🎧SBC Podcast #62: Jason Trost – CEO of Smarkets & SBK

In the latest SBC Podcast I was joined by Jason Trost – the founder and CEO of both the betting exchange, Smarkets and the bookmaker, SBK.

With so many incredibly important topics up for debate in the betting world at the moment, Jason was the perfect guest to explore concepts like affordability checks and their considerable impact on those of us that enjoy betting.

Jason also talked openly and candidly about the reality of running both Smarkets and SBK, trying to do things differently to their (admittedly bigger) competitors, exchange liquidity, commission and much more.

He also outlined how SBK has been setup to offer better odds than many of their rivals and just how it does that, plus his goal to make it appeal to punters looking for a more traditional bookmaking experience.

When it comes to affordability checks, he has some strong opinions on why gambling is being singled out when other ‘sin industries’ are not and why banks should be more involved.

He also rails against the double standards that has seen some bookmakers benefit from operating in offshore jurisdictions, where betting is not legal and the unfair financial advantage that gives them in regulated markets such as the UK.

You can listen to Episode 62 now via Apple / Spotify / Google / YouTube and all other major podcast directories (search Smart Betting Club)

Smarkets & SBK Links

As we discuss in the podcast, SBK is a sportsbook app that provides better odds as powered by the Smarkets Betting Exchange. It is regularly top priced on many markets and is increasingly being used by those looking to benefit from better odds. There is an offer in place currently for new SBK customers where you can bet £10 and get £30 in free bets.

Smarkets is a Betting Exchange and a realistic alternative to Betfair for many punters. New customers to Smarkets can enjoy 0% commission for their first 60 days with this offer.

£90 In Free Bets – Special Smarkets Offer For Both New & Existing Customers.

As a follow-up to my focus on the betting exchange Smarkets last week, I wanted to highlight an exceptional offer they have for both NEW and EXISTING customers, whereby you can earn a £10 risk-free bet every week up to the 10th February 2020 betting on the English Premier League.

With 9 rounds of games remaining in this qualifying period – you could enjoy up to £90 in free bets via this superb offer.

The terms of this offer are simple – place 5 bets of £10 or more on Premier League matches (outright markets excluded) to receive £10 risk free the following week. To qualify for this offer simply opt-in via this page and place your bets each week.

There are no minimum odds and both back and lay bets qualify – although any lay bets must have a liability of £10 or more. You can read the full lowdown on the terms of this offer via this page.

So if interested in enjoying up to £90 in risk-free bets each week (whether a new or existing Smarkets customer) make sure you opt-in for this offer today and place 5 bets of £10 or more.

Want To Know More On Smarkets? Read SBC’s Review & Interview


Smarkets Exchange & SBK App: Interview & Review

We recently published a special ‘Exchange & Bet Broker Guide’ – dedicated to exploring 6 of the best places for you to bet.

After all, the simple act of putting your bets on with the right exchange, broker or bookmaker can make a MASSIVE DIFFERENCE to the profits you make betting.

So to showcase exactly how this guide can help you choose the right place to bet, today you can read our interview and feature on the betting exchange: Smarkets & its mobile app SBK

Smarkets & SBK offer a low 2% commission rate (much better than the 5% base rate from their main rival Betfair) alongside great odds on several sports and markets. It’s just one example of how betting away from the main bookie suspects can make your money go further!

You can pick up your copy of the Exchange & Bet Broker Guide the instant you join us at the Smart Betting Club.

SBC Exchange & Bet Broker Guide Extract: Smarkets & SBK

In Brief: Smarkets is a highly recommended betting exchange and a must-have account for all serious punters, especially those active on horse racing and football. The low 2% commission rate, coupled with improved website access both via desktop and mobile has seen a huge increase in betting volume. As well as the Smarkets Exchange, you can also now access their newly launched sportsbook app, SBK.

Smarkets Welcome Offers: New Smarkets customers have a choice of two offers depending on how you wish to bet.

If using the Smarkets exchange, you can take advantage of a £10 risk free bet when signing-up. If using their SBK sportsbook app, they offer a £10 risk-free bet for every friend you refer who stakes at least £20. This can be repeated up to 50 times.

Open a Smarkets Account

Download SBK

About Smarkets:

The Smarkets Betting Exchange continues to go from strength to strength with significant inroads in terms of market share and volumes of money now being traded on its exchange. It is a genuine competitor to the Betfair behemoth and continues to attract serious punters looking to get the best value bets possible.

