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The rise of betting exchanges: Functions and Use

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In the beginning of the 21th century, betting exchanges came as breakthrough, innovative marketplaces, bringing together and matching up punters who were interested in ‘selling’ and ‘buying’ bets. Today, nearly 22 years after their first appearance, betting exchanges not only continue to attract the interest of bettors, but they are particularly flourishing in many parts of the world, such as South Africa where they are gradually gaining prominence and popularity. 

As punters you have the option to go with traditional bookmakers or betting exchanges, all found at Allbets tv, depending on what suits best their needs. But before making up your mind, it is important to understand how betting exchanges work and how to use exchange betting.

What is a betting exchange?

First of all, betting exchanges are blooming as technology favors the development and growth of peer-to-peer betting in platforms that match bettors under the dynamics of supply and demand. In many parts of the world, they are gradually gaining a larger share of the industry’s revenues, constituting an emerging shift from power-holding sportsbooks to disintermediated, peer-to-peer betting.

It is different from the traditional sports betting with online bookmakers in that punters don’t get to wager at odds set by the bookies or even on events set by the bookies, but they wager against each other. The basic principle upon which the betting exchange works is pairing bettors who choose to wager on the opposite sides of the same bet.

Betting exchanges function like stock exchanges

Typically, betting exchanges work like stock exchanges. Though, in betting exchanges what is traded is odds on events and not shares. So, punters can trade odds on football matches, basketball games or even non-sport-related events. Literally, anything can be potentially traded in betting exchanges as long as it has odds and stakes.

In any trade, bettors get to choose the side of the bet. That is, whether they will back the bet or lay the bet. In backing a bet, punters wager on the occurrence of an event (a certain outcome will happen) whereas in laying a bet, punters wager on the opposite, which is the non-occurrence of the event (the outcome will not happen). So, laying bets simply means that punters assume the role of the traditional bookmakers here.

The role of the betting exchange

The odds and the stake are, therefore, agreed between the two bettors and depending on the outcome, each will win or lose the resulting amount respectively. The role of the betting exchange is to mediate this trade between the backer and the layer and of course it receives a commission for this brokerage, which is a stake of the winning wager. So, it offers the platform for matching up punters and the means to implement all processes in trading betting odds.

The mediators’ commission is usually far lower than the “vig” (the juice) that traditional online bookmakers typically receive when accepting bets. This is one of the basic advantages of using exchange betting in sports gambling and it is also one of the basic reasons why these platforms have become so popular in the past years.

But there is more to betting exchanges that make them attractive to punters. Here there are no rigid, fixed odds on events. The odds are agreed by the two parties when they decide to back and lay a bet. So, it is not uncommon to run into surprisingly higher odds for certain events than one would expect. It is the odds determined by the punters’ themselves, based on their forecasts, confidence and predictions.

Then it is also the chance given to bettors to assume the role that is typically performed by sportsbooks and this is the laying of bets. Punters can not only bet on an outcome happening, but they can also bet on the outcome not-happening! Simple as that, yet very interesting and compelling for those who love to bet.

If you decide to use a betting exchange, then it is also important to know how to do it. Well, you need to find the right exchange, create an account and then choose whether to back a bet or lay a bet and accordingly set the odds and the stake. Note that if you decide to back a bet, this might never be matched up with another bettor and then the stake is returned to you. If your bet is paired or if you go to lay a bet, just wait for the outcome to see whether you’ll win or not.

Stephen Olayanju

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