The following is an in-depth review of the betting agency Matchbook. This review covers the history, features, interface, sports & racing markets, upsides and downsides of the service.
This review is part of our comprehensive Bookmaker Reviews section. The Betting Agencies page provides information and reviews for other sports betting agencies that are suitable for Australians. The following details are updated periodically to keep them up to date.
History, Location and Licence
Matchbook is a betting exchange rather than a bookmaker. As with Betfair, the odds are set by member activity, with the service taking a commission on transacted bets. Matchbook was launched in 2004 and has been under the new ownership of Triplebet Ltd since 2011. The transfer of ownership decimated participation in the exchange because the change in licence forced Matchbook to close all US member accounts. The service is currently rebuilding liquidity by expanding into the European and Asian markets. Matchbook now is licensed by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission in the Channel Islands (UK) and by the UK Gambling Commission, having previously been licensed in Antigua and Barbuda.
Unlike Betfair, which charges commissions of up to 5% on winning wagers (6.0% for Australian racing), Matchbook charges a flat 1.5% commission if you accept an offer and 0.75% commission if you have an offer accepted. The commission is applied to the Win amount on winning bets. For losing bets, it is applied to the lesser of the stake or potential Win amount.
Since we first reviewed Matchbook in March 2013, the service has been given a complete overhaul including a brand new interface. Liquidity has improved, particularly in football markets, with Matchbook offering 0% commissions on all football Asian handicap markets (excluding API users).
Matchbook currently sponsors the English Football League Championship club, Brentford FC.
Services and Features
|New member offers||Sign up using this link and get £5 cash for every 5 Matchbook Points you earn up to £50. When you win or lose £100 (or a combination of wins and losses that total £100) cumulatively across the total number of bets that you place upon settlement of the betting markets, you will be awarded one Matchbook point.|
|Deposit options||Credit card, bank wire, Interbook (allows you to transfer funds between Matchbook and Pinnacle Sports or BetCris), Skrill/Moneybookers (which supports POLi) and NETeller. When using international bookmakers we recommend you use Skrill/Moneybookers.|
|Withdrawal options||Interbook, bank wire, Skrill/Moneybookers, NETeller|
|Transaction fees||Bank wire deposits below $7,500 will incur fees. Matchbook will absorb fees for bank wire deposits over $7,500. No fees are charged for credit card, Skrill/Moneybookers and NETeller deposits. No fees are charged for Skrill/Moneybookers and NETeller withdrawals.|
|Currencies||AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, USD|
|Odds formats||Decimal/European, US, Hong Kong, Malay, Indonesian, % odds|
|Minimum deposit||$500 for bank wire, $30 for other methods|
|Minimum withdrawal||$30 for most methods|
|Maximum bet/payout||Matchbook is an exchange rather than a bookmaker so your limits are dependent on the level of market activity.|
|Deposit turnover requirements||1x|
|Bonus credit turnover requirements||3x|
|Bookmaker margin||2.7% (see below for more details)|
|Forbidden Jurisdictions||United States|
|Mobile betting||Apple and Android Apps are available|
|Identity checks||Before making a withdrawal, new members must send in a copy of photo ID and a proof of address within four weeks of funding their account.|
|Dormant account fees||None|
|Support||Email, phone (UK and Irish telephone numbers) and live chat|
Betting Interface and Website Layout
Matchbook defaults to a two-column layout, with a sports navigation panel on the left and markets & odds on the right. The betting slip is displayed as an icon on the top right hand side of the screen and is automatically displayed when you make a selection. You can opt to pin it to the right of the screen to create the familiar three-column layout that bookmakers use.
The new interface design sees the introduction of the back/lay terminology used by Betfair. This replaces the previous ‘Yes/No’ buttons. Market depth for the best three back/lay offers are displayed on the screen with arrows provided to view more tiers. The best available back/lay odds are displayed in the centre with highlighted shading.
As you navigate into sub-markets all parent categories are displayed at the top of the page in the ‘Sport / Country / League / Fixture’ format. Each term provides a convenient link to the tier you wish to return to. Navigation around the markets is fast and intuitive.
The betting slip works well, with unmatched bets, ‘orders’ and matched bets displayed in a tiered fashion. You can toggle the display of the three sections independently and we really like having the option to pin the slip to the right of the page.
Overall, the interface is infinitely better than the previous version. All of our initial criticisms have been addressed, with the new interfacing providing excellent navigation and functionality.
Matchbook was one of the strongest performers in our latest bookmaker margin survey. After accounting for the 1% commission structure, its average fixture margin of 2.7% was well below the survey median of 4.9%. Matchbook also fared well in surveyed futures markets.
Note that since our last survey margin survey Matchbook has changed its commission structure. It is now 1.5% when you accept another user’s offer and 0.75% if another member accepts your offer.
The betting selection is smaller than most bookmakers, however it is constantly improving. Matchbook’s biggest strength is unquestionably football, with effective margins of around 1% on headline fixtures. Tennis is also one of their strong points. Matchbook also offers NRL, AFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, rugby union (including Super Rugby), golf, boxing/MMA and special events (e.g. who the next Pope will be).
The range of markets offered is less than Betfair, but the liquidity for the markets it does offer is often on a similar level, if not better.
One weakness of Matchbook’s offerings is the lack of futures markets. No outright winner markets are available for the AFL, NRL or Super Rugby. Futures markets are generally restricted to tennis majors and popular football leagues.
Exchange horse racing is offered for venues in the UK and Ireland.
Analyst verdicts and smart stats are provided for each race.
Live Sports Betting
Unlike Australian bookmakers1, Matchbook does support online in-play wagering on selected events. The level of market participation is low, but is improving all the time. The live betting interface is the same as that for the rest of the site, but with a delay before your wager is accepted.
- Online in-play (live) betting in an exchange environment
- Highly competitive results in our most recent bookmaker margin survey
- Lower commissions than Betfair
- Lower minimum stake than Betfair ($2.00 vs. $5.00)
- Excellent liquidity for football and tennis
- No premium charges for winning punters
- Good betting interface with easy navigation
- Support for POLi deposits through Skrill/Moneybookers
- Narrow range market covered for each fixture
- Few futures markets offered
- Commissions charged on losing bets
Every time we re-review Matchbook, we find the service has improved noticeably since its previous review. While Matchbook still lags behind Betfair for the range of markets offered, the liquidity on the markets it does offer is improving all the time, as evident by its strong performance in our latest bookmaker margin survey. Matchbook also has the trump card of being the only betting exchange to support AUD accounts and online in-play wagering. It is also more beginner-friendly than Betfair, with $2.00 minimum wagers. Matchbook is certainly worth checking out if you’re a fan of exchange betting.