Is Smarkets Safe?
With a huge range of sports to choose from and a generous welcome bonus, Smarkets provides an interesting alternative for placing wagers.
In this review, we’ll take a close look at how secure the site is and the methods you have of moving money in and out, among other factors.
Security at Smarkets
Smarkets is owned by Smarkets Limited. While an address in Malta is given on the website as their registered address, they also have offices in London and Los Angeles.
This peer-to-peer betting exchange platform is their best-known product. In saying that, they also have a mobile app under the SBK brand that they operate. Both are highly regarded in the industry which is a good mark of trust.
Smarkets make use of 256-bit SSL encryptions. These are the best encryptions available on the market and this shows they take players security seriously.
This operator puts a lot of emphasis on responsible gaming. There is a section on the help centre telling users all about aspects such as self-exclusion and how to set personalised limits.
They also confirm that any withheld funds will be passed to responsible gambling charities. This is a nice touch, and not something that all bookmakers do.
Overall, the security at Smarkets is excellent and it’s fair to say that it is safe.
The Smarkets service is available in the UK under the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) license that they hold. This is a difficult licence to apply for, and maintain. It is well known that the UKGC are strict with who they accept and are willing to hand out fines to offenders.
Smarkets have never found themselves in hot water with the UKGC which shows that are able to operate fairly.
On top of the UK licence, they also hold one with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Their Malta license also allows users in other countries to use the site.
We see multiple licences as a huge positive as the betting site is able to meet the demands of more than one governing body.
There is a lot of information regarding responsible gambling on the Smarkets website, and advantageously, this information is easy to find by following the link on the homepage or looking in the help centre.
Smarkets provide all of the tools and information you would conventionally expect, allowing you to set:
- Deposit limits
- Loss limits
- Stake limits
And doing so is easy. There is a useful guide on their responsible gambling page.
Furthermore, there is a separate page where players can do a self-assessment to help understand their own gambling patterns.
The amount of information on the site stands up against that of the responsible gambling information provided by other betting sites.
Get started as a Smarkets user with a deal that gives you back a £10 bonus if you lose with the first £20 that you deposit and bet with. This is an alternative approach to some of the best betting offers in the UK that provides a straightforward free bet package.
The end result is the same if you lose at least £10 on your first bet, although some people might prefer the simplicity and clarity that a free bet gives.
Basically, it gives news players the reassurance that they get a second chance if they lose with their early bets.
It isn’t a particularly exciting or overly-generous offer, but if you like the idea of the better odds given by this exchange, it is a fairly good offer to get you started.
How to Claim the Offer
using one of the links on our page
via debit card, Trustly or bank transfer
on any markets or odds with your £20
If you lose with your bets
Key Terms and Conditions
- Minimum deposit: £20
- Payment restrictions: Bonus only for deposits using bank transfer or debit card
- Wagering requirement: 1x
- Expiration period: 7 days
- Min odds/stake: N/A
- Other restrictions: None
There aren’t a lot of terms and conditions to worry about on this offer. This makes it one of the simplest ways of getting a bonus on a UK betting site. This means that you can just concentrate on placing your bets without worrying about the small print.
A bigger free bet or a promotion that is available on all payment methods would make it more attractive. However, the easy-to-understand terms and conditions mean that this is an offer that we like overall.
The promotion page of the Smarkets site doesn’t have a lot of offers for you to grab, unfortunately.
Instead, there are some 0% commission deals for selected customer groups. It is worth pointing out, at this stage, that the usual commission charged on this platform is set at 2%.
Sports Betting Markets at Smarkets
You can bet on a wide variety of sports from around the planet, with other categories including eSports, news & politics and TV, and specials.
The fact that this is an exchange rather than a bookie site can be clearly seen in the way that the odds are presented, but it is still a simple, fairly intuitive wagering process.
The key sports listed on this site are as follows:
- Horse racing
- American football
- Greyhound racing
The markets may look a little unusual at first if you’ve never used an exchange before. But, once you understand both the backing and laying elements making wagers will be easy.
There are no maximum payouts for Smarkets users, which is great. They confirm that the minimum stake is £0.05 and the maximum is £99,999.99, but that you can stake more if you place more than one separate bet.
Football at Smarkets
The top section on this betting exchange covers football, and there is no doubt that this sport is the most important on here. The various categories cover games in the UK, Europe, South America, Africa, and other parts of the world.
Once we look more deeply at the markets, we can see outright bets on leagues and cup competitions. When we looked at a match at random, it had 54 markets on it, broken into categories such as goals, winner, teams, and totals. On other football betting sites, you might find more but it is still reaosnable.
Smarkets sponsors Queens Park Rangers and has also made moves into sponsorship in the horse racing world. These further emphasise the legitimacy of the brand.
Odds at Smarkets
One of the reasons why Smarkets has carved out a place for itself in the UK betting scene is due to its efficient odds. Rather than the typical bookie approach of building a profit into the odds, this exchange offers odds that more truly reflect the possibility of each outcome.
However, you need to bear in mind the 2% commission that is charged on all winnings.
In the example above, we can see that Smarkets is offering the best value to players. Although the margin doesn’t work in the same way as the other bookmakers, it is still a good indication that you’re getting value.
To carry out a further comparison, we looked at the odds on the English team to go furthest in the Champions League. Smarkets have Manchester City at 6/5, which compares to 6/4 on bookies such as William Hill and bet365.
