SBK sign up offer & app overview is now available! Check our site in a few days for a full review.

Looking for an unbiased SBK review? You’ve found it! We’ve got all the details on this new betting brand for 2019. We’ve tried it out for ourselves and are here to let you know, based on our experience, what we thought of everything this brand has to offer.

The SBK app is a mobile beta release of the Smarkets betting exchange. The operator entered the betting exchange market in the UK in 2008. Smarkets is the second biggest betting exchange in the industry after Betfair. The company is located in Malta and the operation is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.

Smarkets applies a lower base commission rate than Betfair. The key to an effective exchange is liquidity. Betfair dominates the market but liquidity has increased with Smarkets. The SBK mobile version of the site replicates the betting exchange that can be accessed using desktop computers. Smarkets offers a package of promotions.

SBK Sign Up Offer

Smarkets comes under the jurisdiction of the UK Gambling Commission so SBK trades under license with the same regulatory body. There is only a handful of betting exchanges around the world and most operations offer traditional fixed odds betting. The nature of exchange betting is such that an operator must establish some trust.  The licence from the UK Gambling Commission is a good sign that Smarkets and SBK operate in the correct manner. Customers enjoy a safe and secure betting experience and can claim the welcome offer of £10 in the form of a refund on the first bet.

At the time of writing the SBK final version had not been released. When the app is available, the Smarkets welcome offer could be available. In that case SBK bonus for new players will be subject to the following Terms & Conditions:

  • New mobile customers only.
  • Minimum deposit of £20.
  • Card and Bank Transfer deposits only.
  • Qualifying bet of £10 or more.
  • £10 of the first bet losses refunded.
  • Turnover of £20 to withdraw the betting funds.
  • The bonus expires after three months.
  • SBK and Smarkets general Terms & Conditions apply.

This is a 50% matched deposit bonus. The value of the bonus is half the value of the qualifying deposit.  The refund is for a small amount and is not as lucrative as the Betfair sign up offer. New customers with Betfair can claim £20 in the form of a free bet. However, the SBK offer is transparent and easily achievable. Customers can meet the modest staking requirements within three months. Other offers allow customers just 30 days to use the free bets but SBK players have a less restrictive deadline.  

SBK Ongoing Promotions

When the final version of the SBK app is released, the range of ongoing promotions for existing customers could replicate the offers at the Smarkets exchange. However, the betting exchange does not offer any bonuses for current players. We can assume that mobile customers with SBK will not be able to claim any sport and event specific bonuses that are available to all customers. One of Smarkets advantages compared to Betfair is a base commission rate of 2% which is 3% below the Betfair standard rate.    

During promotional periods Smarkets does not charge winning customers any commission. Betting exchanges make money from the levy on winning bets. Losing bets are not subject to any commission. The odds on offer with a betting exchange are generally better than the same odds with a fixed odds bookmaker. Traditional bookmakers write a profit margin into their prices. Betting exchange prices are compiled and traded with lower margins so the prices are more attractive. 

SBK Markets & Betting Options

SBK is a betting exchange which means they bring together backers and layers. The betting is peer-to-peer in nature and the operator takes a commission. The prices are determined by the balance between supply and demand. If there are more backers than layers for an SBK market the price shortens. If there are more layers than backers the price increases. This exchange model applies to all the sports markets with SBK. Most markets have decent liquidity which attracts more betting.

Smarkets only offers a sports betting product and there are no only gaming services, such as a casino or live casino. Customers can place back and lay bets on about 20 sports. The sports appear under Quick Links and Categories. In addition to the regular betting sports, customers with SBK will be able to place bets on Current Affairs and TV and Entertainment. The most popular betting sports with Smarkets are football, horse racing and tennis and here is information about each of these sports:

Football

Football is the most popular betting sports with Smarkets and will be with SBK. Indeed at the time of writing, about 80% of the active markers were related to the sport. The most bet on domestic leagues were the main ones in mainland Europe but the leagues and Cup competitions in England generate the biggest betting interest. Smarkets has liquidity on matches in the top eight tiers of English football. Customers can also match bets on about 200 markets from the rest of the world.

Smarkets shows the decimal back and lay odds and the equivalent percentage of the market for three-way match result after 90 minutes for each football fixture. (Home Win, Draw, Away Win). There is a then a list of the related betting options and for a typical match in the English Premier League that is about 50 in the total.  The additional betting exchange markets appear in the following categories:

  • Match
  • Over/Under Totals
  • Handicaps
  • Corners
  • Cards
  • Scorers

Smarkets and hence SBK in the future issue opening odds and then the betting determines the price fluctuations. The match result back market trades at a margin of marginally above 100% while the lay market trades at just above 99%. These margins indicate the value in the odds which is possible as a profit for the bookmaker is not written into the market. SBK will make money from charging commission on winning bets which is how a betting exchange operates.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is still the core betting sports in betting offices in the UK. The sport receives extensive coverage on terrestrial free-t-view-television and the in the mainstream and racing Press. Any UK-facing traditional bookmaker or betting exchange will be expected to offer markets on racing. Whereas there are typically over 1,000 active football markets, at the time of writing customer could choose from about 100 markets related to horse racing. There is some decent liquidity in the race winner market and the lower commission rate will attract customers. However, any betting exchange finds it difficult to affect Betfair’s dominance in exchange betting.  

