betting exchange merely functioning as a facilitator.
It led to the emergence of a new breed of sports bettors, or traders, whose sole focus was on trading markets, either to do with in-play or pre-match betting, quite like a stockbroker operating in a stock exchange.
It must be noted that although betting exchanges offer a great variety of markets to the conventional bookmakers, the extent to which you can bet in any given market is limited by the available liquidity in it. However, this shouldn’t be a concern if you’re looking to bet only on major football games, such as the ones that happen in Champions League or English Premier League, as the liquidity offered by these markets is easily amongst the highest in the industry.
On the other hand, if you’re a casual sports bettor, wanting to bet only on obscure sports and leagues, using a betting exchange for wagering on such events may turn out to be an extremely time-consuming and frustrating affair for you. All such obscure tournaments and leagues have very low liquidity. Even though the liquidity of these events may improve leading up to the date and time of the event, the wait and watch involved in unmatched bets can be very frustrating for any sports punter.