Year established: 2008
Mobile compatible: Yes
Jurisdiction: United Kingdom, Malta
Overall rating: C-
Recommended: For professional players (Betting Exchange)
Smarkets Betting Exchange Review
Founded in 2008 by American pair Hunter Morris and Jason Trost Smarkets is one of the big four online betting exchanges. It has a competitive 2% flat commission rate.
It offers lay and back peer to peer betting and in doing so competes mainly with Betfair, Betdaq and Matchbook. Smarkets is based in London and is backed by a formidable group of European investors including Stefan Glaezner the former chairman of last.fm.
Smarkets hasn’t been too busy in the way of traditional marketing; that of partnering with sports clubs or sponsoring events, leagues and tournaments.
Its first and main sponsorship deal was in summer of 2015 wherein a deal with QPR was announced. This saw its branding appear on the London club’s matchday and training kits and saw the Ellerslie Road Stand was renamed the Smarkets Stand. Smarkets chief marketing officer Alex Wheldon said this at the time: “QPR have provided Smarkets a wide-ranging sponsorship agreement across many of their key assets that are precisely in line with our mutual goals.”
There are two main Smarkets twitter accounts in the form of @Smarkets which is the main channel and boasts over 5,400 followers and @Smarketstech which is more customer support focused and includes site status updates. There’s also an official Smarkets presence on Facebook and Instagram.
In April 2015 it was announced that the betting exchange had traded over £1 billion in bets. It was listed as one of the top 10 European start-ups to watch in 2010 by the Wall Street Journal.
Smarkets offers a number of sports but has gained a strong reputation for political betting. It also offers trading in current affairs markets.
The following sports are those that Smarkets offers odds in: Horse Racing, Football, Tennis, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket and Ice Hockey.
The sports are limited but the selection within them is crucially in-depth.
An in-play option is right at the top on the left hand side of the page. In-play is great and whilst there are a number of markets to bet on, there is no live streaming or cash out features for the time being.
Usability of the site
The big claim since it began is that Smarkets is the ‘more advanced trading platform’ and this rings true, though Betfair has improved in recent times.
Smarkets is a fluid, sleek and smooth site. It feels thoroughly modern and boasts a great end user experience. The search bar is central to the product and the layout has the winning combo of being not too busy and interactive; it feels smart for example when you hover over the odds it gives you a clear example of what that means and what you could win.
There’s a £10 free bet available for customers via the Smarkets sign up offer which should prompt you to try it out too.
Customer support at Smarkets is in the form of email, live chat from 9am to 11pm, by Twitter (@smarketstech), by phone and by post. The postal address is here: 1 Commodity Quay St. Katharine Docks, London, E1W 1AZ, United Kingdom. Live chat and alternative forms of customer support are readily available and easy to access on the main homepage. The Smarkets live chat is also by far one of the most modern of any online bookmaker, and response times are rapid and helpful.
Smarkets mobile offering is top notch and you can download the Smarkets app on Android or iOS.
Smarkets has a low commission rate, it feels smart and is enjoyable and intuitive to use. It could include more sports certainly and live streaming would be a nice addition to betting live but it has a great sign up offer and customer support is excellent and all encompassing.
Political betting is increasingly popular and Smarkets is well placed to continue to do well off the back of this trend.
If you haven’t tried a betting exchange, and indeed if you love them but feel they could be improved, have a go on Smarkets and see if it lives up to its claims of being the smartest trading platform out there today.
– Low 2% commissions;
– Low minimum stake of $0.05;
– High odds;
– High limits;
– A varied betting menu that includes markets on politics and current affairs;
– Simple interface that allows you to get the best odds possible;
– Self-exclusion feature to block your access for six months;
– Online in-play (live) betting in an exchange environment;
– No premium charges for winning punters;
– Can set deposit and loss limits.
– Low liquidity on some markets;
– Small user base;
– No loyalty programme;
– Administration fees charged on inactive accounts;
– No a lot of payment options.
Visa/Mastercard, Skrill (Moneybookers), Bank Transfer, Neteller
*Keep in mind to double check information. Be prepared for changes to restricted countries, bonuses, currencies, deposit and payment options, languages, contact info.