We’ve seen the sportsbook scene become incredibly competitive in recent years, with a new bookie springing up seemingly every week. In turn, this has driven existing bookies to up their game, offering better promotions and a more user-friendly experience. Exchanges haven’t seen quite this level of competition… but trust us, you’ve still got options.
In short, are you looking to finally find an alternative to Betfair? Then this Matchbook review should be right up your alley. This exchange is also experienced, is famed for its innovativeness, and has highly competitive commissions. Read on to discover what else Matchbook has to offer, and – ultimately – whether it’s worth your time and money.
Availability of accumulator bets
Excellent customer service
Outstanding mobile experience
Matchbook Sign Up Offer
There’s a lot to love about betting exchanges. Top of the list, of course, is that you tend to get better value on your bets. For the uninitiated, that’s because – rather than betting against a bookie, using their predetermined odds – you’re betting against other people, using whatever odds you like.
There are also some drawbacks, though, and lackluster promotions – compared to those on sportsbooks at least – are arguably the biggest. Your average bookie wouldn’t dream of not having a welcome offer, for example… but unfortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Matchbook exchange.
That’s right – there is no Matchbook new customer offer whatsoever at the time of writing. A quick search revealed that there was one… but it expired almost a month before the time of writing. To us, that’s pretty baffling. If you know it’s important to have a welcome offer in place, in order to entice new customers, then why go an entire month without one? How many new customers, and how much money, might Matchbook have lost through this negligence?
This is all made doubly annoying because the previous opening Matchbook offer was actually pretty good! It offered a £10 refund if your first bet on the exchange lost, with reasonable rollover requirements on that rebate. We can clearly see, therefore, that Matchbook are perfectly capable of putting together a good welcome offer. If they get another one in place, and soon, then our opinion of them will improve greatly.
Matchbook Ongoing Promotions
Matchbook’s lack of a welcome offer certainly doesn’t create a great first impression. In the sports betting business, though, retaining customers is far more important than acquiring them in the first place. Have Matchbook made the effort to do so by providing some compelling ongoing promotions?
The short answer is, ‘no’! There are currently a total of just two entries on the Matchbook promotions page, and – technically speaking – we wouldn’t actually class either of them as ‘promotions’.
The first is titled ‘Accas on Matchbook’. It relates to the (actually quite exciting) announcement that you can now place accumulator bets. While this is obviously commonplace on sportsbooks, Matchbook confidently states that it is “the only exchange where you can place Acca bets”.
Matchbook has had a reputation for being innovative for a long time, and this is a perfect example. Not only can accumulators be placed here, but they can contain up to 10 selections; be used with winner, money line, both teams to score, points total, and handicap markets; and – remarkably – do not incur any commission charges. If multiples bets are your thing, this alone could be enough to tempt you towards Matchbook.
The other supposed ‘promotion’ simply relates to Matchbook’s commission. This is set at a flat rate of 2%, for all sports. That’s certainly a nice, reasonable level, but it is also the standard charge nowadays amongst betting exchanges. Matchbook only charge commission on winning bets… but again, that’s standard practice around the industry.
Again, both of these are nice features, but neither are really ‘offers’. Compared to the promotions page on Betfair, for example, the cupboard looks pretty bare on Matchbook. Just like the welcome offer, we’d really like to see some improvements here as soon as possible.
Matchbook Football Features
The ‘All Soccer’ area serves as the home page for Matchbook’s football section. This essentially just lists a massive selection of upcoming games, from all around the world, with multiple markets and prices displayed for every single game. It can look overwhelming at first. Take a moment to get your bearings, though, and you’ll soon discover a fantastic interface lurking under the surface.
Prices for 1/X/2, Handicap and Over/Under Goals are all shown by default, plus the implied probabilities for those prices, and the total amount of money spent on each game so far. If that’s too much for you, though, there’s a handy ‘Less Markets’ button in the top-right – click that, and you’ll just see the 1/X/2 odds. If it’s not enough data for you, you can click ‘More Prices’. You’ll now see a wider range of odds that are being offered for each game, and exactly how much action those odds have received.
Whilst it’s initially intimidating, we quickly grew to love the design here. It simply gives you so much information, quickly, without the need to start clicking around within a game’s markets.
To navigate to a more specific competition, you can easily use a series of dropdown menus to the left. We did note here, though, that the actual range of markets is surprisingly small. While all the major European leagues and cups are represented, the only non-European competitions are Argentinian and Australian.
Elsewhere, in addition to the aforementioned groundbreaking addition of accumulator betting, you can place in-play wagers too. Prices update nice and quickly here, and a few live stats are given to help you keep up with the goings-on. There is also a Matchbook cash out feature – not always a given on betting exchanges – though you’ll only be able to cash out markets where there’s sufficient liquidity (i.e. enough betting action) to do so.
Other Betting Markets
Generally speaking, you tend to find slightly fewer other betting markets on exchanges than on sportsbooks. That’s fair enough, though – if nobody’s interested in betting on a sport, there simply won’t be any action on the exchange… and nobody will be able to bet!
Compared to other exchanges, therefore, Matchbook offers a reasonable selection. Aside from football, you’ll also find horse racing, tennis, rugby, cricket, motor sport, and boxing nicely covered. There are also NFL and NBA markets to satisfy fans of American sports, though the likes of eSports, Aussie Rules and volleyball are all absent.
