Matchbook Exchange: Interview & Review – Better Than Betfair?

It promises to be a fantastic few days for betting with a full set of football fixtures, the York Ebor festival and the Mayweather – McGregor fight coming up this weekend.

And if you are having a bet on football, racing or boxing this weekend, then I want to explain why you need to consider placing them on the betting exchange, Matchbook with an exclusive extract from our recent interview and feature on them.

Matchbook offer great value odds on many sports, which alongside their low commission rate (significantly better than their main rival Betfair) is why more and more shrewd punters are placing bets with them.

After all, the simple act of taking the best odds on your bets can make a MASSIVE DIFFERENCE to the profits you make betting.

Matchbook were one of the 4 best places to bet we featured in our recent Exchange & Broker Guide and to showcase how this guide can help you, today I want to share an extract from it – including our review and interview with them.

Read on for full details of just why you should bet with Matchbook!

Plus – Get The Best Odds On Mayweather vs McGregor

Alongside offering the best odds on all the main markets for the fight, Matchbook are also offering a 1% bonus for every round that is started on the night. If the fight goes all 12 rounds – you will get a 12% bonus on any winning bets placed with them!

Mayweather Offer

SBC Exchange & Bet Broker Guide Extract: Matchbook

In Brief: The Matchbook exchange is another must-have account for any punter seriously betting on sports such as horse racing, football, tennis & the US markets. Offers low commission rates, excellent liquidity and a genuine alternative for punters unable to hold accounts with the likes of Pinnacle Sports.

Matchbook Welcome Offers: Open a Matchbook Account, and you can earn up to £500 cash back in your first 5 weeks based on the amount you bet. For every £5 you pay in Matchbook commission, you will receive up to £500 back within your first 5 weeks. This offer is available for new Matchbook customers up to the 27th of August.
SBC View: Matchbook offer extremely competitive odds and low commission rates for those of you betting on the likes of horse racing, football, tennis and all the major USA based sports.
If you haven’t got a Matchbook account yet and you bet on any of these sports, it’s imperative you open one and start to use them for your bet placement.
The Matchbook exchange operates in a similar way to that of Betfair and Smarkets, two of their main rivals and will be familiar to anyone who has bet on an exchange before.
Over the past year, Matchbook have continued to expand the markets and sports they offer with significant additions for football and tennis punters in-particular. The markets for both these sports plus all the major US offerings: NBA, NFL, MLB & NHL offer hugely competitive odds, often at similar odds you will see over in Asia. Compare the odds on offer from the likes of Pinnacle Sports with Matchbook and you will see they are very closely matched even after commission.
Horse Racing Now A Major Matchbook Market

Horse racing is also now a major market for Matchbook customers, which is all the more impressive considering it was only first introduced back in July 2016. They now offer competitive odds for both win and place betting in each UK and Ireland race at low commission rates, alongside a burgeoning international racing presence. Look out as well for their regular 0% commission offers for horse racing, which are well worth taking advantage of.
There is however, one fundamental difference between Matchbook and the likes of Smarkets and Betfair that it is wise to be aware of.  Whereas Betfair only charge commission on winnings, Matchbook take a (smaller) commission on all bets, regardless of whether the bet wins or loses.  This is because Matchbook operates a “per transaction revenue model”, identical to many financial exchanges. 
Depending on the amount you trade and your location, this commission rate will vary with the base rate starting at 1.5% and rising to 1.75% if located in the UK or Ireland. Your activity levels on Matchbook will determine if you may also be charged a withdrawal fee. Do read our interview that follows for more detail on all of this.

Odds Comparison Websites & Insight Section
Handily, Matchbook also features on two of the most popular odds comparison websites – Oddsportal and Oddschecker, allowing you to compare their odds (with the option to add in your commission rate on Oddsportal to get the true odds) across several major sports.
We have also been impressed by the Insight section of the Matchbook website now available, which features tips, advice and education on how to bet. Whether it be guidance on the type of bettor you are, the best betting films or interviews with experts like Neil Channing, there is plenty here to sink your teeth into. Make sure you also check out the regular Matchbook podcast.

Open a Matchbook Account

Positives: Large number of markets/sports available. Horse racing markets now offering very competitive odds. Similarly strong odds on tennis, football & US sports. Low commission rate on winning bets. Excellent ‘insight’ section full of advice for aspiring gamblers. Included on Oddschecker and Oddsportal.

Negatives: Commission charge on stake of losing bets and different rates per country. Some customers need to pay a withdrawal fee. No in-play for horse racing yet.

Recommended For: All punters – another must-have account.

Our Interview With Matchbook

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

SBC: For those unfamiliar with Matchbook, can you explain in general a little bit about your exchange and what it offers punters?

Matchbook: Matchbook is a sports betting exchange community. We’re in the business of providing the best prices, the deepest liquidity, and the most advanced technology in the industry to our customers. This provides an alternative to the wide margins and hidden costs that come with some of the other companies in the industry.

What are the advantages of betting through Matchbook, especially in comparison to other exchanges and bookies?

Being a betting exchange, Matchbook provides numerous benefits that you won’t find at a traditional sportsbook. We will never limit winning bettors, no matter how hot your winning streak is! And because you’re not betting “against the shop” like you would with a traditional sportsbook, we actively encourage winning bettors with in-depth analysis and betting trends from some of the industry’s brightest minds at Matchbook Insights.

Our cutting-edge technology and innovation allows us to provide our customers with the best prices and value, which can be evidently seen when looking at any odds comparison sites. Our best-in-class platform ensures users can have the ultimate online gaming experience while continually growing our community and liquidity pool.

What are the most popular betting markets and sports on offer at Matchbook?

Traditionally Soccer has been our most popular sport on Matchbook with games in the big 5 leagues regularly reaching over $1m in liquidity. However, since the launch of Horse Racing in 2016, it has become our most popular sport offering and we expect this trend to continue as we expand the Horse Racing offering (South African Racing has just been added). We continue to be a very popular betting platform for US Sports with MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL offering deep liquidity and the best odds in the business

Are there any new sports, markets or innovations that Matchbook have introduced over the past year to be aware of?

In the last 12 months we have moved our Tennis and Soccer offering to the BetGenius platform. This has allowed us to offer more markets for both pre-game and in play. It has also allowed us to massively increase our live offerings in these sports. For Tennis we now offer Doubles and Challenger games dead-ball and in play as well as every ATP and WTA event. In Soccer we now offer a huge amount of live games from around the word every day.

We also launched the insights section recently which is a very useful tool designed to educate customers on how to be successful on a betting exchange. In addition to this we also produce a weekly podcast featuring experts in the betting world which has proved a huge hit for our followers.

The key for any betting exchange is the amount of money traded on it  – AKA the ‘liquidity’. Specifically, on football, how has the liquidity grown over the past 12 months both in pre-game and in-play markets?

Liquidity has increased overall for Matchbook in soccer due to an increase in client base, increase in market makers and an overall increase in market offering for soccer. The average amount of markets per game for soccer has increased from 6.86 in Q2 2016 to 11.7 for Q2 in 2017. This is expected to increase massively again in Q3 with a projected minimum of 25 handicap and total lines on offer for the major leagues. The increased offering and options has facilitated extra liquidity on site by attracting more customers and market makers.

One of the most popular markets on Matchbook for football fans are Asian Handicaps, especially for UK punters unable to bet with Asian bookmakers. How do your Asian Handicap odds compare to the large Asian bookies?

Matchbook’s set-up is very similar to Asian books in that we offer half-ball, whole-ball and quarter-ball (popular in Asia) type markets. Matchbook’s odds on soccer has been consistently strong over the last few years and we were best priced for soccer in 2015 as per

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Briefly touching on other sports – in 2016 you launched Horse Racing on the Matchbook platform. How has the liquidity grown there and what markets do you offer?

