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What is a betting exchange?

What is a betting exchange?

If you have begun gambling at sportsbooks online, no doubt you have come across the term betting exchange. Many of you will already know what this is, how it works and how to use it. But some of you won’t, and it’s you that we’re going to aim this article towards. In simple terms, a betting exchange enables any of its members to place a wager against each other instead of with the bookmaker. Instead of getting the odds from the bookie, you can get them from other bettors.

Traditional bookies take a risk going up against punters, but this is not so with a betting exchange. Here, there’s no risk at all for the bookie. Instead, the betting exchange is simply a platform, hosted by the bookmaker, providing a place for bettors to match their wagers with each other. The betting exchange will simply take a small commission on any wins. As online gambling increases, the number of betting exchanges is rising, becoming an important part of online gambling. Read on to find out how they offer better odds, greater transparency and a fun experience.

How Do Betting Exchanges Work?

The main difference between an exchange and a bookmakers is that the former allows lay betting. This is when you choose to back a loss over a win. Each bet at a betting exchange is actually two bets. One bet is the one backing the win. The other is the same bet, but backing the loser. For example, if you were to place a £10 bet on a horse to win with 10/1 odds, this returns a profit of £100. Another player backing the loss would have to risk £100 on the same bet to win £10.

Being able to make a lay bet enables customers to get a guaranteed return on their bet, particularly if the bet shortens after they have placed their initial wager. Continuing on with the horse example, if you are backing a horse at bookies, you will need all the other horses to “green up” in order to secure a profit (all horse odds rise showing green profit). At an exchange, you can back your horse to lose when the price shortens and thus lock-in that profit right away!

Why Use Betting Exchanges?

There are a number of advantages to using a betting exchange over a traditional bookie. These exchanges offer you a much wider choice of bets. Usually, if a bookie isn’t willing to risk the odds or the bet value you want, you couldn’t make the bet. Now, using an exchange, you just need to find another punter who is happy to take on the risk i.e. they will be the ones to lay your bet. By using an exchange you can find the exact odds that you want to play.

Another plus is that odds are usually better on an exchange. Bookies need to make profits and never offer true odds but usually take a small percentage off the odds so that they can make money. As an exchange market isn’t created by a single person, but rather thousands of bets, there is a greater pressure for fairer prices. If they don’t offer fair prices, no one will risk matching their bets. Exchanges provide greater flexibility for bettors, and, similar to the stock market, bet values can rise or fall depending on how the event is progressing.

How Have Betting Exchanges Changed Betting?

Betting exchanges have been integral in changing online betting. In fact, a number of very common features available for online betting would not have occurred if it weren’t for betting exchanges. For instance, the option of in-play betting at a sportsbook. This is a direct result of exchanges enabling players to offer prices whilst the events are on-going instead of stopping all bets the moment the event begins. Cash out is another feature come directly from betting exchanges. This is where players can cash out bets in order to manage a loss or to secure a profit.

These cash out options are also made very simple at online bookmakers. Players can simply hit a button, triggering a lay bet for the event so that the same profit is accrued no matter the final outcome of the event. There have also been improvements in the mobile betting arena thanks to betting exchanges. With betting exchanges leading the way in this area, it’s now even easier for punters to place bets, check scores, view odds and pricing and navigate markets, all while out and about. It really couldn’t be easier.

How Do They Protect Customers?

Most betting exchanges have a number of systems in place to help customers. For instance, many exchanges offer a gamble aware style programme. This tells players that if the fun has ceased, they need to stop gambling. This programme offers support and promotes responsible gambling for all players. There are also further programmes that help identify areas where players might have difficulties. It’s also worth noting that betting exchanges are also subject to gambling jurisdictions and must also be licenced in the same way that a sportsbook or casino online is.

How Do Betting Exchanges Make Bets Fair?

There have always been issues raised about the integrity of betting exchanges. This is mainly because it is hard to know who is making the lay bet – it could be someone who is actually part of the event for example. However, betting exchanges are completely transparent in their actions and communicate openly with customers. Fairness is a key part of what makes these exchanges work. Betting exchanges tend to work with various sporting organisations and make all their information fully available so that investigations can easily occur if there are questionable results.


What is a betting exchange?
Author: Lenny
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