Almost all US sports betting involves punters betting against the house. But there is another way. British company Smarkets offers an alternative where you bet against other sports fans. Smarkets is promoting this model to the US under its SBK brand.
The exchange betting business model means that SBK has no interest in the outcome of your bets. You agree on your bets with other bettors, then whoever wins, SBK takes a 2% commission from the winner.
Exchange betting is theoretically more efficient than the standard model where the betting operator sets the odds. What sports fans get from SBK is better odds than at other sites because the operator isn’t factoring in its revenues as part of the odds.
Now that Colorado has legal sports betting, you too can try exchange betting for your favorite teams.
SBK Sportsbook new customer bonus offer
All sportsbooks entering the Colorado market are offering incentives for new players. SBK offers one of the simplest.
When you sign up for a new account using the links on this page, you will be eligible for up to $25. The bonus applies to your first five bets.
For each of your first bets, SBK will refund any losses up to a total of $25. In other words, you only get the bonus if you lose money overall on those first five bets. And even then, you only get the amount you have lost if it is $25 or less.
Unusually the bonus is not available to customers who deposit using Neteller, Skrill, PayPal or any prepaid card. It is only open to customers who deposit with a debit/credit card or bank wire transfer.
This type of promotion is pretty unusual for the US. Many other operators offer free bets and/or first-time deposit bonuses that can deliver $1,000 or more. SBK’s offer doesn’t sound as good as those available from its competitors.
On the other hand there are no complex terms and conditions, so almost all new customers will benefit. Except those who win on their first five bets!
The big money promotions always have terms and conditions that mean you have to deposit or wager substantial sums of money to qualify for the bonus. Many sports fans like a bet, but they don’t see themselves betting big money. A few bucks here and there is enough.
For sports fans trying out sports betting on a low budget, SBK’s offer works, because all those who lose money on the first bets actually get the bonus.
That doesn’t mean SBK sports betting is just for beginners. Instead of big money headline offers, SBK relies on its cheaper prices — that’s really what better odds mean — to attract customers. And for regular and high-volume sports bettors, those prices soon outweigh any added value from a one-off new customer promotion.
SBK promo code for 2020
To access the $25 new sports betting bonus, you need to use the link on this page to sign up for a new account and enter the promotion code SBKPLAYCOLORADO.
A promotion or promo code is used by operators to determine what bonus customers can get. You enter it into the appropriate field when signing up for a new account.
|Online Sportsbook||SBK Colorado|
|Promo Code||SBK Colorado|
|Free Bet||Up to $25 refund on any losses over 1st five bets|
|Last Updated||April 2020|
Start sports betting at SBK
Before you can place any bets at SBK, you must register for an account. This is quick and easy. Follow the link on this page to go to the registration page — we will post the links when SBK launches.
The registration screen asks for your email, date of birth and any “referral code” you may have. In the Colorado version of the software this is a promotion code or promo code that we list above.
Then you fill in your personal details including your name, address and zip code. The Colorado sign-up will use your zip code to identify your address, which you can select from a drop-down menu.
Finally you will be presented with a confirmation screen that tells you your account is correctly set up. This screen also links to deposit methods and carries an advisory notice reminding you to go to the settings in the main client to set any deposit or loss limits you want to use. This responsible gaming detail is typical of legal betting sites.
SBK is legal and regulated in Colorado
The information you have to provide is set down by the regulator in each state where sports betting is legal. This helps to avoid any underage gambling and ensures that you are who you say you are. Identity verification is mandatory in most states before you can place any bets, and in all states with legal online sports betting before you can cash out your winnings!
SBK plans to operate first in Colorado and Indiana and then expand across the US in states where sports betting is legal. Because sports betting is legal at the state level and not as part of federal law, you will need a new SBK account in each state where you want to make wagers.
This might seem unlikely for most sports fans, but it’s an issue that can arise. If you have a Colorado SBK account, you can’t use it to play in Indiana, and vice versa.
Similarly, unless you are inside the relevant state borders, you won’t be able to place bets on your account. Sophisticated geolocation technology ensures that SBK doesn’t fall foul of its regulator by allowing someone outside the state to make real money sports bets.
How to make deposits and withdrawals at SBK Colorado
You need to put some money in your new sports betting account before you can begin placing bets. The online sports betting operators naturally make this as easy as possible!
Experience in other sports betting states suggests that sports fans will have no problem depositing money on their favorite site.
In Colorado, SBK accepts deposits using:
- Visa debit and credit cards
- Mastercard debit and credit cards
- Bank transfer
- Cash deposits at PayNearMe outlets — these are found in 7-Eleven stores.
- Cash deposits at partner casinos — SBK Colorado customers can make deposits and withdrawals at Bronco Billy’s Casino and Hotel in Cripple Creek.
- E-checks — SBK offers e-checks as a deposit and withdrawal method. E-checks work like bank transfers in that cash is deposited to and from your main checking account. Select the e-checks option in the cashier and follow the simple instructions.
Withdrawals use all the options where possible. If you deposit cash at a PayNearMe outlet, you won’t be able to withdraw the same way. Don’t worry, e-checks are probably your best option, or you could open an account with one of the payment processors like Skrill or Neteller.