As well as the typical Win market, we offer Place markets on all races. We also offer ante post betting, top jockey & top trainer markets for the bigger festivals. As for liquidity we are always growing as we constantly offer industry best prices in our markets. As mentioned already we recently launched South African racing and we will be expanding our international offering even more in the near future.

Do you have any plans to introduce in-play betting for Horse Racing on Matchbook?

We have trialed in play betting on Horse Racing a few times so far, and it will be eventually offered consistently once our in house technology is implemented fully. It is hoped once this is in place it will take our Horse Racing offering to another level!

Can you explain the commission fees for using Matchbook and how they work?

Because Matchbook is a betting exchange, we offer our users the chance to bet against each other while in a traditional sportsbook you would be betting against the shop. As a result, Matchbook provides the platform on which users can place these bets and takes a small commission fee when doing so. Our current commissions fees are: 1.5% for Matched bets and 0.75% for Posted Offers. You can find out more about commission here

How do the commission rates and fees change for UK and Ireland customers and why?

Since 2015 laws in both Britain and Ireland require Matchbook to pay an additional 15% tax on all betting exchange commission payments received from its customers to the respective governments. This is generally called the Point of Consumption Tax. Because of this, Matchbook has to factor in the POC tax into our commission rate for customers from the UK and Ireland. This works out at 1.75% for Matched Bets and 0.80% for Posted Offers.

I understand that for most customers, withdrawing money from your Matchbook account is free, yet for some users, there is a fee. Can you explain what this and how this all works?

Each Matchbook account has a payment rating attached. Once this rating is 1.1 or greater, than withdrawals from that account are free. Matchbook prides itself on having the lowest commission rate in the industry, and in order to do that we must keep our processing costs to a minimum. Sometimes a Customer’s funding activity will actually cost Matchbook more than betting activity generates. To ensure we keep our commission rates low for everyone, Customers falling into this category are charged a small fee of 2% to cover processing costs based on a payment rating calculated for each Matchbook account.

To make sure the charge is fair and consistent, all relevant funding, play and fee details are taken into account to calculate the payment rating.

Get The Lowdown On The BEST Places To Bet

So there you have it – revealing insight into just 1 of the 4 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 Matchbook and the 3 other firms included within this guide, make sure you grab a copy of it right away.

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

Best of all if joining right now, you can also save up to a whopping £38 on the usual cost of an SBC membership.

This is because we have slashed the price of joining to ensure as many people as possible have access to our reports, magazines and guides.

We know we can make a difference to your punting – so why not sign-up right away and get started immediately. (There is a 90-day money back guarantee available after all!)


Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor





Smarkets Exchange: Interview & Review – Why They Offer Punters Better Value

Wednesday saw the release of our special ‘Exchange & Bet Broker Guide‘ – dedicated to exploring 4 of the best places for you to bet and get the best value odds.

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

Smarkets 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. Its 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 Secret Betting Club.

Not Just For Football Punters! Although this guide has been timed to coincide with the start of the new football season, the firms examined inside also offer great value odds on several other sports including horse racing, golf, tennis, cricket, politics, NBA, NFL, MLB & NHL

SBC Exchange & Bet Broker Guide Extract: Smarkets

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.

Smarkets Welcome Offers: Open a Smarkets Account, deposit a minimum of £20 and you will receive a £10 free welcome bonus.

Refer a friend £10 bonus: Smarkets have also just introduced a refer a friend scheme, whereby you can get a £10 bonus for each friend that uses a referral code on sign-up. Full details supplied when you open a Smarkets account.

SBC View: The Smarkets Betting Exchange continues to go from strength to strength with significant inroads in terms of market share and volumes of money traded over the past 12 months. They have quickly established themselves as a major competitor to the likes of Betfair, primarily through their outstandingly low 2% commission rate.

For even the smallest punter, the appeal of paying a simple 2% commission compared to Betfair’s starting 5% rate can make a major difference over time. Coupled with Betfair’s site stability issues and premium rate charge for larger punters, it’s easy to see why Smarkets has grown so fast.

Smarkets is an exchange the SBC team have been using extensively over the past 12 months across various sports, including for horse racing. Those of you reading our review of the *** ******** service in Part 2 of our 2017 Best Tipster Guide will have observed how closely we matched their advised prices, simply by taking the best prices on Smarkets.

The introduction of asian handicap football lines has also improved their offer – essentially mirroring 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.

Away from football & racing, Smarkets also offer markets on all other major sports and events including but not limited to: tennis, American football, baseball, basketball, cricket, golf, rugby league & politics. You can also bet in-play on many of these markets.

We also like the fact they take betting seriously and don’t offer the usual casino, bingo or poker games that so many other bookmakers and exchanges also offer.

All told, we are fans of Smarkets and can recommend them as an exchange account to have not just for racing and football but all forms of betting.

Positives: Genuine alternative for punters looking for a high volume, low commission alternative to Betfair or bookmakers who restrict. Ideal for horse racing and football betting. Stable easy to use website. Strong liquidity on several other sports & markets. Improved website design and mobile betting options.

Negatives: Non-runners void any bets yet to be matched – can be a major annoyance for horse racing punters requesting odds.  Asian Handicap lines need expanding further. Odds not included in comparison tables at or

Recommended For: All types of punter – a very useful exchange account!

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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 explain a little bit about the Smarkets Exchange and what it offers football punters specifically?

Smarkets: Smarkets is a betting exchange with a primary focus on price and technology, not entertainment and gambling. You won’t find casinos, poker or slots on Smarkets, just a sleek exchange that provides fair prices on sports, politics and current affairs.

Football is one of our most popular sports and we offer a host of markets on leagues and tournaments across the world.

What are the advantages of betting on football through Smarkets as opposed to using other betting exchanges or bookies?

With a commission rate of just 2% on net market profits, Smarkets often has the best odds in the world across its markets. Exchanges naturally provide better odds than bookmakers because there is no margin built into the odds and with Smarkets, you get the simplest and fairest commission rate of all.

Do you have any stats on how your lower commission rates and better odds can help punters betting on football? 

Whether you’re picking your value bet pre-match or trading an outright market live in the middle of the season, our low commission rates mean that your return will be better on Smarkets.

We did some research ahead of last season’s FA Cup final and it showed that a winning £10 bet on all FA Cup games in 2017 would have returned you as much as 10% more, or £146, with Smarkets.

The key for any betting exchange is the volume of money traded on it – AKA the ‘liquidity’. Specifically on football, how has the liquidity grown over the past 12 months both in pre-game and in-play markets?

Our liquidity and trading volume is increasing across all markets and as football is one of the most popular sports, we often see seven-figure volumes in the biggest matches.

As we continue to improve our in-play offering with fast data, liquidity is also improving there.

Since we last spoke in August 2016, you have introduced Asian Handicap and Over/Under goals line markets for football. How have these new markets been received?

Increasing our market offering is one of the priorities we have at the moment, so adding things like Asian Handicaps and First Goalscorer markets are a way to improve the offering we provide for customers. We had a lot of great feedback when we added these new markets.

SPR Cover Part 1 SPR Cover Part 2 SPR Cover Part 3 SPR Cover Part 4

You also now offer a trade-out facility for users to cash in bets both pre-game and in-play. Can you explain how this works?

It’s a quick way to exit your position on a certain bet. Say you’ve backed Chelsea to win at 2.0 and now they are down to 1.5 after scoring the first goal, you can lock in a profit by selling your position. You can also trade out to cut your losses if the market doesn’t go your way. More on this in our help centre article: 

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

It’s been a big year of product innovation for Smarkets, with our new platform, first apps launching and other features like two-factor authentication for increased account security.

