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Matthew Benham is a popular name amongst those in the football and analytics world. He has done a fantastic job to create the air of mystery that surrounds both him and his reputation. Unlike most multi-millionaires, Benham prefers to stay as far from the spotlight as he possibly could. But that has not stopped him from making some incredibly lavish investments, including buying two football clubs.

Matthew Benham is the owner of the English football club Brentford as well as the Danish football club Midtjylland. However, where did Matthew Benham get all the funds to make these lavish investments? Benham is the owner and founder of two very successful companies that are based in the United Kingdom. These companies are both in the gambling industry and are known as Matchbook and Smartodds.

Matchbook is a popular sports betting exchange community that is driven by cutting edge technology, while Smartodds is Smartodds provides statistical research and sports modeling services to customers. Both these companies have been highly regarded within the gambling industry.

Matthew Benham

Matthew Benham (L), shareholder in FC Midtjylland looks on prior to the Danish Alka Superliga match between FC Midtjylland and Randers FC at MCH Arena on May 4, 2015 in Herning, Denmark.

Who is Matthew Benham?

Professional Gambler and Football Club owner, Matthew Benham is a notoriously private man. So much so that it is nearly impossible to find a thorough interview with him anywhere online. The Multi-Millionaire is probably most famous for buying out and taking over the Brentford football team. He has rarely been found discussing any personal matters that cover the topic of just how he came to be as successful as he is. While he has previously been known as the mystery investor, it is no surprise that people are very curious to know who Matthew Benham really is.

Matthew Benham is the owner of not only Brentford was also of FC Midtjylland. He is a highly successful businessman who has been a pioneer in the field of analytics and football alike.

Matthew Benham studied at the prestigious University of Oxford from 1986 to 1989, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics. After graduating, Matthew Benham managed to secure his first job as an associate at Yamaichi International Europe in 1990.

Matthew Benham has always been a football enthusiast and has often recalled the memory of attending his first match at the age of 11. It was a match between Brentford and Colchester in 1979. Even though he mentions that he can’t remember much, he says that he does recall the score – Brentford won 1 – 0, and he remembers that it was Jim McNichol who scored.

This was where Matthew Benham’s love for the Brentford Football Club really began – a love that will one day lead him to buy up the whole team.

Matthew Benham’s Success

Matthew Benham is not only one of the most successful gamblers, but he is one of the most successful businessmen in the United Kingdom. Matthew Benham studied at the world renowned University of Oxford from 1986 up until 1989 when he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics. As a qualified Physicist, Matthew Benham got his first job working as an Associate at Yamaichi International Europe. He only worked there for a year from 1990 until 1991. After that, Matthew Benham worked as a structure for General RE Financial Products and he was even the Vice President at the Bank of America for a year in the late 1990’s.

Matthew Benham’s life career moved in the gambling direction in 2001 when he worked as a Trader for Premier Bet. This time he spent working under one of the most successful gamblers in the world – Tony Bloom. It is said that Matthew Benham and Bloom had a fallout and have never gotten along since. His affiliation with Bloom and Premier Bet seemed to bring out a new passion since after leaving Premier Bet, he decided to become a professional gambler. Matthew Benham mostly bets on sports and with his passion for analytics, it is no surprise that he was very successful. It is unclear exactly how much money he made in his time as a professional gambler, but we do know that he was very successful.

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In 2004, Matthew Benham set up his own betting syndicate, Smartodds. Smartodds acts as a betting consultancy that offers their clients winning odds on sports matches. Matthew Benham himself makes use of his company’s services and is one of their biggest clients. It is unclear whether Matthew Benham set up the business mostly for his own personal needs like Tony Bloom did with Starlizard, but he has benefited from their services over the past 13 years.

Matthew Benham is also the owner of the popular betting site, Matchbook, which has contributed to his wealth since he invested in the company in 2011.

