Launched in 2004 with the unique idea of being a transparent peer-to-peer sportsbook, Matchbook effectively allows punters to bet against each other, much like you’d do in the pub, as opposed to the bookie. Matchbook originally intended to tap the vast $150 billion U.S. sportsbook market but after encountering a number of regulatory hurdles in the U.S., where legal sports betting had been confined to four U.S. states until a U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the market this year, Matchbook was sold to a British concern in 2011.
From there the sportsbook pivoted away from the American market and began to focus on the UK, European and Asian markets. In doing so, Matchbook also added an online casino site as well as the possibility of gambling in a wide range of global currencies.
Site design and user interface
Matchbook’s website is elegant and direct. Done up in mostly grey and white, with red banners in ads and special offers for emphasis, on first sight the presentation is straight forward and easy to navigate.
A search feature is prominent at the top of the page, something we often found lacking on other sites, which was a pleasant surprise. And no sliders here, just a banner up top advertising the most prominent tournament (the World Cup at the time of this writing) as well as daily specials and casino promotions.
The left side bar starts with the most popular sports, namely horse racing, soccer, tennis, baseball and golf (you can tell the site was originally designed for the American market), with live betting and all sports buttons below that.
A feature we found appealing was the help centre and live chat buttons that always remained visible at the bottom on the left side bar, again, something we haven’t seem particularly prominent on other sportsbook sites and a clear perk.
The centre screen shows the most popular markets, with odds in two columns and the right sidebar offers a static welcome bonus advert.
Unlike many other sites, you won’t find the bet slip on the upper right at first glance, instead it only appears there once you’ve actually selected your first match or race.
We found the Matchbook mobile app crisp and clear. The developers did a good job of keeping all the most interesting and informative features right up front but properly scaled for a smaller screen, while adding a drop-down menu for gaming options and extended features.
As a peer-to-peer platform, the betting options at Matchbook are as wide and varied as its users. The site also offers an interesting combo bet called Matchbook Colossus, which mixes active sports betting with a lottery style jackpot pool.
The odds at Matchbook offer excellent value due to the fact that instead of betting against the bookmaker you’re actually betting against other punters, meaning you can set your own Back or Lay and simply wait for another punter to match it.
Thanks to its peer-to-peer nature, the site simply charges a small commission to place or accept your bets of 1.5% and 0.75% respectively.
We found Matchbook a refreshing change of pace when compared to other sportsbooks. Sure, it may not be chalk full of bells and whistles, live stream and stats options, but the simple peer-to-peer betting was both dynamic and fun. For punters wanting something a bit different and a real kick, Matchbook is the right choice.