There’s plenty more exciting developments on the horizon, but we can’t reveal too much as that would be telling. Keep your eyes peeled!

Can you outline what you offer customers interested on betting in-play on football?

For top competitions, we provide lightning-fast in-play data and also our ‘Instant Match’ feature, where you don’t have to wait for an in-play delay for your bet to be matched. If no material event occurs in the ‘pending’ stage after your bet matched, then you will be matched at that price and not potentially frustrated if the market moves. More on this in our help centre article: 

You have been working hard on the Smarkets mobile website and app in recent times. Can you outline what features are available to users betting via a mobile phone or tablet?

The release of our first apps was a big thing for us and we are keen to keep improving them. Our mobile site and apps offer full exchange functionality and you can use features like keep bets in-play or trade out on your device.

Finally, what kind of offers do you have for new customers keen to sign up?

There is a special £10 welcome offer for all new accounts. Simply sign-up, deposit a minimum of £20 and you will receive a free £10 welcome bonus. You can also earn an extra £10 by referring your friends to Smarkets. Full details and terms for each offer can be found on the Smarkets website.

Get The Full Lowdown On The BEST Places To Bet

So there you have it – revealing insight into just 1 of the 4 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 3 other firms included within this guide, make sure you grab a copy of it right away.

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

Best of all if joining right now, you can also save up to a whopping £38 on the usual cost of an SBC membership.

This is because we have slashed the price of joining to ensure as many people as possible have access to our reports, magazines and guides.

We know we can make a difference to your punting – so why not sign-up right away and get started immediately. (There is a 90-day money back guarantee available after all!)

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor



Betting Exchange & Bet Broker Guide: The Best Places To Bet

Discover the best places to bet this coming football season with SBC’s brand new ‘Betting Exchange & Bet Broker Guide’ – available now for instant download!

IN FACT – whether you bet on football or other sports like horse racing, golf, tennis, cricket and any major US sports like NBA, NFL – this guide will help show you the best firms to bet with.

Tackling 4 of the best firms we have found and examined ourselves – the guide avoids all the usual bookies you already know about and focuses on the lesser-known firms that the professionals use. You can also read our exclusive interviews with each firm on what they offer.

They might not be household names or have a bookie shop open in every town, but what they do offer you is the chance to get better value odds on your bets.

Combined with much lower commission rates if using the exchanges we recommend, it all adds up to more profit when you win!

Sign-up now to gain instant access (and the entire SBC back catalogue) or read on for more…

The SBC Betting Exchange & Bet Broker Guide

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Also – Grab Parts 1, 2 & 3 Of Our New Football Season Compendium
(PLUS Part 5 When Released Shortly!)

Alongside instant access to the Exchange & Bet Broker Guide (Part 4), you can also access Parts 1, 2 & 3 of our 2017/18 Essential Football Compendium the instant you join the Secret Betting Club.

Part 1 is our Sports Tipster Report which features updates on 24 of the best sports betting experts we continually monitor. Including details on the new Hall of Fame Tennis tipster hitting a 10.5% ROI from 1480 tips AND the Baseball expert averaging 133% betting bank growth each year.

Part 2 is our 17/18 Football Tipster Guide, which features our take on 12 of the very best football tipsters we monitor with updated ratings, rankings and recommendations for the new season. You can also read detailed interviews with several of the expert tipsters included on their strategies for the coming season and how best to maximise their advice.

Part 3 is our in-depth review of The Football Guru service from the Betting Gods tipster network. We examine the pre-match and in-play tips from this popular expert to gauge exactly how their performance stacks up.

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Join SBC Risk-Free Now (90 Day Money Back Guarantee)

You can also now join the Secret Betting Club with the full peace of mind provided by our full 90-day make money guarantee.

Sign-up for either a Gold or Platinum membership and if you don’t like what you see, you can get your money back at any time during your first 90 days as a member.

No questions asked!

If you sign-up and don’t like what we offer for any reason, email us and we will process a full refund. It’s that simple.

Best of all if joining the Secret Betting Club today you can also save up to a whopping £38 on the usual cost of membership.

This is because we have slashed the price of joining to ensure as many people as possible have access to our reports, magazines and guides.

We know we can make a difference to your punting – so why not sign-up right away and get started immediately.

See you on the inside.

Best Regards,

Peter Ling
Secret Betting Club Editor


5 Shrewd Tips To Help Avoid Bookmaker Restrictions

Today I want to reveal my 5 tips to help you avoid bookmaker restrictions – ideal for those of you closed down or limited by unfair bookies. It is a follow-up article to my 2 part guide on using the betting exchanges – read both Part 1 and Part 2.

Here then are 5 simple tips on keeping your bookmaker accounts open and unrestricted for as long as possible!

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1) Bet More On The Big Race Meetings & Festivals

Whilst many bookmakers care very little for run-of-the mill midweek racing fare, they do raise their game when it comes to the major race meetings.

Whether it be Cheltenham, Goodwood or simply the big feature races each weekend, the extra interest and money swirling around these races allow the bookies to lay more bets.

Yet how bookies react to winners at the different meetings is notable as a big 20/1 winner at the Cheltenham Festival won’t raise half as much interest in your betting account than a 20/1 winner on a wet Wednesday at Wolverhampton.

Therefore, one strategy a number of punters (and tipsters) utilise is to bet a lot more during the major race meetings.

One tipster we recently upgraded into our Hall of Fame takes this approach – and their primary focus is to provide tips for higher quality races.

It’s a strategy that has reaped dividends already this year with the first 50 tips of 2017 making a 107.4% ROI, following on from a 26.9% ROI from 496 tips made in 2016.

Below is what they have made after subscription fees in the past 12 months (Figures taken from March’s Tipster Profit Report)

Big Race MEeting

Best of all, you can save 50% on the cost of your first months membership with our Tipster Savings.

Whether you follow a big race meeting specialist tipster like this or simply focus and stake more during the major festivals, it a strategy worth serious consideration.

2) Bet At Shorter Odds

Many punters dislike tipsters that tip at short prices because the theory goes that anyone can pick out these tips and make a profit.

To which I say “Well, if its that easy, why aren’t you doing it?”

The reality is most people can’t pick short-priced tips that will win long-term and do need expert help to guide them.

The tips might seem ‘obvious’ but actually making a profit backing short priced favourites is a lot harder than you think.

Yet doing so is especially helpful when it comes to keeping your bookmaker accounts open.

Logically it makes sense as someone who regularly backs winners at 8/11 or 2/1 is never going to raise anywhere near as much concern for a bookie compared to someone who backs winners at 12/1 or 20/1.

The other benefits of this betting include shorter and more manageable losing runs and crucially of all – you can often use much smaller betting banks, thus increasing the bang for your buck!

One tipster showcasing this strategy was first reviewed by us back in September 2015 (SBC Issue 94) and focuses on very short favourites. In the past 12 months alone, they have made a 74.7% betting bank growth despite backing at such short odds.

So the next time someone tells you it’s impossible to make money backing odds-on shots, send them our way!


3) Don’t Follow Hugely Popular Tipsters

One of the quickest ways to suffer a restricted account is to regularly take a price on tips that rapidly shorten in the market.

I used the example of Hugh Taylor in Part 1 of these articles last week, but it’s not just Hugh and his followers who cause odds to tumble – it can also be any number of tipsters who have large numbers of punters backing their advice. Especially if they are tipping into immature racing markets.

Following such tipsters becomes a battle to get the advised odds and it’s not rare to see a tip put up at 10/1, go into 6/1 in the space of just 20 to 30 minutes.

If you are fast on the draw in these scenarios, you might get a good price, yet at the potential cost of your account being restricted.

It isn’t too difficult for a bookie to run reports looking at those punters beating the odds in this manner and red flag their account for restriction.

