Smarkets exec: Education key for betting exchanges to grow

Educating the customer is key to acquiring a bigger userbase for betting exchanges, according to a Smarkets executive.

The betting exchange model, which allows players to bet against each other, has gained popularity in recent years with operator Smarkets expanding its offering to Sweden and the US in 2020.

Smarkets has also been on betting odds comparison site Oddschecker since 2018, with its sportsbook SBK following suit last month, and the operator’s Affiliate & Internationalisation manager Thomas Vermeulen, believes betting exchanges will grow in the coming years.

Speaking to Gambling Insider for January’s Trafficology, Vermeulen said: “I think we have definitely seen a rise in the popularity of the betting exchange model. We’re aiming for more, Smarkets has existed for more than 10 years now and we’ve been growing heavily since 2014, mainly by bringing a better alternative than the existing betting exchange offering.

“A betting exchange has a higher learning curve than a classic sportsbook so users want information that is easy to digest, easy to use and looks appealing and once you’ve got that, you want to gather more users. Education is really key, and educating customers definitely helps.”

Vermeulen also outlined the benefits he sees betting exchanges having over the traditional sportsbook.

He added: “The main differentiator from an exchange to a sportsbook is the main fact that users can lay selections. On sportsbooks you can obviously only back so laying means you can bet against an outcome happening which is something you can’t do with a bookmaker and opens up a lot of opportunities for making money.

“A big benefit for exchanges over sportsbooks is price, so much better odds for the customers. When a player bets against a bookmaker, the bookmaker’s profit margin is factored into the prices they offer, while an exchange is a peer-to-peer model.”

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