Horse Racing at Matchbook
|Size of Wager accepted||6/10|
|Offers and Free Bets||7/10|
|Restrictions/Closing of accounts||10/10|
|Competitive Racing Odds||7/10|
|Overall rating out of 50||38/50|
The exchange landscape is so dominated by betfair that the emergence of a serious rival is to be broadly welcomed and deserves support. The Matchbook website has established itself quickly with high liquidity on a range of sports, with large sums matched on football and strong, established exchange markets. They have this summer branched into the world of UK horse racing, and the early signs are very encouraging.
With a flat rate of commission around 1pc (based on turnover rather than just on winning bets), they are a very attractive alternative, especially for those smaller staking, recreational punters in the 5-100 pound range. This compares very favourable with betfair who start with a 5pc commission rate (admittedly only charged to winning bets...losing wagers are not subject to commission). Betfair have also thought up many ways of deterring winning customers with their much derided premium charge...and Matchbook have spotted a gap in the market to go back to a pure exchange model.
The idea of an exchange as the "death of conventional bookmakers", with "winners welcome" seem a distant memory as betfair more and more becomes a sportsbook rather than the original business model. This has given Matchbook a great opening and they seem keen to exploit it.....first by offering zero commission for their first month of offering racing markets, and then by maintaining the 1pc rate indefinitely into the future.
The main negative, as with any rival to betfair's near monopoly, is to try and capture liquidity that seems to be leaving racing markets quite markedly (particularly in the mornings midweek when barely a few hundred pounds changes hands and there a big gaps between back and lay prices). This is a major challenge, but on inspection over the past month, it does seem that Matchbook are making a real effort to at least match the prices available on betfair (albeit on win only markets). For in-running punters, the new rival struggles to compete and liquidity remains very thin.
Going forwards Matchbook hope to offer place markets, match bets and ante-post betting. This will increase competition even more...and that can only be a good thing for the astute racing punter.
Best for......small to medium sized racing punters happy to play win only (and taking advantage of a very favourable rate of commission
- Excellent commision free period designed to attract new business and create liquidity
- Easy to navigate and use the site
- Funds guaranteed and very low margins that compare well with more conventional bookies
- Best for....novice punters feeling their way into the world of exchange betting
- Overall rating 38/50