Mobile Betting Options & App
Whether exchange or sportsbook, we feel that every modern betting company should put a huge emphasis on their mobile features. We’re delighted to say, then, that Matchbook truly excel in this area, and have clearly put a huge amount of time and effort into making this the case.
There is a fully-fledged Matchbook app available, for both Android and iOS users. The Matchbook Android app can be downloaded directly through the website, as an APK file, or on Google Play, and the iOS version is available from Apple’s App Store. Both versions have received excellent user reviews, averaging 4.75/5 and 4.5/5 respectively.
We tested the iOS app for this review, and it didn’t take long to see what all the excitement was about. Straight away, the whole thing looks extremely modern and streamlined. Navigation is absolutely effortless, with the main sections accessible via a menu on the bottom (including Exchange, Account and Promotions), and the major sports markets displayed on another menu at the top. There’s also an ever-present search bar near the top of your screen, to help you find a specific event instantly.
When viewing the markets themselves, Matchbook do a brilliant job of conveying plenty of information, despite the smaller screen size. Fewer bet types are displayed than on the desktop version, but you can still see prices, implied probabilities and the total action for each matchup at a glance. Whether you’re looking at a long list of events or markets for one game, everything loads extremely quickly, and the in-play, cash out, and accumulator features are all included.
If your phone’s low on storage space, fear not! The Matchbook mobile site is an able counterpart to the app. The layout is very similar (though the bottom menu is curtailed slightly), and the same features are supported. Everything seems to load noticeably slower though, even on the same internet connection, and you are subjected to some annoying pop-up banners.
On their About Us page, Matchbook boast that they are “driven by cutting edge technology”. As such, you’d hope to find some pretty robust security features, and – to their credit – Matchbook duly deliver.
There is a detailed Account Security section in place, listing the many ways in which the site is protected. These include SSL for information transfer, further encryption for the transmission of all sensitive data (including payment details), and the holding of customer funds in segregated accounts. In addition to that, Matchbook also hold multiple licenses, including with the UK Gambling Commission. In short, if you were wondering ‘Is Matchbook legit?’, the response is a firm ‘yes’.
Opening an Account
No need to beat around the bush here – opening an account with Matchbook is an absolute cinch! The signup process is divided into four easy sections, and takes only a minute or two to finish.
At the first stage, ‘Account’, you enter your email address and phone number, and set a username, password, and preferred currency. Next you provide your name and date of birth, and create a security question. The third step simply requires you to enter your address, accept the T’s & C’s, and hit the ‘Create Account’ button.
Your account is now created, and you’ll be invited to make your first deposit. Once you’ve done so, you’re free to start betting!
We must say that Matchbook doesn’t have the widest range of payment methods, particularly compared to the likes of Betfair and Smarkets. You do have some good options – namely credit/debit card, Skrill, Neteller and Paysafe – but the likes of PayPal and even bank transfer are notable by their absences. The minimum deposit for all methods is a nice, low £5, except for Neteller where it’s £10, and there are no processing fees.
There’s a ‘closed loop’ system in place here, meaning your Matchbook withdrawal must be made using the same method as your deposit. The minimum amount is £5 for cards and Skrill, and £10 for Neteller and Paysafe. There are no fees attached here either, and withdrawals will usually be processed within a day (credit/debit cards are the exception, taking 1-3 days).
In terms of both contact methods and available hours, the Matchbook customer service offering is excellent. You can speak to a member of staff via live chat or phone, with both accessible from 8am – 11pm Monday to Wednesday, and 8am to 1am Thursday to Sunday (GMT). If your enquiry is less urgent, there’s an email address you can use any time.
Alongside the direct Matchbook contact options, you’ll also find a pretty enormous FAQ section in place. This really does cover every topic you’re likely to need help with, from funding your account, to cashing out bets, to details on how commission is calculated. There’s no search function, annoyingly… but we’re willing to forgive this transgression thanks to the high overall quality of the section.
Matchbook Company Details
Betfair might have been the company who put betting exchanges on the map… but Matchbook have a pretty impressive history themselves. They were founded all the way back in 2004, long before the likes of Smarkets were on the scene, and – given that the founders were keen sports bettors themselves – have always put a focus on delivering value for the user.
Having originally focused on North American markets, Matchbook were acquired by a group of private investors back in 2011, and have since focused on European operations. They are technically owned by Triplebet Limited (they’re that company’s only website), and are based in Alderney, one of the Channel Islands.
Matchbook Bottom Line
Things didn’t get off to a great start with our Matchbook review, thanks to the current complete lack of either a welcome offer or ongoing promotions. But, while those absences are certainly frustrating, they really shouldn’t put you off entirely. Just about everything else Matchbook has to offer is outstanding.
The interface might seem overwhelming at first, but give it some time and you’ll soon welcome the sheer amount of information it conveys. The mobile app is fantastic, as is the customer service, and the ability to place accumulator bets – a rarity amongst exchanges – simply can’t be overlooked.
Whether you’ve never tried a betting exchange before, or you’re simply looking for a new experience, Matchbook represents a truly excellent option.