Smarkets covers every meeting in the UK and Ireland and SBK should provide the same service. The mobile app will probably offer markets for major overseas races and international meetings, for example, in Australia, France and North America. A typical back market operates with a rounding of 102% and as the lay prices are always bigger, the lay markets works on the basis of about 98%. The winning bets are subject to commission and the base rate is lower than the Betfair equivalent. SBK will probably issue ante post markets for races at Cheltenham, Aintree and Longchamp and other major fixtures at the appropriate time.     

Tennis

Tennis is the third most popular exchange betting sport with Smarkets. Hence, SBK will comply when the final version of the app is launched in late 2019 The dominance of football is indicated by the fact that when this review was completed, there were less than 50 active tennis markets. Smarkets offers betting on the ATP and WTA tour and some Challenger tournaments. The back and lay markers do not deviate a great deal from a margin of 100% because the operator charges commission. At the time of writing there was no ante-post betting on future Grand Slam tournaments.

SBK Mobile Betting And Sports App

The SBK app will be available for download from iTunes but probably not Google Play.  The Google app store bans any betting related content so clearly a betting exchange app will not be allowed. Mobile customers using iOS devices will have access to a downloadable app. The website version of the site will be transferable to all mobile devices as long as the browser is mobile optimised.

The exchange prices will mirror the prices with Smarkets. The PC version of the betting exchange will be integrated with SBK. The mobile betting exchange will offer the liquidity available in the Smarkets markets. Customers should be able to get bets matched for decent stakes. SBK will be in direction competition with the Betfair app which can be accessed using iOS and Android devices. SBK should provide a positive mobile betting experience across the mist common devices. .

SBK Bookmaker Features

SBK is not a traditional bookmaker or spread operator. The app is purely a betting exchange. Betfair offers a functioning exchange with many useful features. Smarkets and hence SBK provide customers with the following exchange features:

Peer-To-Peer Betting

The exchange model is based on peer-to-peer betting. The operator provides the infrastructure and support that allows backers and layers to match bets at a mutually beneficial price. Traditional bookmakers apply a theoretical profit margin to a market and make money from the difference between the stake and payout. This margin is the price bettors pay to place bets with a traditional fixed odds bookmakers. Smarkets and other betting exchanges like SBK, have no interest in the outcome of the market because they are guaranteed to earn a fixed commission from winning bets.  

In-Play

Betting exchanges led to the growth in live betting on football, tennis and many other betting exchanges. In-play exchange betting allows traders to place a counter bet to make a profit regardless of the final outcome. Traditional bookmakers have taken this concept on board with the cash out betting facility which automates the process. There is no live steaming but in-play exchange bettors can view a graphical representation of the action and refer to detailed live match data. Betting is suspended after a key event such as a goal, red card or penalty in football or break of serve in tennis.     

SBK Banking Options

Customers with SBK can transfer funds in and out of an existing account using debit and credit cards, leading e-Wallets, safe prepaid cards and Bank Wire Transfer. Deposits are instant and free and withdrawals are delayed by 2 to 5 working days and some may carry a nominal charge set by the banking method provider.  

Opening A SBK Account, Deposit And Bet

There are indications that the SBK mobile app will integrate the Smarkets betting exchange. That would suggest the functions will be consistent across both platforms. Potential customers will open an account from the app’s Home Page by clicking  ‘CREATE ACCOUNT’. The registration process involves specifying a Username and Password, selecting a currency and entering an optional promo code to activate the welcome bonus. Customers must confirm agreement with the Terms & Conditions.

A new customer is then prompted to select a payment method and enter an amount for the first deposit. The account balance is update accordingly. The new player selects the betting market and type of bet. When the bet is matched, the bet is active and the operator displays the current account balance. The bet can be unmatched or partially matched in which case it can be cancelled or left in the market for matching later. When backers and layers accept the mutually beneficial price a bet is matched.

Customer Support 

Unlike some operators, Smarkets provides customer with many methods to contact the support team. The comprehensive nature of customer support should be replicated on the SBK mobile app. That service allows customers to contact the operator by email, telephone, postal address, Twitter and Live Chat.  Telephone support for active customers is available from 09:00 to 00:00 every day while logged in users can use Live Chat for 24 hours and 7 days a week. In keeping with Smarkets social media presence, customers will be able to engage with SBK using Twitter and Facebook.  

More On The Bookmaker

At the time of writing, the final version of the SBK mobile app has not been released but that is imminent. The app will be available in some format for iOS and Android devices. The app  is being promoted as a community-based betting experience. Even though customers can share tips and opinions, the peer-to-peer nature of betting is the main community element. In fact exchange betting is anonymous and the only engagement between backers and layers is the bet at mutually beneficial back and lay prices. The social media interaction is designed to encourage betting.    

SBK Bottom Line

The expectation is full integration of the Smarkets betting exchange on the SBK mobile app. Smarkets will never get close to Betfair in terms of market share. The betting exchange markets is in theory a monopoly but Smarkets does provide a viable alternative to Betfair. Offering lowering commission rates is a fine gesture but the strategy only works if there is liquidity in a market.

With no liquidity back and lay bets cannot be matched. SBK has two major objectives: maintain lower commission rates and generate liquidity. To gain some market share from Betfair, SBK must successfully complement both elements and offer high liquidity markets with low rates of commission. The infrastructure is in place to react to these two trends but that outcome is not assured.

18+. UK+IRE only. T&Cs apply.