Although they are now going head-to-head with direct rivals Betfair and Matchbook who both have moved to the same 2% commission rate for most customers (Betfair’s 2% rate is being rolled out across different countries), Smarkets have invested significant sums in developing its offering and have quite rightly developed a loyal base of customers.

The Smarkets site and app is now very user friendly and newly introduced innovations such as charting tools and conversion of odds into percentages help you quickly evaluate each betting market and make quicker, more informed betting decisions.

Features like their trade out functionality option which allows you to ‘green up’ any bets you have open alongside their instant match option for in-play betting are welcome additions. The Smarkets exchange betting app also continues to be one of the top rated for mobile betting and the site itself is stable and not prone to falling over unlike others.

Their Asian handicap football lines essentially mirror many of the markets punters in the UK can no longer obtain through the likes of Pinnacle Sports. The in-play markets for both football and racing have also seen increased volume and usage, marking them out as further options for shrewd punters. It should be noted that although improved, Smarkets, like Matchbook, still don’t quite have the breadth of markets nor volume in that others such as Betfair do.

Away from Football & Racing, Smarkets also offer markets on all other major sports and events including but not limited to: Politics, Tennis, American football, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Golf & Rugby league. You can also bet in-play on many of these markets.

As they allude to in our interview, they don’t indulge in the ‘entertainment’ side of betting – so you won’t find links to casino or bingo as can be found plastered all over the Betfair site and most bookmakers these days. They give the firm impression of a company focused on providing the best betting experience and odds, whilst regularly introducing new features and investing in growing what they offer.

Smarkets are also listed on the major odds comparison website – Oddschecker, so you can easily cross reference their odds against both their bookmaker and exchange rivals.

About SBK

Launched earlier in 2019, SBK is the new Smarkets based bookmaker app, available to download via https://getsbk.com/ or through the Play/Apple stores.

SBK offers a solution to those of you who prefer to use a bookmaking app, rather than an exchange as the odds are identical to those available on the Smarkets exchange itself. Unless exchanges confuse you – there is likely little reason to need to have both options, so you can simply choose the way you prefer to bet.


All told, we are fans of Smarkets, whether it be using via their Exchange or SBK app and can recommend them as a key account to hold. Well run, simple to use with a good clean user experience, there is plenty to like about what is on offer. Highly recommended.

Our Interview With Smarkets

To understand more about Smarkets, they were also good enough to answer a series of our questions in this exclusive interview….

SBC: For those unfamiliar, can you outline how Smarkets works and what it offers customers?

Smarkets is fusing sports betting, political prediction markets and financial technology into a sleek, modern betting exchange. We focus on having the fairest price and best technology, rather than prioritising entertainment and gambling like most others in the betting industry.

Also, with our new app SBK, we’ve taken the unrivalled odds of our exchange and placed them in a cleaner sportsbook format. We’re really excited about this as we have done a deal to allow us to bring it to the US market next year.

SBK was introduced as there are still clearly a lot of bettors out there that are using sportsbooks because at first glance they appear easier and clearer to use than an exchange. So, in order to cater for these customers, we have taken the unrivalled odds of our exchange and placed them in a cleaner sportsbook format.

What are the advantages of betting through Smarkets compared to other exchanges or traditional bookmakers?

Put simply, the betting exchange model means that prices are generally fairer than bookmakers, while our 2% commission (on net market profits only) means that among fellow exchanges we offer one of the cheapest and simplest commission structures. We also strongly believe we have one of the best platforms in the industry, so users have a better experience with our products.

You are up against a well established giant of the betting industry in Betfair – how has the Smarkets share of the exchange market grown of late?

Right now, the betting exchange sector is in the best shape it’s ever been in, growing by 21% from £283m to £343m between October 2017 and September 2018 according to the latest Gambling Commission statistics.

Naturally, an ever-growing sector means more competition too – but the good news for us is that we are continuing to claim more market share.

This is reflected by the numbers at the end of 2018, with our total annual traded volume rising by 46% on the previous year, to an all-time high of over £4.5 billion.

We believe that our continued growth in a competitive market is down to our innovative base as a technology company, which has allowed us to adapt quickly, continually develop the Smarkets exchange, and as a result, offer a superior experience to customers. No betting app is rated higher than Smarkets on iOS, and we believe this shows that our focus on technology and price is paying off.

Do you have any stats on how betting with Smarkets and your low 2% rates help punters obtain better value?

We compared our price (with commission) just before each of this year’s Cheltenham Festival races, and you would have netted 101% more profit with us compared to the Industry Starting Price had you put £10 on all 28 winners.

