Pros and Cons of Online Sports Betting Exchanges

Today, there are multiple online sports betting exchanges that are popular with bettors. Unfortunately, Americans are unable to use the biggest betting exchanges, but the majority of other countries can bet with them.

What is a betting exchange?

Betting exchanges allow bettors to wager against each other instead of against the bookie. Why would anyone do this you may be asking? Well, the odds are often slightly better because the commission is lower.

The standard vig in sports betting is about 10%, but that percentage decreases by using a betting exchange. In some cases a bookie may be offering a better price than the exchanges, but that’s fairly rare.

Betting exchanges need to make money and will charge a small commission on every bet, but it ends up being quite a bit cheaper for bettors. Often commissions can be as little as 2% of your bet size, but the amount of commission that you’re charged will depend where you gamble. The most popular exchanges typically have slightly higher fees.

You may be thinking that a lower commission is ideal, which obviously it is, but you also have to consider some other factors. What type of liquidity does the betting exchange have? If the exchange has no liquidity then you’re going to be unable to win money. Sometimes to get enough liquidity, you’ll need to play with the big boys in the industry.


We already discussed liquidity and how that can be a con, but it can be a pro as well. Many bookmakers will limit winning sports bettors quickly in today’s market and it can be difficult to get bets down fairly quickly.

If you’re unable to get bets down, you’re not going to make any money. Betting exchanges have no limits. You can bet as much as you want as long as there’s enough liquidity. With the big leagues you can easily get down six figures on a single event. If you bet enough you could win more than if you were to play slots online with Betfair.

You don’t need to even be a winning sports bettor to make money. Hundreds of people trade on betting exchanges and will be out of the market well before the conclusion of the bet. Once you learn the tendencies of the market, you’ll be able to start trading and locking in profits before events even start in some cases.


If you bet on sports leagues/events that aren’t too popular you’ll often be better off using a traditional bookmaker that has priced up the market. The betting limits will be small, but that’ll be better than not getting any action.

If you bet on props or various other alternative markets, there is often zero liquidity or close to zero liquidity on betting exchanges. With commission costs slowly increasing at exchanges, you need to make sure it’s profitable. There are more than a few bookies that offer reduced juice and may offer a better ROI than an exchange.


Betting exchanges are here to stay and they’re only going to continue growing. You still need to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best odds on your wager. Betting exchanges also ensure everyone can wager regardless of any limits imposed at traditional bookies, which is one of the reasons exchanges continue popping up in the industry.