Matchbook is a sports betting exchange who claims to have liquid markets and low commissions to offer all punters a competitive advantage over betting with a regular bookmaker or other betting exchange alternatives. Matchbook has been in operation since 2004 and primarily focuses on US sports. However, the company was acquired in 2011 by a group of investors with background in the UK sports wagering and banking sectors and their goal is to become a similarly significant player in the European and Asian betting markets.
Matchbook’s Betting Exchange enables customers to bet against each other by either backing or laying outcomes at prices they determine. As all betting exchanges, this business model eliminates the financial risk borne by bookmakers, so odds are often better than those offered by traditional bookmakers. However, their earnings differ from traditional exchanges that only charge commissions on winning markets; Machbook charges a 1% commission on each bet you place, applied to the win amount on winning bets, or the lesser of the stake or potential win amount, for losing bets.
Sports, markets and odds
Matchbook still does not cover a lot of sports or markets. In fact, they focus on liquidity, one market and sport at a time and they ensure they have critical mass along with the best price and liquidity before adding any further markets. Currently, sports covered are: American Football (NFL AND NCAA), Australian Rules, Auto Racing (NASCAR and Formula 1), Baseball, Basketball (NBA, NCAA and International Games), Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts, Cricket, Cycling, Golf, Ice Hockey (NHL and KHL), Horse Racing, Rugby, Soccer (Football) and Tennis.
The number of leagues covered is also not high. At the time of our review only three Tennis competitions were available, while Betfair was offering 13 options. Basketball only has a few NBA propositions, while Betfair is offering more than 30 local competitions. Football matches from “Copa Sudamericana” were not offered (at least not live or the day before).
Regarding markets, usually just the basic match odds, Asian handicaps and over under are covered, with not so many variants to choose.
As on any exchange, Matchbooks sets the events and markets and customers set the odds they want to back or lay.
When you want to place a bet and you find the odds you want (meaning other users are willing to accept the opposite bet at the price you want), you click on the desired odds, set the stake and if there is enough liquidity your bet will be matched. If there is not enough liquidity (there is not enough money to cover your winnings from opposite bettors) part of your bet can be matched and part can be left unmatched (your whole stake could be unmatched). Unmatched bets keep open until other bettors place new opposite bets that could match them. You can cancel your unmatched bets at any time, before they are matched. Unmatched bets are voided when the event starts.
Matchbook does not always have much liquidity on football, tennis or many other sports. On very big football or tennis leagues odds and liquidity are good enough, but sometimes their odds a bit worse than on other sites when it comes to other football, tennis or other sports competitions. However, when it comes to US sports (NBA, NHL, MLB) Matchbook is a serious contender to any other exchange or bookmaker and has commonly the most liquid markets and the best odds. They are working on improving non-US sports.
Fees and commissions
Matchbook charges a 1% commission on all your bets. This commission rate will be applied to the win amount (profit) on winning bets. For losing bets, it will be applied to the lesser of the stake or potential profit/liability amount.
You have backed Bayern Munich at 3.76 for a stake of €10.
Bayern Munich wins the match (You win your bet)
- You will pay €0.276 in commission – 1% on your profit of €27.60)
Barcelona wins the match (You lose your bet)
- You will pay €0.10 in commission – 1% of your €10 stake because this is the lesser of your stake (€10) and potential profit (€27.60)
This commission is not a good alternative for trading, as you will pay commission on every bet, and not on the market result. This situation also poses difficulties to arbers; many alert services or calculators don’t know how to make these calculations. However, having only a 1% commission makes it very good to find surebets. Currently Matchbook is offering odds at 4.5 and Betfair at 4.4 for the same market. And after applying 1% and 5%, odds turn to 4.465 and 4.23 so the advantage increases significantly.
Matchbook accepts most commonly used credit and debit cards (Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro, and other).
They also accept some electronic wallets and prepaid vouchers, including Neteller, Skrill, Instadebit and Paysafecard. These methods are free, except for Paysafecard which costs 2.5%.
In order to withdraw money, bank transfers are also allowed, with a minimum cost of $35. Other withdrawals are generally free, although they can charge if the deposit or withdrawal frequency is deemed too high.
Customer service can be contacted by telephone (UK and Ireland) and by email. They also have Twitter (@TeamMatchBook), Facebook and Youtube accounts.
They offer live chat.
Matchbook usually issues promotions. Right now a $ 25 free bet is awarded to new subscribers. Some markets have reduced commission, such as tennis live markets which are currently commission free until December 31, 2014, or 0.5% on soccer Asian handicaps.
Matchbook is a betting exchange that allows to bet for (back) or against (lay) on sports, covering the biggest leagues and events and most common markets.
Matchbook is a very strong exchange on US sports and liquidity and odds are usually high (compared to other betting exchanges) on these cases. However there’s still a lot of room for improvement on other sports and leagues.
Matchbook fees are quite low, considering only 1% is applied to your winnings. This is the lowest commission you can find anywhere. However, you must take into account that commission is also applied on losing bets.
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