The key for any betting exchange is the volume of money traded on it – AKA the ‘liquidity’. How does this compare with your rivals and how has this grown over the past year since our last update?

Liquidity and volume have grown enormously in recent years, especially on the most popular sports like football, horse racing and tennis. During marquee events like the Cheltenham Festival and World Cup we regularly see trading volumes in the millions and sometimes 10s of millions. Cheltenham volume went up by 10% to over £150m in 2019, while the Grand National again set a new record for our most-traded single event at £76.5m, an increase of 33% on the previous year.

What are the main markets and sports you offer and see the most trading on?

As with other operators, football and horse racing are the two biggest sports for betting and trading, but we offer a wide variety of sports as well as the most extensive list of UK, US and global political markets out there. As we grow we are continuing to see more liquidity across the exchange for all markets. We also recently hired a specialist to oversee this and ensure that we are constantly adding new markets that our customers will love.

Not only this, but we very often have the best odds in relation to these markets, especially when it comes to singles on football, which helps in attracting customers across the board.

What about in-play and live betting on sports like football and  horse racing? Can you outline what you offer and the volume of money traded on Smarkets these days?

Our in-play volume is also growing, especially in top-level football as we offer ‘Instant Match’ whereby you are matched at the live price and as long as nothing ‘material’ happens in the following eight seconds, you are guaranteed to get that price, rather than waiting for an in-play delay to be matched.

I noted a significant increase in the markets you are offering for Political betting over the past 12 months. Can you detail what is on offer and the volume of money being traded in this sector these days?

At Smarkets we have a dedicated team with their fingers on the pulse to add new and exciting political markets as and when they happen. What this means is that we offer the widest array of events in the industry, covering not only the UK in-depth but also the political sphere across the world – be that the US, EU or Israel, to name just a few.

Our most popular and traded markets relate to highest-profile stories – be that the year of the UK’s next General Election  or Trump’s potential impeachment.

Are there any other new markets or innovations introduced over the past year to be aware of?

The past year has been a really exciting one for us, with a landmark deal to take our platform to America and the release our new sportsbook app, SBK. This has two revolutionary features with Price+ showing users how often they’re getting better odds with us compared to those offered by traditional bookmakers. SBK also has a social feature allowing customers to share tips. We believe this is going to have a big impact on the market, as users no longer have to go to different places for their information and being able to place a bet.

We currently offer SBK as an app-only product, so customers can access it by downloading it on the Play or Apple stores respectively. Users can access the Smarkets exchange either via the website or by again downloading the Smarkets App on the Play or Apple store.

We’ve also vastly improved our live charts on the exchange, which can be a real asset for people looking to trade, and really help to bring to life how the markets change over time – we really do believe they’re the best out there.

One other thing to mention is our new Open Banking payment method. We’re one of the first betting companies to get on board with this technology and now our users can connect securely to their bank and receive their withdrawals much quicker than the standard card funding method.

In September you announced a partnership to offer your new sportsbook SBK to customers in two American States – Indiana & Colorado. Do you have plans to extend this to other US States where sports betting is now legal and what are your plans for growth into the US market in general?

It was a landmark moment for us to secure a partnership allowing us to bring our sportsbook to Indiana and Colorado. The aim for us is to become established in these two states, and then, of course, the goal is to roll out our success across all other states where sports betting is legal. The US sports betting industry could represent around $155 billion if most states legalised it, making it a crucial market to become involved with.

Finally, what offers do you currently have for those keen to open a Smarkets account?

We are currently offering sign up bonuses across Smarkets and SBK – making it a great time to open an account with us. On Smarkets we have a simple sign up and get £10 risk-free, while on SBK we have a system whereby if you refer a friend, and they stake £20, you both get £10 risk-free. What’s more, you can both do that up to 50 times, meaning there’s a lot of money in risk-free bets to be had!

Open a Smarkets Account

Get The Full Lowdown On The BEST Places To Bet

So there you have it – revealing insight into just 1 of the 6 firms as recommended in SBC’s Exchange & Bet Broker Guide and the difference they can make to your take home profits.

If you are keen on learning more about Smarkets and the 5 other firms included within this guide, make sure you grab a copy of it right away.

As soon as you join the Smart Betting Club, you can download your very own copy and start placing your bets where the professionals do.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor


Best World Cup Offer: Up to £70 in free bets for all new Smarkets customers

SBC recommended betting exchange, Smarkets, have just sent over details on a fantastic offer for new customers, whereby you can enjoy up to £70 in free bets during the 2018 World Cup.