The advantage of using a state regulated sportsbook is that deposits and withdrawals are fast and legal. Your money is protected at legal sports betting sites, unlike offshore sites where you have no legal recourse if something should go wrong.
SBK Sportsbook app & software
The SBK desktop app is great to use. The sidebar listing the sports is sticky, so it’s always visible as you scroll around the events. But if you want to bet when you are out and about, mobile sports betting is the way to go.
Mobile sports betting is now the most popular way to bet on sports in the US. An estimated 80% of all legal US sports bets are now made on mobile devices in states where it is legal. New York has legal sports betting, but doesn’t allow online sports betting, at least not yet. Fortunately Colorado has laws allowing betting on mobile devices.
SBK Colorado has mobile apps for both Apple iOS and Android devices. You might find it easier to set your account up on your desktop or laptop if you find typing on a mobile phone screen awkward. The login you use on the desktop works perfectly for the mobile apps; no extra setting up is necessary.
The mobile app is an excellent example of its type. The screen interface is uncluttered, and navigation to your preferred sports and matches is intuitive and fast. There is a search bar at the top of the screen, which can help speed things up even further.
Sports selection at SBK
SBK offers a great range of sports on which you can place your bets. In Colorado these include:
Bet selection at SBK
Other sports books offer a bewildering variety of bet types. These can add a lot of fun to betting, but can be complicated for sports fans turned sports bettors to get to grips with at the beginning.
SBK Colorado takes a different approach and goes for simplicity. Almost all bets are straight bets. Either an event will happen or it won’t.
You can tie several straight bets together in a parlay bet. These offer the chance for a big win in exchange for a relatively small stake. But remember, if just one of your bets in the parlay goes wrong, you lose your entire stake. All the legs of a parlay have to come through for you to see that big payday.
SBK is also offers futures bets where the outcome is a long way off — for example, who will win the 2021 Super Bowl or who will be the NBA MVP for the next season.
SBK does offer in-play betting. In-play bets are placed after the match has started and are often on events that happen during the game such as what the score will be at halftime. There are many more possibilities, and they depend on the sport being played. SBK’s available in-play bets are easy to access from the screen where the match is displayed.
Given the SBK business model where your bet has to be matched before it is accepted, all in-play bets have an eight-second delay as standard.
SBK — the betting exchange difference
SBK was set up by financial traders who saw in sports betting the opportunity to create a stock exchange for bettors.
When you place a bet at SBK Colorado, you are not betting against SBK; you are offering the bet, and it isn’t accepted until somebody else decides to take it on at the price you quote. If no one accepts your bet, you may have made it too expensive. If it’s snapped up straight away, you might have made it too cheap!
It might sound difficult to set your own odds, but SBK shows all the bets on each particular game, so you can already see what other bettors are offering. You can simply take one of the offers and your bet is on.
SBK makes this fun by adding a social element to the site. This really is a big difference between SBK and other sites. SBK bettors get betting tips, game commentary and peer-to-peer discussions with other members of the exchange.
The whole sports betting experience is taken to a different level with SBK.
Not having to set odds saves some considerable money and takes the risk out of being a bookmaker. That means SBK can keep the price of sports betting to a minimum.
It takes 2% of the winnings for every bet. This nets out to be a lot cheaper than SBK’s competition, the traditional sports bookmakers.
Bets are matched in the order they are received, with the better priced bets matched first.
SBK VIP sports betting program and promotions
Some sports betting operators use a VIP loyalty program to maintain customer loyalty. SBK doesn’t.
VIP programs usually offer free bets and other benefits in exchange for points earned by making real money sports bets. SBK doesn’t offer such a scheme in its UK home market either.
Promotions are minimal as SBK focuses on competing on the low price of its bets as its primary marketing tool. Some event-based promotions are offered, but with SBK there is less emphasis on razzmatazz and more focus on the sports betting experience itself.
SBK customer support
Expect great customer service from SBK. The company offers as many routes to satisfaction as it can. There is 24/7 support through the online live chat function and a thorough online FAQ — access this through the support tab in the top menu bar.
If you want to talk to a representative over the telephone, that is also available. Not all sports betting operators offer an email address for customer service, but SBK does. You can even contact support through Twitter, or by mail.
Those sports fans concerned about responsible gaming can even take an online self-assessment test to check if they really should seek further advice. This is available via a link at the bottom of the homepage.
SBK — a betting exchange with a social dimension and great odds
The betting exchange model works well in Europe, but we don’t yet know how US markets will take to the concept for sports betting.
SBK owner Smarkets is backed by some major investors, and the Wall Street Journal listed it as one of the top 10 European startups to watch. It is certainly a company to watch, and its traditional competitors will be on their mettle to compete when it launches in Colorado.
Sports fans who want a cheap and simple way to bet on their favorite team should find SBK ideal. It really is a great piece of software — developed in Los Angeles, despite SBK being a British company.
Promotions and new customer offers are not the best available, but SBK odds and bet prices should be better than those offered elsewhere.
There is also a competitive feeling that with SBK, you are betting against other sports bettors, and not against the sports betting operator itself. SBK offers a way not to bet against the house, but to make your sports bets against other sports fans like yourself.