Betfair Exchange, the world’s largest sports betting exchange, is a British company that enables its users to trade sports wagers, just like we trade stocks. Unlike conventional sportsbooks, where individuals can bet on various games, Betfair offers a mix of sports betting with stock trading, making the process more interesting and lucrative.
Founded in 2000, Betfair presently offers sports betting and online casino, including poker and bingo. Currently run by Flutter entertainment, after its merger with Paddy Power in 2016, its UK operations are managed from London, while the international operations are run from Spain and Malta.
Why look for a Betfair alternative?
Betfair is undoubtedly the market leader with the largest market and sports coverage and high liquidity due to its large membership. The site is rife with activity within the markets, and it is easy for the user to get a stake away. No other betting exchange comes close when it comes to the number of in-play markets. Moreover, its application programming interface supports the development of numerous professional betting platforms.
However, there are a few downsides as well, which prompt users to look for alternatives. Here are a few examples.
Betfair High Commission
To begin with, Betfair is not cheap to use. Depending on where you are using Betfair from, a high commission is off-putting for many. Commission is a critical element for traders, betters, and arbitragers who rake profits from multiple betting, and it has a significant impact in the long run.
Betfair Premium Charge
In 2008, Betfair introduced a premium charge for which it was heavily criticised. As per the new policy, around 0.5% of the most successful Betfair traders would be charged around 20% of their earnings. It was a huge question mark on the company’s policy of being fair.
Betfair Geographical Restrictions
Another downside is that the site is geographically restricted, and there are many countries where the company either pulled out its operations or is not licensed to operate. The company has done this due to its business interest or policy.
You can physically access the site via VPN and even be able to register and bet. But you will need to verify your account due to the Betfair Know Your Customer policy and will have to provide your ID, address, and credit or debit card details for the deposit. The site may ask for these details at the time of registration or at the time of withdrawal, and in case you are unable to provide proper verification, your account may be suspended along with confiscation of your winnings. It is hence better to avoid if Betfair is not officially operating in your country.
Given these drawbacks, it is only fair that some individuals may seek alternatives to Betfair. They either want an alternative site where they would be charged a lower commission or which is legally accessible in their country of residence. That said, we have compiled a list of a few alternative sites to Betfair, from which you can choose according to your preference.
Matchbook is a peer-to-peer sports betting exchange that was formed in 2004. However, it gained popularity when a group of investors acquired the site in 2011 to increase its liquidity in the pre-existing markets and pose strong competition to other players in the market, including Betfair. Matchbook is characterised by its very low commissions, high liquidity level, and easy-to-use betting interface.
Here are some pros and cons of Matchbook.
- Matchbook charges a very low commission of only 2% to its customers in the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands, while its customers in the rest of the world are charged 4%.
- The site is renowned for having the largest pool of sports in the US, including NBA, MLB, NHL, and the NFL.
- Matchbook also has one of the best and easy-to-use interfaces in the industry.
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- Matchbook has less liquidity compared to Betfair, particularly when we consider the less popular markets.
- The exchange also has fewer markets and may not be a direct competitor to Betfair in that respect.
- Matchbook does not have any publicly available API (application programming interface), implying an absence of products that can be incorporated with the exchange. You may need to place a request which may be granted based on your customer history.
Smarkets is a sports and politics betting exchange that has been around since 2008. The site offers in-play betting on selected events, but the level of participation is low. What the company lacks in terms of liquidity, it makes up for it via low commissions and poses a strong threat to its competitors. Here are a few pros and cons of Smarkets.
- The site offers a low minimum stake of $0.05
- Charges a low commission of 2%
- It has an efficient betting interface
- Offers online live in-play betting
- Winning punters are not charged a premium
- You can set loss and deposit limits and activate the self-exclusion feature to stop you from accessing the site for up to six months.
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- Smarkets has less liquidity than Betfair, particularly in less popular sports markets.
- Offers limited markets for games other than soccer, tennis, cricket, and the main US leagues.
- It charges an administration fee to inactive accounts.
- API is not fully developed.
If we were to name the second largest sports betting exchange after Betfair, it would have to be the Irish Betdaq. The site was founded in 2000, and in 2013, it was acquired by Ladbrokes. The site, when Ladbrokes took over, possessed 7% of the market share and today maintains a strong presence in the market. Here are a few pros and cons of Betdaq.
- The site offers good odds compared to most bookmakers in the market
- Has good liquidity in most markets and hence is rated second after Betfair.
- Does not charge a premium to successful punters, unlike Betfair.
- Besides Betfair, it is the only other sports betting exchange with a publicly available API (application programming interface) and may be the most effective alternative to Betfair.
- Offers attractive promotions in the form of 0% commission to new customers.
- Has an inefficient site design and mobile application
- Is less liquid in less popular markets
- Has less markets compared to Betfair
- Betdaq used to offer a low commission of 2%, but now it charges up to 5%.
MollyBet is a leading sport betting multiple-bookie platform that has been around since 2008. It presents betting odds offered by the largest bookmakers and betting exchanges and enables clients to wager with multiple bookies via a mouse click or an API command.
Hence this multi-channel interface shows the best odds updated in real-time to allow users to place accumulated orders at high liquidity in a small time. All sites, including Betfair, Betdaq, and Matchbook, are listed on it.
Here are a few pros and cons of MollyBet.
- It offers many markets, and users can wager with multiple operators through a single click or API.
- Features two APIs, a Push API and Pull API, to allow traders to employ varying algorithms and tools to execute betting automatically
- It is free to use, and the requested bets are automatically placed with the exchange or bookmakers that offer the best odds.
- Has an easy-to-use interface
MollyBet is usually accessed via a broker or agents who charge a commission. You can directly have an account with Molly instead of a white-label agent, but you will have less leverage unless you are a big player and want to place multiple bets.
MollyBet Exchange is available for BetinAsia Black players. Players have the leverage to ask for a better price than the rate available in the betting market, as they can view the offers from Asian bookmakers or exchanges side by side.
If you live in a country where Betfair does not operate but want something just like Betfair, your best bet is OrbitX. You need an agent or broker to access Orbit. Here are some pros and cons of the site.
- Charges a low commission of 3%
- Does not charge a premium to successful accounts
- Requires a minimum stake of €6 on lay or back bets
- Has the same amount of liquidity.
- Does not have an app, but you can access the site directly from the site
- You need to use a betting broker or agent to access OrbitX.