Often this kind of restriction will happen EVEN if you don’t make a profit. The bookie notices you constantly beat the odds and that is exactly the customer they don’t want.

Try and focus instead on tipsters where there isn’t a mad panic to get the advised odds as soon as they send out a tip.

Our profit adjustment tables and odds availability ratings will help you identify such tipsters.

Taking the example of the short-odds tipster featured in Point 2 above, below is the difference we found when we compared the odds they quoted with those we tracked in our analysis:

Short odds tipster

To explain this table – to the advised prices, this service makes an average annual profit of £1,055 after fees.

Yet we found that by simply shopping around and taking the best odds 15 minutes after each tip was advised, you could on average enjoy a 2.5% ROI boost.

Making a possible profit difference of £1,940 in your favour!

4) Avoid Tricks Like ‘Each Way Thieving’

10 to 15 years ago, one favoured approach for many a shrewd punter was the ‘Each Way Thieving’ method.

This was where you picked a race with 8 to 9 runners and a strong favourite and backed the 2nd or 3rd favourite each way.

In this scenario, you would get perhaps anywhere between 4/1 and 10/1 on your each way bet (depending how short the favourite was), which would often place to make either a small profit or break-even. On the occasions the favourite didn’t live up to expectations, you would often win and pick up a big priced winner.

The trick of course was to pick the right horses and races to be on, but this method was adopted by many a tipster, including a now defunct service called Winning Racing Tips who used it to great effect.

Why did the service close down?

Well ultimately, Paul, the chap who ran it realised that betting in this manner was now likely to cause more problems that it solved when it came to restrictions. So, whilst on paper it worked, in reality, punters betting in this method were now quickly being restricted and closed down. Paul took the sensible decision to close the service.

My advice is to not just avoid Each Way Thieving but also other similar ‘loopholes’ when betting on racing.

Every bookie is wise to the tricks of the trade and just like arbing, bonus hunting and the like – you often will find your account compromised.

The Confidence To Make Decent Profits Using Tipsters”

I’ve discovered that tipsters who charge enormous amounts don’t necessarily do any better than those who charge moderately….Perhaps most importantly, SBC gave me confidence that it is possible to make decent profits over time by following tipsters.”

As written by’K’- An SBC member for several years

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

5) Diversify The Sports You Bet On

My final piece of advice is to consider betting on other sports than horse racing and to diversify.

Many bookies these days look upon horse racing as little more than a pain in the backside.

For them it’s a loss leader – a gateway sport if you will, which they use to lure people in with the sole aim to get you playing in their casino, or worse still, throw money away playing their insidious FOBT machines. The last thing they actually want is a genuine horse racing customer!

Those of you who bet solely on racing (and who don’t fall prey to the charms of their casino or other mug bets) are viewed with suspicion.

The best approach is to bet on other sports, which also offer great returns without the risk of restriction.

To illustrate this, below you can find the historical annual profits from the top 7 sports tipsters as taken from our March 2017 Tipster Profit Report.


Each is more than doubling their money over the course of an average year with between £2,254 and £3,606 profit from a £2000 bank (You can of course with smaller sums if you prefer!)


I do hope that over the course of these emails, I have helped guide you through the options available to you as a keen punter both on Betfair and with the Bookmakers.

In an ideal world, bookmakers would act honourably and simply take bets from all punters – not just the losers but as we all know these days, most bookies treat their ‘non-losing’ customers with disdain.

Therefore we need to be shrewd and bet according to the state of the betting world we operate in.

Finding the best tipsters is the easy part (simply use our tipster ratings) but making sure you are able to make a sustainable long-term profit requires a bit more attention.

Which is where we can help at the Secret Betting Club as our ratings, reviews and reports help identity the best, fairest tipsters for sustainable profits.

If interested in how we can help your betting, you can currently sign-up with the full peace of mind of our 90-day make money guarantee and benefit from our significantly reduced 2017 pricing.


See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
SBC Editor


“I believe so strongly in SBC’s ability to help your betting, you can subscribe with a 100% cast-iron 90-day money back guarantee”.
SBC Editor – Peter Ling     Subscribe Now





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 Secret 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.


See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
SBC Editor


“I believe so strongly in SBC’s ability to help your betting, you can subscribe with a 100% cast-iron 90-day money back guarantee”.
SBC Editor – Peter Ling     Subscribe Now


Restricted By The Bookies? 10 Expert Betting Exchange Tips (Part 1)

It is common knowledge these days that if making money betting on horse racing, you will at some point encounter difficulty with either your stakes being restricted or even your bookmaker account being closed.

There are some exceptions to this rule such as the ‘winners welcome’ firm, Black Type and it’s fair to say that each bookmaker approaches it differently (as outlined in our ‘Getting On’ Report last September).

Yet for many punters, one of the most popular places to bet without issue are the betting exchanges.

Which is why I have put together this 2-part guide, featuring 10 betting exchange tips for following racing tipsters.


1) Understand When The Money Hits Racing Exchange Markets

As an exchange-only racing punter, it’s important to understand that the vast majority of money only starts to flow into most racing markets approximately 10 to 15 minutes before the off.

(I say most as there are some obvious exceptions such as at Cheltenham or other big race meetings, which will see larger sums traded earlier)

To showcase this, compare the amount of money traded on Betfair for each of these 5 races that took place on Monday the 27th March 2017.

I simply noted down the amount of money traded at 3 time points: 21 minutes, 11 minutes and 1 minute before the off for each of the 5 races.


Without exception, the most trading took place in the 11 minutes before each race started.

Take the 4.30pm race as one example – at 4.19pm, there was £60,925 traded yet come 4.29pm, this was £495,057.

Within 10 minutes an extra £434,132 had been traded – 87% of the entire market!

The knock-on effect of this is two-fold.

Firstly, its knowing that the majority of trading takes place and when your exchange bet is most likely to be matched.

Secondly, its understanding that prior to the final 10 minutes, it is harder to get your racing bet accepted, especially if it’s based on advice coming from a popular tipster.


2) Avoid Tipsters That Advise Bets Early

Just as the final 10 minutes leading up to race time sees most of the action on the exchanges, the very early stages of a racing market see very little activity indeed.

All of which makes understanding how far in advance a tipster puts up a bet crucial, because as a general rule – the earlier a tip is put up, the harder it is to get the advised price (and vice versa)

Tipsters who advise tips the evening before racing, often provide you with next to no chance of following if restricted to using the exchanges only.

To give an example, I currently proof one racing tipster that puts up bets around 6pm the evening before racing.

As I write this article I noted they had just put forward a tip at 6/1 for a race at 3.20pm the following day. Immediately jumping to the Betfair market for this race, I found that just £492 had been matched across all 10 runners in this race at that point.

The advised 6/1 price was now as short as 5.1 (4/1) on the exchange so already the value had to a large part disappeared. Obviously a few punters following this tipster had gobbled up what little money there was to be had at 6/1.

It’s a scenario I have seen unfold countless times with this tipster (and it’s the main reason we have not recommended them to SBC members) and they are patently unsuitable to an exchange-only punter.

Yet they are not alone in tipping up so early in advance of a race – so be very careful to avoid such tipsters if limited to exchanges only.

I have made around 20k per year extra”…

I used to work as trader for Paddypower and Sportsbet so i have an obvious interest in betting. [Using Tipsters] I have made around 20k per year extra.”    
As written by Justin – An SBC member since December 2013

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

3) Focus On Tipsters Where The Odds Hold Up

The next point is an obvious one – if using exchanges, don’t follow tipsters where the advised odds are going to get smashed in.

Take for example a free tipster like Hugh Taylor. As soon as he puts up a tip, hundreds of people rush to bet on it and in turn the bookies slash the odds due to the huge volume of money coming in.