All you need do is pick a team for the World Cup and in each match they play, you will get a £10 risk-free bet to place.

So if you select a team that goes all the way to the World Cup Final, you can enjoy 7 X £10 risk-free bets. Every team is guaranteed at least 3 games so as an absolute minimum you will benefit from 3 X £10 free bets.

To qualify for this offer, you must be a new Smarkets customer and simply choose a team via this link.


Why SBC Recommends Smarkets

Now I realise you will be inundated with details on special bookmaker offers during the World Cup, but the reason I am happy to put this forward is based on our recommendation of the Smarkets service.

Their low 2% commission rate compares very favourably (much better than main rival Betfair) and with a wide range of markets, increasing liquidity and good site stability, its a essential betting account.

Throw into the mix the chance to get up to £70 in free bets during this World Cup and it’s a great time to join them.

Best Regards,
Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

2 Hand-Picked Cheltenham Offers – £40 In Free Bets & Low Exchange Commission

2 X Cheltenham Offers From Smarkets & Matchbook

Mindful of the fact you will no doubt be inundated with offers and promotions this Cheltenham Festival, I wanted to share details on just two special deals from the betting exchanges, Smarkets & Matchbook that have taken my eye.

You can enjoy £40 in risk-free bets as a new Smarkets customer OR pay just 0% commission throughout Cheltenham with Matchbook (open to both new and existing customers) in 2 special offers of real note.

SBC has featured both firms in depth over the years as they offer lower commission rates than their main rival, Betfair and are an ideal option for those of you looking to get your racing bets on without issue.

Although at this point its also worth re-iterating that both firms also offer plenty of options for punters on other sports such as Football, Tennis, Golf, NBA & more.. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are for racing punters only!

Smarkets £40 in Risk-Free Bets During Cheltenham (New Customers Only)

First of all, Smarkets are offering new customers the chance to enjoy 4 X £10 risk-free bets on each of the four Championship races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.

Simply place your bet(s) on the 15:30 race each day during the Festival and any losses on the race will be refunded to your account up to a maximum of £10.

To take advantage of this offer, you must be a new customer and use the code ‘“Cheltenham2018” when prompted on sign-up. There is a minimum site deposit of £10 and net losses will be refunded up to £10 on each of the 4 races.

Click here to visit the £40 offer page to take advantage of this offer.

600 x 230

Matchbook – 0% Commission Until Cheltenham Ends

Matchbook are also offering you the chance to pay 0% commission on all racing bets between now and the end of Cheltenham – an offer which is open to both new and existing customers of their exchange.

It’s actually based on an extended offer they have put forward since February 9th to herald the fact you can now bet in-running on Matchbook.

With liquidity next week at Cheltenham expected to be robust, I highly recommend you check out Matchbook if looking for an exchange option paying the lowest commission rates during the festival.

Click here to sign-up for a Matchbook account.


These special offers aside, I do recommend both Smarkets and Matchbook, hence why I am happy to share details on them.

Both offer sustainable, lower commission and useful ways of extracting more value from your bets (be it on racing or any other sport they cover) and they are both widely used by the SBC team.

Whatever you back at Cheltenham this week, I wish you every success with your betting.

Best Regards,
Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

Restricted By The Bookies? 10 Expert Betting Exchange Tips (Part 2)

Today, I am continuing with Part 2 of my guide to using the betting exchanges to maximise your racing profits

If you missed Part 1 on this subject, you can read my first 5 betting exchange tips here

OK, back to business with Tips 6 through to 10…

6) Don’t Bet If The Value Has Gone

Although it’s down as point 6, in actual fact it is one of the most fundamentally important points to consider when betting full stop: VALUE.

All successful punting is based on the concept of value betting – the fact that the odds for any particular bet are priced in your favour. The odds you take on a bet really matter.

If you can get 5/1 on a horse that should be 4/1, then you have a strong value bet.

Yet if the same tipped up horse at 4/1 is only available at 3/1 – the opposite applies.

If you constantly are taking too short a price on a horse, you will lose money.

Which is why it’s important to ONLY bet if the value is still there.

Many good tipsters recognise this and put up their minimum value odds to make you aware of where the value cut-off point actually lies.

They recognise that a tip might see market support and if it does, you know where to draw the line.

If restricted to exchange betting, look out for this and stick to the minimum value thresholds – they are there for a reason and they will guide you as to the prices to take.

