Smarkets Reviews

Updated 20 Jan 2021

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3.4
54%
Recommend to a Friend
42%
Approve of CEO
Smarkets Founder and CEO Jason Trost (no image)
Jason Trost
40 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Lots of growth in a short space of time has meant that the self-management thing has not had the opportunity to scale with with the company(in 9 reviews)

  • "TEAL can be a benefit to staff as you are self-managing(in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Passionate and smart people"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Non-Technical Role in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Passionate people. I belive that the majority of everyone in the company is very passionate about what they do which is super motivating. - Smarkets has a very high level of transperency which makes you feel involved in bigger decisions. - You get a lot of trust invested in yourself and you have the opportunity to take ownership. I genuinely believe that my managers wants what's best for me. - The diverse workforce results in a vibrant company culture where everyone can bring their true self to work.

    Cons

    - Working from home and not beeing in the office has negatively impacted the company culture, unfortunately, which I assume is a common issue in this pandemic. - We have been a bit understaffed over the last couple of months - this have resulted in a bigger workload across the company in general but I know that we are looking to hire more people now.

  2. Helpful (2)

    "An amazing company to be part of"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Assistant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    +Amazing company culture + Employees that are at the top of their game who you can learn a lot from + Delicious, restaurant standard meals provided + A beautiful office space + A company that cares about and promotes mental health + Great benefits (i.e. £1,000 towards personal development, co-payed counselling scheme)

    Cons

    So far I can confidently say there has not been a down side to working at Smarkets. Starting any role remotely can have its downfalls but these have been over come by having lots of contact & non-work topic virtual meet ups.

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  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "Great people, great culture"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    * Some of the smartest people you'll ever work with * Positive culture * Ambitious goal to fix the betting industry * Lot's of freedom and agency over own work * Generous training and learning allowances

    Cons

    Remote work during the pandemic has a negative impact on culture

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "Avoid it"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are brilliant engineers and great people to work with. You might end up having connection with them for years later when none of you works there anymore. Chefs! Chefs are just brilliant and the best that this company has.

    Cons

    Management. The CEO is a micromanager who has an opinion on everything and believes that he is a professional in every single area. At times he behaves as a 5y/o child throwing tantrums here and there. A bully. You never know what to expect from him. People take days off when he comes to London just to avoid him. Flat structure doesn't give you any protection from his mood swings. Remote job or work from home? Forget about it, because the CEO has an opinion on this too and it reduces the illusion of control he has. Upper management is not about the most capable people for the role, but rather puppets who can stand and encourage his poor behaviour. Toxic people were held in the company for way too long and the company lost quite a few brilliant engineers because of 1-2 super toxic individuals who'd been there for years. High employee turnover rate. Financially unstable. Just make another choice when you're looking for a job.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Look for something else"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Infrastructure Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smarkets full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Let's say the pay was ok-ish

    Cons

    At least in the department I was woking, it was kind of chaotic. High people turn-over. Very little knowledge of what is happening and what is the vision for the future. And the CEO is not the most pleasant person you can find. In one meeting he said that I look like an ape ... that's not pleasant in any case. Needless to say, I haven't stayed very long there.

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  6. Helpful (15)

    "Poorly managed stagnant company"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smarkets full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Excellent internal mobility - Mentally engaging work everywhere - Smart bunch of people to work with in a collaborative environment - Free cooked food by professional chefs - Great office

    Cons

    - Senior management Senior management is a mindless herd of sycophants when it comes to interaction with the CEO, encouraging his poor behaviour to no end. - CEO CEO is a downright bully, he would jump on chances to ridicule employees no matter the seniority with what can be best described as trivia questions. CEO is a huge advocate of "blog-driven development" - by merely reading technology blogs and being vaguely in touch with technology, he decreed a series of changes and rules in how the company uses various technologies, all of which to me are nonsensical and immensely counterproductive. CEO takes micromanagement to a whole new level, calling it nano-management would not be an exaggeration. You will be get scrutinised for every single move if you get on his radar, in conjunction with my first point on the CEO, this becomes simply intolerable. - Nature of the work Sports is a 24/7 industry, you are expected to be placed onto on-call rota and to respond be it at night or over the weekends at times, these times are often a premium to most people. This issue is exacerbated when you have a small team. - Lack of mentorship Be prepared to fend for yourself for mentorship is few and far between.

