Sports Betting Q&A
Frequently asked questions about sports betting
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What is a sports betting exchange?

A sports betting exchange allows bettors to bet against each other instead of through a bookmaker.

If a sportsbook allows a betting exchange, it doesn't have to worry about certain sides because sportsbooks usually take a small commission on winnings from the customers.

How does it work?

At its core, a sports betting exchange is simply a bet between two people. It's not much different than betting with your friend that a certain team will win. One person takes one side and the other person is on the opposite side.

The main difference in an exchange compared to a bookmaker is that you can play the role of a bookmaker by laying a selection. Of course, backing a selection is still possible in the traditional sense as it means the bet will happen. For example, if you bet the Dallas Cowboys as -7 point favorites, you're betting that will happen.

When you lay a selection, you are saying the opposite in that the bet will not happen. In the above example, you would take the Cowboys not to cover as -7 point favorites, which is usually the role of a sportsbook. For this to go through, you also need someone to take the opposite bet that the Cowboys will cover.

A sports betting exchange can also be compared to a stock exchange. On the stock market you buy and short stocks. In sports betting, you're buying or shorting a team.

Why use an exchange?

The main reason to use an exchange is if a sportsbook doesn't offer the bet you're looking for because it believes there is too much risk. In an exchange, you can ideally bet on anything as long as there is someone else willing to bet the other side.

In addition to a wider range of bets, you can usually find better odds and more value. Unlike sportsbooks which have to take a cut off the top to make a profit, the odds in an exchange are set by numerous bets being placed by other individuals. These odds could be better than those at a sportsbook because they match what bettors think. If they aren't reliable and someone posts a bet at ridiculous numbers, no one will take the opposite side and it won't go through.

Still growing

Betting exchanges remain secondary to sportsbooks, but as sports betting grows across the United States, there's a chance that changes in the future. Exchanges were created in the early 2010s in the United Kingdom and have slowly built steam since then with new companies testing its effectiveness. While the options are limited to take part in betting exchanges, they could grow with time.

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More Questions To Read
Can you bet on sports with Venmo?
No, not legally. Most legal sportsbooks around the country won't allow you to make bets with Venmo.
Which states in US have legal sports betting?
As of 2020, there are 21 states (and Washington D.C.) that have legalized sports betting.
Can you bet on sports online?
Yes. But while betting on sports is legal in almost half the states in the country, not all of them allow online wagering.
When was sports betting legalized?
Sports betting was allowed to be legalized at a state level in 2018 after PASPA was struck down.
When will sports betting be legal in Indiana?
Sports betting in Indiana was legalized September 2019 and online gambling launched a few months later.
Is sports betting legal in Indiana?
Yes. Indiana passed a bill to allow sports betting in 2019 and wagering started in October with online betting opening a couple months later.
When will sports betting be legal in Michigan?
Michigan passed legislation to allow sports betting in December 2019 and the first physical sportsbooks opened March 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Michigan?
Yes. Michigan passed legislation to allow sports betting in December 2019 and the first physical sportsbooks opened in March 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in Virginia and residents began betting via FanDuel in January 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in Virginia?
Sports betting is legal in Virginia and residents began betting via FanDuel in January 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in South Dakota?
Sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, but residents passed a ballot initiative in the November 2020 election, which means it's on its way.
Is sports betting legal in South Dakota?
No. Sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, but residents passed a bill initiative in the 2020 election.
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but it's only available at two casinos, which weren't open as of early 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in North Carolina?
Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but it's only available at two casinos, which weren't open as of early 2021.
When will sports betting be legal in Tennessee?
Yes. Tennessee sports betting was legalized in 2019 and launched in 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Tennessee?
Yes. Tennessee sports betting was legalized in 2019 and launched in 2020.
Is sports betting legal in Maryland?
No. Sports betting is not legal in Maryland, but residents voted Yes to legalize sports gambling in the November 2020 election.
When will sports betting be legal in Maryland?
No. Sports betting is not legal in Maryland, but residents voted Yes to legalize sports gambling in the November 2020 election.
Is sports betting legal in Louisiana?
No. Sports betting is illegal in Louisiana despite numerous attempts throughout the last couple years.
When will sports betting be legal in Louisiana?
Sports betting is illegal in Louisiana despite numerous attempts to legalize it the last couple years.
When will sports betting be legal in Iowa?
Iowa legalized sports betting in May 2019, becoming the 11th state to do so.
Is sports betting legal in Iowa?
Yes. Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019, becoming the 11th state to pass a bill.
When will sports betting be legal in Illinois?
Illinois passed sports betting legislature June 2019 and launched at physical sportsbooks March 2020, becoming the 15th state to offer wagering.
Is sports betting legal in Illinois?
Yes. Illinois passed sports betting legislature in 2019 and launched at physical sportsbooks in March 2020.
When will sports betting be legal in Colorado?
Colorado legalized in-person and mobile sports betting November 2019 after a bill was signed by the governor and then approved by voters.