And whatever you do – never feel obliged to place a bet regardless the price. The next value bet will be along before you know it. Feeling you NEED to have a bet for the sake of it is not healthy for you or your bank balance!

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7) Recognise You Will Win Some, Lose Some

Mindful of the need to take a value price, if exchange betting you must accept that sometimes you will miss out on a bet if the odds are too low.

Yet on the flipside, you might also get BETTER odds on other bets when the odds drift.

Whilst on occasions, you might miss out on a winning bet because you can’t get the right odds, on other occasions you will enjoy a bigger payout through this strategy.

If and when this happens, remember the logic behind it all and try to be as phlegmatic as possible.

All gamblers HATE missing out on winning bets, especially if they feel they should have been on it, yet they very rarely remember the times they missed out on a bet that lost.

My suggestion here is to consider keeping a record of each occasion you miss out on a bet (both winners and losers) or get a greater value price than you might have originally. Through this, you can track the ups and downs and see at a glance exactly how you have fared overall.

I Like That SBC Is Independent”…

I like that the SBC is independent. I know that when they recommend a tipster, or upgrade or downgrade an existing rating, that their opinion is based on results and judgement, not on hidden commissions.”    
As written by ‘K’ – SBC member

Click here to read more from K on his SBC membership experience

8) Don’t Worry About Drifters

Flowing on from this last point – don’t also get too bogged down by the idea that a ‘drifter’ (a horse whose odds get bigger as the race draws nearer) is no longer worth backing.

Racing pundits like to bang on about horses being weak or friendless in a market, yet the reality is they have no idea if this market move is significant or not.  They are often just filling airtime.

If market support was so telling – everyone would simply lump on a horse at the first sign of it being backed in.

Unless there is clear evidence a horse has something wrong with it before a race, don’t be unperturbed by backing a ‘drifting’ bet.

Look at it instead as a chance to get better value. If you can get 10/1 about a tip advised as value at 6/1 earlier in the day – take it!

After all, unless the horse in question has a major problem – if a tipster you trust said that 6/1 is a value price, then 10/1 will represent a massive increase.


9) Can’t Get Matched Straight Away? Put In A Request

If you can’t get on a bet earlier in the day at a value price, you might also like to consider putting in a request to get matched on the exchanges later on that day.

There are two ways you can do this – requesting a price pre-race and also in-play.

Pre-race betting is easy – you set the odds you want to take and put the request into the market to hopefully be matched. If come the start of the race it isn’t matched, the bet is cancelled.

Putting a bet in the in-play market is different as it ensures the bet will also remain available throughout the race as it takes place.

When doing this, it’s important to be aware that you will ALWAYS be matched in-play on any bet that loses the race BUT there is no guarantee you will be matched on a winner.

Therefore, you do have to approach in-play betting with caution and it is best when used in conjunction with watching a race live and an understanding of racing in general.

You also might only want to leave a bet to be matched in-play, when the odds pre-race are very close to those you wish to take OR perhaps risking only half stakes.

Equally if you have a good knowledge of racing, you might want to make judgements based on the competitiveness of each race, the merits of each horse (does it prefer setting the pace or being a backmarker) and the distance run.


10) Don’t Limit Yourself To Just Betfair

When most punters think of betting exchanges, they immediately think of Betfair, which is only natural as they were the original and now biggest exchange.

These days, Betfair do standout for another reason – they charge a higher commission rate then many of their rivals.

Betfair’s base rate starts at 5% commission on all bets – a sum that does decrease but only once you place a significant number of bets with them.

Instead I recommend you open and use accounts with 2 exchange rivals: Smarkets & Matchbook – both of whom charge much lower commission rates. Smarkets for example charge a flat 2% commission on all bets.

This 3% difference might not sound like a lot but it really does all up over time.

Another alternative option is also Betdaq, although their commission rate also starts at 5%.

My suggestion therefore when exchange betting is to try and place your bet with either Smarkets or Matchbook first.

Usually you will be able to obtain identical odds to those on Betfair, yet you lose less in your winnings to commission.


I do hope over the course of this 2-part guide I have helped provide some answers to questions you might have about betting on the exchanges.

If you are looking for further assistance with your racing betting (or just betting in general) then you might like to consider a Smart Betting Club membership.

We track hundreds of tipsters each day in order to independently report back on the best experts that can realistically make money betting – whether on the exchanges or with the bookies.

So why not join up today and see how we can help you and your betting.

<< JOIN THE Smart Betting Club TODAY >>

See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
SBC Editor


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