Benham has also invested in two football clubs. In 2006 he invested in the Brentford football club, which he is now the owner of, and in 2014 he invested in the Midtjylland football club, which is he is now the majority shareholder of. Combined, Brentford has invested hundreds of millions of pounds into these two football clubs in order to save them from financial ruin and see them flourish. Matthew Benham is now the owner of not only two companies, but also of two football clubs – he even built a stadium that seats 20,000 people.

Matthew Benham’s net worth is unknown and it is unclear where all his money comes from. While it is clear how most millionaires got where they are, Benham enjoys his privacy and we cannot tell whether he made all his money from his companies, whether it is family money, or whether he earned it through his professional gambling career.

All we do know is that Matthew Benham is one of the most successful men in the gambling industry and without a doubt one of the most diehard football fans to have ever lived.

Matthew Benham in the Gambling Industry

Matthew Benham has made quite and names for himself in the gambling industry. The Oxford graduate decided to turn pro in the 2000’s. However, his career as a gambler does not quite live up to his contributions to the gambling industry. Matthew Benham has two businesses that contribute to the gambling industry. One company, Smartodds functions as a gambling syndicate and betting consultancy agency. The operation is made up of teams of intelligent young minds who make use of algorithms, statistics, and data research in order to determine to which teams stand the greatest chance of winning a match. The services his business offers help bettors who are clients with Smartodds to decide which team it would be wisest to place a bet on.

Interestingly enough Tony Bloom who is Matthew Benham’s rival in the gambling industry has a very similar business called star Starlizard.

Tattoo multi-millionaires work together years back on a business known as Premier Bet. Matthew Benham was working under Bloom at the time and the two ended up having a fall out which is rumored to have led to a rivalry that lives on to this day.

Whether it is a coincidence that the two have similar businesses that also act as rival businesses no one will know, however it was two years after Matthew Benham set up his Smartodds business to compete with Tony and his Starlizard operation.

Matthew Benham has another business within the gambling industry, known as Matchbook. Matchbook is a betting exchange that permits the client to bet for or against sports teams, covering the biggest leagues and events and most public markets.

However, even though Matthew Benham is better known for his companies and his football clubs, he is a very successful gambler. Perhaps this is another area where Tony Bloom is his rival. Matthew Benham is a client at his own sports betting odds company, Smartodds and frequently bets on sports matches.

Matthew Benham has however never bet on one of his own teams as it is not only unethical but possibly illegal in the United Kingdom. Nonetheless, many of Benham’s millions are said to have been made through sports betting, however, the exact amount is unknown.

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Matthew Benham’s Online Gambling Products

Smartodds is an analytical company, providing a variety of services to the public. They have several teams of employees who are responsible for collecting information on various sports matches. The information must then be analyzed and processed in order to compile a presentation of winning odds on various teams. The odds are determined through vigorous statistical processes that determine what chance a team has of being victorious against their opposition. The client can then decide who they wish to bet on, and Smartodds will delegate the task to their bet placers, who will place the bet on behalf of the client.

Matchbook is another one of Matthew Benham’s companies, and they offer a wide range of gambling services. Not only do they provide you with an opportunity to place bets on teams that are set to play in important matches, including sports like football, tennis, basketball, etc. But they also have an online site where one can play casino games.

When you enter the online site, you will find two options, namely; Casino and Lounge. Under the lounge section, you can find all the various sports events that will be taking place in the nearby future. Here you have the ability to bet on the team of your choice.

Under the casino section, there is a wide range of different casino games to be enjoyed. This includes table games like Black Jack, European Roulette, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em. You will also have many options of slots at your disposal, including Warlords crystals of power, Starburst, Secret of Christmas, Fruit shop Christmas edition, Gonzo’s quest, Fairy tale legends red riding hood, Guns n Roses, and Dead or alive. Matchbook also has a couple of video poker games available, such as Deuces Wild, Jacks or better, Wild American. And finally, for those who prefer a live dealer, the operator extends options such as Live Black Jack, Live common draw Black Jack Low Roller, Live Roulette, and Live Auto Roulette.

