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For Canadians looking for another betting exchange

Dec 30, 2015

Exchange Betting

Unfortunately, Betfair is pulling out of Canada as of January 16th, leaving us Canadian exchange players scrambling for an alternative. There are three exchange markets with massive amounts of liquid, Betfair, Betdaq and Matchbook but Canada is a restricted region for all three.

After doing some research on my own, I did find an alternative exchange that welcomes Canadians called Smarkets. Smarkets is licensed in the U.K with its servers in Malta. They are legit and if you win, you will get paid so that’s not an issue. The issue is liquid and that’s where the problem lies. If you’re a small bettor, in the 10 to 20 dollar range, Smarkets may work out for you. However, if your position in games is higher than that, you are going to run into problems with Smarkets and we urge you to not get involved.   

The problem with a small outfit like Smarkets is that they rely on Market Makers. Market Makers work by contributing liquidity to the market and standing ready to take the other side of trades. The Market Makers make a tiny bit every time there is a buy or sell on a market which they are providing liquid to. The greater the volume they are transacting, the greater will be their profits. They are providing liquidity to the market and they decide on how large a spread they will use between the buy price and the selling price. For instance, a traditional book works on a 5 to 10 cent spread, meaning you are risking 110 to make 100 but that’s not how a market maker works. If the spread is large, then that potentially translates into more profit for the market maker on each transaction and when there is someone always “greening up” or free-rolling, it will chase away the market makers.

Even though Smarkets has no policy of suspending winning accounts, they do have the right to decide whom they want to do business with. A sharp player that keeps greening up or free-rolling will not be welcome at this outfit because it will chase away the market makers, who are an essential part of what makes the exchange work.

This is a small operation and as much as I would love to keep playing on the exchange, the reality of the situation is that it’s not a good one for the strategy that I employ and that I have taught to others. If you are a small player, you will not be able to keep switching sides for a big profit like I showed you how to do on Betfair in my webinars. Trust me when I suggest that Smarkets is not a good option and therefore I will not be playing on that exchange because it’s way too small and there are no profits to be made or they will ask or demand you to “change” your betting patterns. It’s a no win situation and therefore it is a REALLY bad idea to try and play there and win. 

My hope is that in time, one of these three larger outfits will allow Canadians to play there once there is no grey area in the laws. Another possibility is that a major sportsbook will incorporate an exchange into their model and allow Canadians to play. For now, however, our hands our tied and we will just have to be patient and wait for an oportunity to play again on a major exchange.