Betting Exchanges: What Are They?

betting exchange
John Schnobrich – free to use under the unsplash license

Betting is one of the most popular and fastest-rising entertainment industries in the world right now. While the practice has always been popular, in recent years, it has been growing massively in popularity. One of the main reasons for the increase in interest for sports betting, is the rise of the online betting site. 

Thanks to the developments of internet and computer technology, punters and sports fans are now free to place bets on their favorite players, teams, and sports from anywhere they are. All you really need to place a bet nowadays is an electronic device with access to the internet. 

What Are Online Betting Sites

To put it plainly, online betting sites are websites (or phone applications) which allow their users to follow and place bets on their favorite sport. As long as a punter is registered with an online betting site, the can freely place bets on football, basketball, cricket, or any other sport which strikes their fancy, as long as they are in possession of an electronic device (such as a smartphone, tablet, or PC) with access to the internet. 

Apart from ease-of-use and accessibility, online betting sites offer their users numerous perks, which land-based sportsbooks just can’t provide. For example, not only do most online betting sites let you bet on most sports, but they also offer betting exchange services. But, you may ask yourself, what makes a betting exchange different from regular bookmakers? In the following sections, we are going to take a look at what betting exchanges are, and what separates them from regular bookmakers. 

What Are Betting Exchanges

Simply put, a betting exchange is a marketplace where punters and gamblers of any kind, can place bets on outcomes of different events. For most people who are familiar with traditional bookmakers, this new form of betting may seem a bit of a daunting task. However, many bettors who were once skeptical on the practice have now embraced it with open arms. 

How Do Betting Exchanges Work?

In essence, a betting exchange is a way of betting in which bettors can place bets on a sport or game against each other. Basically, the people participating in the betting exchange work as their own bookmakers. They start out by placing bets, which they can then sell, buy, trade, etc. This is all done in real time, which ensures that punters can cut their losses, lock in a profit, or even double down. 

While betting itself is a practice dating back to the ancient era, betting exchanges are a lot more recent, with the first betting exchange services arising in the early 2000s. In fact, it is only recently that betting exchanges have become popular, and are now rising in fame faster than ever before. 

So, just what separates betting exchanges from traditional bookmakers? In the following section, we are going to take a look at the difference between the two. 

Difference Between Betting Exchanges and Bookmakers

The first, and biggest difference, is the way of generating revenue. Bookies don’t place bets, but rather, they make money by setting up less efficient odds, whereas betting exchanges generate their revenues by charging commissions on the winning bet. 

Other than that, a betting exchange is a peer-to-peer system, which means it works much like the stock market. Punters can trade their odds, similarly to how stock brokers trade stocks. One person can buy a bet from another, or can sell their own bet to an interested party. This opens up numerous opportunities for bettors, including the ability to place a, so-called, lay-bet. 

A lay bet, basically, means that a punter can bet on the fact that a certain outcome will not happen. For example, hypothetically, a bettor could place a bet that a team doesn’t win. This means that this hypothetical person can, in theory, own a bet on both a lay bet and a back bet, which increases their odds of winning, and therefore ensures making a profit no matter the outcome. 

Conclusion

To bring it all together, a betting exchange is a relatively new, and quite exciting practice for placing bets, and is quickly becoming more and more popular with punters and gamblers around the world, in part thanks to the increase in popularity of online betting sites. While a bit more complicated than typical bookies, they are ultimately far more rewarding to players who truly understand them. 

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