Smartodds

In the building located in North London a few hundred meters from the Kentish Town, a train station is Matthew Benham’s office and his betting consultancy company Smartodds.

Smartodds was founded by Matthew Benham back in 2004. The aim of Smartodds is to analyze football matches and other sport matches that enable them to offer knowledge and predictions to gamblers, including owner Matthew Benham.

When it comes to goals and end results Smartodds wouldn’t know much. The company has a few mathematical formulas that are filled with all kinds of information from the analysis which allows them to provide an idea of how likely it is for a particular team to be victorious in an upcoming match.

SmartOdds.co.ukIf all the formulas agree that the odds that is set out on the market is incorrect, Matthew Benham and Smartoddsget clients to use this knowledge to be smarter than the market when placing bets.

For instance, if the odds on the market or some bookmakers predict a Manchester United win over West Ham, saying that Manchester United have 76% chance of winning. But Smartodds’ analysis and formulas indicate that Manchester United’s chance of victory is only 73.6%. Even though Manchester United is still the obvious favorite, it means the difference between the market odds and Smartodds’ assessment of the match could indicate that betting on West Ham might be beneficial. Therefore, Matthew Benham and the other Smartodds clients will bet against a Manchester United victory. If West Ham were to win, then their bettors will make far for money than if they were to bid on Manchester United when they won.

On the surface, it is no different than what all gamblers in the sports industry are trying. It is always about outsmarting the bookmaker and attempting to cheat the market.

Of course, getting to the point where the odds are places in front of the clients, is no easy task. The research and analysis that goes into generating those odds are only the beginning. Smartodds is comprised of several teams who work long hours researching every aspect of the competing teams, not to mention the complicated mathematical equations that need to be solved.

In the Smartodds office, there are dozens of young professionals, many of them dressed fairly casually, in hoodies, sneakers and skinny jeans. The majority of the employees are Englishmen, a significant minority came from other countries, including South America. What these employees have in common besides their employer is that they are all brilliant. These young men and women are divided into various groups. It all starts with the “watcher” group which is often comprised of students who watch games live or as soon as possible after the match in order to analyze what happened and to get the data on the system as quickly as possible. At the end when all the data has been collected, analyzed and converted into odds, there is a bet placing team that is responsible for placing bets for their clients. However, between these two teams, there are four other teams.

Watchers

To provide a service of watching live or recorded games and providing updates on how the game is progressing, there are watchers employed on purely a freelance basis. The watchers are not only based in London but all over the world. Many watchers have access at home to the television channels which cover the football games allowing The Watchers Operations team to have watchers who speak the native language to follow the live commentary which is of utmost importance in order to transmit any relevant information to the clients.

The Watcher Operations team’s responsibility is to ensure all of the data that are collected by the watchers are a fair reflection of how every match has developed. To ensure this happens The Watchers Operations team train, advise and review all our watchers on a regular basis.

The statistics that The Watchers Operational team collects during the course of a game are vital for our football models – the more exact the statistics are, the better the company models become, and the more accurate the information the team provide to the clients.

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Analysis

The Analysis team at Smartodds are responsible for producing in-depth qualitative research and analysis on the different football leagues all over the world, which may assist their clients in their decisions about placing value bets.

They are responsible for creating comprehensive previews and reviews for games in every league, involving team news as well as in-depth analysis of how matches were played. In addition to this, the analysis team also provide pre-season reports and midseason reports on every individual team. Lastly, they need to make sure that Smartodds’ clients are kept up-to-date with all the latest developments and offer them detailed live analyses of the matches.

In return, Smartodds give their team members the chance to express and share their views on football issues with like-minded people as well as the occasion to pursue a constant self-development program.

Information Technology

The information technology team is responsible for producing a resilient, vastly available and effortlessly accessible IT platform. In order to allow the company, the flexibility to develop efficient modeling and client tools, it hosts the client interface to the systems.

