Jason Trost, the CEO and Founder of the hugely successful online betting exchange Smarkets, has announced that the company are looking to launch a sportsbook to go alongside their exchange. This sportsbook platform would be providing an extra string to their bow, for a company that has been growing at a fantastic rate over the last couple of years. As matched bettors, betting exchanges such as Smarkets are crucial, as without them matched betting would not be possible.
With the help of premium matched betting sites such as Matched Bets, OddsMonkey and Profit Maximiser, we can make an expected profit from bookmaker offers and this announcement from Smarkets is an exciting step both for the company themselves and us matched bettors.
Who are Smarkets?
- A betting exchange company that were founded in 2008 by Jason Trost and Hunter Morris.
- Smarkets currently have offices in London, Los Angeles and Malta and may expand even further in the future.
- They provide an alternative betting exchange service to their rivals in the field. Smarkets’ main competitors at the moment are Betfair, who are a larger company and also have their own sportsbook.
- The betting exchange is peer to peer betting rather than against a bookmaker, so all traders are agreeing odds between themselves. Users can back a selection to win or lay a selection, which is to bet that it won’t win. This helps create extremely competitive odds.
- Adding a sportsbook to the site will give it a different dynamic, and will help bring them closer to their larger rivals Betfair.
- In the early days, Smarkets gained a reputation for listing politics markets but now there are plenty of markets for sports betting too.
- Previously they have caught the eye of many business related publications, which includes being listed as one of the 10 European startups to watch by the Wall Street Journal. Then, in 2012 they were named in the startups 100 awards.
- In order to increase brand awareness, they have created sponsorship partnerships with the likes of Queens Park Rangers FC and The Jockey Club.
In relation to the announcement by CEO Jason Trost, he told Bloomberg Business that Smarkets had already put $5 million into developing the sportsbook extension which will be attached to the same website, smarkets.com, alongside the exchange in a similar way to how Betfair run their site. Smarkets have a big focus on technology, and with Trost himself coming from a background in trading they have a lot of knowledge behind them.
The growth of Smarkets has been extremely noticeable in the last few years, as they have been listed in the top 10 of both the Sunday Times Tech Track100 and Deloitte Fast50. When the sportsbook is operational, they will be able to provide some highly competitive prices in relation to the existing online betting exchange odds.
Speaking to Bloomberg Business, Trost had this to say regarding the decision to launch a sportsbook:
“There’s a huge opportunity in terms of people wanting the best prices, but not wanting to go to the exchanges,”
By having both a sportsbook and a betting exchange, Smarkets would be able to cover the best of both worlds. Punters who just want to bet against a bookmaker can use the sportsbook, while traders and matched bettors can take advantage of the betting exchange. It is certainly an exciting move for a company that have really caught the imagination in an industry that is so saturated and competitive.
As well as the move to create a sportsbook, Trost has also been keeping an eye on potential changes to betting in the United States. There is a possibility that betting will be legalised by the US Supreme Court which would open a lot of doors for Smarkets as a company. Trost himself is from the US, and he believes that the US betting market could be worth between $10 and $20 billion if restrictions are removed.
For now though, Smarkets are very much focusing on growing and expanding the business in the UK. They have plenty of competition with their betting exchange from the likes of Betfair, Betdaq, Matchbook and Ladbrokes Exchange, but a move to add a sportsbook would put them into an even more competitive area. Potential changes due to government regulations look to be on the horizon so it is an interesting time for everyone involved.
Matched Betting With Smarkets
Betting exchanges such as Smarkets are absolutely crucial to matched betting and they are one of the best options to use. They have an advantage on Betfair due to their low commission rate of 2%, compared to the 5% of Betfair. Using Smarkets can mean that profits are maximised in the long run. They don’t have as many markets as Betfair though and Betfair often has more money available to get your exchange bets matched.
If you are not familiar with matched betting or don’t quite understand how it works, it is a method of turning bonuses and free bets offered as part of special promotions by online bookmakers into an expected profit. This is through covering all outcomes, by placing a back bet with a bookmaker and a lay bet at a betting exchange.
Back bet – A back bet is betting on a selection to win. For example, you may place a back bet on Manchester United to beat Chelsea.
Lay bet – A lay bet is betting on a selection not to win. If you don’t think Manchester United will beat Chelsea, then you would lay Manchester United.
Say a bookmaker was offering you a £10 free bet if you place a £10 bet with your own money. By placing a back bet and a lay bet on a selection covering all outcomes, the two bets will pretty much cancel each other out allowing you to qualify for the free bet. You will then be able to use the free bet to make an expected profit, with the help of a matched betting calculator to work out how much you need to lay at the exchange. Profits can be made from the promotions that bookmakers list both in the short term and the long term. You can receive a free bet or bonus for signing up with a bookmaker and placing your first real money bet. Then, you can continue to make an expected profit from ‘reload’ offers that are offered to existing customers.
Smarkets New Customer Offer
With an addition of the sportsbook, the opportunity of more free bet and bonus offers from Smarkets may arise which is great news for matched bettors. At the moment, Smarkets have a very good sign up offer which provides you with insurance on your first loss of £10 on their exchange.
In order to qualify for the offer, you will need to deposit at least £20 with your own money and then any loss you make up to the value of £10 will be refunded into your account as withdrawable cash. This really is one of the easiest matched betting offers to complete as you don’t really need to do anything differently. Simply open an account with Smarkets and use them as your exchange while placing lay bets for other matched betting offers. Then, if you lose £10 on the exchange they will give it straight back to you.
Make sure to withdraw the cash refund within 3 months or it will be taken away again. This is a really easy offer to do when you have just started matched betting, as you will have plenty of bookmaker sign up promotions to go through at the same time. You are very likely to have one of your back bets win and to lose £10 on the exchange. An extra £10 to add to your matched betting profits with no real extra work needed.
Refer A Friend
Smarkets currently also have a Refer a Friend scheme which may be of interest. You can gain rewards for introducing new members to the website. There will be a unique referral code and if you share that with someone who then uses it to sign up, you and your friend can earn a bonus of £10.
It is important that the person you refer must make a deposit using a card or bank transfer, as any deposits by Neteller or Skrill will not count and both your account and your referral’s account will have had to have placed bets coming to a minimum liability of £20. This is a good little addition which could be a nice money maker if you are introducing a few people to matched betting.
Smarkets seem like they have a very bright future, having grown so quickly and are now looking to introduce a sportsbook too. Let’s hope matched betting has a similarly bright future.