Yet, despite this, Hugh still settles his bets at the original advised price he quotes, which only a very small number of punters will have realistically obtained.

In this scenario, there is next to no chance you will get matched on his tips at this price via the exchanges UNLESS the price bounces back. And given how much his odds move downwards, this is highly unlikely to happen too often.

This is why here at SBC we rate all tipsters by ‘odds availability’ and track how their odds move compared to the results they settle to. It helps to identify tipsters you can use on the exchanges.

Take the odds tracking we performed on one tipster first reviewed in November 2016. We tracked over 100 tips and how their advised prices moved immediately and after 15 and 60 minutes had elapsed.


As the table indicates – the average odds available after 0, 15 and 60 minutes were better than those the tipster was quoting!

Why exactly was this? Well, it went down to the simple fact this tipster was only quoting a price if AT LEAST 3 proper bookmakers were offering it and wasn’t putting the tips up until around midday.

Effectively, you could improve on the quoted odds and ultimately this is exactly the type of tipster you can follow on the exchanges.

4) Consider Betfair SP Tipsters

One of the simplest angles to make a profit on the exchanges is by following tipsters that make a profit at Betfair SP (after commission of course!).

They offer the easiest, most simple approach as once a tip comes in – you simply place the bet, stick in your stake at Betfair and walk away.

Although the number of profitable Betfair SP tipsters is growing, it’s still a fairly small pool to choose from currently.

Alongside All Weather Profits (read all about them and their £1 30 day trial here) I have recently been investigating another racing tipster with a tremendous track-record at Betfair SP.

Over the course of 1092 bets – at simple 1 point level stakes, they have made a 167.3 point profit at 15.3% ROI. This is after 5% Betfair SP commission has been deducted.


Providing one simple angle for those of you after a simple exchange tipster for you follow.

5) YET…If You Can, Don’t Always Take Betfair SP!

Whilst the Betfair SP angle does work and is good for those of you short of time – you can often get better prices simply by taking a bet on the exchanges closer to the off rather than just Betfair SP – especially when it comes to a popular tipster.

This is because the more people that bet on a horse at Betfair SP, the greater the chance that the final Betfair SP odds will be shorter than they should be. Betfair SP effectively cannabilises itself.

Therefore, if following a ‘Betfair SP’ tipster, my suggestion for optimal profits is to consider placing a bet in the traditional exchange market before the race starts.

This might require you logging onto the exchange in the 15 minutes before the race and simply taking the best price available at this time.

By doing this, you can often get a better edge than simply taking Betfair SP.

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That’s my first 5 tips done and dusted and I will be back in a few days with 5 more pointers on how to use the exchanges if following tipsters.

In the interim, if you are interested in discovering more on the best tipsters for use on both betting exchanges and with bookmakers, then the Secret Betting Club is here to help you.

Our uniquely detailed reviews, ratings and recommendations will showcase to you the best tipsters across a whole variety of categories including:

  • The Best Horse Racing Tipsters
  • The Best Sports Tipsters
  • The Best Free Tipsters
  • The Best ‘Odds Availability’ Tipsters
  • The Best Betting Bank Growth Tipsters
  • & Much More Besides!

Making it as easy as possible for you to find the right tipsters for you to follow!

Best of all you can sign-up with the full peace of mind of our 90-day make money guarantee and benefit from our significantly reduced 2017 pricing.


See you on the inside.

Peter Ling
SBC Editor


“I believe so strongly in SBC’s ability to help your betting, you can subscribe with a 100% cast-iron 90-day money back guarantee”.
SBC Editor – Peter Ling     Subscribe Now


Vote For Your Best & Worst Bookmakers In The SBC Awards

Voting Now Closed – Thanks To All Who Took Part!

Your chance to name and shame the bookmakers you like or loathe the most!

Public voting has now opened for SBC’s Tipster & Betting Awards, and we want your help in deciding the best (and worst) of the betting world from the past year.

You can now vote for the following:

  • Your Best Odds Comparison Site
  • Your Best Betting Website 
  • Your Best Bookmaker 
  • Your Worst Bookmaker 

To vote simply click here – it should take you no more than 30 seconds of your time and best of all by doing so, you will enter a prize draw to win a years membership to the Secret Betting Club.

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Why Your Vote Matters!

There are several reasons why your vote is important, least of all the fact that by voting, you can enter a special prize draw to win a Platinum ‘Pro Punter’ SBC Membership (Worth £119.99).

Beyond this special prize, the SBC awards are your chance to help us highlight those websites and bookmakers doing something right by punters.

Perhaps it’s the bookie offering the best odds or accepting winners, or maybe it’s the odds comparison site you couldn’t live without.

This year you can also nominate your worst bookmaker (it promises to be a competitive category) to help us expose and shame the firm that peed you off the most!

Maybe they restricted your stakes, closed your account or simply offer the worst odds and worst service going. If so we want to know who they are!

Read The Full Award Results

We will be publishing the results from the awards next month and handing out special rosettes to the winners and losers. Although we don’t expect the winner of the Worst Bookmaker award to be too pleased about it!

Cast your vote now     (It will only take 30 seconds of your time!)

Best Regards,

Peter Ling



Racing & Darts: How Do Black Type’s Odds Compare?

On Friday, we released for FREE our special report on the new bookmaker, Black Type, who have been causing quite the stir given their ‘winners-welcome’ policy and guarantee to lay to lose up to £500 on any given bet.

If yet to read it download your FREE report PDF

Yet whilst their unique approach to bookmaking is very welcome, what many punters want to know is does their winners-welcome policy come at a cost in terms of the odds they offer customers?

Therefore, to help answer this question and gauge just how their odds stand up in comparison, I commissioned some detailed odds tracking across two key sports they keenly price up – horse racing and darts.

You can read about this in more detail in the Free Black Type Report, but for those of you interested in either Horse Racing or Darts (Especially given that the PDC World Championship starts on Thursday) I have summarised some of the key findings below.


Black Type Darts Odds In Comparison

To examine Black Type’s odds, my team and I analysed the prices they offered during the recent Grand Slam of Darts tournament in November.

To gauge this, we tracked the odds for both players across 37 Darts games from the Group Stages to the Quarter Finals, leaving us with 74 sets of odds to compare.

We recorded the odds for all 74 outcomes from 7 different bookmakers: Black Type, Bet365, Bet Victor, Paddy Power, Skybet, William Hill & Coral.

The odds were taken at various times of day to ensure we compiled a wide and varied cross section of data.

First off, here are the average odds for all 74 outcomes from each of the 7 bookmakers:


Taking as an average, Bet365 lead the way with average odds of 2.72, with Black Type in 5thposition with an average of 2.62 – a small difference of 0.10.

As useful as this study was, it is slightly flawed for two reasons – firstly the low data sample and secondly the influence of a few larger priced ‘outliers’, which skewed the results.

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Eliminating High-Priced Outliers

Although most matches in the Grand Slam of Darts were competitive, there were a few games which featured a very short-priced favourite, usually Michael Van Gerwen, and a big priced outsider.

The price of the outsider in these matches could be as high as 15/1 and with such a small pool of data, it only served to skewer the results.

For example, on the 14h November, Max Hopp was priced as big as 10/1 with Bet365 and as low as 7/1 with Paddy Power to beat Michael Van Gerwen.

By eliminating all bets at 5/1 and over from our data sample, we were then able to get a more realistic set of results. The 5 games we removed were:

14/11 Darren Webster to beat Phil Taylor. Odds ranged from 11/2 to 13/2
14/11 Max Hopp to beat Michael Van Gerwen. 7/1 to 10/1
16/11 Jeff Smith to beat Michael Van Gerwen. 11/2 to 7/1
16/11 Robert Thornton to beat Michael Van Gerwen. 13/2 to 10/1
18/11 Brendan Dolan to beat Michael Van Gerwen. 9/1 to 14/1

Here then is the table of average odds after removing these 5 players priced at over 5/1.