In addition to administrating the current systems, they are in charge of doing research, testing and installing new hardware and software, participating with current installations, working with subdivisions to find solutions involving current and future technologies, coaching and supporting clients and staff alike.

A core set of professional skills will be displayed by a typical member of their team – outstanding communication, project management, and having the ability to work proactively with minimum supervision. Team associates have a good consciousness of business needs and an acute awareness into the current and upcoming expansions in the IT world. They use their expertise to align the strategy of the IT department with that of the company and change the style to suit current and future trends.

This is a fast-growing company and as such the range and extent of technologies applied combined with the need for the high availability of systems makes for a thrilling and fulfilling profession.

Quantitative Research

The quantitative team has the responsibility of accumulating, sustaining and analyzing sports data with a view to forecasting the outcome of future sporting events. The statistical analysis can be combined with a core set of professional skills and qualitative information to enable our clients to specify the probability of future outcomes as accurately as possible.

The team consists of a wide variety of individuals, from database managers and data administrators who ensure that the data is accurate and effortlessly accessed, through to geometricians and arithmeticians who develop erudite probability representations to make predictions. Everyone in the team has good academic credentials, and many have a PhD in a methodical subject.

The team researches many thought-provoking problems so it is required that every member of the team has a number of different skills, ranging from the ability to examine detailed difficulties and analyze data to having an extensive knowledge of advanced methods required to model sports data and produce calculations. According to the nature of research that we carry out a strong knowledge of the sport is essential in order to understand the data and create related ideas and studies.

The work they do is fascinating, interesting, and allows the team members to continuously expand and learn while working in an area which they all love – sports. Whilst working on a specific problem, the team has the prospect of researching the solution with a high degree of flexibility and individuality. This approach often produces original, exciting and thrilling ideas which lead to new paths of examination, and eventually better analysis and more precise calculations for the clients.

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Software Development

The clients bet in a progressively competitive market. Tight margins result in the continuous search for ground-breaking new techniques every year. This is very exciting from a software stand point and the team work closely with the clients analysing their processes, along with their own ideas, develop explanations enabling them to make decisions easier and faster by producing state of the art solutions providing a mix of real time and historical data.

The team operates in a powerful, fast paced milieu and the clients utilize the team bespoke solutions to make perilous split second conclusions. This means that the software needs to be tremendously vigorous and deliver low potential market data with maximum proficiency.

An almost around the clock service is provided by Smartodds. With the vast majority of games being out of a normal company’s office hours, Smartodds employees have the choice to be flexible with their work times. The members of the team feel that there is nothing more exhilarating and sustaining than being around the clients using the software during an eruption of big games.

A team of leading developers, testers and a business analyst who expertly craft the solutions are employed. Within the team, they believe in a work hard / play hard philosophy. The working days are rarely quiet and the team spirit is valued as much as the ability to write good code. Combining sport and software is a dream for a lot of developers and at Smartodds, it is most definitely not for the faint hearted.

Bet Placement Team

The Bet Placement Team is the interface between the clients and the global sports betting market. The team does this by offering a range of services, which translate into a more successful experience for the clients in their sports betting activities.

The bet placement team’ primary task is to help execute bets on behalf of the clients. The client let the Bet Placement team know their selections and targets in advance and the Bet Placer’s job is to determine whether the market is offering a bet that matches the client’s criteria and then assists them with placing their bet.

The Bet Placement Team also have developed an expertise in monitoring the markets and can give applicable feedback back to the clients, with whatever movements, variances and other information that might help the clients’ decision making processes. Market monitoring is also crucial in aiding the team with their primary task of telling the clients in real time where their preferred bets might be placed. The odds on any given selection can change drastically in a short period of time in this dynamic and ever changing market. The Bet Placement team’ skill helps the clients to seize any window of opportunity that opens to get the best that they want.

The Bet Placement Team is full of dedicated individuals who are charged with not only supporting and providing a high level of service to the clients but also with going above and beyond to help one another achieve the department’s goal of providing top quality results under high pressure…whilst having a good time.

