Bonuses and Promotions
Odds VS. The Competition
Market Depth & Variety
Deposit & Cash Out
So far, all of Colorado’s sportsbooks have been traditional sportsbooks. Bookmakers calculate the odds and build house advantages into their lines. However, Smarkets has a different business model entirely, and it’s a massive disruption to the existing eight sportsbooks. Here’s how this UK sportsbook ranks against Colorado’s current eight sportsbooks.
There are a lot of things I like about Smarkets, but its welcome bonus is not one of them. The only welcome bonus that Smarkets improves on is BetMonarch’s and that’s because BetMonarch doesn’t have any yet. Here’s what the other current sportsbooks are offering:
- Fox Bet’s $500 risk-free bet and $500 deposit bonus ($1 for every $2 deposited, up to $500)
- DraftKings’ $500 deposit bonus ($1 for every $5 deposited up to $500), and a $500 free bet
- FanDuel’s single risk-free bet of up to $500
- BetMGM’s single risk-free bet of up to $500
- BetRivers’ $250 match with its welcome code, 250MATCH
Smarkets has a long way to go compete with the rest of Colorado’s sportsbooks’ bonuses. However, Smarkets is on the right track with a refund of lost money over time. Several sportsbooks offer risk-free bets that are limited to a bettor’s first bet. But Smarkets will refund the first $20 of lost bets over multiple bets. That allows bettors to wager at their own pace and earn the full value of their bonus over time. If Smarkets increased the dollar value of its bonus, it could offer a welcome bonus that competes with Fox Bet and DraftKings.
SBK Odds Vs. The Competition
Smarkets has the best odds in Colorado, and it’s not close. Here are the odds on the Leipzig/Paderborn game in the German Bundesliga:
|RB Leipzig||SC Paderborn 07||Draw|
How can Smarkets offer odds that much better? Here are the expected profit margins for each sportsbook on the Leipzig/Paderborn line:
On the underdog, draw, and favorite, Smarkets blows the other six sportsbooks out of the water. Its odds on the favorite are 75 points closer to even than the next closets sportsbook. That’s 75 fewer dollars bettors have to wager to win $100. On the draw, Smarkets’ odds beat the runner up by 100 points, and the long Paderborn odds are 700 points higher than the next best odds.
SBK Market Depth and Variety Grade
Smarkets doesn’t make money on a built-in house advantage. Instead, it charges a 2% commission fee on bettors’ net earnings. That way, it doesn’t matter whether a team wins or loses. Smarkets generates revenue no matter what, and the bettors who slowly come to a consensus on the odds create the competitive lines seen here. It’s a radically different business model than the existing sportsbooks, and it works out for bettors. It’ll be interesting to see how the traditional sportsbooks respond.
Smarkets offers a wide range of sports and leagues. In addition to the Modus Icons of Darts, Smarkest offers lines on the Remote Darts League. The Rugby League and Rugby Union have lines available, and snooker is full of lines on the Championship League.
While most of its sports cover a satisfying breadth and depth, there’s one noticeable sport missing. Colorado’s current sportsbooks offer lines on the scheduled NHL games, but Smarkets doesn’t have any hockey lines. It could be because there aren’t any upcoming games, but that seems unlikely. Most of Colorado’s sportsbooks–even BetMGM, which I’ve criticized for offering lines on short notice–have lines on the round robin tournament the NHL plans to offer in summer 2020. It could be because I’m reviewing Smarket on its second day in Colorado, but it’s a bizarre omission for an otherwise strong sportsbook.
SBK Deposit and Cashout
Although Smarkets’ deposit options are limited compared to most of Colorado’s sportsbooks, its two options include convenient ways to transfer funds:
- Bank Transfer
- Skrill (PayPal with currency conversions)
Bank transfers are the most direct and convenient deposit method. However, it would be nice to have a credit or debit card option too. Funding an account from a card allows bettors to limit themselves more easily.
