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Betting exchanges in the US – What’s the state of play in 2020?

The US sports betting market continues to grow with more and more states drawing up new legislation to accommodate for legalised betting.

Most recently, Washington joined the list of states which have legalised sports betting in some way taking the current total to 21.

But where does that leave online gambling and specifically betting exchanges?

Let’s find out.

Betting exchanges in the US

If you’re in the US, you’re probably wondering what a betting exchange is…

Betting exchanges are online betting sites which match players together. They are essentially eBay for gambling.

Instead of betting against the bookmaker, at an exchange you bet against other gamblers. The exchange simply provides the marketplace and technology to match punters looking to place opposite bets.

Whilst this might be a new concept, betting exchanges are fairly straightforward once you’ve got your head around them.

Betting exchanges are very popular in Europe for several reasons.

  • Better value odds
  • Option to lay bets

Exchanges typically provide better value odds for punters meaning you’ll make more money from a winning bet.

Another benefit of the exchange model is the option of laying bets. This is a more advanced method of placing bets which we’ll cover in another article.

Challenges of the US betting exchange market

Due to the patchwork nature of current betting legislation in the US, there are various challenges that exchange platforms face.

With online gambling, punters can place their bets remotely. However, exchanges face an extra challenge in that exchanges need to be ring-fenced around each state.

Punters in New Jersey can’t place wagers with those in Indiana for example. Exchanges can’t match wagers across state lines.

This is one of the main reasons betting exchanges aren’t already up and running in some US states. Operators need to ensure their platforms meet the required security.

When will betting exchanges open in the US?

So when are we likely to see the first betting exchange open in the US?

There’s good news on the horizon. Various betting exchanges are taking steps towards opening their platforms in US states.

Betfair exchange in New Jersey

The world’s most popular exchange, Betfair is currently trialling a beta version of their horse betting exchange in New Jersey. This is a safe, legal and regulated platform where you can play horse racing online.

Check out this infomercial for more information.

To access the platform, you need to have a 4NJBETS or New Jersey Exchange Account. If the software deems you’re outside New Jersey, it won’t let you connect. 

This is the technology that Betfair and other exchange platforms will be required to use as the betting exchange market moves forward in the US.

Once Betfair is confident about its strategy and platform in New Jersey, the next step is to look to other states.

Americans can also place their bets via TVG, owned by Betfair. This platform is available in various US states making it a great option for those not based in New Jersey.

TVG betting in the US

Smarkets exchange

Another popular platform in the European market, Smarkets is also moving towards a US betting exchange launch.

Back in late 2019, Smarkets reached a deal with Full House Resorts in the US which gives it access to sports betting in Indiana and Colorado.

To start with, Smarkets is just providing a traditional sportsbook platform. However, it hopes to bring its popular exchange model across the pond in the near future.

Here’s what Jason Trost, CEO and founder of Smarkets said:

“As an American myself, I’m thrilled to bring our world-leading technology to Indiana and Colorado, as well as more states across the country.”

“I truly believe that an agile company like ours can make a huge impact against some of the bigger players thanks to our superior technology and focus on providing the best prices.”

The future for Smarkets in the US looks very bright.


Various other betting exchanges are starting to pop up in the US betting exchange market. Tradesports is a great example. 

Founder Ron Bernstein believes that Americans are ready to gamble on sports like they trade stocks. This is exactly what the betting exchange model offers. 

He said, “As long as we can create an offering that isn’t too intimidating, we think there’s a really big niche in the professional trader market.”

I expect to see more and more new companies like Tradesports in the coming years as people look to maximise their share of the up and coming betting exchange market in the US.

Matched betting in the US

One of the great things about betting exchanges is that they provide the opportunity to make money with matched betting.

I’ve written about matched betting in the US before and this market is certainly going to take off once exchanges are more widely available.

Americans will be able to make a guaranteed profit from bookmakers free bets and promotions all from the comfort of your own home.

Matched betting has become incredibly popular in the UK with thousands of people using this strategy to make money online.

I doubt it will be long before Americans can do the same.

Betting exchanges in the US

The sports betting market in the US is gaining momentum daily. Whilst there are further challenges for betting exchanges to overcome, operators are already taking the required steps to test the water.

All in all, betting exchanges are slowly making their way into the US market. It won’t be long before you can place bets at an exchange like Betfair or Smarkets in states with the required legislation.

What are your thoughts of betting exchanges in the US? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.