Matchbook

Matthew Benham has been the owner of Matchbook since 2011. Matchbook is a revolutionary betting exchange company offering their customers the opportunity to place back and lay bets. They from traditional bookmakers and online corporate betting agencies. Not only are they an upcoming betting company, but they are rivals to Betfair. Matchbook is definitely giving the popular company a run for their money.

Matchbook claims to have liquid markets and low commissions to offer all constituencies a viable advantage over betting with a regular bookmaker or other betting exchange substitutes. Matchbook was established in 2004, primarily focused on US sports. Not too long ago in 2011, the company was claimed by a team of financiers with firm roots in the United Kingdom sports betting division and their goal is to become an equally significant player in the European and Asian betting markets. The principal challenge for Matchbook is to gain a portion of the market from Betfair, who have liquidity in profusion. But they are performing extraordinarily with the odds-on market depth accessible on the exchange.

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MatchbookMatchbook’s Betting Exchange permits patrons to bet against each other by either backing or laying outcomes at prices they regulate. As all betting exchanges, this business model abolishes the financial risk borne by bookmakers, so odds are often better than those offered by traditional bookmakers.

Matchbook focusses on liquidity and still does not cover a lot of sports or markets. In fact, they focus on liquidity – one market and sport at a time and they guarantee they have perilous mass along with the best price and liquidity before totaling any further markets. Presently, the sports covered include: American Football (NCAA and NFL), Australian Rules, Racing (Formula 1and NASCAR), Baseball, Basketball (NCAA, International Games and NBA), Boxing and MMA, Cricket, Rugby, Golf, Ice Hockey (NHL and KHL), Cycling, Horse Racing, Soccer (Football) and Tennis. Matchbook proposes markets on all key sporting events and matches – the biggest focus being on soccer and tennis where there is a substantial number of betting options on the winner to handicap to goal scorers. You won’t find yourself limited in terms of the amount you can bet either. The best feature of Matchbook is that you have the ability to bet as much as you wish, provided that the liquidity is there in relation to the price you want to back.

Not many leagues are covered. At times, there are only three Tennis competitions available, while Betfair would offer as many as 13 options. Basketball only has a few NBA propositions, while Betfair is known to offer more than 30 local competitions.

Matchbook does not always have much liquidity on football, tennis or many other sports. On very big tennis or football leagues odds and liquidity are good enough, but sometimes their odds a bit worse than on other sites when it comes to other football, tennis or other sports competitions. When it comes to US sports (NBA, NHL, MLB) Matchbook is a serious contender to any other exchange or bookmaker and has generally the most liquid markets and the greatest odds. They are working on improving non-US sports.

Being new to exchange betting, you will possibly be wondering what back and lay are. The easiest way to explain will be as follow: to back a selection is to place a bet on something to occur and this is very much betting as you would with a traditional bookmaker.

A lay bet will then be the very opposite; you are predicting that something will not occur and are thus betting against something happening. You become the bookmaker effectually and offer the best to an associated punter. If your bet doesn’t work out as premeditated and your forecast is wrong, you need to pay out as a traditional bookmaker would.

When placing a lay bet, you generally have substantial obligations that exceed what you would win.

Matchbook is a betting exchange that permits the client to bet for (back) or against (lay) on sports, covering the biggest leagues and events and most public markets.

Matchbook is a very strong exchange on US sports and liquidity and odds are usually high (compared to other betting exchanges) in these cases. However, there’s still a lot of room for development in other sports and leagues.

Football Clubs

When you look at Matthew Benham it is clear that football is his life. While most childhood hobbies fade or disappear completely, Matthew Benham’s love for football has only evolved an intensified.