Without the 5 outsiders, the differences between all 7 bookies is marginal with Black Type more than holding their own. So small were the differences in fact, we had to illustrate them to 3 decimal points!

Final Thoughts on Darts Odds

Bearing in mind the limited data sample we could gather from the Grand Slam of Darts tournament, Black Type’s odds on the sport were clearly very competitive.

Considering how quick some of their bookmaking rivals are to close and restrict the accounts of punters that do well on Darts, there is even more reason to consider using Black Type for betting on the sport.

The likes of Bet365 and Bet Victor might on average offer marginally better odds, yet you do run the risk of being restricted if taking industry stand-out prices with them once too often.

For those of you keen Darts punters – make sure you also check out their free Sign The Board Darts podcast hosted by Andy Dawson and featuring guests such as comedy legend, Bob Mortimer.

Recent Secret Betting Club Publications (Click each image to read more!)

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TPR Oct 16 Cover
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Black Type Racing Overround In Comparison

To understand just how Black Type’s racing odds stand up, we also tracked and compared their overround with those on offer from 3 different bookmakers: Coral, William Hill & Ladbrokes.

We chose Coral, William Hill & Ladbrokes as they are considered more ‘traditional’ bookmakers, with a very large betting presence both online and in the high street.

Analysing 75 races in total, we recorded the odds at different times of day and over a variety of races to build as detailed and varied a set of data as possible.

This analysis ran from the 28/10/16 to the 13/11/16, which also included each race at the Cheltenham Open meeting – helping us gauge how strong their odds were at a major race meeting as well as the standard midweek racing fare.

Here then is the average overround across all 75 races from each of the 4 bookmakers:


Taken as an average, Black Type’s overround was the best overall at 115.03%. This was 0.45% better than Ladbrokes, 1.29% better than William Hill and 2.70% better than Coral.

A very positive start to proceedings and an early indication that they offer good value racing odds.

Cheltenham Open Meeting

The Cheltenham Open Meeting ran from the 11th to the 13th November and with the high-quality racing on show, it was also useful to isolate the overrounds from this meeting for comparison purposes.

It is generally accepted that at these bigger meetings, with the greater volume of money swishing around, bookmakers pay more attention to their prices and take larger sized bets.

Here then is what we found at this meeting in terms of the overrounds from the 4 bookmakers:


Once again Black Type offered the lowest overround, although the differences between them and their competitors was bigger than ever.

The Black Type overround of 108.59% was 3.87% better than William Hill, 4.53% better than Ladbrokes and 6.63% better than Coral.

From this analysis, it is safe to say they more than held their own and their policy of ‘winners welcome’ does not come at a cost of worse odds in the horse racing markets.

If anything, the Black Type setup is allowing them to offer better value odds that favour the punter.

Perhaps the notion of employing skilled racing traders able to build and manage a proper racing book is not as dead a concept as some bookmakers would have you believe.

Read The Full Report & Enjoy More Betting Help!

I have summarized some of the analysis in this email for reasons of brevity, so those of you interested in understanding more I encourage you to access the full report for free. Click here to download.

With so much high quality Darts & Racing to look forward over the next few weeks, its without doubt a great time to consider a Black Type account. Especially those of you impacted unfairly by account restrictions and closures by other bookies.

For those of you looking for further help with your betting over the festive period – then why not consider a Secret Betting Club membership?

By signing-up today you can enjoy access to our 10+ year back catalogue of expert tipster reviews, interviews and strategies. Including every single tipster review we have ever written (there are literally hundreds available!) and all of the Hall of Fame Tipsters we recommend to make you money betting.

All of which comes with a 90 day money back guarantee – so you can sign-up totally risk-free, with everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Join the Secret Betting Club and see how we can help you make money betting.

Black Type Interview: Investigating the new bookmaker everyone is talking about!

Originally published in the special SBC Black Type Report from November 2016, below you can read the exclusive interview with the new bookmaker, Black Type.

(All information in this interview is accurate as per December 2016)

Despite only launching in August 2016, Black Type have already established themselves as a significant player in the UK betting market becoming arguably the most talked about start up bookmaker since Betfair burst onto the scene over fifteen years ago.

Like Betfair, Black Type opted against a high profile ‘marketing driven’ launch but quickly caught the attention of both the betting public and media by becoming the first on line bookmaker to offer a guaranteed ‘bet to win’ on horse racing and sport together with a promise not to close accounts.

Secret Betting Club Editor, Peter Ling, caught up with Black Type’s Head of Operations Stephen Davison to get an exclusive insight into the bookie everyone is talking about.


SBC: Can you tell me a little bit about Black Type why and when it was launched and who is behind it all?

Stephen: In a similar fashion to a trainer looking to land a gamble, Black Type was a venture that was a long time in the planning as the management team and investors ensured they had everything in place to maximise the impact of Black Type’s launch. This included identifying the previously unheralded FSB Technology as the right company to power the Black Type sportsbook and working with them for over two years to bring Black Type to market.

For Black Type, there was a clear gap in the market just yearning to be filled with an ever-growing number of punters becoming dissatisfied, for a variety of reasons, with their existing bookmakers not just for racing but all sports. All these punters needed a home or more precisely a traditional bookmaker who would make betting simple again by offering good odds, treating punters fairly and most importantly of all, letting punters get on!

There was only one place where Black Type could announce their arrival into the UK market and that was on Oddschecker. Again, the two firms worked very closely, for an extended period, which culminated in Black Type coordinating going live to the betting public at the same time as they went live on Oddschecker. We were never going to be do a soft launch and wanted to be busy from the off.

SBC: What sports and markets do you currently take bets on and what is going to be the betting highlight for you over Christmas?

Given our strong racing heritage through Mylo Sangster, the grandson of legendary owner Robert, it should have come as no surprise to see Black Type targeting horse racing to showcase our sportsbook and philosophies. We have since utilised the market momentum generated to add greyhounds and enhance our sports offering ahead of schedule.

With an experienced London based trading team, Black Type are very much UK focused and we know what appeals to the UK punter. Our message is simple yet powerful, we are committed to offering ‘industry leading margins on all horse racing, greyhounds and main markets for major sporting events’.

We have confident traders happy to be stand out on events and markets where we know punters will be looking to bet. This has been evident for all the ‘live TV’ football games and recent darts and snooker tournaments, where we have been pricing main markets to very competitive margins.

As Christmas approaches, UK punters rightly get excited by the PDC World Darts Championships which is now well established as one of the punting highlights of the year. Regardless of what your favourite sport is, I think every punter enjoys a bet on the darts between Christmas and New Year as an escape from the ‘turkey curry with the in laws’ and our darts traders will be hoping to give the them some added festive cheer with the value of our prices.

The darts coverage on Sky is brilliant and we hope to add a unique twist to that with a series of podcasts and blogs over the Christmas period which are being produced by Talk Sport presenter Andy Dawson who also co-hosts the hugely successful football-comedy podcast Athletico Mince with Bob Mortimer. Athletico Mince’s theme is supposed to be football but inevitably the conversation spins off in all sorts of unexpected directions so given the scope that darts provides we are sure it will be hugely entertaining.

Bob Mortimer and Pointless presenter Richard Osman, who is a massive darts fan, are among the guests confirmed for the first podcast which is due to be released on Wednesday 14th December prior to the start of the World Championships. The second podcast will be released between Christmas and New Year when we reach the business end of the tournament and given Andy’s extensive network he is sure to have more big names lined up.