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  7. COVID-19
    Helpful (22)

    "Stagnating company run by a micromanager"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time

    Pros

    - Most people I met have been very friendly and supportive. - Hats off to the chefs and their creativity - breakfasts, lunches and dinners used to be simply awesome (really hope Smarkets doesn't lose them when covid is over!). - Great location next to the Tower Bridge. The fact that Smarkets also has offices in Malta and Los Angeles means that you have a decent chance to do a bit of travel (depends on your team / seniority).

    Cons

    - The CEO. A classic micromanager who will start scrutinizing every single step you take once you get on his radar (and you likely will at some point). - The industry. Unless you are really into sport and/or trading, gambling is not a nice industry to be in. Sports trading is also 24/7, which will impact your work-life balance. - Stagnation. The longer you stay, the harder it is to be motivated. Everyone is talented and working really hard and yet... somehow the company is still facing the same problems as one or two years ago, and isn't really growing. - As a result the company is constantly short of money and you are constantly asked to make sacrifices. You can imagine how this only got worse because of covid

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  8. Helpful (13)

    "Shambles"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Smarkets full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Interesting work if you like sports gambling and/or finance - Broad tech stack to learn from - Great individual contributors - Chances to travel to other offices around the world

    Cons

    Working for the Smarkets CEO is one of your best chances to experience what it would be like to work for Donald Trump except the Smarkets CEO doesn't have the ability to negotiate or sell anything. For example he offers employees who would like to work from home, the opportunity to work less hours and get paid less instead. He is the epitome of a narcissist, he has opinions about everything, but knowledge about none of it. The people inside the company who will defend him are classic bootlickers, and placate him at every turn. The flat structure doesn't serve you, the common employee like you might think. It actually gives you less defense against the CEO's micromanagement, outbursts and outright bullying. All the managers leave after a year or two because the CEO is impossible to deal with. Most employees I know at Smarkets make their top priority at work avoiding the CEO at all costs. And like another reviewer mentioned, you can only avoid him for so long before you are on his radar. At which point you get to engage in the CEOs favorite activity, public shaming.

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  9. Helpful (4)

    "Be yourself. Chances to develop yourself & the company's international potential"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - company with lots of potential trying to innovate an industry and make it more fair - Exciting time while we're launching in several new markets - lots of opportunity to get involved with a big variety of topics - flat hierarchy - combine your interest in sports, politics and fintech. Not required though - strong product - work with smart people. Tech tools are great and you can change code very fast - you can be yourself. They encourage you to do so. - mental health counselling - great office with our own chefs who are a real part of our team

    Cons

    - the chance to get involved with what interests you also means a lot of people can give their opinion. This can make you better, but some don't like that. - budgets can be limited while there's a lack of sports, but positive signs showing - workload can be high, but it's voluntary. Up to you to mentally check out and ask for help - too much transparency is a sword that cuts on 2 sides. You love or hate it.

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  10. Helpful (22)

    "Probably not worth it unless you're a grad"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Smarkets full-time

    Pros

    - Great colleagues. Very pleasant and intelligent people to work with. - Some excellent perks. Particularly the food cooked in the London office and the subsidised therapy. - Cutting-edge tech. Good learning opportunities for graduates and juniors.

    Cons

    - The CEO. Worst CEO I've worked for. Textbook seagull management style. - Overall senior management. They don't listen to the employees and don't protect them from bad decisions. - Double standards. Transparency and accountability are touted as company values but are not applied universally. They claim that everyone has a voice and if someone has a great idea they can get buy-in and it will be implemented. In reality, even if you get buy-in from all relevent stakeholders, the CEO can shut it down because it doesn't fit his "vision".

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    Smarkets Response

    June 4, 2020

    Hi there. Thank you for the feedback. We appreciate your balanced review and in particular that you listed our subsidised therapy as a positive; it is something we are very proud of and value. As for the CEO and senior management’s active listening, protection of employees, and involvement, we hope that we had, or will have, the chance to talk to you directly about this, and examine cases where you felt management could have done more.

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