Brentford

Matthew Benham at BrentfordThis year was the 10-year anniversary of the year that Matthew Benham bought the Brentford football club. Back in 2005, Benham heard the unfortunate news that his favorite childhood football team, Brentford, was in financial crisis, he quickly sprung to the rescue. Matthew Benham, being the private man that he is, wished to remain anonymous when he invented £500,000 in the Brentford football club. The only details made public at the time, was that the mystery investor was a lapsed fan who wanted to save the club.

Later it was made public that Matthew Benham was the mystery investor who saved the Brentford football club – it is somewhat surprising that there was never a movie made based on these events. However, Benham’s affiliation with the football club that he was so fond of as a child did not end there. Benham became the majority shareholder of Brentford on Thursday, 28 June 2012. He had complete control over the club. By now Matthew Benham has invested almost £100,000,000 and the infrastructure after building a new stadium with the ability to hold up to 20,000 people.

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Midtjylland

The Midtjylland football club was established by Johnny Rune and Steen Hessel. Rune is an artisan in the world of woodwork and Hessel, deals in the world of automotives at Mercedes Benz dealer.

These blokes aimed to form the FC units, Ikast FS and Herning Fremad. as most will know these clubs were opposing parties, Ikast FS had some success in the late 1970s and ’80s, but that was a very short-lived period of success. Stubbornly because of the continuous rivalry between the two teams they could not agree on a merger, at least ten years had passed before the historical day concluded on 6 April 1999. A deal was finalized and announced at a press conference the very next day.

FC Midtjylland vs FC Copenhagen - Danish Alka Superliga

Matthew Benham, owner of FC Yidtjyllland and president Rasmus Andersen celebrate after the Danish Alka Superliga match between FC Midtjylland and FC Copenhagen at MCH Arena on May 17, 2015 in Herning, Denmark.

In 2000, Midtjylland were documented to the top-flight Danish Superliga after a season in which the team had collected more points than any other team in the history of the first division.

In July 2014, Matthew Benham became the majority shareholder of Midtjylland’s parent company FCM Holding. This was the main changing point in the history of the Midtjylland football club.

This life changing event for Midtjylland, a Danish club that spiraled downwards, to climbing up the ladder to their first Superliga title in one roller-coaster head rush of a game. A couple of hundred years ago, wolves were amidst the Jutland area, which is the reason for a red wolf club icon. It’s been ages that they’ve been extinct in Denmark but recently, they suddenly mushroomed again. This was taken as a clear sign to Soren Marcher( club manager) that the wolves – as the Midtjylland’s were lovingly referred to- could rise out of the ashes.

Midtjylland’s fairy tale story accelerated shortly after this memorable “sign” when one of their biggest fans took a special interest in the team. No one else than Matthew Benham. He believed that employing statistical data to forecast game results could foresee in a turnaround for this promising team. Matthew Benham took his passion for this team a notch further and started making enormous investments in the team. In mid-2014 Matthew Benham has bought the majority shares of the Midtjylland football club. Making him the proud owner of the club.

Up to date, he has invested in Midtjylland around £90,000,000. Rasmus Ankersen (chairman) describes the last few years as a true fairy tale. Matthew Benham’s investment did make a huge difference in the team’s success, but a vast amount of hard work and continuous interest from Matthew Benham also made a huge difference. With every meeting the team has Matthew Benham will be present on skype. Joining in the discussions to better the team in every possible way. Matthew Benham’s bespoke method of compiling models in a search for new players to improve the team’s performance.

There is no doubt that there is a bright future ahead for the Midtjylland football club with the support of Matthew Benham.

Conclusion on Matthew Benham

Matthew Benham remains a mystery in many ways. It is hard to retain your privacy when you are a multi-millionaire who is constantly placed in the spotlight for your lavish and somewhat excessive investments into the football world. Yet, Matthew Benham has accomplished it so well that it can be difficult to learn anything more than his name.

All in all, Matthew Benham is an incredibly successful gambler and businessman who has built himself up in the gambling industry and worked hard to earn his wealth, until he reached the point where he had the ability to buy his favourite childhood football club and then he went and bought another one.
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