WBX, or World Betting Exchange to use their original name, is a relatively new betting exchange and one of many trying to rival the dominance of Betfair. Although they were founded in 2002, the site didn’t actually go fully live until 2006, with founder Malcolm Gray keen to get things right. Based in Notting Hill Gate in London they are licensed and regulated by one of the most respected bodies in the industry, the UK Gambling Commission.
Members of WBX can be fully assured that their funds are safe because any money wagered on either side of a bet is held in trust and this separate bank account is (independently) audited quarterly. WBX continues to grow but like all other betting exchanges it remains a small player compared to the mighty Betfair. However, the people behind WBX believe that by offering a polished product and lower commission than their rivals they can gradually close the gap to the industry leaders. Much of their marketing is done through the sponsorship of horse races and meetings and WBX continue to do much to support the “sport of kings”.
IMPORTANT: As of March 2015, WBX have closed their doors and are no longer accepting bets. Existing customers can still log in to withdraw their funds and all bets that have been placed will be settled as usual. For alternative betting exchanges try Betfair or Betdaq.
As with many betting sites, the free bet/welcome bonus at WBX changes from time to time but usually it is worth £25 in free bets, released on an incremental basis. For the first £100 won or lost at WBX you will earn a free bet of £10, with further £5 free bets on offer for each additional £500, up to that £25 total. The stake is not returned, you have 30 days to claim the total amount of free bets and the win/loss calculation is based on your net win or loss on any given market.
This is a nice offer that allows you to work towards your £25 in free bets throughout your first month at the exchange and whilst it isn’t quite as generous as some other sites offer it is still a very good reason to give WBX a try.
Being a betting exchange, as opposed to a standard fixed odds bookie, WBX has all the features you would find at rivals such as Betfair or Betdaq. Naturally you can back, lay, hedge and cash out bets, whilst in-play betting is also a major feature of WBX and their mobile site seems to be developing nicely too.
WBX are doing the right thing in focusing on the basics before they try and do too much in the way of extra bells and whistles and so the site isn’t as all-singing, all-dancing as some others, although they do have a useful sports diary to help you see what events are coming up. They also have a nice search facility to help you find your bets more easily. Another nice touch, for those more accustomed to betting at a “normal” bookie is the ability to switch to “Sportsbook View”, thus presenting only the back odds for each bet.
As with many of the newer exchanges, one problem that WBX faces is that many markets don’t have sufficient liquidity to genuinely offer the sort of odds for which people head to an exchange. They combat this to a degree by offering fewer markets than rivals (and thus concentrating the liquidity) but this, of course, is a negative in itself. Undoubtedly the biggest thing WBX has going for it is the low commission they charge, with the suggestion that on average most people will pay significantly less than they would at Betfair. All in all WBX remains something of a work in progress but with £25 in free bets on offer they are well worth checking out.