What’s The Difference Between Bookmaking And Betting?


If you have spent any time researching the online betting industry, you must have come across the terms “betting” and “bookmaking.” Well, the betting platforms can generally be classified into two different categories: betting exchange platforms and bookmakers.

The fundamental difference between the two lies in the fact that a bookmaker will provide you with odds at a rate slightly below the market value. On the other hand, the betting exchange platform will offer you odds at the market value. However, buying odds on a betting exchange platform is safer and more reliable than doing so on through bookmakers. We have discussed the difference between the two in this article.

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The Background


When you trade on an exchange platform, you get the opportunity to place bets on individual events, most of which commonly belong to sports and politics. Also, here the bettors can play against each other.

The exchange platforms allow the users to take on other players either by laying or backing when it comes to odds. For example, when playing with a bookmaker, the only option you have is to back the winner. However, in an exchange platform, you can set the events’ odds by backing the other players’ odds, thereby they offer you an opportunity to trade your position with that of another player.

Nowadays, exchange platforms are generally used by players who love assessing and researching the industry before placing bets.

Difference Between Bookmakers vs. Exchanges

Odds are the reflection of a probability in online betting or the chance of a particular outcome. The prices or the odds are established by the bookmakers, and players betting can place their bet on the odds. These odds also reflect the chances of whether a particular event will occur or not. Several betting odds are used by the online betting sites, and players can choose an odd according to their preference.

If you choose to bet through a bookie, you will soon realize that you have no control over the odds you will receive. Also, the markets are generally priced in favor of the organization as compared to the bettor. This is also the case with gambling margins. Thus, it is pretty important to research various betting platforms before registering an account with a bookie.

On the other hand, the betting exchange platforms generally offer competitive odds. This is because of the fact that the gambling industry is driven by supply and demand. In other words, you will be able to earn a more significant sum for the same bet if you choose to bet via an exchange platform as compared to a bookie.

The popularity of the betting exchange platforms has increased exponentially over the last few years. This is because people have now started to realize the potential value of these platforms as compared to traditional bookies.

Commission Charged And Profit Margin


As discussed above, the betting exchange platforms charge a nominal fee to conduct the activities smoothly on their site. In contrast, bookies tend to make money even from unsuccessful bets placed. Moreover, their commission rate lies somewhere between ten percent to twenty percent. On the other hand, the betting platforms have a commission rate of hardly two percent, while they do not charge any fees from people who fail to win.

Also, the odds offered by exchanges are much fairer as compared to the ones provided by the bookmakers. They also provide a greater degree of freedom to the bettors and thus have more customers. But, on the other hand, the latter often fails to attract customers owing to its unjust policies and huge profit margin.

The Limitations Offered By Both Of Them

Both the options offer limitations when it comes to placing bets. For example, at the exchange platform, the sum of money you put on a stake on a specific bet depends upon the liquidity. However, with them, you need not worry about the bets placed and account closure.

Bookies often suffer due to canceled bets and various stake restrictions. This is why they often lose their potential customers.

Bookmakers vs. Exchanges: Which One Is Better?


This is the main question that comes to the mind of every gambler. Well, the honest answer to this question is that it entirely depends on what your goal is. However, you cannot neglect the fact that the odds offered by a betting exchange platform are ten times better than what you get from a bookie. At times, the bookies keep their profit margin as high as 20%.

The betting platforms offer odds at competitive prices, and this is why they operate as peer-to-peer platforms. In addition, the exchanges are determined by the demand and supply rate of the market, which means that the odds available on exchange platforms are much better than that of the bookies. Also, unlike the bookies, the betting platforms only charge on the winning bets and not on the losing ones.

The bookies will ensure that they earn profits from the best regardless of the outcome of an event. However, in a betting exchange, one party will win, and one party will lose. Thus, these platforms are much closer to what the actual outcome of an event is likely to be in terms of probability. Therefore, even after taking the commission rate into account, you will get better value from an exchange platform as compared to the bookmakers.


As a bettor, you must keep an eye on the liquidity of the gambling platforms. This is mainly because it is much easier to put your stakes when the market has high liquidity. We hope that by now, you are aware of the difference between betting and bookmaking.

As you must have figured out till now, bookmaking is a complicated field. Hence, if you are a beginner, it is recommended to opt for betting platforms to start your gambling career.

Written by Marinelle Adams