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Matchbook Primer

Matchbook is a sports betting exchange. As with Betfair and BETDAQ, the odds on the exchange are set by customer activity. Unlike Betfair and BETDAQ however, Matchbook charges commission on both winning and losing bets.

As Matchbook is attempting to build its customer base and hence its market liquidity, its commission rates are low compared with the competition. Matchbook currently charges 1% commission. For UK-based customers, the commission rate is 1.15%.

As mentioned, Matchbook charge a flat rate on all bets placed. This commission rate is applied to the profit on winning bets. For losing bets, it is applied to the lesser of the stake or potential profit/liability amount.

The following example illustrates the Matchbook commission system. Bayern Munich are playing Barcelona in a Champion’s League fixture.

The best available back price on Bayern Munich is 3.76. If you back Bayern Munich at these odds with a stake of €10 (the base currency on Matchbook is the Euro), you pay €0.276 if Bayern win (1% of your €27.60 profit). If Barcelona win, you pay €0.10 commission (1% of your stake is lower than 1% of your potential winnings).

The best available lay price on Barcelona is 2.03. If you lay €10 at these odds, you will pay €0.10 regardless of the outcome of the bet. The backer’s stake and potential profit are always the same for lay bets, so commission on any lay bets made at odds of 2.0 or more will be 1% of the backer’s stake.

In terms of the markets that Matchbook offers, football has the most coverage. The depth of coverage is not as deep as other exchanges. For example, for English football, Matchbook offers markets for the Premier League only, whereas Betfair and BETDAQ provide markets for the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two as well as some non-league markets.

Matchbook also offer markets on other sports. For example, the usual candidates Tennis, Cricket, Golf as well as Baseball, Rugby Union, Hurling, Gaelic Football, Pro Football, Basketball, Mixed Marial Arts and Boxing. The notable absence is Horse Racing markets, which the exchange does not currently provide.

Although the range of markets offered on Matchbook is less than on Betfair, the liquidity on markets that it does offer is improving all the time. The exception to this is Matchbook’s in-play markets where market participation is still low.

Matchbook has been in operation since 2004. Triplebet, an online gaming company incorporated in Alderney, purchased the existing Matchbook brand in late 2011. Matchbook began operating in Alderney under new ownership and management in April 2012. This transfer of ownership adversely affected liquidity on the exchange because it forced Matchbook to withdraw from the US market. (The Matchbook statement concerning this read "Matchbook betting exchange will no longer be facilitating the placement of wagers in jurisdictions where Matchbook operations are seen to be non-compliant.".) In July 2014, Matchbook exited the Canadian market, this time for business rather than jurisdictional reasons.

Matchbook provide an offshoot business-to-business (B2B) service called Matchbook Risk Management, which complements the Matchbook betting exchange. The service allows business clients to place large bets anonymously, allowing them to bet in volume, without impacting the general market price and without having to manage the bet through the main Matchbook web site.