There’s only one option for withdrawing money, though: a wire transfer. It’s the most direct way to transfer winnings from the sportsbook to the bettors’ bank account.
Smarkets offers the most direct deposit and withdrawal options available, and nothing else. It’s limited funding methods are more forgivable since the most convenient options are already available.
SBK Smarkets Sportsbook Mobile App
Smarkets has the best app in Colorado. It feels like it was developed by a luxury company. Instead of opening the app to a long form, I was presented with a few blanks to fill in at a time. The screens moved smoothly, and the app even offered customization options that none of the other sportsbooks have. I could decide whether I wanted to see the betting lines as large, spacious text boxes or to scrunch them together so I could see more lines at once. (I chose scrunched them together. Do you know how many lines I had to compare to write this article?)
Betting was easy, too. Bettors just have to click on the odds and go to their bet slip to decide how much to wager on each line. Bettors can also choose to make their multiple bet selections into parlay bets. That way, they can opt into a far riskier bet–mine was +1900 for three lines–if they’re feeling particularly confident in their choices.
The app is available for iOS and Android, so anyone can enjoy the sleek and smooth sportsbook that Smarkets has built.
SBK Sportsbook Overall Score
Smarkets has the best odds and the best app in Colorado out of the seven licensed sportsbooks at the time of this writing. Its business model of allowing bettors to choose their odds creates odds that the other sportsbooks struggle to keep up with. Taking a 2% cut of all the bettors’ net profits also protects Smarkets from an underdog win sucking up their cash reserves.
However, its welcome bonus falls short. A $20 refund of losses isn’t nearly as good as a $500 deposit bonus. Smarkets will have to work on that to make itself attractive to brand new bettors.
But overall, Smarkets is a gamechanger for every traditional sportsbook in the Rocky Mountain State. It’s the new sportsbook to watch.
Yes. It’s Colorado’s seventh licensed sportsbook, which means it’s gone through months of scrutiny to operate in Colorado. It also opens itself up to disciplinary action by the State if it does anything wrong. Here are some of the ways the licensing process holds Smarkets accountable to its patrons.
Smarkets Can Be Investigated If A Patron Complaint Is Bad Enough
Smarkets has its own customer service process. However, if a patron complaint goes all the way to Colorado’s Division of Gaming, then the Commission can investigate Smarkets. If it finds sufficient wrongdoing, then the Commission can suspend or revoke Smarkets’ sports betting license.
Smarkets Agreed To Allow Citizen Complaints
The same rule that gives the Division of Gaming the authority to discipline sportsbooks also authorizes citizen complaints. Once a citizen files a complaint, the unfortunate sportsbook has 20 days to respond. However, the citizen complaint can be dismissed if it’s frivolous. Both sides are entitled to a fair investigation of their claims, after all.
The Stakes Are High For The Person Who Applied For Smarkets’ License
If Smarkets’ CEO gets criminally charged, that could be grounds for license suspension. It’s unlikely that would happen, but it’s good to know that the people running Colorado’s sportsbooks remain accountable.
Smarkets Must Provide All Relevant Information About Its Bets
All licensed sportsbooks must provide certain bet details to maintain each bet’s integrity. These details include:
- Time of wager
- Amount wagered
- Amount won
- Wager type
- What the wager was placed on
These crucial details ensure that bettors are informed and that wagers are settled fairly.
Smarkets Provides Self-Exclusion In Its App
While all licensed sportsbooks are required to offer self-exclusion options, Smarkets makes it seamlessly easy. Bettors can add themselves to the self-exclusion list from Smarkets’ app in the account section. It’s a show of good faith in protecting its customers.
Why Wager At Smarkets Instead Of Some Illegal Sportsbook?