SBC: One of your main selling points is the fact you claim not to restrict winning gamblers or close their accounts. Can you talk me through how this all works and what type of punter Black Type are aiming to appeal to? Some punters would worry that a service that doesn’t restrict winners, especially on sports such as horse racing might not be a viable one. What would you say in response to this?

Black Type’s business model is more like that of the traditional bookies we grew up with than any of the modern ones we’re all now far too accustomed to. Most bookies unfairly, in our opinion, stack the odds in their favour by severely limiting winning accounts instead of challenging their trading teams to perform better.

Unfortunately, it is the way of the industry these days that the corporate companies would prefer to retain feed providers and analysts to keep costs down and satisfy their shareholders than invest in skilled traders. Consequently, most of these restrictions are now done by ‘risk analysts’ following automated reports who would have little or no interest in the sports they are presiding over, yet alone know how to price them up.

Black Type’s CEO Craig Nicholson has a proven track record of building successful trading teams and delivering results. In his previous role, as Head of Horse Racing at Kambi, he recruited and trained a large team of traders to very tight deadlines which allowed Kambi to launch 888’s racing product in record time following the demise of Blue Square.

True to form, Craig has utilised his network of contacts to be able to put together a very strong team at Black Type which has the right blend of youth and experience – he has even persuaded a few well-respected names to return to the trading room who have kept us entertained with tales of coups landed in the ‘good old days’.

Yes, Black Type are committed to offering competitive prices and betting to industry leading margins on big events but we are not offering a ‘free for all buffet’. We are a business not a charity.

Our trading strategy will be a lot different for a wet Monday at Plumpton than it will be for prime-time racing on a Saturday. Likewise, those punters expecting to get the same bet on some obscure football game or sport as they would for a live TV game are going to be disappointed.

Being an online bookmaker our prices are subject to fluctuation as soon as they go live – we don’t operate under the same restrictions as the ‘High Street’ firms who need to limit their price changes to keep their betting shop punters happy. With more and more punters wanting to take our prices, punters need to be quick and our traders need to be agile to manage our liabilities effectively by ‘old school bookmaking’. If we take a bet from a winning punter we are confident our traders will use the ‘mark’ to position themselves in the market where they will take money on other selections and build a book.

We are backing our traders to set the correct odds for the right events that will attract punters through the door and effectively betting that they’ll still make a decent profit margin at the end of the month.

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SBC: It is noticeable that you are bucking the trend amongst bookmakers by also not offering new account bonuses, best odds guaranteed prices or free bet offers. Is this again part of the quest to be a viable, sustainable bookmaker? 

I think it is quite clear now that Black Type will not ‘follow the crowd’ and do things just because the ‘big boys’ do. We have gone against the industry standard by not offering any free bets or other promotions such as BOG and first bet price enhancements to entice customers.

If the past few months since we launched is anything to go by, simply offering good prices and fair limits satisfies most leisure punters. With the simple layout of our website, void of the clutter that most others now deem essential, we have made it hassle free to get a bet on once again. There are enough people out there who like to have a bet who are getting a poor service elsewhere to sign-up without needing to add extra incentives.

We have always said while we wouldn’t offer incentives to join Black Type we would reward our loyal customers and what better time to start than at Christmas. We are going to be doing a Cash Back offer for the duration of the PDC Darts which is something we will also look to do for the major sporting events that start 2017 like the Australian Open tennis and the Masters snooker.

There is a feast of football over the festive season so for our football punters we will be introducing Acca Insurance and a Cash Back offer for selected live games.

SBC: Although you claim not to restrict winners, you do say you do not welcome those who use arbitrage, ‘queue jumping’ robotic bet placement tools or other methods to gain an unfair advantage. I also spoke to one previous Black Type customer who was restricting from placing multiple bets with you after punting on regular ‘bad each way multiple bets’ (his words). Such bets are notoriously disliked by bookmakers, as are arbers, so is it safe to say there are occasions when punters might be restricted but only if not ‘playing fair’? What’s the general policy here?

As with any new bookmaker who launches, we always expected to attract the sort of punters which you so eloquently describe are ‘notoriously disliked by bookmakers’. Our trading team have ‘been there, done that and got the t-shirts’ probably before most of the new breed of punters were legally allowed to bet so know all the ‘tricks of the trade’.

The past few months have been interesting to observe the punters who value a bookmaker who will finally lay them a bet and those who just can’t resist the temptation of using ‘underhand’ tactics. The majority of punters have been ‘good as gold’, which has been re-enforced by the support we have had from throughout the industry. There have been a small group who have tried to use the exchanges as a ‘tipping line’ and relentlessly arb or place ‘dubious bets’ such as when a goal has been scored in football, the throw has been announced in the darts or a player has missed in the snooker.

Unlike other bookmakers, Black Type will have never been afraid to address the contentious issues (‘elephant in the room’) so we released the following statement on Twitter which highlights our policy.


Likewise, those punters who try to exploit the rules by betting under their fathers, brothers, wives, aunties names also risk having their concessions removed. Our traders monitor the client base in ‘real time’ so the same names backing the same selections are all very easy to for them to spot.

SBC: Is there a limit as to how much a customer can win betting with you? Or will you genuinely accommodate all winning punters as long as they are doing so in a fair manner (i.e. not arbing or betting on ‘bad each way races’)

Winners are welcome so long as they play by the rules. If they do that and beat our traders ‘hats off to them’. We should probably add that punters looking for the ‘life changing’ twenty team multiple or big price Lucky 15 are again likely to be disappointed but that’s all part of the prudent business model to ensure Black Type continues to thrive and able to offer good limits on big races / events to lots of punters.

Punters who like to follow a certain tipster, like Hugh Taylor, Pricewise or those the Secret Betting Club recommends will not be penalized. They just have to accept that others will be after ‘popular prices’ too so they will need to be quick to get the best prices and also be prepared to take a lower price if they miss out. Unlike other bookmakers, their potential winnings on tipster selections will not be restricted. Our bet to win guarantees will still apply and they will still be able to have a bet to win at least £500.

SBC: Our own Better Betting Campaign is demanding the UK Government consider implementing minimum bet legislation, like that seen in Australia, to enable punters to get a fair bet on. What are your thoughts on 1) bookmakers that restrict and close punters and 2) the idea of minimum bet legislation

1 – Without bookmakers implementing such strict restrictions policies, Black Type would not have made such an impact since launch in August and to be frank, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation now. I would like to think in a similar fashion to Betfair, Black Type will always be recognised as the firm brave enough to seize the opportunity and do something different rather than falling in line with the rest of the industry.

2 – A lot of our traders remember the spread betting days of the late 90’s / early 2000’s where the spread firms such as Sporting Index, Cantor and IG went up with their prices at the same time and were judged on the quality of their prices. There was no hiding place then… the more you were right the more you won but there isn’t a trader anyway who hasn’t experienced the flip side of that coin.

Whilst it would be great to see the industry return to those days where traders must honour prices and lay a fair bet, we must be realistic that it is sadly unlikely to happen any time soon.

SBC: Black Type are the first bookmaker to officially endorse the Better Betting Campaign. Do you think this will prompt others to follow your lead?

We would hope so as it is very important for the future of the industry, and horse racing in general, that punters to have confidence in the firms they are dealing with. There are other firms in the UK, like Matchbook and Star Sports, who have a similar outlook so long as the punters have a voice through groups like yourself and The Horse Racing Betting Forum there is reason to be optimistic.


SBC: Turning to horse racing, many bookmakers these days simply base their prices on what is happening on Betfair. How do you form a book on a race and what time do you start taking bets?

The exchanges are part and parcel of the modern betting industry. There is no denying how influential they are in horse racing and it is understandable why so many bookmakers devotedly follow them. However, it can be dangerous to over rely on the exchanges as, because of their very nature, they are open to manipulation so you need to have traders who have a good understanding of what the true price of a horse is likely to be at race time.

