Betting exchanges came into existence at the turn of the century as an alternative to the unreasonable odds featured at traditional sportsbooks. Many believed that betting exchanges would change the face of sports betting, leading to the demise of standard bookmakers.

While it has certainly had a positive impact in the sports betting market, it has failed to entirely replace traditional bookmakers.

In order to help you decide whether you should place bets using these sites over standard online bookmakers, let us have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of betting exchange sites.

Advantages of betting exchange sites

Reasonable odds: Betting exchange sites tend to offer better odds as opposed to standard online betting websites. This is more often the case with longshot bets, which generally carry better odds at exchanges. Such exchanges look at longshot bets as easy money and offer fair odds to attract more gamblers. In comparison, standard sportsbooks provide unfair odds in order to reduce the risk of losing money. Hence, it is better to place odds at betting exchanges as they offer good deals. However, one must keep in mind that a minimum commission needs to be paid in case one wins a bet.

Ability to lay bets: One of the main advantages of betting exchange sites is that it provides an opportunity to bet on an outcome that will not occur. This is something unique and can’t be done on standard online bookmakers. Lay betting provides the gamblers the chance to be bookies and make more money from other wagers losing bets. For example, instead of placing a bet on Real Madrid winning the Champions League final against Liverpool, one can simply lay a bet on Liverpool ending up on the losing side in the summit clash.

Guaranteed profit: In case of betting exchange sites, one can book profits before an event has even started. For example, one bets on Manchester United to beat Liverpool at 2.5. However, before the start of the match, if you find out that the top three players are ruled out of the game, the odds could rise significantly and you can lay off the bet at 5.

No punishment for success: Bookmakers banning successful bettors is a fairly common practice in sports betting. Betting on multiple or all possible outcomes frequently leads to bettors being banned. Being sharp or good at placing your money on the right bet is another reason why bettors get banned, effectively making them a victim of their own success. However, betting exchanges don’t restrict bets or place bans on you for being successful, making them the go-to platform for skilled and professional bettors who are immersed into the sports betting industry.

Disadvantages of betting exchange sites

While betting exchange sites have several pros, there are a few cons as well. 

Difficulty to match bets: Betting exchanges tend to have lower liquidity as opposed to traditional bookmakers, leading to difficulty in matching bets. Less popular sports like darts or few longshot wagers have very few takers in the market. In another case, one may spot the type of bet but are not satisfied with the odds. In this regard, traditional bookmakers are better suited and offer more opportunities.

Few bonuses available: Another big disadvantage of betting exchanges sites is the bonuses and rewards available. Standard online sportsbooks usually offer welcome bonuses to new customers such as free bet or deposit bonus. This is not the case with exchanges as they provide very limited opportunities with regards to bonuses and rewards.

Fewer betting exchanges: Limited number of betting exchanges sites are on offer at this point in the market. This is why people still prefer to place bets on traditional bookmakers. However, Betfair, Ladbrokes Coral, Matchbook, and Smarkets are a few betting exchange sites that are revolutionising the sports betting landscape and are only likely to grow in stature in the years to come.

Breeding ground for more match-fixers: While it must be said that match-fixing can happen in any type of sports wagering, it’s worth noting that betting exchanges inadvertently present more room for sports corruption than regular bookmakers. A layer could simply offer handsome odds to attract bettors and then pay off the respective athlete for less than they could make on the concerned game, thereby exposing bettors to foul play and unjust losses.