While Smarkets is likely to stay in business for a long time, illegal sportsbooks may not last very long. In 2018, three Coloradans were arrested on illegal gambling charges. The list of charges was extensive, and came from operating three illegal casinos:
- American Pride Skill Games
- La Fortuna Skill Arcade
- El Dorado Skill Games
These three locations are, of course, closed. It’s hard to remain open with the founders in prison. Even though sports betting is legal, illegal gambling remains a crime. As a result, illegal sportsbooks have no oversight until they’re discovered, and bettors won’t get their money back if their favorite illegal sportsbook is raided.
Illegal betting is especially dangerous for problem gamblers. Licensed sportsbooks may not accept bets from bettors on the self-exclusion list. However, illegal sportsbooks thrive on problem gamblers.
Some illegal sportsbooks go so far as to extend lines of credit to problem gamblers. However, those bookies want their money back, and problem gamblers tend to be tight on cash. That leads to financial ruin for vulnerable people and sometimes, bookies resort to threats and violence to get their debts repaid.
Once bettors become desperate enough, they can turn to crime to fund their gambling addictions and pay off their debts. To someone in severe gambling debt, drug trafficking could look like a promising way to pay a bookie. And to a crime syndicate, that indebted bettor seems like a perfect errand boy with nowhere else to go.
In contrast, licensed sportsbooks don’t engage in loan sharking or extend lines of credit that can’t be paid back. While sportsbooks can’t force problem gamblers to do the right thing for themselves, sportsbooks can keep bettors who try to protect themselves safe.
How Does Smarkets Protect Its Patrons’ Money And Social Security Number?
Since Smarkets is one of two sportsbooks that requires a bettor’s complete social security number, security is important. Here’s how Smarkets protects its customers most sensitive pieces of personal information.
In addition to standard security measures, like SSL certificates, Smarkets’ sportsbook offers two-factor authentication. Users can find this option in the sign in section of the account tab. Users’ emails and passwords are still required, but Smarkets will also send bettors a one-time password. The passwords are randomly generated each time, so no two passwords are the same. They’re only good for 30 seconds, so they have to be used immediately. That makes it much harder for hackers to access bettors’ accounts.
Smarkets has also been audited by the State of Colorado during its licensing application. This ensures that Smarkets can protect user data and that Coloradans’ personal information remains secure. Bettors can rest at ease knowing that Smarkets has their data safe and sound.
Smarkets Quick Fact Sheet
Required Betting Age 21 Legal States Colorado & Indiana Colorado Partner Full House Resorts
SBK Sportsbook FAQ
Smarkets is an exciting entrant into Colorado’s rapidly growing sports betting industry. However, bettors may still be confused about a few things. Here are a few points of clarification bettors may need before jumping into Smarkets.
Yes. Colorado bettors will see Smarkets sportsbook app like any other sportsbook. However, Smarkets bettors in other countries can set their own odds. They’re allowed to decide how likely it is that a given event will occur, and Smarkets’ odds will convene on a competitive figure. The odds that Colorado bettors see are the result of all the other bettors getting to decide how likely they think an event is.
21. In the United Kingdom, bettors only have to be 18. However, Colorado sports bettors must be at least 21.
Yes. Smarkets has an entire section dedicated to live in-game betting. If that’s your thing, it’s on the scroll bar at the top of the screen.
Yes. Its license, along with all the current sports betting licenses, are listed on the Department of Revenue’s website. This resource also makes it easier for bettors to know whether their sportsbook of choice has been reviewed by state authorities. It’s a good list to keep handy.
Yes. Sportsbooks must have a robust geolocation system to ensure bettors are in the state they’re licensed in. It’s a licensing requirement, and it allows other states to establish their own sports betting laws. If Kansas bettors could bet at Colorado sportsbooks from Kansas, then Kansas’ anti-sports betting laws would be meaningless. It prevents a huge state sovereignty clash.
Yes. It has an esports section just for bettors who want to watch elite Counter Strike teams. There are several games and leagues that are allowed in Colorado, but the esports schedule is less well-known than older established sports. Esports newbies can periodically check Smarkets to see whether interesting esports matches come up.