Turning our attention to darts, Smarkets offers 7/2 on Gerwyn Price on winning the PDC World Championship. The same odds were offered by most bookmakers, such as Coral and Betfred.
Smarkets doesn’t offer vastly better odds on all markets, but there are certainly cases where you will see that they give more value than bookmakers.
The chance to place live bets during games and events is one of the most vital aspects of Smarkets. Their cutting-edge technology means that the odds are constantly updated to reflect what is happening. This ensures that you always find a variety of markets where you can place your wagers at fair prices.
Live betting is shown under the “in-play” tab, where we could see a fairly modest total of fewer than 20 games. When we checked, with sports such as football, volleyball, and cricket covered.
Betting in-play is activated by clicking on the outcome you predict and then setting your stake.
Most customers don’t get the chance to watch games on live streaming, which is an option that a limited number of betting sites currently offer.
This means that you will need to rely on their graphics and statistics to find out how live matches are going.
Being able to cash out is now a crucial feature on any betting site, due to the massive popularity of live betting.
The trade-out button is where you can lock in a profit or limit your loss as the action takes place. This button only appears if there is sufficient liquidity in the market at the time.
Similarly to a lot of aspects of Smarkets, it’s not cash out as we normally see it. No partial cash out exists as it’s difficult with it being peer-to-peer betting.
Overall, you should view this as a separate feature to cash out as it’s not always guaranteed.
You can create multiples on your betting slip by choosing more than one selection at a time. The system lets you know if you make an incompatible choice and won’t let you continue with them.
Again, this is not quite as we know it either. Another player has to be laying the exact outcome that you’re looking for. So, it is not likely that it will be matched 100% and therefore won’t be possible.
There is a range of pre-made accumulators that you can choose from on Smarkets. If you don’t see any that catch your eye, you can create your own quite easily.
This is different to bet builder. You can create an accumulator with outcomes on different matches when you want (assuming there is the option).
Blog and Community
There is a good community feel to the site’s forum, which is where you should go if you want to look for tips or just chat about sports betting. While there is no blog, the chatting aspect does stand out.
Payments at Smarkets
The majority of users should find something to suit them from the list of deposit methods, with debit cards, wallets and bank transfers among these included.
As we saw earlier, the welcome promotion is only activated if you make your first deposit with a bank transfer or debit card.
Most methods are instant, with bank transfers the exception as it can take up to five working days for them to arrive.
Withdrawing money from your Smarkets account is easy, and the limits are flexible enough to let you move small or large amounts.
The only issue we could find is that the processing time is fairly lengthy, so you might find that you need to wait a few days to get your money through.
Some instant or fast withdrawal methods would help to make the process more attractive. They already include most of the common banking methods used by sports bettors, so they would need to speed up their processing time for this to happen.
Mobile betting can be carried out easily on the Smarkets app, which is available for Android and iOS devices for free. They call it one of the fastest, most secure, and user-friendly betting apps on the market. And it’s hard to disagree as it matches up with the best betting apps around.
Since the ability to cash out speedily is a huge factor on an exchange, the speed and smoothness of the app is a big plus point.
The mobile Smarkets app is ideal for placing bets wherever you go. It doesn’t lack any of the features or usability of the desktop site.
You will need to use the desktop version for active two-step authentication before logging in, but we see this as a good security step.
Customer Support Channels
Impressively, our call on the live chat system was answered in under ten seconds, making it one of the fastest responses we have received from online betting sites.
In terms of the quality of responses, the questions we asked about bonuses took a bit longer to answer. This was surprising since there isn’t a lot of information to cover on the welcome offer.
However, we were overall satisfied with the customer support and would summarise that they provide a fast, professional support service.
By far, the best attribute of the site is its slickness and speed, which definitely help it to stand out from the crowd.
Even if you have never used a betting exchange before now, it should only take you a moment. It is clear how to place your wagers due to the ease of navigation on the website. This says a lot about its accessibility and conscientious design.
Top 5 Tips
The lack of liquidity in some markets can be an issue, but for most users, it is the lack of ongoing offers and promotions that will disappoint.
We are used to seeing odds boosts, free bets and other deals, so realistically, some sort of promotion on Smarkets would go a long way towards drawing people in.
In terms of live streaming, this would be great if it was open to all. At the moment, you need to have created a market which is a bit of a hassle.
More payment options such as PayPal would be nice to see for the welcome offer too. At present, the options are a bit restrictive.
In conclusion, Smarkets is a terrific choice if you want to see how wagering on a betting exchange differs from using specialist bookmaker sites.
There are a lot of admirable traits to be outlined when evaluating Smarkets, such as its high level of support, the forum, and the banking methods. It is a safe, secure site where you can feel comfortable right away.
Is Smarkets legit?
Yes, this exchange has been around for a number of years now and is a highly-respected operator that is properly licensed and regulated by the UKGC.
What devices can I bet on?
You can use the desktop version of the site or else download one of the apps, which are available for Android and iOS devices.
How do I learn to trade on the exchange?
The education section of the Smarkets help centre gives you advice on how to get started. It covers strategies and tips on the likes of odds, matched betting and arbitrage that are designed to get you up and running on the exchange.
Can I use my SBK login?
Yes, the same login details can be used on Smarkets and SBK, with the latter a mobile-only betting platform that is owned by Smarkets.