Just because a price is available on the exchanges for pennies overnight or first thing in the morning doesn’t mean it is going to be the true price when the real money enters the market whether that be on the back or lay side.

You see the chaos caused in the market when Oddschecker or the exchanges go down. Bookmakers are suddenly very reluctant to go up with prices and trade can be very slow. Our traders all have their own methods of pricing up races and will trade in slightly different ways to get the positions they want but without exception are all competent enough to price a race up from scratch.

Other than the high profile televised meetings, overnight markets are generally bet to very uncompetitive margins which is unfair on the punters playing. Bookies PR reps are quick to quote ‘horror stories’ of Barney Curley style coups but these happen rarely where horses, especially favourites, being offered at poor odds are a daily occurrence.

This is one of the main reasons why we opted to make our prices available at 8.30 am every morning because it offers consistency to our clients. They know that once our races are live, they will be offered value prices and can get a good-sized bet on to win at least £500. Even during the winter months, punters still have plenty of time to get their bets on before racing starts.

SBC: Looking at the odds you offer on horse racing and darts for example, I have noticed that whilst they are often competitive, it’s rare you will be the only bookmaker offering the best price in a market. Is this part of a conscious decision to only offer realistic odds that you feel are sustainable? If so, it would make sense as many of the bookmakers offering best prices, also quickly restrict winning gamblers.

There is no point offering attractive prices if you move them for ‘fresh air’ and don’t lay a bet. We aim to bet all races to competitive margins and take liabilities our traders are comfortable with. This is a long game it is so important to trade sensibly.

When traders start being reckless and chasing money, they will learn some harsh lessons as no trader is bigger or better than the market. Likewise, it would not be wise to get into a position where a whole days trading is heavily dependent on the result of one race or match.

This is also one of the reasons why we opted against offering Best Odds Guaranteed in preference to having consistently good prices, because we wanted our traders to know their exact positions when trading which isn’t possible with BOG. While marketing departments are quick to sing the praises of BOG, I don’t think there is a racing desk at any bookies that hasn’t experienced a dramatic decline in their racing profits as a result, and it is little wonder that they are quick to remove the concession from punters.

SBC: Sticking with horse racing, you also sometimes offer different ‘show prices’ in the 15 minutes before a horse race starts – what is the thinking here?

Show prices are outdated and are an area of horse racing that we feel needs to change. Once the opening show comes through from the racetrack, approximately 15 minutes before the start of a race, every bookmaker reverts to offering the same prices which doesn’t make sense especially when there is such a high demand for differentiation in the industry.

We don’t want to be governed by a few small trackside bookmakers at minor meetings where the online markets move far quicker than they do, nor those bookies who are unable to offer standout prices at the bigger meetings. Therefore, we introduced the facility to offer our own unique prices where we can offer better value and bet to lower margins than the industry standard.

We don’t offer them for every race but our traders appreciate having the flexibility to be able to get the positions they want rather than ‘gambling’ on how the bookies on course trade or how fast the feed from the track updates.

SBC: Greyhounds feature prominently on the Black Type website despite it being classed as a sport in decline. Do you think there is still hope for the sport? 

Yes, most definitely. We are big supporters of the greyhounds and have observed a resurgence in recent years, due to the ease of access provided by RPGTV and Sky Sports. Whilst attendances at the track may never return to their previous heights, we feel that as long as greyhound racing remains on TV, the sport has a positive future to look forward to.

There is a distinct difference in the quality of the betting shop ‘BAGS fodder’ and the RPGTV/Sky meetings, so our service reflects that. We are focused on quality rather than quantity. We will have competitive early prices available for all Sky Sports meetings and Romford on a Friday night which is the premier RPGTV meeting. Additionally, we will also price up the RPGTV Flying Four every evening.

Greyhounds are one of the sports we are looking to focus on in 2017 and we have some exciting plans in the pipeline which we hope to reveal early in the New Year.

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SBC: Black Type selected FSB Technology to power your Sportsbook. What attracted you to FSB Technology and how is the partnership going?

All our team have experience of working for or with sportsbook / feed providers so we were conscious of just becoming another name on a long list with one of the bigger firms where it can be difficult to get requests prioritised. We wanted to go into partnership with a firm who saw the potential of Black Type and were willing to work with us to make it a ‘flagship brand’.

FSB were relatively new to the market but we knew if they had secured support from influential industry figures like Mark Blandford, who is widely regarded as one of the founders of the modern on line gaming industry having started Sporting Bet, that they must be doing something right and would be worth talking too.

From the first time we met it was evident we had very similar views on the industry with both firms being prepared to take a different approach and not ‘follow the crowd’. The partnership is going really well, and it helps that they have all the capability in-house and the heritage from the UK industry, which means they understand the requirements of offering horse racing and UK sport properly.

They have very modern technology too, which puts some of the legacy providers to shame. The combination of good technology alongside their technical expertise is a winning combination.  The two teams are London based so are working closely together and are bouncing off each other. FSB providing a hybrid managed service has reduced the burden of starting a new bookmaker and allowed us to concentrate on the other parts of the mix that we do well.

SBC: You have recently added a casino to your product range. Some customers might worry that encouraging punters to use this might be your ultimate goal as we have seen with the likes of Betfair. Why did you add the casino and what has been the reception to its introduction?

Our sportsbook will always be Black Type’s priority. Like with the introduction of greyhounds and enhancement of our sports service, the casino was down to public demand. To be honest, the team don’t come from casino backgrounds, so even when we switched it on we didn’t know what to expect. Even though it is still early days, the numbers have been encouraging.  Punters seem to like the fact that we have kept the casino discreet and are not overly promoting it. We are also not enforcing any turnover requirements, etc. so if punters fancy a quick game of Roulette or Black Jack, at half time in the football for example, it is quick and easy for them to get involved. Like with all our products, the casino is there if punters want to play but there is no obligation to do so.

SBC: How about mobile and tablet betting – what do you offer customers on this front?

Our website is fully responsive to all devices and will adjust per the device you are using. We have already had discussions with FSB regarding developing an app and that’s on the agenda for 2017.

SBC: Your site is very ‘clean’ and doesn’t have additional content, such as race previews, live streaming and stats databases, that most other bookmakers have. Was that intentional?

Yes, one of the advantages of not having all the ‘clutter’ is the we can ensure the site is simple to use and quick and easy to navigate. We feel there are so many good resources available for UK punters these days, such as the Racing Post and Sporting Life, that it is easy for them to find the information they want elsewhere. Once they have researched their bets we like to think they will still bet with Black Type because of the odds we offer and the guarantee of being able to get on.

SBC: What other plans do you have for the future?

We currently trade on FSB’s licence so one of the things we are already considering is moving onto our own licence. This is quite a lengthy process and it is not imminent but when we do it will give us far more flexibility and allow us to accept customers from outside the UK. We already know there is a high demand for Black Type from horse racing punters in Ireland.

SBC: Thanks for the refreshingly open and honest interview Stephen. To conclude what are you and the rest of the Black Type team looking forward to for 2017?

The gambling industry is always exciting and there is rarely a dull moment. There will be highlights throughout the year from the Australian Open Tennis in January all the way through to the World Darts Championships in December. Obviously, from a racing perspective Cheltenham will be a huge week for us and the summer flat festivals are always a great showcase.

Business wise we are all looking forward to seeing the Black Type name develop and building on the positive start we have made. This interview should help clarify our principles and re-assure punters that we intend to be around for a long time to come and hopefully Black Type will become their bookmaker of choice!

Thanks for your time and the support you are giving UK punters through your Betting Better Campaign. I would like to wish yourself and all your members a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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